Bexhill College students have turned £1 into a £670 donation to a charity that helps people work their way out of poverty.
Business and Economics students took part in the international Micro-Tyco challenge which raises money for the WildHearts Foundation. Over 70 students working in small groups provided with just £1 came up with a range of ideas to generate the profit over a four-week period. What makes the WildHearts Foundation different is that it provides micro-loans to aspiring entrepreneurs in less developed economies, allowing them to work their way out of poverty in a dignified way.
The students pictured are Ayrton Earl, Jack Chantler, Eva O’Reilly and Nicholas Bozyk. These students sold a range of confectionery at premium prices by emphasising the work of the WildHearts Foundation.
Nick Bozyk said: “It felt great to develop my entrepreneurial and communication skills while helping the global community. I can only hope more opportunities like this come up in the future.”
Hannah Gorham was part of the group that generated the largest profit. She said: “This was a great experience to enhance my business skills while helping those less fortunate than ourselves.”
The donations provided by last year’s Business and Economics students have funded micro-loans to a number of individuals around the world. Nickness Chmbaiyua and Arnes Mbewe, both from Malawi, received micro-loans of £80 and £115 respectively. Nickness started her own business selling cooking pots as she realised this was a profitable opportunity that she could exploit.
She believes the level of care she gives her customers is the reason why they come back to buy from her again. Nickness used her WildHearts micro-loan to buy more stock to sell so that she could grow the business. She added: “Before my micro-loan, life was difficult. I had little money in my pocket but now I’m able to live a happy life. My hope for the future is to be able to build my own house for myself and my children.”
Arnes runs her own business as a market trader selling beans, tomatoes, sweet peas, peanuts and soft drinks. Thanks to her WildHearts micro-loan of £115 she was able to buy more beans and wheat, which helped her to sell more and grow her business.
Arnes said: "I started my business so that I could support my family and I’m really proud that all four of my children have now started school and are working. I hope to make enough profit to be able to build houses and rent them out so that I can continue to provide for my family.”
Andy Pritchard, Head of Politics, Economics, Business & Law congratulated the students and was pleased to see them take what they learnt in their lessons and apply it to the real world.
He added: “They have learned that economic growth and the prosperity it brings can be driven by the entrepreneurship of hard-working and proactive individuals.
“However, what often traps individuals in a cycle of poverty is lack of access to credit. It is therefore extremely heartening to see our students become global ethical investors and genuine change agents.”