Business for Good and finding your ‘why’ was the inspiring topic for the keynote speech at this launch of the Business Start-Up Journey 2020.
Mick Jackson, founder of the multi-million-pound international business group, Wildhearts, spoke compellingly about how businesses can help to tackle global challenges.
In his keynote speech in the Zoom event, he told the audience of students and regional business owners, how Wildhearts uses its network of delivery trucks to deliver sustainable sanitary pads to girls in South Africa. This simple action helped the girls to stay in education and reduce the risk of them being trafficked into slavery, sold as child brides and contracting AIDS.
Mick talked about how Wildhearts Micro Tyco programme of entrepreneurial education was not only inspiring young people across the UK and beyond but how the funds raised provide micro-finance loans to women across the world enabling them to start their own business and gain economic independence.
Backed by leading corporates and global business leaders, to date Wildhearts has funded over 40,000 micro-entrepreneurs across 40 countries as well as providing free entrepreneurship training to over 25,000 young people in the UK through the Micro-Tyco programme.
The launch event also heard from two student entrepreneurs, who talked about how they developed their own business and gained support from the ASPIRE and Business Start-Up Journey programme.
KBS alumnus, Andrew Christopher, founded his company, LDrive, while studying Business and Management at the Medway campus. On graduating he has the past year developing LDrive fulltime and is getting ready to launch his app, which aims to disrupt the learner driver market, in the new year.
Molly Walsh, a Stage 3 Sport and Exercise Management student, is developing a new sports drink for the weightlifting community. She talked about how the Business Start-Up Journey had not only helped her to develop her idea, but also to build her confidence.
The Business Start-Up Journey is a step-by-step programme which guides students through the process of starting a business through a series of fun, interactive and practical workshops.
Workshops run mainly on Wednesday afternoons to fit around academic study.
The early workshops focus on finding and developing ideas by problem-solving and focus on the Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration – looking to find solutions to some of the huge challenges facing the world.
The programme also looks at how start-ups can and prototype their ideas and moves through the stages of getting ready to launch a business including finance, marketing, investment, pitching and presenting techniques.
At the end of the Business Start-Up Journey, there is a pitching competition with a top prize of £1000.
Alongside the workshops, there is the opportunity to get one-to-one advice from the ASPIRE’s team of entrepreneurs in residence.
For more information contact ASPIRE@kent.ac.uk