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Tables turn on Dragons' Den's Nick Jenkins as he pitches for funding

In the weeks before our Celebrities & Live Crowdfunding event, we have been speaking to the celebrities who will be there, supporting the causes they care about by pitching for them on the night. First up is Nick Jenkins, the Founder of Moonpig.com, currently appearing on the BBC's Dragon's Den. Nick will be at our 21st March event, pitching on behalf of Shivia, a charity encouraging enterprise in West Bengal through poultry farming toolkits. 

'In 2010 I set up a charitable foundation and since then I have spent half of my time involved in the charity sector. As with everyone who digs deeper in to this sector, I have found that all issues are more complex than they appear on the surface which is why it is so important to be sure that donors take the time to understand what they are funding.

I am looking forward to an opportunity to explain what a great organisation Shivia is. It is a great example of a nimble and effective charity which has learned from its own experience and adapted, it also aims to hand control to the very community it is helping.

I met Olly Donnelly, the founder of Shivia, eight years ago and was impressed by her drive and ruthless efficiency. At the time Shivia was moving from a microloan operation to a focus on funding small scale poultry farming. As an entrepreneur, the concept of Microfinance was very appealing, but the reality is far removed from the vision of creating millions of entrepreneurs.  Shivia was frustrated by the fact that the majority of the loans were being used for consumer spending rather than being used to create small businesses. This led to the shift to develop the poultry livelihood programme. The programme makes so much sense because Shivia not only finances the poultry but also gives all the necessary specialist training. By focusing on one specific area they are really good at it. Agribusinesses have the added advantage of creating food which can be sold on the local market for extra income or simply used to feed the family directly.

Shivia's operations are now run from West Bengal by a local team and it has a local board of volunteer trustees. Shivia India is also generating money from within India through the operations. Shivia doesn't see itself as a handout from the developed world to the developing world. It is giving communities the tools to help themselves.  Shivia UK exist merely to raise extra funding to support their work but if all goes well Shivia UK should be out of a job in 20 years and there will be tens of thousands of families lifted out of poverty.

The desire to help others is one of the key elements of what makes us human. It is hard to see why anyone with more than average wouldn't want to reach out to those less fortunate.'

If you would like to hear Nick make his pitch for Shivia, you can book tickets now! 


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