Join us in helping combat poverty in Africa, microfinance charity Deki urges Bristol businesses

January 23, 2015

Innovative Bristol microfinance charity Deki is calling on businesses in the city to help it fight poverty in Africa by joining it in a unique partnership.

Deki’s crowdfunding website offers long-term solutions to poverty by giving entrepreneurs in the developing world access to small loans and business training.

Since it was set up in 2008 with seed funding from UWE, Deki has lent more than £400,000 to entrepreneurs in the developing nations where loans would traditionally be inaccessible to them.

It estimates it has had a positive impact on the lives of more than 10,000 people in some of the world’s poorest countries such as South Sudan, Malawi and Togo.

Now it wants to partner with forward-thinking businesses in Bristol to provide 7,000 new loans and help change the lives of a further 35,000 over the next three years.

A Deki loan – which can be as little as £10 – allows an entrepreneur to build a profitable business, providing them with a steady source of income. They are then able to secure their own futures, send their children to school for longer and employ people in their local community.

The Bristol Businesses Against Poverty partnership is launched on February 12 at the Victoria Street branch of Bristol café chain Friska – a supporter of Deki since 2012.

A short film specially created for Deki by Aardman Animations and Deki patron Nick Park will be screened before the charity’s founder Vashti Seth tells her inspiring story.

Vashti set up Deki using just £2,000 and a note left by her late father telling her to “do something good” with it. It has since gone from strength to strength.

Vashti said: “We are inviting Bristol businesses to come along to our launch to find out more about how they can get involved. It is an exciting time – with the help of Bristol businesses we can do so much more.”

Among those attending will be Ocean Estate Agents founder Paul Harris. Ocean is one of the first businesses to sign up to the new initiative.

Paul said: “We were really keen to support Deki. As someone who has been through the process of starting their own business I know how hard it can be.”

And Friska co-founder Griff Holland added: “Our partnership has had a really positive impact on the business. We are excited about the future of the project as it continues to grow and offers more opportunities for entrepreneurs in developing countries.”

Bristol Business News has also pledged to support the Bristol Businesses Against Poverty partnership along with Ecosurety, Simpleweb and Paradigm Norton.

Also confirmed to attend the launch are Lord Mayor of Bristol Alastair Watson, Bristol West MP and communities minister for Stephen Williams, and UWE vice-chancellor Steve West.

For more information email Bryony Spooner on

Pictured: Rose, from Malawi, who took out a loan of £180 with Deki to start her own food business

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