Hello new user here thought I would say a quick hello and the reason I am here.
My name is ben, I from a young age was interested in horticultural matters and studied at Plumpton college in soil management and green keeping, I worked on many golf courses as a green keeper and while I enjoyed my 20’s working for a bit then going travelling for a bit.
The was something missing and it felt like life made no real purpose. On meeting my girlfriend 3 years ago who is a vegan and something of a do gooder things started to fall into place and I realised what I was missing was a sense of purpose and making a difference in the world.
We have done some volunteering and were lucky enough to go out to The Gambia this winter. Lucy was doing volunteering in schools and teaching women out there how to sew. It is very sad but the women in The Gambia do not have many skills and have never been taught anything skills that can help them earn money.
The growing tourism trade is bringing money into the country but most of the produce is brought in from other countries, so now the is a chance we can help them to make money for themselves and create a stronger economy.
I volunteered on a farm and with a couple of other Europeans who were out there as well, we were sat around in the evening discussing how we could try to make things better there. Agriculture is my passion and it was amazing to help the Gambians learn and improve farming techniques, the soil is actually some of the most fertile I have ever seen but very poorly managed.
The biggest issue for them is that currently 80% of their food is imported and though a small country they could and should do so much better. One of the issues is the lack of machinery it is like they are farming as we did in the 18th century. The EU sends some funds in grants but it is not enough and me and the guys out there could not help but feel an opportunity was being missed out.
My reason for being on this site is I have always believed in capitalism I grew up in a centre right household who believed in hard work and with parents who invested in stocks and shares. But they as National trust members always took me and my sister to the places where the owners had actually contributed back into society. It makes more and more sense to me that as important as making money is, I want to invest that take a serious view into trying to make the world a better place.
I believe that the must be a way for us to invest in companies that wish to invest in the developing world, but companies that can make a difference and not just pillage these countries.
So I am loving this site and the way it can give people the chance to directly invest, I think what you guys are doing is great. I would love to hear from anyone who is interested in ethical investing and also those who have any ideas on how we can invest in Africa to really help the continent. A place I fell in love with and am missing so much, not due to go back till October.
Sorry for the slightly rambling post. All the best, Ben.