Pre-COVID-19, we had the chance to meet with Zara and her about her journey with The Difference Co. From how she began the social enterprise, to how she came about applying for Plus Eight, and what’s next for her.
As mentioned, The Difference Co is a social enterprise, who uses a micro-donations platform to round up transactions to the nearest dollar and give the difference to charities addressing the UN's sustainable development goals.
“For me, my journey began a few years ago as I was walking down the street and was stopped and asked for spare change by someone in need. I reached into my wallet to find... nothing but a bunch of cards! I was devastated that I couldn't help out this person in need.” Zara shares.
“That’s when the idea struck me about how digitised our lives have become with the rise of fintech platforms such as Apple Pay, Pay wave and online purchasing. I never have any cash or coins. And so I thought why not create an app that allows people to round up their digital spare change in every transaction, and give the 'difference' to a carefully vetted cause of their choice?’
Using technology to connect the dots between small action and great impact, Zara’s journey began. “Coming from a background in healthcare and international relations, it was a daunting step to start something new, but I'm grateful for the support of my team and our partners such as Spacecubed.”
By applying for the Plus Eight program, and now being through to Phase 2, Zara is looking to connect with Social Impact Investors.
“We believe that people should stay connected and see where their cents are going, and eventually be able to do this in real time. We want to start local, but go global.” She shares. “Australians are some of the most generous people in the world, if you consider the way we fundraised for the bushfires or the success of our public health campaigns around social distancing.”
With a mission to help others understand that individual actions have powerful collective strength, The Difference works to bridge that gap. If you’re going shop anyway, why not use a little of that to do good?
Find out more from Zara, by connecting with her on LinkedIn here. And, if her story inspired you to get started with your journey, sign up to the Plus Eight mailing list today and discover how we champion the local startup community here in WA.