Thanks to our partnership with the Barefoot in Business campaign (www.barefootinbusiness.com ) you can get invovled in this global campaign during GEW and help transform the businesses and lives of your fellow entrepreneurs across Uganda - and all with the sale of just one film and for just £5!
Barefoot in Business is a groundbreaking documentary campaign which aims to showcase the work of female entrepreneurs across Uganda and unite them with the necessary knowledge, networks and finance to turn their big ambitions into reality.
This is about trade not aid and as you’ll see from the trailer these women mean business. So to celebrate GEW 2016, the Barefoot team are now calling on their fellow entrepreneurs and champions for change from across the globe to sign up, take the #wemeanbusiness and watch the film together and simultaneously as part of a virtual global audience!
We caught up with the brains behind the project, BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and founder of Scrumptious Productions (www.scrumptiousproductions.com ), Carol Cooke and asked her what motivated her to launch this ambitions project.
We’re so excited about the screenings and the GEW launch - what gave you the idea?
I am passionate about filmmaking and believe that there is no greater platform for education, empowerment and social change. In 2010, with just over a decade of industry experience as a film producer under my belt I took the plunge and set up Scrumptious with big ambitions of changing the world one film at a time - but absolutely no business experience. I figured how hard can it be? Oh the naivety…
So you’re actually an entrepreneur yourself?
Yes, so I know how hard and also how rewarding it can be. As my fellow entrepreneurs across the globe will agree, running your own business is like riding a roller coaster and I’ve had more than my fair share of loop the loops over the past 6 years and it hasn’t been easy. However I wouldn’t change it for the world and, after more than 4 years in the making, I couldn’t be more excited to be launching Barefoot in Business.
What made you choose Global Entrepreneurship Week as the date for your campaign
I’ve always been a big fan of the campaign - and it is also very active in Uganda. Our film is about the universal power of entrepreneurship so it made sense to launch during Global Entrepreneurship Week to showcase and celebrate the incredible attitudes and enterprises of my fellow female entrepreneurs in Uganda.
Well firstly it’s ‘the most entrepreneurial country’ on the planet so who better to learn how to do business from than the Ugandans? It’s also a country where just over half of the female workforce receive no wage for their work. Where more than 40% of businesses are owned by women and yet just 7% of all credit is allocated to them. However at no point do they complain or give up. So as a female entrepreneur myself, I found it impossible not to be inspired by each and every one of the business women I filmed with and the hundreds more that I met over the course of developing the campaign.
I couldn’t simply walk away once the film was finished and move on to my next project as so many of my fellow filmmakers have done before and continue to do so. Having spent so much time filming with these women, capturing their stories and revealing the frustratingly simple challenges that stand between them and their individual and collective ambitions, it really didn’t seem right just to say goodbye and good luck!
It especially didn’t make sense to do this when the response to the project back home was so overwhelmingly positive and there seemed to be such an appetite for something much bigger than just a one off film.
This is a whole new approach to documentary film funding and recoupment which, as far as we’re aware has never been done before. So through Barefoot in Business we want to prove that this new model is possible and is truly sustainable - where social impact and profits can come hand in hand and where documentaries are not only a source of social change but also mutual gain for everyone involved - from the stars of the film to the Impact Investors all the way down to the individual filmmakers who shouldn't be forced to file bankruptcy at the end of every 'passion' project.
Sounds like a fantastic and truly ‘GEW’ project. What would you say to GEW participants thinking about hosting or attending a screening?
This is about trade not aid and, just like your fellow entrepreneurs in Uganda, we mean business. They’re not asking for our sympathy or handouts they’re simply asking for a level playing to show the world what they’re capable. And that’s we intend to provide through the new Barefoot Fund!
Thanks to our Barefoot Ambassador programme we’re also delighted to be able to offer a share of the profits to any individual or organisations who hosts the film on their website and makes it their mission to promote the campaign across the networks.
Access to finance is one of the biggest challenges facing the stars of the film however as we know only too well here at Scrumptious HQ, it’s an issue that affects our entrepreneurs around the globe so we’re hoping this is a real ‘win win’ situation that’ll enable everyone involved to not only help transform the businesses and lives of these truly inspiring women but also help fund their own big ambitions and live the entrepreneurial dream!