We promote innovative policy solutions and reforms in villages by empowering women and youth with skills
Stimulate Innovative Skills
The Engine of Economic Growth
We promote innovative policy solutions and reforms in villages by empowering women and youth with the skills to build businesses that have the potential to lift people out of poverty.
Our framework focuses on business solutions to extreme poverty because entrepreneurial skills are key to ending global poverty.
Economic expansion can transform the lives of people in need comes not from microenterprises, but rather small and growing businesses that have significant potential and desire for growth.
These are often anchored in less advanced parts of the economy, such as agricultural value chains — which link farmers, traders, processors, retailers, and consumers, adding value at each step along the way.
In some of the developing countries where we work, places such as war zones and refugee camps — there is little in the way of advanced businesses outside of donations.
In such instances, the challenge is to develop business models that ensure inclusive growth in poor rural areas.
All of this work requires skilled owners to build businesses that have the potential to lift people out of poverty, this is why we train them to strengthen the culture of entrepreneurship.
Some owners have risen to fit the profile of the classic self-made entrepreneur — a local trader with visions of turning a microenterprise into a growth business. These are business minded individuals launch their startups and grow it providing much-needed products and services to millions of small farmers.
More often, we are seeing successful owners who have acquired some business experience at larger firms and want to launch an enterprise of their own.
A structure in a medical compound in the Nuba mountains damaged by a bomb dropped on their location.
Developing and Implementing Ideas
We establish business models that address the local community's particular needs and improve on the successful ones.
Skilled managers who might not otherwise be willing to launch a business face less risk and uncertainty. They can see what the pioneer has accomplished and replicate the model with improvements, creating opportunities for innovation and competition.
There are ways to reduce even further the risk of launching a business. In developed economies, franchise businesses have a much higher survival rate than independent startups.
This model can be used in developing countries, which must cope with a lack of information about the most competitive opportunities and drivers for improving competition. With a franchise approach, an entrepreneur can receive standardized training and launch a company based on a proven blueprint business model.
Regardless of whether they are pioneers or followers, entrepreneurs need support. They need training and coaching. They need access to finance and markets. They need improvements in the local enabling environment.
This is as true in rural Kenya and Uganda as it is in Sudan or South Sudan. Our entrepreneurship development labs help survivors of extreme poverty, war, and violence turn an idea into a business.
Amna and Kaka, who had launched informal partnership were struggling to grow their business and when they joined our lab. Our advisors trained the women in crucial business skills, facilitated access to financing, and helped them implement new systems and processes during follow-up consulting.
Our programs can be a catalyst for economic growth by making it easier to pursue a new business opportunity. Some people may be born entrepreneurs, but many others can learn to be successful business owners.
Our social enterprise supports driven and goal oriented entrepreneurs. The role of the social entrepreneur is to apply a business model to solve a social problem, a problem large enough that government alone cannot provide solutions.
We improve entrepreneurs’ access to knowledge, capital, and networks, thus strengthening firms and economies and providing opportunities for economic development in Africa.
Our program provides financing to address the gap between small businesses and lack of funding as they are not large enough to attract commercial investors.
There is a growing prevalence of entrepreneurship as a career choice among young people, over the more traditional, stable path of government employment.
We are incorporating the use of mobile phones to allow refugees and slum dwellers to easily deposit and transfer earnings.
We partner with local grocery stores and small shops and help them expand their network and market outreach.
Designed Solutions and Progress
There is much work that still needs to be done to strengthen the environment for entrepreneurship in developing countries.
This is an important field for creating economic opportunity and social/environmental outcomes for citizens across the globe.
The key strategy for goal-oriented businesses is to explicitly work on setting strategies and continue improving on successful programs.
With economic and empowerment opportunity at the core of our business model, we currently employ many single mothers who did not graduate from high school and who now, through training and their experience working with us, command much higher salaries than their peers.
We use clean energy to decrease the environmental impact of our business activities.
Microfinance has bee our long-established financing mechanisms for social enterprises to develop and scale up.
Your support provides opportunities for vulnerable women and young people in war zones and other vulnerable victims of injustice to access clean water as well as hygiene and sanitation programs.
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