In late July, Feenix.org celebrated raising just over R1 million for tertiary-level students during its first few months of operation. Now, barely two months later, the Standard bank-supported crowdfunding platform has raised a further R1 million.
As a proudly digital bank committed to South Africa’s economic future, we’re proud to be the financier, enabler and go-to-market partner of the Feenix Trust, an organisation that allows individuals and companies to securely donate money directly to students, helping them complete their studies. We’re committed to this project for 36 months, or until it’s self-sustaining.
To date, 925 students are represented on the platform from 24 of 26 of South Africa’s universities. Of those, 31 have had their studies fully funded by donors. The site currently hosts 639 funders, 54 of them businesses, and, according to records, their most popular faculties to support are the sciences and engineering.
One success story of the Feenix.org system is that of Hirome Shigeaki. Growing up in Worcester, the first-year student has endured severe hardships: orphaned at five, she was placed in and out of foster care, and was occasionally homeless. In grade 10, Hirome’s life changed for the better when one of her teachers became her foster mother. They are still a family today. However, the first-year-student still struggled to cover her fees at the University of the Western Cape. Eventually, Hirome registered on Feenix.org. Now, instead of focusing on money worries, she gives her all to her studies, working hard to become an occupational therapist.
For Nicholaas van Schalkwyk, a third-year student studying Bcom Accounting Sciences at the University of Pretoria, funding has always been an obstacle, as both his parents are unemployed. For the past three years, Nicholaas received funding from NSFAS, but the organisation could never fully settle his university fees, leading to debt. Thankfully, financial help from Feenix.org funders means Nicholaas can afford his fees and has a secure future: he’ll be starting an internship with PwC in 2019.
“We are thrilled with Feenix.org’s progress thus far,” says Jayshree Naidoo, CEO of the Feenix Trust, and Head of the Standard Bank Incubator. “Such success shows what we at Standard Bank have always known; South Africans care about the future of this country, and are willing to work together to achieve a brighter one to the benefit of all. In partnership with Standard Bank, Feenix.org is the vehicle that will encourage this to happen.”
If you would like to help a young person take the steps to reach their next, be it a traditional corporate career or self-employment, visit Feenix.org, create a profile, browse through the database to choose a student or students to fund, and nominate an amount.
Corporates can donate from their skills development or CSI budget, and will receive a Section 18A tax certificate. It also counts towards B-BBEE scorecards.
For details, visit Feenix.org, email [email protected] or engage with Feenix.org on Twitter @Feenix_org.
Feenix has further been recognised as a nominee in the Efma-Accenture Distribution & Marketing Innovations (DMI) Awards 2017 taking place in Rome in October. The platform has been nominated in the top 6 of the New Business Ecosystems category at a global level and votes are already streaming in. For more information or to vote for the platform, visit: https://www.efma.com/innovations/judges-and-voting-process/