“Your adventure helps others find theirs”

Hannah and Molly Davis talked about their company Bangs shoes at WCU, March 16, 2016. Photo by Will Richards.

Hannah and Molly Davis talked about their company Bangs shoes at WCU, March 16, 2016. Photo by Will Richards.

Edited by Haley Smith

“Everything started with one shoe,” said Molly Davis, a WCU alumna and the social outreach coordinator of BANGS, a shoe company with a mission – to help!

Around 80 WCU students had a chance to learn what it is like to start a successful business from scratch from guest speakers Hannah Davis (CEO) and her sister Molly Davis of the company BANGS, on Wednesday, March 16.

BANGS shoes was started in 2010, while Hannah was teaching English language in China and trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. With a degree in Political science and Mandarin and no business experience or skills, she knew she wanted to help people. In China, she noticed the shoes that were made there and that people were wearing, and an idea came to her. Those shoes started an adventure.

Along with explaining the adventure of starting the company, they stressed the nature of their mission and moto – “Your adventure helps others find theirs.” Every month, Bangs gives 20 percent of their profit to help other entrepreneurs in the U.S. and around the world start their business and their adventure.

In order to succeed with this mission, BANGS teamed up with Kiva, a non-profit organization from San Francisco that provides small microfinancing in the U.S. and internationally. Kiva’s mission is for every person to be able to create opportunities for themselves through microfinancing. Microfinance is the supplying of small loans, savings, and other basic financial services to people who are unable to afford getting them from banks. Every month, the leadership of BANGS hand-picks the entrepreneurs and projects they want to support. Once these loans are returned, the money invested goes on to help many others. In doing this, BANGS has invested in 78 entrepreneurs in 31 countries.

The organizers of the presentation, Dr. Lane Perry and Dr. Bob Lahm, awarded BANGS with the ‘Outstanding Social Entrepreneurship Leadership Award’  after their presentation for their socially conscious reinvestment in the small business community (both nationally and internationally).

Hannah and Molly accept the award. Photo credit: Haley Smith

Hannah and Molly accept the ‘Outstanding Social Entrepreneurship Leadership Award’. Photo credit: Haley Smith

“It is important to recognize innovation, perseverance, and approach when identifying entrepreneurial spirit. When you are in a new space, creating new ideas, facing new challenges, in many times what can feel like an uphill one-person battle, it is important to know that there are others who are in your corner who are supporting your work and your effort,” said the director of the Center for Service Learning, Dr. Lane Perry, in an email message. “I think, professor Lahm and I, both see this award as a manifestation of that sentiment in a tangible way. The award simply says – hey, you are doing quality, worthwhile work and there is a team of folks in your corner not only watching you grow, but helping you grow!”

The award was established last year, as a collaboration between the Center for Service Learning and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at WCU. Last year’s recipient was a young girl named Erin who has raised $15.000 so far to help children in Haiti.

Watch the video below to see some of the people that BANGS has helped find their adventures.

created by Bangs.com