Imagine. 

Being in a place you’ve never been to before. Working with people you’ve never worked with before. In a language you’ve probably never spoken before.

You have a fraction of the money you usually have to create something. Nor your usual team.

You have an objective. And you have 30 days to reach it.

This is when real world innovation kicks in.

Here are two fascinating examples of what happens when someone from the financial industry is placed thousands of miles away from home and doesn’t have the usual resources to fall back on.

Earlier this year, Octopus Giving, which is the charity foundation set up by the Octopus Group of companies, sent Chloe Allan and Amira Mansour on TIE.

Chloe spent a month in Malawi, using her Business Development expertise to help Chance for Change develop their own entrepreneurial program whilst giving young offenders a new chance in life. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It also has very high rates of HIV and AIDS. It is common for young people to lose their parents early, and as a way to get money for food, turn to petty crime or sex work. Chance For Change helps teenagers develop entrepreneurial skills, so they instead can go on to earn their own money. 

Chloe’s experience working in an investment company was key to helping Chance for Change make their entrepreneurial programme more effective. After speaking to a number of participants and doing local research she discovered that setting up a loan facility would help the programme’s participants put everything they had learned into action. Through further research, access to the seed money fundraised in the lead up to the TIE programme, and knowledge of Octopus Property and Octopus Choice, she launched the loan facility which will keep growing as participants pay it back, whilst financing many more young entrepreneurs into the future.

Read more about Chloe’s experience here.

Amira is a Learning and Development Trainer within Octopus Group. Amira worked at Joy Street, a social enterprise that uses technology and gamification to transform education in Brazil. By putting her Learning & Development background in service of young students, she supported the organization in building a long-term strategy that will guide their future efforts in scaling and increasing their work. She also got to learn first-hand about the many tools and opportunities gamification offer for learners and Octopus is now applying that knowledge internally.  

When asked what the single biggest career take away from working in Brazil was. She said “Believe in yourself. If I work hard for it. I’ll achieve it. It won’t always mean I’ll get it right and it might not always be perfect but I know that if I can build relationships with people whose first language isn’t English, discover a whole new world in education and technology in a foreign country and produce work that’s beneficial to a team of people I didn’t know 30 days before, then I’ve got a lot more to achieve at Octopus. It’s exciting to draw out how I can have a similar impact back here at home. My team are driving digital learning forward and I’m excited to share my findings from Brazil to see how they can benefit us here”. 

Read more about Amira’s experience here.

As the proverb says, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’.

And this couldn’t be truer than on TIE.

We hope our TIE participants come back with fresh ideas, confidence in their leadership abilities and a stronger sense of purpose in the work that they do. And both Chloe and Amira’s experiences beautifully illustrated that all of this is possible.

You can learn more about their experiences in their own words in the video here: 

Enjoy!