One year on – Margaret Jessie Black Trust Fund Award winner boosts small businesses in West Africa and his wifi

Nathan doust

Last year’s winner of the Margaret Jessie Black Trust Fund Award has continued his inspiring work by literally putting his grant to work.

From his home in West Africa, where his parents do volunteer work for a mission organisation, Nathan said he was grateful to receive the award and see the difference it is making.

One of the challenges Nathan faces learning virtually in a rural and remote location in West Africa is constant power outages that can last for days.

He used his grant to purchase a battery for his wifi modem so he can study without interruption and also further his French education. Furthermore, he has invested in micro-loans; an idea he learnt about in Year 11 Economics when considering the topic of investment or foreign aid as a means of alleviating poverty and growing economic development.

‘I’m really thankful for this opportunity that enables me to lend funds to small businesses within our country and to see how that functions,’ enthused Nathan.

‘Investing in micro-loans in West Africa means that I am better equipped to gauge the effectiveness of these businesses, as I live locally and have some understanding of popular small businesses here. Another reason I’m interested in investing in my location is that the results are much more tangible than if I was loaning to a country overseas.

‘Although this wasn’t the explicit intent, all of the groups I have loaned to so far have been women. West African women often start a business to support their families,’ said Nathan.

The Margaret Jessie Black Trust Fund awards grants to Virtual School Victoria students within three categories: Community, Equity and Cultural.

VSV congratulates all 2020 Award winners.

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