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"The Perfect Opportunity"

BeyondMe is a UK organisation that matches up the skills of business professionals with the needs of charities. We recently began a new partnership with a BeyondMe team from the firm PwC. Find out what this means with team leader DEBORAH OWEN... What do you do at PWC? I’m an external auditor of banks. This means that I check an organisation's financial records and procedures to make sure they're accurate and efficient. Alongside this I’m qualifying to become a Chartered Accountant. Why did you choose to get involved in BeyondMe? I’ve always been interested in charitable causes, and working at a large corporate firm can sometimes feel a little sterile! I was keen to do something more human-impacting. I’d also like to be involved in the charity finance sector in future, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. You’re part of a team of seven that will work with us - why did you choose us? We liked your ethos of community collaboration. We felt it was a unique way of approaching problems in developing countries – not imposing strategies on people, but facilitating local groups to do it for themselves. We thought this sounded far more effective than traditional top-down approaches. Add to that, you came to us with a clear plan on how we might help you develop your business model. And so we really feel like we can make a significant difference with you. What do you hope to contribute to our work? We hope we can help you become more financially sustainable, so you rely less on short-term grant funding. We’d also like to help you develop the different learning material you’re working on, in order to both increase your funding and support more Clusters. What do you hope to get out of our partnership in return? I’d like to learn about charity operations, and the different challenges involved. I also hope to improve my project management skills – something that will be useful to me whatever I do in the future. What excites you about business and charity work together? Charities are typically people-focused and businesses are typically profit-focused, but I strongly believe that both of these are essential for success. I think that by using our skills gained from the business world, we can complement Arukah Network’s operations and provide long lasting improvements. How do you relax when you're not auditing and studying? I'm a sports fanatic, so all my free time is spent doing that. My main sports are lacrosse and tennis, though I love anything outdoors, so spending a weekend hiking or cycling would also be ideal! Thank you Deborah. We’re lucky to have you and your talented BeyondMe team partnering with us!

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