Guya Merkle is the founder and designer of the German jewellery label VIERI. We met with the cool designer to hear more about the person behind the jewellery label. You can read the interview here.
However, Guya is a busy woman as she also holds a role as the founding board member of The Earthbeat Foundation. I love when entrepreneurs combine business with a good cause and got curious to learn more about her project.
Besides being the founder and designer of VIERI you have also founded The Earthbeat Foundation. What was your motivation to start a foundation?
I foundedThe Earthbeat Foundation after visiting regular working ASM communities in Peru in 2012. I never expected these conditions. I was shocked about the huge gap between the sourcing of gold and the products we make out of it. Jewellery is a very emotional and desirable luxury good. So it was clear to me, that I can´t be part of an industry wich is so oppositional. I decided to see it as chance and to take my responsibility as an entrepreneur working in the jewellery business. Th idea of the foundation was born and since then we are concentrating on a positive vision for gold and its future.
What is the goal with the foundation?
The foundation is concentrating on a better future for gold mining communities working in small scale mining all around the world. Our core objectives are awareness creation and small projects focusing on alternative income solutions for the mines. Mostly in form of a social business. Thereby it is crucial to us, that we work hand in hand with the communities to see, what their ideas and needs are. For the moment we are working with 80 miners on a honey business. They will become beekeepers harvesting their own honey. We call it liquid gold.
How do you raise the funds?
The foundation is raising funds through several channels. Of course, classic funding, but even consulting and memberships are possible. We would like to invite stakeholders of the gold demanding industry to be part of the foundation’s work and vision. It is not about talking right or wrong it is about looking into a brighter future and to take responsibility for the people, our planet and the environment.
With the memberships and the consulting, we finance our overhead costs, development costs, awareness campaigns and actions and our partners and researchers in Uganda, where our project is based. The other part goes directly to the projects itself. Direct funds for example through private donations or crowdfunding goes directly to the projects as the donation is always linked to it.
If you wish to support The Earthbeat Foundation learn more about it here.
Photo credit: The Earthbeat Foundation