Inspired by the difficult pursuit of buying gifts for children, serial entrepreneur Gaia Beck has developed the online platform ChippingIn, which aims to assist family and friends by allowing them to chip in towards a meaningful gift or experience of the child’s choice.
The ChippingIn platform was developed during the first lockdown, serving children who couldn’t have a birthday party, but who could instead utilise an easy and personal way to let their family members contribute towards a special gift. Gaia developed the platform in collaboration with her son, who wanted to raise money for a bike during his own lockdown birthday.
“Children are increasingly hoping for digital gifts and memorable experiences over plastic toys,” comments Gaia Beck. “This was the thinking behind developing ChippingIn in a time when gathering together for a party or putting cash in a card, in an increasingly cashless society, isn’t ideal. We built a solution to make gifting easier for everyone while keeping the personal touch.”
Although initially developed for gifting, the team behind ChippingIn soon realised that entrepreneurial children could also use the platform to help them pitch and raise money for their own businesses.
To achieve this, ChippingIn has partnered with the UK-based entrepreneurial education provider Ultra Education, as part of their “It Takes A Village” programme, which will help Caribbean boys within the London Borough of Brent to develop key business skills, whilst helping to raise their grades and prospects simultaneously.
ChippingIn will also support local schools in their fundraising campaigns by allowing parents to contribute to school causes online and keep track of how much their school has raised.
“We hadn’t realised until we launched, how beneficial the platform would be for young entrepreneurs and schools. Children who support their learning by launching businesses formed around their interests and hobbies are shown to do better academically and have improved self-esteem. We want to provide a simple solution that encourages their entrepreneurial journey and gives their community the opportunity to show support and provide a much-needed financial kick start to their business goals,” adds Gaia.
“As a mum of creative kids, who have special interests and passions, they are far more interested in receiving gifts that further their interests, like go-karting sessions for my younger one who wants to be a race car driver like Lewis Hamilton. I would also much rather be contributing towards a child’s future, than for a toy that will end up under the bed or in a landfill in 6 months,” she concludes.
It’s been remarked how easy it is to set up a ChippingIn account, and the money raised is held securely until the funding goal is complete, after which time it is sent to the recipient’s bank account. There are no barriers to entry, such as the minimum amount raised, contributors can chip in with one click using Apple Pay or their debit card, and fees are as low as 1.4%.