We train and empower volunteers to work with entrepreneurs in Africa and Asia, helping them to grow their business and create positive social impact in their community.
Balloon is powered by the talent and hard work of entrepreneurs across emerging markets.
We’re dedicated to helping people defeat poverty through enterprise, and supporting the informal sector which is so important to local economies. From dating agencies to all-natural energy drinks; from gas suppliers to budding pharmacists, our entrepreneurs are inspirational, aspirational and are improving our world, one business at a time.
In 2013, Before Solomon worked with Balloon his cyber cafe consisted of a single computer and printer, providing vital internet access to his community in Nakuru. Since joining Balloon his business has more than doubled in size with the opening of a second branch offering an increased the range of products for sales, and employing 4 people.
Anita worked with Balloon in 2013 and 2016. Anita designs and makes traditional outfits, and Balloon volunteers helped her market her services to new customers. The average business we work with sees its profit grow by 40%, and Anita’s was no exception. She now has more clients and her tailoring business is going from strength to strength.
Since 2011 we’ve been working on developing a ground-breaking enterprise curriculum that can be used by our volunteers to help entrepreneurs innovate and expand their business.
Now into Version 12, we’ve incorporated feedback from hundreds of volunteers and thousands of entrepreneurs. Taking the best from Lean Startup, Design Thinking, Business Modelling and traditional Management, our curriculum is one of the things that makes Balloon Ventures unique.
Delivered at numerous universities, business schools, and large corporations across the UK, we believe the same fundamentals of entrepreneurship unite any business, from micro venture to multinational.
The Balloon Fellowship was the first programme launched by Balloon back in 2012 with just 6 volunteers on Programme One. Fellows joined us for an intensive 6 week programme working with micro entrepreneurs to rapidly innovate and test new business ideas.
With programmes in Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and the Philippines fellows have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship across a range of cultures.
In the past volunteers have joined the Fellowship from 42 countries making it a truly global programme. Universities have also recognised its value with funding for places having come from UCL, Northampton, Aston, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Bath Spa and Hull University.
Volunteers spend 10-12 weeks working with entrepreneurs from the informal sector in Kenya, Uganda or Ghana. Balloon ICS is fully-funded by the UK Government as part of International Citizen Service, and is open to UK residents aged 18-25 (23-35 for Team Leaders).
Balloon ICS volunteers from the UK work with local in-country teams of volunteers, led by Team Leaders and overseen by our full-time local staff. Balloon ICS is a unique opportunity to develop your skills whilst making a real and lasting difference.
For further information click the button below.
Sebastian Salinas and Josh first met on a business forum discussing ideas for teaching enterprise. Excited by the prospect of an adventure, Seb set off for Kenya to work with Josh and Doug to pilot the concept of Balloon. From there he returned to Chile and launched Balloon in Latin America. Through Seb’s hard work, Balloon Latam has become a massive success, growing to 4 countries and attracting significant social investment.
To find out more about Balloon Latam and volunteering opportunities in Latin America, use the button below.
Balloon works with large companies that want to offer meaningful volunteer experiences for their staff. In 2016 we partnered up with Citi and VSO to deliver a programme where 12 of their employees supported 8 entrepreneurs in Nakuru, Kenya. The programme was a massive success and is doubling in size in 2017.
If you want to work with Balloon to develop the entrepreneurial and international business skills of your staff while creating massive positive social impact, then please get in touch.
See more of the 2016 Citi Volunteer Africa programme in this video.