All across the globe there is amazing young entrepreneurs building and creating the future. As a part of our Trendster ‘Start-up of the Week’ series, we will be showcasing the most promising student start-ups out there.
This week we spoke to James Gallagher & Conor Green from GiveBack.ie, a start-up that is trying to eradicate homelessness in Ireland and provide tangible solutions to assist people that are at the risk of becoming homeless.
Q1. What is your elevator pitch?
GiveBack.ie is an online platform that enables Irish consumers to help societies most vulnerable simply by shopping online. Our chrome extension automatically donates a proportion of your online spend with over 800 global retailers to the Irish homelessness crisis. Every time you buy something online you will be donating between 1 – 10% of your online shop with our partners and it won’t even cost you a cent. The retailer (our partners) foot the bill for all donations
Q2. How did you come up with your idea?
I’ve always had an interest in this space and a passion for tech. I wanted to empower the ordinary individual to make a meaningful impact, instead of solely relying on the government to tackle this crisis. I used to run advertising campaigns for various online retailers so a lot of the connections were already there. It was just a matter of leveraging these existing relationships and domain expertise, as well as surrounding myself with a fantastic team who could really help to bring this idea to fruition.
Q3. What makes your business unique?
We are the only truly passive platform. You don’t have to go through our website every time you want to make a purchase, inject ads into your browser or download a clunky toolbar. It just works, seamlessly in the background – every single time. And best of all, it doesn’t cost you a cent. The retailers foot the bill as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes. With GiveBack.ie we are enabling the everyday slacktivist to make a meaningful impact from the comfort of their own sofa. With just the click of a mouse and 20 seconds of your time, you too can tackle this homelessness crisis and make a real difference.
Q4. What problem is your business solving?
We are in the midst of a national housing crisis. There are over 10,000 people currently homeless today, 3,500 of whom are children. In fact, one child becomes homeless every 3 and a half hours in Dublin alone. This is the highest rate of child homelessness across all of Europe. This is not acceptable and we think it is time to do something about it. GiveBack.ie has the potential to significantly improve the prospects for many of these people who are experiencing homelessness in Ireland.
Q5. How do you balance being a young entrepreneur and being in college?
I think the important thing is to have a good team around you. Enactus DCU have been brilliant in helping us with our marketing strategy and developing partnerships. They’re also helping us to develop a training programme for people at risk of homelessness that will empower them through digital marketing skills.
Q6. What is the most important thing you have learned from being a young entrepreneur?
As a group of students trying to balance the struggles of college life we have found that working positively as a team to achieve a common goal is the best option to achieve change and bring our concept to the public. By creating an effective team structure and delegating responsibilities to other team members we have improved productivity and brought our vision closer to reality.
Q7. What is your biggest achievement to date?
We were fortunate enough to win the Enactus Ireland national competition as part of Enactus DCU and now we’ll be going forward to represent Ireland in Silicon Valley at the Enactus World cup. It’s such a huge opportunity and we’re super excited to get GiveBack.ie out there on a global stage in the tech capital of the world.
Q8. Where is your long-term vision?
Our goal is to eradicate homelessness in Ireland and provide tangible solutions to assist people that are at the risk of becoming homeless.
Q9. Where can people find out more about you and your business?
We would massively appreciate if you clicked on the link and downloaded our google chrome extension, it takes 20 seconds to download and you could potentially improve the lives of people that are going through a tough time.
You can find us on social media platforms.
Twitter, once downloaded we would encourage everyone to use the hashtag #ImUsingGiveback