On Wednesday 8th September Adopt an Intern were privileged to be invited to the WildHearts Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Summit at RBS Gogarburn Edinburgh.
Wildhearts use their profits to fund microloans for people who have no access to finance in the developing world. According to founder Mick Jackson “¾ of the world’s women have no access to finance. It is a fincancial apartheid”. Mick sees business as a catalyst for justice and financial inclusion. More than this, Wildhearts is driven by the conviction that ‘Business for Good’ is not only good for the soul and for society, it is also good for business.
Peter Fanconi of Blue Orchid confirmed that Microfinance is a substantial investment, with an annualised return of 3.85%. Blue Orchid’s average loan is only $200, however of an estimated 200million loans worldwide, they have a default rate of only 0.4%. More than 80% of these loans are given to women.
The need for a culture change in how people view business was highlighted by Richard Dixon, who shared his own entrepreneurial journey in setting up Vets Now Ltd. People are your most important asset, he argued – especially people who believe in what they do.
This couldn’t have been more true than for Duncan Skinner, Chairman of Glencraft Ltd in Aberdeen. Formerly the CFO of Wood Group PSN, Duncan has seen Glencraft through from the cusp of going out of business to becoming a thriving social enterprise which now sells handcrafted beds online with Argos. The company employ blind and disabled people to manufacture their mattresses and beds. He told us to embrace change and left us with the following quote from W.H. Murray:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”