The holidays are always my favorite time of year. A time to reflect as the year comes to a close and spend time with family and friends.
The holidays are also a time to give back, donate some time, be more charitable and show empathy and compassion to others…at least that’s how I feel. What about you?
So today I’m going to share something I’ve never written about here, and even as I write these words, I’m not sure why I haven’t.
At the beginning of last year, a college friend and I decided we wanted to stay involved with our campus community and give back.
Specifically we wanted to encourage student entrepreneurs and give them an opportunity to work on business ideas, while still in school with hopes that they would pursue them further upon graduation.
We talked about many different ways to accomplish this…running an “entrepreneurs house” near campus and having students apply to live, work and collaborate there, or giving guest lectures and seminars on campus.
What Would Every Entrepreneur Want?
But then we asked ourselves, “what would every student entrepreneur want?”
The answer: Money and Mentorship
Thus was our non-profit, University Incubator born – with a mission to help students “create your own job by the time you graduate” by providing 0%-interest crowd-sourced financing, and mentorship for the recipients.
To accomplish our mission, we partnered with another non-profit called Kiva Zip, which is a global micro-finance platform.
We, as University Incubator, identify student entrepreneurs and endorse them to be a loan candidate on the Kiva Zip platform.
By the end of this year we will have provided over $35,000 in 0%-interest loans to student entrepreneurs across America!
So if you want to help an entrepreneur this holiday season, here are two amazing entrepreneurs to choose from. It’s simple, just choose how much you want to lend them…and you’ll be a part of their success story, as well as get repaid in full
Moringa Connect – Helping Small Farmers in Ghana
Moringa Connect was developed to create opportunities for small farmers in Ghana to bring their Moringa plant harvests to market. Moringa is recognized as “the miracle tree” for it’s nutritional and healing properties, as well as it’s value as a base for many cosmetics
We provided an initial $5,000 loan to Moringa Connect with which they launched a retail line of Moringa products as well as helped connect over 100 small farmers with international markets. Now they are raising $10,000 and they’re nearly halfway there.
Viewfindr – Photo-Based News for Journalists and Photographers
The other entrepreneur we’re funding now is Justin Mears, a former Air Force inteligence specialist and gifted photographer who is building an online platform called Viewfindr to connect freeland and professional journalists and photographers sharing “picture-based news” from around the world.
Aside from being a lot of fun and feeling good about helping the next generation of entrepreneurs get started, I found that by applying the same principles to a non-profit that I use in my core business (delegation, productivity-focus and impact) I’ve been able to help people in a high-leverage way that takes up very little of my time. Talk about a win-win!
So I encourage you to take a look at these loan requests and contribute if you feel inspired to do so.
University Incubator 2013 Impact Report
To your success,