Getting the Wheels Rolling for Microfinancing

Skrevet af Chris Day - 3. november 2008 - 10:000 kommentarer
On Thursday 23rd October, Cafe Nexus at CBS was chosen as the venue to launch ‘Wheels of Action', the latest foray into galvanising activity for individuals with a social conscience and corporations professing a social responsibility.

‘Wheels of Action' is a non-profit organisation which bursts onto the scene presenting a clear set of goals and hopes that "...microfinance can alleviate global poverty". The brainchild of CBS alumni Javier Colon, the aim is to provide a modern avenue for micro-lending to tackle third world hardships, particularly in Africa. Inspired by the theories of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus who professes that the only real way to help the poor is to turn them into "...active players, rather than passive victims", ‘Wheels of Action' hopes to re-energise the way micro-lending and direct aid to the needy is administered.

The hope is to establish a facilitation platform where those that want to lend amounts small or large, can be matched to those that require loans, clearly stating what is required and why. Rather than blindly sending aid, a dialogue is created between loaner and borrower, with the borrower being held accountable for the money lent and empowered to put it to the best purpose. For business students, this makes perfect sense, with a lack of access to savings often been cited as one of the main reasons for 3rd world poverty intransience.

The real work begins

With a dynamic mandate in place, the very real work begins for ‘Wheels of Action' to raise awareness and turn ideas into reality. This is where the bicycles come in. To draw widespread attention to the organisation, a bike race to Tanzania is in the planning stage, as well as a University bike race around Denmark. Both proposals are designed to meet the dual aims of marketing and also drawing in corporations with a social responsibility to become directly involved by inviting them to enter a team.

Launching such an innovative organisation off the ground as ‘Wheels of Action' and enabling it to take the quantum leap from good intention to life changing phenomenon requires a lot of hard work and resources. Students with a social conscience, an interest in microfinance, or a desire to be witness to the birth of something intrinsically good are urged to get involved. This they can do by making a contribution to the microcredit fund through the form of a donation, or becoming directly involved through an internship or as a volunteer.

If the "ride to reduce poverty" is to happen, then its hard work all the way from here on in, but watch this space...