Tell me a little bit about you, very shortly – what you are doing, what is your passion?
I’m 22 years old. I am a project manager in a Norwegian startup. Our purpose is to be a crowd funding site for the voluntary sector of Norway.
What do you want to achieve]?
We want it to be a crowd funding site for the voluntary sector of Norway. Norway has a quite large voluntary sector compared to other nations which is interesting because a lot of the ways in which our voluntary sector works. The Norwegian voluntary sector is larger than a lot of other comparative nations to Norway.
Tell me like a moment which defined your near future?
I come from a small family. I am an only child but I still have two sisters and a brother. The reason for that is I can start with my sisters, for instance. My sisters, they lost both their parents when I was 13 years old. Helena which is the youngest of them is 15. Cecilia was 18. They lost both their parents to cancer in the span of a single year and my father stepped in to become their legal guardian. I was 13 and now I’m 22. It’s been a while but they’ve grown to become my sisters.
My brother is now 32, I think. When he went to high school, his mother was severely alcoholic and he never met his father. So he became sort of my brother through staying at home with us and practicing his French for his exams. I realized that it’s a good thing to care for people and to help people. It’s a good thing to help people. So that’s, I guess, one of the things that has defined me.
My family is probably not usual for a Norwegian family but it’s a part of what’s helped me become who I am and throughout my life, my family, we’ve taken people in. People who have been in trouble financially or that kind of thing. There’s a Pakistani girl who was forced by her parents to quit high school because she got a boyfriend, who was severely beaten, her child was burnt with cigarettes.
When she was forced to quit high school by her boyfriend’s parents, we helped her take her bachelor’s degree and we see her every so often. There was one law student who stayed with us for a year while she was struggling to find a place to stay here in Oslo, while she was studying for her law degree.
So I come from this very different family which has helped me understand that maybe I don’t really want some sort of a corporate job. So I’ve been active in politics for youth until I understood that maybe this isn’t exactly what I want. Still this helped me understand a lot about me and a lot about the way I want to be and how I want my life to be.
In which way do you want your life to be?
I want to be a part of something that can help change the attitude maybe.
What do you want to become?
I want to help people. That sounds very pretentious maybe, I guess, but it’s the truth.
I want to be a part of something which can help change people’s lives for the better.
What is the start-up you are working on about?
It is a crowd funding solution for the voluntary sector in Norway.
Traditionally, you divide the business sectors of countries into two, the public sector and the private sector or the commercial sector. More and more people in Norway are starting to talk about the third sector which is the voluntary sector or the charitable sector for the nonprofit sector.
We aim to help more of those within the industries concerned by that sector. It works because larger organizations like the Red Cross and Plum and Amnesty, are already well established organizations that already have teams, are already kind of good at raising funds for their project and their management.
Those organizations reach out to people through advertising on the television and through being helpful. And we aim to support that. We aim to be that kind of a platform where people can connect. I mean we want to have a network of people as well since we want to be a platform where people can launch their social projects from.
Companies should help in social projects as well?
Yes, that’s exactly it.
Corporate social responsibility is a way in which private companies that are doing good financially, are often in a position where they want their employees to know that they are part of something meaningful, get involved and have an impact.
And that’s something they can use in order to gain public support for themselves. But it’s also part of what we hope will be able to help fund our social start-up.