We believe that, when we help our clients to develop their businesses, this will also impact on their home lives. In fact it sometimes works the other way round in that, by finding out what people want out of life in all its aspects, we are able to help tailor their business to better meet their goals.
Which is great if you are a client of ours and have access to the resources needed to change. However not everybody does and we want to do something that helps those for whom having an accountant would just be a dream (perhaps not quite as compelling as being another Richard Branson or winning the Champions League!) and who struggle just to make ends meet. So we have started three different initiatives all of which have the theme of if our clients help us run our business more efficiently then we will help somebody else with their finances. The three things that we are doing are:
Starting a small business
Micro businesses (usually only one or two people) in the Third World often just cannot get started for the lack of a fairly modest amount needed to buy some basic equipment - farmers, cafe owners, market traders, etc. We have teamed up with Five Talents, a charity that specialises in both providing small loans to these business owners and, at the same time, encouraging communities to save.
For every client who sends us their Tax Return information before 31 August (which helps us process them more efficiently) we will give enough money for a micro-business in Uganda to receive a business start up loan.
Update: So far we have funded start up loans for 279 micro businesses in Uganda
Dealing with Debt
For most of us debt is something that we have an uneasy relationship with, mostly managing to keep it at arm's length. However some people really struggle to make ends meet, often ending up with debts beyond their control should they have unexpected bills or expenditure. The charity CAP offers Managing Money courses to help people to budget better and deal with any debt issues that they may have.
Some of our clients have clearly got their finances under control and pay our invoices promptly so we decided that for any invoice that was paid within 7 days we would pay for Managing Money course materials for someone who needed help keeping control of their finances.
Update: We have provided course materials for 439 people attending a Managing Money course.
Starting up in business is a very steep learning curve as you are expected to master a whole load of new skills very quickly to make your business work. Whether you are based in the UK or Africa any help in devolping those skills is essential. The Five Talents charity also train budding entrepreneurs in the Third World in best business practice which is something that they would not be able to afford for themselves.
Our McKellens Business Accelerator programme is also designed to help business owners make the very most of their businesses and so, for every person who signs up for the MBA, we will give enough for a business owner in Burundi to attend an 18 month training programme.
Update: To date we have funded training programmes for 2 entrepreneurs in Burundi
If you would like to know more about the charities that we are partnering with then please follow the links to their websites