A Bond University business and commerce student is brewing up the perfect blend of good coffee and philanthropy to educate children in Africa's biggest slum.
Jim Chapman launched The Nice Coffee Co early this year, with all profits going to St John's primary school in the Kibera slum in Nairobi.
The company uses ethically sourced Kenyan coffee to supply beans-and-machine packages to offices and companies that want to have a positive social impact.
Mr Chapman’s brother Charley, who lives in Kenya and has previously worked on UN projects, oversees the rollout of funds in Kibera.
The Nice Coffee Co is an entrant in HRH the Duke of York’s [email protected] Australia 3.0 On Tour Gold Coast event for entrepreneurs, to be held at Bond University on July 19.
Mr Chapman was seven years old when he travelled to Africa with his family for the first time.
His parents fell in love with Kenya and later left their tea tree oil farm near Lismore to launch the Ololo Safari Lodge in Nairobi National Park.
“I got involved with school projects in Kibera slum, which is a pretty wild place,” Mr Chapman said.
“I saw a lot of opportunities to help younger kids. With something as simple as an education a whole family can be lifted out of poverty.”
Mr Chapman had just returned home after a trip to visit his parents when got the idea to start The Nice Coffee Co.
“Most people in Kibera live on a dollar a day,” he said.
“I was lining up at the uni café to spend $4.50 on a coffee and I thought, imagine what you could do with this sort of money over there?”
“Companies really do want to make a difference with their purchases,” he said.
“Corporate social responsibility is not so much a trend, it's more of a mandate these days, so something like this really resonates with them.”
Mr Chapman initially hopes to renovate every classroom in the school of 450 students, which is beset by leaking roofs and poor lighting.
The next step would be to support the education of secondary school students.
“We want to get into secondary education because once the kids leave primary school often they are still trapped in the slum in a cycle of poverty,” he said.
“If a company goes through 4kg of coffee a week, that might equate to four students being able to go to high school, and high school is proven to lift people out of poverty.”
The Nice Coffee Co also sells Nespresso-compatible, biodegradable coffee pods through its website www.nicecoffee.org
Eventually Mr Chapman hopes to spread the program to Papua New Guinea, using coffee grown in that country.
The Nice Coffee Co will take on the region's best & brightest start-ups at [email protected] Australia 3.0 On Tour Gold Coast at Bond University on Friday 19th July.