Students studying Vocational Business and Economics at Bexhill College have recently donated £244.75 to MicroLoan Foundation.
The students took part in the Start Something challenge where they formed small groups, with each group investing just £1 of start-up capital. They were challenged to use their enterprise skills over a two-week period to generate as much profit as possible. 23 students took part in the challenge, which helped to develop their entrepreneurial thinking and teamwork whilst at the same time, they generated funds which will be used to support women in sub-Saharan Africa to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
MicroLoan's vision is a world where all those living in poverty have the opportunity to build better lives for themselves and their families. Their mission is to provide the poorest women in sub-Saharan Africa with the tools and skills to enable them to work their own way out of poverty.
Bailey Noll used his £1 to purchase a multi-pack of chocolate bars and then placed MicroLoan Foundation stickers on each bar. Using his awareness of the ‘Fair Trade' logo being used to charge a premium price for other consumer goods, Bailey used the MicroLoan sticker to begin a dialogue with his prospective customers. Rather than selling the chocolate bar, Bailey sold the benefit of the purchase price being donated to MicroLoan Foundation.
Bailey said, "I enjoyed taking part using my business sales skills and helping other people progress."
Bailey is pictured in the photograph along with his fellow social entrepreneurs Dion Hemsley, Terezie Blanarova and Riccardo Cantadori.
The donations provided by our students help to fund female entrepreneurs like Matrida Phiri. Rural poverty is endemic across Malawi. Reliance on subsistence farming in a volatile environment leaves families at risk, and this is something Matrida and her husband are painfully aware of. Before joining MicroLoan the family relied on farming to survive. When they suffered bad harvests Matrida was forced to beg and borrow from people in her village in order to feed her family.
Matrida realised she needed help and she heard about MicroLoan Foundation when one of their Loan & Training Officers (LTOs) came to inform the community about their services. She decided to join one of their loan groups to help re-start her grocery business and make it a success. Matrida learnt important lessons on developing a business plan, conducting market research and calculating profits. Now Matrida's life is starting to turn around. She no longer has to beg and instead earns a reliable weekly profit.
Andy Pritchard, Head of Politics, Economics, Business & Law congratulated the students and said,
"It is satisfying to see our students take what they have learnt in their Business lessons and apply it to the real world. Our students have learned that economic growth and the prosperity that it brings can be driven by the entrepreneurship of hard working and proactive individuals. The injustice of poverty is often linked to a lack of access to credit as opposed to a lack of creativity or work ethic. It is therefore, extremely heartening to see our students become global ethical investors and genuine change agents.”
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