Alltop

Alltop répertorie de nombreux articles sur l'entrepreneuriat social à travers le monde

24.06.2017 MIT Launches Cross-Continent Tour in Search of Africa’s Most Innovative Entrepreneurs

Mastercard reports
Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal Confirmed as Stops on MIT Legatum Center’s “Open Mic Africa

24.06.2017 Onycheck for African Luxury Design

From the FT:
image via
It’s somewhat surprising that no one has done what Onycheck has before: that is to have curated a slick and comprehensive online boutique of innovative and luxe fashion by African designers. Selling both menswear and womenswear, the site is a roll-call of brands that are rarely represented in the rest of the world. The selection is vibrant and refreshing – from the graphic knits courtesy of MaXhosa by Laduma (men’s monochrome jumper, $210), which are as distinctive as anything Missoni has ever done, to the jewellery by Legacy Collection ($36-$190), crafted from gold- and silver-plated metal salvaged from the fence that once surrounded South Africa’s notorious Robben Island prison...[more]

23.06.2017 TLcom Capital’s $40m seed fund for African tech startups

Techpoint reports:
Founded in 1999, TLcom Capital has invested in targeted businesses that address technological issues in either large established global markets, or in the development of emerging markets with the potential for a global scale. They just raised $40 million in seed funding for African startups. Making the announcement at her office today, Omobola Johnson said:
Over the last two years, we have been able to reach $40 million of commitment tied into our African funding. This funding is a venture capital funding focused on technology, tech- enabled businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. For us it a major milestone and accomplishment in the work we are doing.
More here

20.06.2017 Kiva launches multi-million dollar World Refugee Fund on World Refugee Day


In honor of World Refugee Day on June 20, people across the globe are coming together on Kiva to crowdfund $500,000 in loans for refugees, displaced peoples and their host communities – helping them move beyond emergency aid to regain some stability and build for the future.

The loans are used to help refugees, displaced peoples and host communities start or expand a business, increase incomes and create jobs. They  are currently crowdfunding on
Kiva.org/Refugees and will be matched dollar-for-dollar on June 20 through the new Kiva World Refugee Fund.

The World Refugee Fund aims to crowdfund $9 million in loans by the end of 2017 to help address the long-term needs of host communities and families displaced in the largest refugee crisis since World War II. There are currently more than 65 million people displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution, according to the United Nations. The fund is being developed by Kiva.org and the Alight Fund with founding partners the Tent Foundation and USA  for UNHCR, all leaders in the field.

“Refugees and displaced populations often live in their new host communities for several years, but struggle to find work, start businesses or re-establish a source of income for their families,” said Premal Shah, President and CEO of Kiva. “The situation calls for a paradigm shift towards new, sustainable solutions that can both help the displaced and support the communities that host them.”

Providing refugees and other displaced peoples access to credit and financial services can help create those jobs and better livelihoods but few traditional financial institutions are willing to serve these populations.

That’s where compassionate everyday people can make a huge difference.

Visitors to Kiva.org/Refugees can browse through the stories and profiles of refugees, internally displaced peoples, and host communities members. Visitors can then choose who they want to support with a loan of $25 or more. Individual loans of $25 are collected until the borrowers full loan request is crowdfunded. As individual lenders are repaid they can relend that money to another borrower or withdraw their money from the system. Kiva loans have a 97% repayment rate.

One recent recipient of a Kiva loan is Mohammad, a 39-year-old refugee from Syria, now residing in Lebanon. He received a Kiva loan of $1,000 to buy machinery and open his aluminum shop with the goal of providing his wife and four children with a safer and better life.

“I am from Joubar in Syria. It became quite violent and conflict riddled. We were lucky to leave alive,” Mohammad said. “After moving to Lebanon I did whatever work I could in factories as an employee. Now this is my own shop. I employ one Syria and one Lebanese worker to help me. I would take such a loan again to get more machines and to increase the scale of production. I think women in the community can also benefit greatly from such loans to use their crafts and skills”

Refugees, displaced peoples and the communities that host them face many stresses that risk turning these populations against each other. The duration of displacement for families can often be longer than 26 years, and 90% of forcibly displaced people are living in developing countries. Resources are limited for both people who lost their homes, and for their local neighbors.

Most financial service providers refuse to serve refugees and displaced populations because they are perceived as too risky, due to concerns over flight risk and the fact they often have no credit history in their new country. It also costs more for financial service providers to reach refugees in the field. This means that no matter how good an idea a refugee or IDP might have to start or grow a business, they are likely to get denied by traditional lenders.

Kiva seeks to change this picture by proving that refugees and IDPs are a good bet for success and repayment of loans. Kiva’s philanthropic crowdfunding capital provides financial service providers with the capital they need to fund more loans to these populations and learn from expanding their programs.

One example of a Kiva partner already putting this capital to good use is Al Majmoua, who created a loan program that lends to mixed groups of Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees, helping to build social support among groups of people who often feel at odds economically. Al Majmoua finds the borrowers that need funding and Kiva provides them with risk-tolerant crowdfunded capital to fulfill the loan requests.

We look forward to continuing to expand this work and reaching more vulnerable populations around the world. 

20.06.2017 SEO Checklist for Launching a New Website

The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services

Are you about to click the red ‘launch’ button on a brand new or redesigned website? Wait a minute and consider whether you have taken all of the most important SEO considerations into account. SEO Checklist: 5 Things To Get Right Before you launch your site, there are 5 big boxes you have to check off. You need to consider everything,… read more →

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19.06.2017 Agruppa: A Fresh, Healthy, and Affordable Mom-and-Pop Shop Revolution

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In Cota, Colombia, a smallholder farmer named Nestor loads a truck with crates of fresh potatoes and plantains.  The produce is bound for Corabastos, one of Bogota’s busiest central markets.

As the crates rattle their way from the farm to the city, a slew of middlemen take custody of the goods. A truck driver passes them off to a regional supplier; a warehouse worker sets them alongside other goods bound for Bogota; a new driver steps in to ferry them further down the highway—each will take a cut of the profits from Nestor’s crop.

To accommodate all these intermediaries, the price of Nestor’s plantains will be marked up nearly 45 percent by the time they reach the market.  That’s bad news for both end consumers and Nestor, whose narrow profit margins are further squeezed.

Meanwhile, in Barrio Bosa—a low income neighborhood on the edge of Bogota—a small mom-and-pop shop owner named Marlene wakes up at 3 a.m. to travel across the city to Corabastos. She’s made the trek nearly every day for the last 10 years.

Though Marlene spends nearly 20 percent of her weekly income on transportation to and from Corabastos, she has 200 or so regular customers who depend on the produce from her shop. Marlene lacks the financial capital to buy fruits or vegetables in bulk—besides, too much would go to waste. Instead, she’s forced to pay a premium on smaller quantities.

Faced with these financial challenges, Marlene isn’t taking any risks with her business—she purchases only as much produce as she thinks she can sell in a day. Unfortunately, this means higher prices and limited availability of fresh fruits and vegetables for the residents of Barrio Bosa.

Marlene’s financial concerns are shared by over 340,000 small shop owners across Colombia. Serving as the final link in the chain between farms and low-income neighborhoods in the city, these family owned shops sell nearly 70 percent of the food in the region.

When inefficient value chains and inflated costs challenge shop owners’ ability to stock fresh produce, the nutrition of millions of people is put in jeopardy.

This is where Agruppa comes in.

Agruppa

Co-founded by Carolina Medina and Verena Liedgens in 2015, Agruppa is a social startup connecting smallholder farmers with urban neighborhood shops to bring fresh, healthy, and affordable produce to low income communities.

To maximize its impact, Agruppa works directly with shop owners, the gatekeepers of nutrition in their communities.

Shop owners can use mobile phones to place produce orders in an instant. While Agruppa’s mobile platform calculates costs, processes orders, and ultimately delivers fresh produce right to shop owners’ doors, the owners themselves save hundreds of hours of costly travel into Bogota’s central markets.

Agruppa currently delivers fresh produce to over 260 shops in some of Bogota’s most marginalized neighborhoods. With most shops catering to around 50 households—about 200 individuals—Agruppa is providing well over 30,000 people with high quality, low cost fruits and vegetables.

But Agruppa aims to do much more than just benefit end-consumers, says cofounder Carolina Medina, who developed the model for Agruppa with fellow students at the London School of Economics. “With Agruppa, all the actors along the chain can improve their current situation.”

Small business owners like Marlene save time and money on produce and transportation. By aggregating the demand of multiple shops in a given neighborhood, Agruppa can provide vendors with fresher produce at cheaper prices.

“[Shop owners] can save roughly six minimum monthly wages per year,” Medina says. “Considering 89 percent of our shops are the sole income providers for their households, and 40 percent live below the national poverty line, this can be game changing for them.”

Next, by pairing with Agruppa, smallholder farmers like Nestor gain access to a huge city market and improve their cash flow by selling directly to vendors.

While most Colombian farmers struggle to find consistent buyers and often wait as long as 90 days to collect payments on their produce, Agruppa’s partner farmers gain steady customers, are paid better prices and receive payments immediately upon sale.

Even drivers benefit from collaborating with Agruppa. The startup currently employs 21 transportation contractors whose daily deliveries and consistent rates garner them well above market wages.

At the core of Agruppa’s high-impact approach is a commitment to its local partners.

“(Agruppa goes) beyond mere commercial exchange with the farmers that supply us,” says Medina. “(We work) to actually understand their dreams and needs so that (we) can add value and really build a relationship upon trust. We believe this relationship will ensure their sustainability as farmers, while also making Agruppa less prone to market fluctuations.”

Though Agruppa remains focused on its small-scale operations in Bogota, the startup’s commitment to building sustainable relationships provides a solid foundation for maximizing its impact on a larger scale.

Scaling Up

In March, Agruppa entered a partnership with the Mercy Corps Social Venture Fund, an investment group providing early-stage financing and support for social enterprises in the developing world.

The fund lead the Seed Round with an investment of $150,000. Yunus Social Business also participated in the round, closing in late-May.

“(The Social Venture Fund’s) seed stage capital and support is a critical missing piece to get enterprises with high potential for impact off the ground,” says Tim Rann, senior advisor at the social venture fund.

Beyond receiving critical financial support, Agruppa will also benefit from access to Mercy Corps Colombia’s expertise in agricultural development and extensive portfolio of regional programs and contacts.

Bolstered by fresh investment, Agruppa is gearing up to expand its network of local partnerships to 850 shops by the end 2017, and to thousands of smallholder farms by 2021.

Within the next year, Agruppa aims to source nearly 1,000 tons of smallholder farm-fresh produce per month—a major step towards fostering economic empowerment and food security in the region.

14.06.2017 What does $1 billion in change look like?


Kiva is on the verge of funding $1 billion in life-changing loans to people around the world. This is the second in a two-part series tracing Kiva’s path from nonprofit startup and crowdfunding pioneer to a global force for good, pushing the boundaries of lending.

Sometimes the problems in the world feel so big, it’s hard to imagine any individual can make a dent. In those moments of paralysis consider this: Kiva lenders collectively crowdfund more than $1 million in loans every 3 days. Those collective dollars translate into real power to do good in the world and have helped 2.4 million people pursue their dreams.

Each lender, $25 at a time, is helping create a compassionate bank – a unique, renewable pool of funds helping reshape access to financial services for many families in need.

While there is no silver bullet to alleviating poverty, expanding access to fair and affordable credit can open doors, and gives people an opportunity to improve their businesses, send their children to school, invest in equipment or green technology and much more.

Check out some of the areas of impact you’ve made possible with your loans on Kiva by reading the full article at our Medium page>

14.06.2017 $1 billion in change: How Kiva went from nonprofit startup to global force for good


Kiva is on the verge of funding $1 billion in life-changing loans to people around the world. This is the first in a two-part series tracing Kiva’s path from nonprofit startup to nonprofit unicorn pushing the boundaries of lending.

There’s a persistent, toxic myth that people living in poverty don’t want to work, that they don’t dream of and strive for more, and that their lives are to be pitied.

But anyone from these communities, or anyone able to take time to travel and connect, knows nothing could be further from the truth.

The wealthy don’t have more feelings of joy and pride. The wealthy don’t have sole claim to being industrious or creative. People everywhere share these traits, and people everywhere want an opportunity to make a decent living and achieve their dreams.

We all just need an opportunity and people to believe in us along the way.

That concept is at the heart of everything Kiva does, and it’s what brought together a band of idealistic 20-somethings in 2005 to create Kiva. Read the story of how Kiva evolved from a startup to a global force for good at our Medium page>

13.06.2017 Understanding Fake Reviews and Their Repercussions on the Market

The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services

During the last couple of years, the popularity and impact of online reviews have grown considerably. This is quite understandable, given the fact that 68% of millennials trust online reviews more than they trust traditional television advertisements. However, this great increase in popularity has encouraged multiple business owners to purchase fake positive reviews. In the long run, they believe that… read more →

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