We spoke to Maissa, Shannon, Faye and Wenshi Li - four young women from Glasgow, Scotland who are taking part in the Micro-Tyco challenge through Strathclyde University. The aim of the challenge is to raise as much money in 30 days to empower women in developing countries by helping them start their own businesses.
We are taking on the Micro-Tyco challenge in collaboration with the WildHearts foundation. The aim of the challenge is to raise as much money as we can in 30 days, and the best part is – all the money goes towards helping people in third world countries to start their own businesses. There’s just one catch: we only have £1 to begin with, meaning we have to use our own entrepreneurial and creative thinking skills to achieve this.
When my husband died, I was 2 months pregnant with our third child. We had nothing. My micro-loan transformed our lives; now my family is safe and our future is secure. Saida Nagaddya, Uganda
As we are all in our third year of university, our course required us to spend 100 hours outside of uni to build on our business skills. Some people picked internships, others chose to partake in business clinics, but we chose to take the social responsibility pathway. After researching the aims, objectives and previous work done by WildHearts though the Micro-Tyco challenge, we knew this was what we wanted to spend our 100 hours on!
My micro-loan gave me the choice to start my first business. Now, my daughters can stay in school, an opportunity I ever had.
Maha Zyoud, Jordan
WildHearts aims to help people in third world countries to start their own businesses by providing micro-loans to people with business ideas. The grand majority of people that the WildHearts foundation has helped have been women. This is because 75% of women around the world are excluded from all forms of banking and credit. Also, women are more likely to be marginalised and not encouraged to go into education, thus pushing them further into a seemingly never-ending cycle of poverty.
I used my micro-loan to start a weaving business. Now it is successful, I employ 25 people and have a wholesale. My neighbours tell me I am a role model.
Maria Sicajan Sicay, Guatemala.
We are against the clock to raise as much money as we can, and have came up crazy ideas including a sponsored Race2Paris, in which we would try to reach Paris from our hometown of Glasgow, Scotland without spending a penny of our own money! If you would like to sponsor us or just give a donation to our cause, please use this link.
Thank you so much for reading this, and wish us luck!