Loughborough student supports Kenyan economy
Loughborough Student Lewis McGregor attended the voluntary Balloon Kenya programme in 2013 – developing both his entrepreneurship skills and the economic climate of the local area in Kenya.
Balloon Kenya brings together Kenyan entrepreneurs and international students to come up with new business ideas to aid the local Kenyan economy.
The programme enables students to develop entrepreneurship skills whilst creating change and tackling poverty. With the backing of investors, the best ideas receive funding and are developed as sustainable businesses – having a positive impact on the local community and economy in Kenya.
During the six weeks, students learn about entrepreneurship before sharing their ideas with the group. Once the business ideas are decided they are tested and pitched to professionals. With this all-round business experience, the programme allows students to develop as budding entrepreneurs.
Lewis said: “Overall, it was an incredible opportunity and has given me the confidence to continue pursuing enterprise, I highly recommend it. Balloon Kenya is tackling issues in developing countries in the right way, sustainably; giving skills to people so they can grow, spread knowledge and thrive.”
So far the programme has had a huge impact by funding over 95 businesses. Over £18,000 has been invested partnering 652 Kenyan entrepreneurs with 68 international students.
Lewis added: “The programme has an amazing curriculum, is taught interactively and is put into practice instantly. This method of learning is unbeatable.”
With the programme growing in size each year, it aims to fund over 1,200 businesses whilst combining 5,000 Kenyan entrepreneurs with 800 international fellows and investing £250,000.
Applications for the Balloon Kenya 2014 Programme are now open.
Notes for editors
Press release reference number: PR 14/24
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.
It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year title in 2008-09 and has been named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.