Is the “Micro Consignment Model” The New Micro-Financing Model (that Traditional Investors Have Been Waiting For?)

First there was Micro-Finance, connecting the ‘unbankable’ and traditionally un-collateralized to sources of credit that could be leveraged into their own businesses or micro-enterprises. If, however, some loanees were not able to develop businesses, or scale, or sustain them, they were left with outstanding debts, that when difficult to repay resulted in default.  Not an attractive social entrepreneurial (socent) model for traditional investment. Although an incredible boon to individuals in developing countries, especially to women, and a testament to innovation in the socent and social capital arenas. Enter, Micro-Franchising. It adds an already existent product or service to sell by the “entrepreneur” … Continue reading Is the “Micro Consignment Model” The New Micro-Financing Model (that Traditional Investors Have Been Waiting For?)

Nokia’s Bike Charger – Pedaling into the BoP Market

Social Impact + cost efficiency = a BoP product innovation model While it can be used by anyone anywhere with a bike, Nokia’s ‘Bike Charger’ can certainly be seen as an example of a product created or adapted for the (Bottom of the Pyramid) BoP/developing world market- and it fits right in with the Company’s CSR policy. What is the BoP product innovation model? Bottom of the Pyramid models include established corporations, creating new ‘markets’ of consumers in under developed economies/countries through modifying their current products to be useful/used by the consumers in this new market. These products are ostensibly … Continue reading Nokia’s Bike Charger – Pedaling into the BoP Market

Pumps with Purpose: KickStarting Families Out of Poverty

The Number One Need of the Poor is a Way to Make Money. Everyone today lives in a cash economy. When you have cash, you can get food, water, shelter, medicine, and other basic necessities. If you don’t, you can’t. It is that simple. The cause of poverty is a lack of money, so what a poor person needs most is a way to make more money. WHY WE SELL OUR TOOLS? “Wouldn’t it be better to just give your pumps away?” This is a question we get asked a lot. By “better” people usually mean, “less expensive” or “more effective”. The … Continue reading Pumps with Purpose: KickStarting Families Out of Poverty

Re-inventing the Wheel…for Water

Helping people help each other, worldwide. The Problem The burden of fetching water, invariably over long distances by cumbersome and far too often, unhygienic means, is all too evident in developing countries… The Solution The Q Drum is user friendly and the unique longitudinal shaft permits the drum to be pulled using a rope tied through the hole. There are no removable or breakable handles or axles, and the rope can be repaired on the spot or easily replaced… Efficient & Fun Even a child can pull 50 litres of water over flat terrain for several kilometres without undue strain, … Continue reading Re-inventing the Wheel…for Water

Social Enterprise + Innovation = LifeStraw®; Drawing Closer to the Clean Water Access Millennial Development Goal 0f 2015

We operate under our own unique Humanitarian Entrepreneurship business model. This “profit for a purpose” approach has turned corporate social responsibility into our core business of creating life-saving products for the most vulnerable. The LifeStraw® Concept The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) call for a reduction of the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by half between 1990 and 2015. Yet, an estimated 884 million people in the world, 37% of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa, still use unimproved sources of drinking water.  Treating water at the household level or other point of use also reduces the … Continue reading Social Enterprise + Innovation = LifeStraw®; Drawing Closer to the Clean Water Access Millennial Development Goal 0f 2015

Social Enterprise + Schools = A Self Sufficient Training/Income Model

Teach a CHILD to fish… Self-Sufficient Schools – A New Paradigm At its simplest a Self-Sufficient School is one that generates enough income to cover the costs of providing a quality education to its students. Generating income Where refining skills is aimed at delivering a product or service of marketable quality – from honey or maize to running a hotel – the natural next step is to actually make and sell this product or service. Schools rarely have difficulties finding a use for income generated in this way! Scaling up Although it requires a substantial effort to create a demonstration business environment … Continue reading Social Enterprise + Schools = A Self Sufficient Training/Income Model

Social Enterprise + Propane = Reaching More Children with Immunizations in Mozambique

Propane+Mozambique=Immunization The challenge: In Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world, children are dying “because they live in the wrong place, and that’s unacceptable.” People must walk 20 kilometers for vaccines and medicines. Problem: Vaccines are a temperature-sensitive commodity – but there were no reliable sources of energy for clinic refrigerators, lights or sterilizers Solution: Propane New problem: No propane in Mozambique New solution (2001): VidaGas, a for-profit propane distribution company (imports gas, bottles it, sells it to commercial and residential users) Within five years: 5 million people reached through 251 clinics.  In 2001, only one in three people were immunized – by 2006, there were … Continue reading Social Enterprise + Propane = Reaching More Children with Immunizations in Mozambique