Each month Micro Startups focuses on a charity that’s doing great work to support new entrepreneurs through training, coaching, or microfinance. We love to support organisations who empower entrepreneurs and foster entrepreneurship as a means of fighting poverty, oppression, and social inequality. Charities supporting entrepreneurship do an excellent job of helping people raise themselves out of poverty.
In this article, we bring you a round-up of our favourite entrepreneurial charities who are doing awesome things to help support entrepreneurs and young businesses around the world.
In 1971, two individuals formed an organisation with a simple mission: to end global world poverty by giving the poorest members of society access to finance so that they could take control of their lives.
Opportunity International now operates in 22 countries across the globe and offers support to 9.6 million people. It does this in a variety of ways, but one of the most crucial aspects is financial support. Opportunity International creates local microfinance organisations that offer finance to those most in need.
By giving people access to microloans, Opportunity International has empowered millions of people to get themselves out of poverty. If you want to help millions of people across the world, then show your support for one of the planet’s best microfinance charities by donating to them today.
The New Entrepreneurs Foundation (NEF)
This UK charity has been around for a decade, and in that short time it’s done so much good work to help transform UK business. Among the many great things that NEF does to help the next generation of British Entrepreneurs are:
- Offering paid work placements
- Providing a 10-month fast-track programme
- Giving access to monthly speaker and networking events
- Letting entrepreneurs speak with an executive coach
- Enabling expert advice from a business mentor
The next generation of entrepreneurs are the people who will take society forwards. Without proper entrepreneurial funding and help, the pace that society moves at will be slower than we need it to be.
Zidisha was founded in 2008 by Julia Kurnia, a 24-year-old grad student. While working in Niger, Kurnia experienced how poverty becomes entrenched not just by a lack of available finance, but also by finance at an exorbitant interest rate – loans offered by local organisations can have interest rates as high as 40%.
Kurnia created Zidisha to offer microfinance loans that are interest-free, with borrowers required to make an initial payment (5% of the total loan fee) into a reserve fund. She was able to do this by setting up a non-profit microfinance organisation that connects people who want to give to charity with skilled business people looking for finance.
If you’ve ever wondered what you could do to help people in need, Zidisha has the answer: instead of donating money to charity, lend it to an entrepreneur who will use to start their own business.
The Centre For African Entrepreneurship
Based in sunny South Wales (the UK, not Australia), this is the only organisation based in the United Kingdom which is specifically devoted to helping African entrepreneurs overcome the barriers they face to start their successful businesses. The Centre For African Entrepreneurship (CAE) does this by:
- Raising awareness of the possibilities for starting new businesses
- Supporting migrants from the African community
- Showing the inspirational potential of being an entrepreneur
Being a successful entrepreneur is something everyone has the potential to realise, and there should be nothing placed in the way of your ambition to succeed.
If you want to make sure everyone has the same opportunity to start their own business then head over to CAE’s official website to show your support.
Women’s Microfinance Initiative
The purpose of a microfinance charity is to provide people with the means to create their foundations for long-term success, by loaning them the money they need to take themselves out of poverty. The Women’s Microfinance Initiative (WMI) appreciates this and has given the poorest women of rural East Africa the ability to change their lives since 2007.
WMI does this through a scheme called the “Transition to Independence Program” (TIP), which works through four successive loans from $100 to $250 that are each for a term of six months. These loans are used by the borrowers to give them the skills needed to become entrepreneurs so that when the final loan term has ended, they can run a self-financing business.
The best microfinance charities and entrepreneur non-profits need the support of individuals who believe everyone should have the same opportunities in life. If you want to help women in rural Africa have a chance of being a successful business person, make a donation to WMI today.
How many entrepreneurs will still be going after three years without a support network in place to help them achieve their ambitions? Just 10%. UK charity Hatch Enterprise is determined to redress the balance and ensure as many new businesses are a long-term success as possible. How do they do this?
- Through workshops
- By providing 1-1 support
- Via mentoring
- With access to a deep support network
The entrepreneurial world is full of good ideas, ones that could change the lives of so many people. However, if you don’t have a network in place to help to bring your ideas to life, they could die before reaching maturity.
To help people make their brilliant ideas a reality and see them through to completion, get in touch with Hatch Enterprise, and the team will let you know what you can do to become a mentor to a gifted entrepreneur.
UK charity, Islamic Aid, believes that poverty exists and persists because of choices made by societies. What Islamic Aid chooses to do is offer help to those members of society that need it the most through a variety of ways, one of which is to offer Islamic microfinance.
The charity has already helped people in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (along with many other countries) by offering interest-free loans to entrepreneurs so that they can start new businesses.
The UK is a hub of invention and innovation. So many great things come from the shores of Blighty, and so many more will set sail in the future.
Started in 1998 with the support of the New Labour government, the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) is here to help the UK make the most of its potential, by offering investment to tackle:
- The UK’s ageing population
- Sustainability within UK communities
- Lack of employment opportunities for young people
Sometimes all that you need to get your business going is some belief and investment in your ideas. By offering this, NESTA has helped so many entrepreneurs to achieve their potential.
If you want to help people get the most out of their abilities, head over to NESTA’s official website today and offer your support.
One Acre Fund
Over 50 million farmers are living in the sub-Saharan region of Africa who do not have the finance available to work their way out of poverty. Award-winning non-profit One Acre supplies microfinance to help these farmers grow a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.
One Acre Fund does this by offering joint-liability group loans, with these groups comprised of five to 15 people. The loans are over a period of 10 to 11 months and the farmers borrowing the money can repay what they want when they want to.
2018 is the 30 year anniversary of South London charity Business Launchpad. Since its foundation, the organisation has helped an enormous number of entrepreneurs aged 16 to 30 to start their own businesses by offering young business people a range of support, including:
- Holding workshops across London
- Offering one-to-one business counselling
- A leadership development programme
- Collaborative help from peer support
- Mentoring from established business leaders and entrepreneurs
- Subsided office space in London
Getting access to the tools you need to start your business is one of the most important steps on the journey to becoming an entrepreneur and having the support of a charity that provides this is invaluable.
Australia has the 13th biggest economy in the world. You might be surprised to hear then that 17% of Australians are the victims of financial exclusion. Good Shepherd isn’t surprised but they are appalled, and the organisation is addressing this by offering affordable finance to the people that need it.
Good Shepherd offers financial support through a number of financial counselling and coaching programs, which help people to find a way out of their debt problems and to increase their financial security.
If you want to help people escape the prison of financial exclusion, show your support to Good Shepherd by making a donation to its wonderful cause today.
We may have picked these charities to celebrate, but there are so many more out there that are doing wonderful work every minute of every day. We’re looking forward to bringing you our next Charity of the Month but, in the meantime, shout out about the 10 great ones in this article and let us know if there are any great ones you know about.