At the end of Autumn semester 2012, a group of twenty-four students from across UTS faculties (including law, business, I.T, and design) with a sprinkling of Macquarie University and Sydney University students came together with an interest in developing new social business solutions for their home town, Sydney. With a five hour workshop facilitated by Baptiste, Hasan and Nathan, four teams were treated to an innovative blend of design thinking, shared value and social business concepts. With one team all set to join over 100 other budding social entrepreneurs at the Social Business Forum Asia in Fukuoka Japan, hosted by Kyushu University.
Incubating social enterprises and executing on sustainable solutions: Ending modern slavery
UTS and BUiLD are hosting a talk by well known American social entrepreneur David Batstone. It should be a great event for those familiar with and new to the concept of social enterprise.
Dr David Batstone is the President, Co-founder, and Fearless Leader of Not For Sale (opens an external site). His “tripolar” background in education, investment banking and journalism give David the experience and vision to tackle human trafficking from every angle and drive the organisation forward at an unprecedented pace.
Part 4 of 5
Welcome to the fourth in a short series of articles written as an introduction to microfinance. In this article, I will briefly discuss my take on some of the ethical arguments that are being discussed in the microfinance field and give an overview of what the field looks like today:
Is microfinance “good” or “bad”?
A big THANK YOU to everyone who came out today to support THINK micro’s first fundraising effort for the Grameen Koota school-building project!
Together, we managed to raise $404 for our cause, which is a great beginning and a testament to the strength that comes from working together. Stay tuned to this space for details of our next fundraising events in the upcoming month! Cheers! Tm.
Part 3 of 5
Welcome to the third in a short series of articles written as an introduction to microfinance. In this article, I will briefly discuss the origins of the microfinance movement, within the context of the field of development aid:
Where microfinance came from and what makes it unique
THINK micro is pleased to announce the launch of its first micro fundraiser, an effort to raise $4500 to build an early childhood education centre in rural Karnataka India! You can find details about this fundraiser and the organisations that it supports by clicking on the link in the menu bar, above.
Our first fundraising event will be a bake sale, held on 22 May 2012 from 10 AM to 2 PM outside of the BUiLD exhibit in the UTS Tower Building. Come along to learn more about THINK micro, sample some delicious baked treats, and help out a great cause!
- from ‘South of the Blog’ -
Always keen to help fellow aspiring social entrepreneurs whenever possible, Baptiste and Nathan have been busy creating an innovative workshop taking place this Saturday (19th May)…
On the menu: u.Lab design thinking methodologies, caffein for unbridled creativity, common sense & …
It’s still possible to RSVP if you haven’t done it yet: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDIT: the workshop will be hosted in the new u.Lab space ; check address here
PS: already have commitment on saturday? Call in sick and THINKmicro will kindly provide you with a certificate free of charge!
Welcome to the second in a series of articles introducing basic concepts in microfinance. These are for those who are interested in the field but new to the ideas involved. Today, a simple example of how microfinance might work in practice:
How microfinance works
Microfinance at its most simple is a method of lending money to the poor, so that they can start their own small businesses to generate supplemental income. Microfinance loans are novel in that they use group dynamics in local communities to overcome the inability of borrowers to meet the traditional criteria for receiving loans. These include having a credit history, identity documents, and collateral pledges.
A simple example of a microfinance lending scenario is as follows:
This week at THINK micro we got deep into the concept of social innovation, thanks to Priya’s brilliantly constructed micro-presentation and discussion. Some of the highlights include:
- Hearing the story of Sumitra, an EKO Financial customer talking about how access to banking positively changed her life (can you imagine an Australian saying that about Comm Bank, NAB et al??)
- Crowd funding/sourcing/creativity for social innovation… tapping into distributed knowledge, cloud labour and open innovation. Awesome stuff!
- Then Priya showed the group the amazing social innovation, Litre of Light. Developed by My Shelter Foundation, it shows how the community must be involved in social innovation. See the promo video:
Priya then drove a group discussion around social innovation… is it just a passing fad? The group proposed that it’s here to stay, though that important lessons had been learnt in the last few years including:
- Need to get local community involved (grass roots)
- Collaborative solution design and operation is powerful
- Transparency of where money comes/goes is key
- Should be easily accessible for everyone
Following this Matt F showcased the work of a university micro-finance club in Melbourne, Melbourne Microfinance Initiative. This is a well established group (more than a few years) who have projects in far-flung places like Laos, Kenya and Ghana. From his analysis we could draw out some learnings that could be applied to our own group including utilising a Board of Advisors and potentially running a creative micro enterprise competition in conjunction with MMI. Matt also proposed approaching MMI to discuss strategic partnership with THINK micro. See his slides here.
Lastly, Nathan and Baptiste discussed the upcoming workshop to develop new social business concepts… this Saturday 19th May 10am to 2pm. All welcome! More info at Facebook or this recent THINK micro blog post… RSVP to nathwiltshire at gmail.com