Underestimating the capability that business can have, in terms of facilitating tangible good, is a mistake. There is no better vehicle in the world that can help bring about change as quickly as businesses can. Why is this true? Simple answer: money. Capital is something that is necessary in virtually every project and business are the ones that have plenty of it. For this reason, joining firms trying to make a difference as a business volunteer is a great way to make a quick but lasting impact.

There are plenty of options for you to contribute as a business volunteer. Many firms have departments that focus of charitable giving while other businesses are set up as a “for cause” company. Alternatively, there are an increasing number of microfinance firms that are doing a tremendous amount of good in third world countries.

Microfinance: Microfinance is a concept that has caught fire in recent decades. Essentially, microfinance facilitates micro-loans to small businesses in third world countries. These loans usually have very high interest rates but a large percentage of the loans are still paid back regardless. This promotes economic activity in areas that are would otherwise be idle due to a lack of capital. In addition, it gives small businesses the initial boost they need to get started. Volunteering at a microfinance firm could be a great option for someone who wants to use the power of capital to make a significant impact.

“For cause” companies: Another recent trend in the business world has been the increasing number of firms identifying themselves as a “for cause” company. These companies sell a product with the idea that a part of the profits go directly to helping some sort of cause. In addition, there are other firms that will donate their product to areas of need with every purchase of their product. Becoming a business volunteer or working as an unpaid intern could be a great way to make a difference in the world.

Charities: Many charities rely on large donations from corporations to do their work. Many of these corporations will have a team that is in charge of making charitable donations. As a business volunteer at a charity, you could have the opportunity to work these businesses to get donations/sponsorships for your cause. The best part about this option is the fact your success is easily measured!

Business Development: For those who want to get up and close to the action, there are many opportunities to help develop local businesses/economies. These volunteers analyze business plans, generate ideas for economic development and help small business owners with basic accounting. And the best part of this kind of business volunteer work is that you’ll be able to see the impact you’ve made first hand!

You’ll find volunteering opportunities in the business realm practically in every part of the world. For example, you could either be a business volunteer in the US or Europe where many company/charities are headquartered or you could work on the ground in Asia or Africa. The possibilities are endless!

For those who do decide to volunteer in the US/Europe, know that the impact of your work will have a wide range of impact. For example, if you volunteer at a microfinance firm, chances are that the majority of your loans will be made to Third World countries. In India alone there has been 6.5 billion dollars have been loaned out, helping many small business owners get their start.

For many of the charities and for cause companies, it will depend on their area of focus. For example, the company Toms will donate shoes to over 50 different countries. For that reason, it is possible for you to find a company/charity that makes an impact in an area that interests you. So go out there and make an impact!

  • KIVA is arguably the best-known microfinance firm in the world today. They help small business owners with loans as small as 25 dollars. Browse through the internships on their website if you want to work with them. While these internships are highly competitive, it will be well worth it!
  • CharityJob is a great source to look for volunteer opportunities within charities. The link will take you a search for finance jobs/volunteer opportunities within charities. These jobs will allow you to either work with the finances of the charity or actually raise funds for the charity.
  • UBELONG is a great provider that provides programs that focus on the economic development of local communities all over the world.

Contributed by Raj Patel

Business Volunteer Programs Abroad

Displaying 106 - 120 of 232 programs
Do Good as You Go
Volunteer with Local Communities in Mombasa, Kenya!
Kenya

In Kenya you can find one of our latest partners, The Mustard Seed...

Celas Maya
Volunteering and Spanish Program in Guatemala with Celas Maya
Guatemala

Volunteering and Spanish Program develops the learner's language...

Kampala Community International Preschool
Changing Early Child Development in Uganda
Uganda

Kampala Community International Preschool is located in the capital of...

Cooperating Volunteers
Volunteer Projects in Ethiopia
Ethiopia

Volunteers in Ethiopia may participate in any of our projects...

Cooperating Volunteers
Volunteer projects in India
India

Volunteers in India may participate in any of our projects. Together...

African Volunteer Aid
Education: Microbusiness
Uganda

Sometimes, all people need is a little head start, not a hand out. The...

SocialStarters
International Programme Coordinator, Hyderabad, India
India

_SocialStarters is a social purpose business, based in the UK. We...

Altruis Indonesia
Volunteer Abroad with ALTRUIS Indonesia
Indonesia

We are published on July 17, in 2012, is non-profit organization...

StepOut Abroad
Social Internships in India
India

StepOut Abroad is an international mobility assistance organization...

WIL Uganda
Grant and Proposal Writing Intern - Uganda Spring Placement!
Uganda

WIL Uganda - Women In Leadership is a registered NGO based in the...

Minga House Foundation
Volunteer Programs - Colombia
Colombia

Often times, individuals find themselves exploring Colombia...

CMMB
Healthcare Administrators: Volunteer in Haiti
Haiti

Duties and Responsibilities: Support the Hospital Administrator in...

Bukit Lawang Trust
Volunteer Placement, Conservation Programme, Teach Conservation and Sustainable Business in Sumatra, Indonesia
Indonesia

Our Conservation Programme aims to establish new youth-led sustainable...

Sari Connection
Be a Brand Ambassador for Upcycled Clothing in Sri Lanka!
Sri Lanka

Sari Connection is an initiative to empower marginalised women, by...

What People Are Saying

The trip to Jamaica was the best trip In my high School Career. Being there I definitely look at everything differently and no regrets. One of my favorite parts of the trip was costing the Annie...

Beautiful

The Surf and Adventure program consists of spending mornings at a township, spending the most amazing time helping the teachers run their little schools, helping shape the kids education and making...

My morning class

Just two months ago I was a volunteer for SAVE and I had the best time of my life! In the mornings we were helping the teachers at the pre schools, and in the afternoon we were playing sports with...

These were the kids at the pre school I was going to: Zusahke

Related Volunteer Abroad Articles