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. By participating in the challenge, the students were able to develop their entrepreneurial thinking and communication skills whilst at the same time, generate 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.
Joe Burford raised the most money by using his £1 to purchase a multi-pack of chocolate bars. He then printed some information sheets about MicroLoan Foundation, detailing how they help women set-up their own businesses. Using his powers of persuasion, Joe managed to raise a £1 donation from a number of people and in return he provided them with a chocolate bar and a MicroLoan sticker. He reinvested the funds into buying more chocolate bars and then found even more people who were happy to donate after hearing his convincing pitch.
The donation provided by our students will help to fund female entrepreneurs like Oiness. Living in a remote rural village in Zambia far from employment opportunities and transport meant Oiness struggled to provide for her three children. These struggles intensified when she divorced and found herself as the sole provider for her family. She used her initial loan to purchase the materials she needed. She now sells a range of cooking utensils. Most importantly for Oiness, her increased profits and savings allowed her to send all her children to school.
Andy Pritchard, Head of Politics, Economics, Business & Law congratulated the students and said,
"I am incredibly impressed by the initiative these students have shown. Within the last year our students have raised £986.95. To put this into context, this actually means this will help 8 women receive loans and training for the year. Although, the impact doesn't stop there. Due to the consistent loan repayment rate of 97% the donations keep on giving and can be used to support other women. In five years this £986.95 has the potential to reach 24 women providing them with the means to start their own businesses and offer them a sustainable, dignified route out of poverty.”
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