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From sustainability to empowering women-how one small business is fighting poverty

From sustainability to empowering women-how one small business is fighting poverty

MicroLoan’s interview with Gill Thorpe — The Sourcing Team

Each year MicroLoan Foundation helps over 65,000 women living in rural poverty in sub-Saharan Africa to become entrepreneurs and work their way out of poverty. MicroLoan provides these women with business and financial literacy training, on-going mentoring and small affordable loans so they can start businesses. The profits they generate from their businesses allows the women to increase their family’s access to healthcare, nutrition and education.

Our success in helping these women is in part due to generous donations made by our corporate partners here on Work for Good.

One of our partners, The Sourcing Team recently made MicroLoan their chosen international charity. The Sourcing Team have been supporting MicroLoan since 2018 via Work for Good and have gone onto provide donations, pro-bono support, gifts in kind and their CEO and Founder Gill Thorpe will be taking on the Malawi Trek in May, climbing Malawi’s largest mountain to raise money for MicroLoan. I had the opportunity to speak with Gill about the partnership between MicroLoan and The Sourcing Team

The Interview

What drew your attention to MicroLoan Foundation?

I’m passionate about supporting women in business, and believe in education for all, everywhere, something that isn’t always possible. As a female business owner here in the UK, sometimes it can be really tough — so imagine what it must be like for these women in sub-Saharan Africa — struggling to feed their families and often not having the opportunity to send their children to school. That’s what drew me to MicroLoan — I love the work they are doing — helping women out of poverty and helping them to change their life and their children’s future with a chance of an education.

How easy has donating to MicroLoan been on the Work for Good platform?

Very simple. I really love the platform it just makes it easy for an SME to support good causes and you chose who and what you want to do.

Donating to Microloan and our other supported charities via the Work for Good has been a simple and easy to use tool in managing our charitable donations. As an SME our time and resources are more limited but we can donate as much or as little as we like and make either one off donations or link a specific target to a cause

What would you say makes MicroLoan unique as a charity?

Firstly, the have an amazing team with such passion for the work they do, they inspire you to want to support them. I love the fact it’s about helping women to help themselves, empowering them and having a lasting effect on the lives of these women and their family, children and communities.

MicroLoan are in areas where big corporations don’t necessary go to support — often investment goes to markets where the corporations are developing future opportunities. As a result of the work MicroLoan have done since 2002 an estimated 920,000 children have been given a chance of education and a chance of better future.

I am super excited to be going to Malawi to see the work they do first-hand, when I do my Malawi Trek challenge.

What has been the highlight of the partnership between MicroLoan and The Sourcing Team so far?

It was wonderful to be able bring them to the WEConnect Europe — Gender Diversity in the supply chain Conference last year — and see the team connecting and sharing their amazing stories and work with the other women attendees.

As I said, they are all so passionate and committed it really makes you want to engage and do more. I also held a fundraiser quiz night and we raised a fabulous £2017.00 on the night, feedback from our 90 guests was wonderful about MicroLoan with many wanting to know more.

What impact has supporting MicroLoan had on The Sourcing Team?

I think firstly, for me and my team it is very much about a sense of purpose — we work hard for our clients and are passionate about doing the right thing for people and planet and supporting great causes, like the MicroLoan Foundation matters very much to us. Secondly, our clients like to hear about the causes we support and how we as a small business give back to both local and global communities.

We look forward to doing more with the MicroLoan team throughout 2020.