The IUM Mark Challenge requires a charity component to be integrated in the business plans – an aspect that we, and the Principality of Monaco proudly support. Most people have ideas and opinions on what would make a better world, but few rise to the occasion. A startup business can be part of an initiative to make real change.
A charity adds purpose to your service offering. It puts your business into a societal context, strengthens your network, and can provide a strong and sustainable brand image, proven to do what it stands for.
Charitable work can be done in a myriad of ways, especially when running a business. Aside from making donations, why not put waste products to good use? For example, hotels in Monaco have a lot of clean but worn out linen and towels which are donated to crisis areas where they are desperately needed. There are many creative ways to make a contribution.
TwoHelp is an example of a charity initiated last year by one of our IUM students. More than one in ten children in the developing world lack access to basic education. The organization has been collecting via a pipe in the university cafeteria, parties and raffles – and for every €900 collected, they can provide three years of education for one child. After only one year and with just three active members, TwoHelp has granted education for eight children! The children are from different backgrounds from all over the world including Burkina Faso, Vietnam, Armenia and Lebanon. The difference this is making is immense – the children are taken from the streets and granted a safe environment where they can develop their potential. They are given the tools to escape poverty, the risk of exploitation and child labor and also gain self-esteem, dignity and hope. This provides the means for them to fulfill their dreams, and in a larger scope also helps reduce extreme poverty. TwoHelp has sparked big interest and has now been joined by two volunteers helping them to expand and develop this marvellous cause.
There are many different areas to contribute. Environmental protection and conservation aims to promote sustainable use of natural resources and combat pollution; animal cruelty, exploitation and abuse are a constant issue where information as well as help often fails to come through. Libraries and museums or art centers and public broadcasting can preserve historical treasures and maintain independent media. In community development, business startup support programs can help develop economies. Protecting equal civil and legal rights and working towards tolerance between conflicting racial, ethnic or cultural groups is always an important topic.
The areas where charity is needed and can make a big change do not end here – The IUM Mark Challenge encourages each entrepreneur to pursue the cause they are most passionate about!