So why did I pick to raise money and do an ICS sponsored scheme for Challenges Worldwide?
Well there are 3 main reasons:
1. Empowering Small Businesses
Challenges Worldwide aims to aid international economic development through a mechanism called economic empowerment. This essentially theorises that by improving small to medium sized businesses, which make up 90% of most economies, you improve the wealth of those businesses which then employ more people, carry out bigger expansion projects and better serve their consumes leading to this increase in productivity via a multiplier effect. It might sound unusual but I’m really interested in how economic liberalisation affects the development of a country due to potential destabilising effects. Take Thailand in 1997 who a few years prior carried out a liberalisation programme dropping barriers to capital flows, resulting in huge inflows of money, overinflating the economy leading to a catastrophic crash in 1997. This crash had huge implications on development for instance 100,000 children could no longer attend schools as their parents could no longer afford the tuition fees.
2. Small businesses are dynamic and interesting!
I’m fascinated by the Start-up scene where there is so much innovation and creativity exploding from every office desk and hipster Xbox lounge. I have always had a desire to start –up something myself and currently I work with a couple of other students from Loughborough on Haslo a business that connects buyers with Georgian Hazelnut producers. See: www.haslo.uk for more information. This stemmed largely from my dad’s successful construction business, what I liked most of all was that although there were ups and downs my dad would always be so proud after the completion of every project. Then setting up as a personal trainer in 2013 and created projects ranging from meal and work out plans, one on one sessions to running a set of weekly circuit classes- It was something I enjoyed so much and has spurred me to try everything and anything!
3. Challenges Marketplace
One aspect of Challenges which I found innovative and very interesting was the Challenges Marketplace. Essentially it is an online system, whereby we get the businesses we work with to submit monthly KPI’s and financial metrics into the online database. This notion of continuous reporting builds up a system that allows challenges to follow each business after our placement finishes and has the added bonus of opening up access to alternative/cheaper sources of finance further down the line, once a track record has been established. This financing comes from a variety of sources whose aim is to grow fair and inclusive sustainable enterprises. In summary, this is a mechanism to direct capital from developed to less developed countries thereby sustainably improving FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) flows at a grass roots level. I think this just shows how technology is changing our word for the better.
I hope this helps understand the benefits of the scheme and my personal reasons for going on it. There will be more detail to come!
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