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Celebrating young entrepreneurs

Celebrating young entrepreneurs

For Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, we are celebrating young entrepreneurs around the world and the people who help us to support them.

We work through Financial Education and Life Skills class and club sessions to help children learn how to plan for and achieve their goals. This includes creating their own budgets, managing their savings, and approaching problems in a practical way that is most likely to lead to success. These sessions are beneficial for both the children and their communities, as the children are empowered to create positive change.

A girl learning at her Financial Education and Life Savings club in Bikaner, India
A girl learning at her Financial Education and Life Savings club in Bikaner, India

Living in close proximity to a desert, the children of Bikaner in India have a keen interest in their environment and are increasingly concerned with the harmful effects of plastic bags around their village, school and temple.

Plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose. If we let it lie around on our land, it can also impact the fertility of our farms. If cows or other animals eat them, they fall sick and it also pollutes our ponds.

Youth club member

As part of a programme developed in partnership with Credit Suisse, students in Bikaner participate in Financial Education and Life Skills clubs, where they learn about rights and responsibilities, saving and budgeting, and enterprise development.

At one workshop, students learned how to make paper bags from newspapers.

Children making paper bags at their Financial Education and Life Savings club in Bikaner, India

The young people started asking us questions about how they could develop a small enterprise around this. As they are very interested in the process of making the bags and passionate about the environment, we helped them to structure their efforts.

Jaswant ji, team member

After determining the most suitable combination of size and cost, the children began convincing shop keepers in the temple market to replace plastic bags with their cheaper and more sustainable paper bags. Club members could make over 100 small bags a week and are now working on bigger, more durable bags for the village grocery stores and their variety of goods.

The children are skilled at planning and advocating for change, and are hoping to have many more shop-owners using paper bags soon.

Watch the video below to see how 15 year-old Radha uses her new skills to manage her paper bag-making business.

How can you get involved?

We know that our vision can be better achieved by working with others. As employees, customers and clients increasingly look for the social objectives of businesses, we partner with companies to link their philanthropic interests with our programme priorities. As well as long-term strategic partnerships with large organisations such as Credit Suisse, CBRE, and Chelsea FC, we support employee engagement initiatives and welcome smaller corporate donations.

Sometimes a great partnership can be sparked by a single employee nominating us or discussing with their colleagues how we could work together to transform the lives of girls and boys around the world.

Find out more about our partnerships

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