WildHearts is a social enterprise in Glasgow, Scotland, that sells office supplies and document management services to large companies. WildHearts use the profits to offer entrepreneurial education and micro-finance for young people in the UK and in the rest of the world.
WildHearts is based on a simple business idea – “social innovation and social change can be created through a paper clip”.
Mick Jackson, who is behind WildHearts, got the idea for the company in 2006, when he was employed as a manager in a large traditional company. Here had seen that many large companies buy for billions of pounds so-called “invisible” goods such as. paper clips, pens, toner for printers, paper, uniforms, furniture etc.. At the same time, the companies are often more or less indifferent to where they get the goods from. Mick Jackson therefore asked his business contacts: “If I can offer these products at a competitive price, if the service is good and where 100% of the profits will go towards creating social change in Scotland and the rest of the world, would you buy from my business?”. The answer he received was a resounding YES.
This was the starting point and since then, it has been the foundation of WildHearts, which today has some of the world’s largest companies as customers.
WildHearts is one of the UK’s leading B2B companies in terms of creating social impact. The company makes it possible for its large customers such as Johnson & Johnson, Zurich, Delloitte, Amey and Serco – to create positive social impact simply by purchasing their office supplies and other services at WildHearts.
WildHearts Office offers more than 35,000 products at competitive prices and at the same time has a good customer service.
Besides office supplies, WildHearts also offers furniture and interiors, printer services, working clothes, data archiving and document management (from transporting documents to storage and labeling). With its many products and services, WildHearts´ many companies allow customers to purchase their office supplies and office services from one provider. This helps make it simple and cost-effective for businesses.
All revenue helps fund the work of the WildHearts Foundation, a registered charity. (Registered Charity SC037072). The Foundation is committed to combating economic inequality and helping vulnerable people in the UK and in the rest of the world.
Basically, WildHearts believes that by supporting the creativity, that many people have, the company can enable them to manage their own lives and become more resilient to the challenges they face. The idea is reflected in all social initiatives of the Foundation ranging from helping female entrepreneurs in Malawi in difficult situations to strengthening young people affected by social immobility in the UK.
WildHeart supports these people through various forms of micro-investment, so they get the chance to become entrepreneurs and start their own small business that can make them self-sufficient.
For example, WildHearts is trying to combat gender inequality, which is a major problem globally, through their StartHer Strategy. WildHearts ‘StartHer’ Strategy supports women and girls in the developing countries through three initiatives: incubation, education and health.
First of all, WildHearts gives them access to finance. 75% of women in the world do not have access to any kind of funding. This is, in fact, an unparalleled gender discrimination. So in this regard WildHearts’ micro investments makes a huge difference.
Next, WildHearts’ education program gives the women and girls access to tools and the learning they need.
Finally, WildHearts health program ensures that the girls have access to menstrual products and are taught how to use them, so the girls do not leave school because of problems and shame about menstruation, which is a general problem in many developing countries.
To support entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking, WildHearts has developed the Micro-Tyco program. Micro-Tyco is a month-long entrepreneurial education program that enables participants to practice and practice business at a very basic level and in a safe ‘micro’ environment. Teams from schools, universities and businesses get one pound in initial capital and then get a month to make it grow as much as possible.
The Micro-Tyco program helps to unleash the participants’ latent talents, as well as promoting entrepreneurial thinking, improve skills and teamwork.
Participants in the program are also taught basic business skills by world-class Micro-Tyco mentors, such as Josh Bayliss, director of the Virgin Group and Thérèse Rein, contractor and former First Lady in Australia. They also get access to the ‘Micro-Tyco Method’ an eBook with entrepreneurial guidance.
One of the most creative ideas that Mick Jackson has experienced through the programme was a boy who exchanged his one pound to a 100 shilling pieces, after which he got the local priest to bless them. The blessed shilling piece he then sold for 1 pound each and thus ended up growing his one pound to 100 pounds.
To recognize the participants for their entrepreneurial qualities, wildHearts has created the “Micro-Tyco Excellence Award”, in collaboration with The Social Innovation Lab at Babson College, the world’s leading entrepreneurial school. Micro-Tycos also have the opportunity to further expand their network on Future Talent Forums, Micro-Tyco Master Classes and WildHearts GEL Summits.
All the money created by Micro-Tyco participants is investing by WildHearts in micro loans for poor entrepreneurs in developing countries. In this way the participants in the program experience, that they become entrepreneurs in order to fund another entrepreneur who needs it.
By linking business practices with social impact, the Micro-Tyco program also aims to inspire a new and future kind of leaders that our world needs and deserves.
WildHearts runs the Micro-Tyco program for free for both schools, colleges, universities, community groups.
In relation to companies, Micro-Tyco has proven to be successful in identifying and developing talent, and the programe is now used by the world’s leading companies, such as Deloitte, Johnson and Johnson and Barclays as part of their recruiting and employee development strategies.
WildHearts has created great positive social changes through its work since the start in 2006.
– 45,000 people in 25 countries worldwide have participated in the Micro-Tyco program.
– Positive life changes have been created for 300,000 people
– 7 million pounds have been invested in positive social change.
You can read more about company’s impact here
In addition, WildHearts also works extensively with the UN’s world goals and specifically addresses approx. half of the goals. You can see a more detailed description of WildHearts work with the UN’s world goal here
More about WildHearts at: www.wildheartsgroup.com
Watch interview with WildHearts founder Mick Jackson from TEDx in Glasgow 2016 here