Micro-Tyco: Inspiring the Leaders our World Deserves
By Mick Jackson
Micro-Tyco’s vision is to ignite the spirit of enterprise across our whole culture, from our leading corporations to our universities, secondary and primary schools, and even nurseries. It stimulates the spirit of enterprise in its purest form and rewards participants with the knowledge that in business, if they can succeed at Micro-Tyco, they can succeed at anything.
During the challenge, participants are encouraged to use their inner resources—creativity, imagination, experience, network—to grow their pound or dollar. Micro-Tyco inspires an intense entrepreneurial environment that unleashes participants’ latent talents and reveals skills they never knew they had, while at the same time fostering essential entrepreneurial thinking and teamwork. WildHearts invest the funds in microfinance projects around the developing world, providing people with seed capital and the chance to work their way out of poverty sustainably and with dignity. Micro-Tyco participants are therefore inspired to become dynamic wealth creators as well as global ethical investors. By associating business success with economic justice, Micro-Tyco aims to inspire the leaders our world deserves.
In two years, Micro-Tyco has brought together more than 10,000 participants from schools to corporations, challenging teams to grow £1 seed capital into as much money as possible in just four weeks. This initial investment of 1,900 £1 loans has generated more than £500,000 in return. (The winning team of 10-year-old school children turned their £1 into £14,000 in four weeks. The winning team of adults, graduate trainees in energy company Talisman Sinopec turned their £1 into more than £75,000). As a result, participants have become entrepreneurs to fund entrepreneurs, and now have a deep experiential knowledge of the transformative power of compassionate entrepreneurship.
The results speak for themselves. Micro-Tyco already is compulsory graduate training for multinationals such as Wood Group and RBS, a talent identification strategy via the Deloitte Micro-Tyco University Challenge is being piloted by RBS for the third year of the PACE executive development program, and the Scottish Minister for Education wants Micro-Tyco in every school in Scotland.
Micro-Tyco Next Steps
A key aim of Micro-Tyco’s wider vision is to break down the barriers between socio-economic groups. Its meritocratic spirit aims to release talent from all sectors of society by democratizing world class entrepreneurial education.
Micro-Tyco Master Classes are the latest development in the rapid evolution of Micro-Tyco designed to imbed the experiential learning and expanded horizons that it inspires in participants. At the Micro-Tyco Master Classes, participants get the chance to build their network of like-minded people, learn from world class business leaders, and make their most cherished future a reality. The Micro-Tyco Master Classes dispel the myths, dismiss the theory, deconstruct the clichés, and, by showing participants the path to their goals, gives them the belief to pursue them. Previous Micro-Tyco Master Classes have featured business leaders such as Sir Tom Hunter, Lord Digby Jones, and Bob Keiller, CEO of the Wood Group.
Successful past participants of Micro-Tyco now have the opportunity to become a Micro-Tyco Coach. This program takes them through the key components that are essential to success in startups, the key behaviors that Micro-Tycos are given the chance to practice throughout the competition. By formally embedding the experiential learnings in a coaching structure, Micro-Tyco Coaches will be able to work with future teams in their companies as well as reach out to local schools. Already, RBS and Wood Group are putting their most successful Micro-Tycos forward to undertake coach training.
WildHearts Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Conference
The first WildHearts Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Conference brings together some of the world’s leading corporate, social and founding entrepreneurs, enabling delegates to experience the power of entrepreneurship as a catalyst for social and economic change. The event is the annual flagship event for WildHearts and is the embodiment of the Micro-Tyco movement. The WildHearts GEL 2014 is set for London in the fall.
As well as generating significant sums to tackle global poverty through microfinance, Micro-Tyco impacts participants emotionally, raising the bar of what they see as possible for themselves and providing access to previously unreachable networks and opportunities. A powerful example of the life-changing inner transformations that take place during Micro-Tyco is that of Jamie Maguire. Jamie was a 16-year-old school excludee, described by his youth worker as “being groomed for a life on benefits,” when he took part in Micro-Tyco with the Cambuslang Universal Connections youth group.
He says of his Micro-Tyco experience:
“I didn’t really like school. I got suspended twice, but I can’t really remember why. We had to borrow a pound from Micro-Tyco, and when I was sitting thinking about it, the only thing I’d do with a pound before would be to buy a scratchy card or put a football coupon on.
“Now, I know how to go about setting up a business and making investments. I know how to go about making money, keeping money, and making myself a profit.
“Back before I started doing Micro-Tyco, I didn’t think I’d even be able to get near starting a business. Now, I feel like anybody could set one up. I could get a job now; if I went for the interview I’d feel more confident and would be able to tell people about my achievements. Micro-Tyco has changed my whole outlook and my future.”
Jamie’s team transformed their £1 micro-loan into £1,500, beating every university team in the country. His success in Micro-Tyco attracted the attention of Arnold Clark who gave Jamie his very first job, as a trainee mechanic, as a direct result of Micro-Tyco.