JUNK.Fund is an initiative that was started as an experiment at RLabs, where we wanted to know if staff would sacrifice having junk food and invest their money in an entrepreneur. We started inviting staff to invest in the fund using the money they would usually use to spend on junk food (fast food). This fund is used to invest in and to offer support to a new female entrepreneur each month. The investor (depending on the size of the investment) will have a chance to nominate an entrepreneur as a recipient. Funds are paid out monthly and the entrepreneur has to attend our SME Boost sessions with the Junk.Fund team.
After successfully running this experiment over 3 months through increasing its capital investment (by not only increasing the number of investors but also the amount invested), as well as an increase in female entrepreneurs applying to be a recipient we decided to launch this initiative. Through this experiment, an additional project was birthed called: Give with a Purpose. This project encourages people to repurpose clothing or functional items as a donation to Junk.Fund. The items are sold for no more than R100 and monetary proceeds go the Social Project of the month. The items not sold are donated to a social impact project for further repurposing.
We started inviting staff to invest in the fund using the money they would usually use to spend on junk food (fast food).
We started with our in person Date Nights where we would have a live pitching segment and invest the money on that night.