About Me

The guy who designs and administers the websites for Kent Business Tweetups, Sittingbourne Swords Fencing Club, Expresso Mechanic's Workshop and Young Sounds. Anyone wanting to add a post to the blog, should contact me by email. No adverts, please!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Computers 4 Africa

My husband recently returned from Nigeria, where he’s been researching a book about investing in Africa and other “frontier markets.”

Among the most moving accounts is his visit to a slum in Lagos, where he met a young man whose father died in ethnic fighting and whose mother travelled seven hours to work as a nurse. The lad, left with his two brothers during the week, was determined not only to better himself and his family but also the slum around him by studying for a degree in zoology, focusing on pollution control to eradicate the deadly scourge of malaria, typhoid and diarrhea. Amid the poverty surrounding him, he worked on a broken laptop barely able to read on the cracked screen.

Coming back to England and going to the rubbish tip brought home the huge waste between our world and Africa’s. We throw away old technology every day – especially as businesses - that could easily be of massive benefit to those who can’t yet afford the latest gadgets. We undertook to make sure the lad in Lagos would get a working laptop.

B&Q worker Aseri Katanga had the same thought but on a far bigger scale. As he watched his employer fill up a skip with unwanted computers he thought about how useful they would be back home in Tanzania. Aseri approached B&Q for permission to store the computers in his garage. He put the word out and soon his garage was chockablock with computers. Next, he arranged for a shipping crate and lots of neighbours to help him load the computers on their way to Africa.

From that first shipment an entire charity was spawned called Computers 4 Africa. The charity, based in Aylesford, takes computers from across Kent, cleans the data, loads up-to-date software such as Microsoft Windows 7, and ships them out to schools and non-governmental organisations.

Speaking on the Business Bunker radio show, marketing manager Sharon Roberts told us that the charity is looking for computers, monitors, keyboards and laptops, but not printers as it’s harder to get the ink.

All of the equipment it sends has an expected useful remaining life of at least five years. Any donations that don’t make the grade are split up and used for parts. Best of all, the charity’s connections on the ground make sure the people receive the equipment know how to use it. Having computers at school can make a world of difference, giving a better education and real earning potential to children and their future families. One day, Aseri says he wants African children to know the difference between a mouse and a mouse.

Jules Serkin.

For details on how to donate computers go to www.computersforafrica.org.uk. If your company has ten working computers, the charity will pick up free of charge.
 For advance copies of Frontier, go to @frontierfunds    www.frontierfunds.org 
 Tweet me @julesserkin Tune in to my shows @SCOFFQUAFF food & drink show for Kent every Tuesday live 11-12 & 1pm @businessbunker  on www.channelradio.co.uk
Attend free business networking : www.kentbusinesstweetup.co.uk 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Mini Snail Farm Trail...


Mini Snail Farm Trail is about providing free mini snail farms to 50 selected UK schools where the children would benefit most from contact with living things. Each one has 6 baby snails and everything you need to look after them: food, housing, bedding and care instructions,

Perks for donations:
A thank you on our campaign page and: hand magnifiers, snail greeting cards, Meet the Snails days, signed copies Molluscs and Me, and lots more must-have goodies

I am Helen Howard, and H&RH Escargots is one of the few UK snail farms growing edible snails and helping other people to grow their own snails at home.  As a teacher I believe that it is vital for young children to learn about living things through practical experience not just by reading about them in books. I am keen to support schools in helping children to learn in an engaging way. The National Curriculum is so demanding that it is easy for other important learning to get lost in the time pressure. A mini snail farm sitting at the side of the classroom so children can take turns to care for the snails extends their learning and is a reminder of the importance of the living world.
My snail farm came to public attention through TV appearances on Countryfile, the Alan Titchmarsh show, Great British Menu and Easter Eggs Live. Last year Molluscs and Me was published, which is the story about setting up and running the snail farm. Press articles include the local Press as well as the Guardian, the Independent, Amateur Gardener, Smallholder Review and Metropolitan magazine. http://www.ink-live.com/emagazines/eurostar-metropolitan/1692/july-2014/#44 More recently I appeared on BBC Breakfast on a Sunday morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29031027
Please help spread the campaign Mini Snail Farm Trail. Even if you can't give a contribution, spreading this page via all social media platforms and through family and friends will help us a lot! We plan to take mini snail farms into 50 selected UK schools to help teachers provide opportunities for children to learn about living things. We want to promote science education in primary schools so that the next generation understands more about the world around them.

Helen Howard.
 twitter @minisnailfarm


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Another Techno Hit Parade...

In modern-day business, with success determined by tweets and web hits, geeks are the rock gods.  You can glean a lot from studying their tricks of the trade. 
After my column a couple of months ago on the top apps for small businesses, here’s another techno hit parade: some top tools recommended by Edouard Rosenblum from the geek jobs website Breaz.
1. Slack
Forget Skype. Use Slack. Slack is the most modern communication tool for teams with an incredible design that allows you to integrate all of the services you’re using and get instant notifications

2. mention
This powerful application helps you track what’s being said about your brand and your competitors in real time. It works for blog posts, forum mentions, news and web references, as well as social media posts.
3. Buffer
Want to publish on multiple social networks in one click and track your reach? Use Buffer. It’s an extremely simple application to manage your social media presence on almost every channel. Buffer also provides great tips for startups on their blog.

4. Followerwonk
This is a great resource when it comes to finding influencers in your sector. For instance, you can sort out a list of all of the most followed people for any keyword or expression.
5. Dashlane
With all of the apps you’re using, you should use a password manager to protect your security. Dashlane will connect you automatically to all of your apps and prevent you from losing any passwords.

Jules Serkin

 Tweet me @julesserkin, Tune in to my shows @SCOFFQUAFF food & drink show for Kent every Tuesday live 11-12 & 1pm @businessbunker  on www.channelradio.co.uk
Attend free business networking : www.kentbusinesstweetup.co.uk