Alltop

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

23.10.2017 Doing Good is Good Strategy: Learnings from 2017 Companies and Causes Canada

Michael Prosserman aka “Bboy Piecez”, Founder of Unity Charity

Better believe I was excited to attend
Companies and Causes Canada again after last year's great event!

Here's my key takeaways from this year:

1) Don't have to be a charity to do good

Corporations from the old school to the start-up agree that you don't have to be a charity to be impactful. John Coyne (VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary) of CPG giant Unilever says that "philanthropy is dying, brands are taking on purposes, and governments are occupying the philanthropic space." Aaron Zifkin, Regional Director - Americas Operations at Airbnb, agrees and communicates the importance that this be embedded into the organization's strategy, "be in the business of doing good...not just in business and doing good."

2) Impactful companies drive change from the top down

Elliot Penner, President of French's, says that a purpose-driven business can succeed if the effort is authentic and the leader believes in it. Phil Haid, CEO of Public Inc., corroborates this by saying that there's a trend for business CEOs to become activists.

3) Canadians support impactful companies

Almost half of surveyed Canadians are "very interested in what causes companies support" and are "loyal to brands that sponsor good causes" according to Ipsos (via Bmeaningful's tweet). Similarly, Amanda D'Ortenzio, Brand Manager at Unilever's Seventh Generation, says that a third of consumers
are buying from companies based on their social & environmental impact. Speaking to her own company's accomplishments, Amanda says that Unilever's sustainable living brands (such as Dove, Becel, and Ben & Jerry's) grew 50% faster than others within the business, representing 60% of total growth. Lastly, Aaron Zifkin says that Airbnb's customers like their service cause it's better for the environment and builds a stronger community.

See ya'll do-gooders at next year's event!


Social Focus Consulting
when it comes to your cause, we mean business

- If you enjoyed this article, then read Learnings from and comments on Collaborating for Impact Conference 2013

22.10.2017 Beyond the Unicorn...Africans making it in Silicon Valley

From VOA:
Africans making it in Silicon Valley...

19.10.2017 Stoves that cook up jobs, charge cellphones and keep kids healthy

The solar-powered cookstoves produced and distributed by Kiva partner African Clean Energy are no ordinary cookstoves: they cut fuel consumption, create healthier air in homes and feature a USB outlet to charge cellphones or run LED lamps.
 
For some families in Lesotho these innovative cookstoves are the only source of power in their homes. 
 
“This particular cookstove is brilliant because the USB plugin and solar panel is a HUGE help in initially winning people over,” said Chelsa Bocci, Senior Director of Community Marketing at Kiva, who visited Lesotho in July.
 
Chelsa and the ACE team after a sales meeting where they gave a demonstration to people in a remote village and taught them how to use the cookstoves. The group was then posted to Kiva for funding a week later.

 
ACE offers loans to finance the purchase of the stoves, which it also produces and distributes. They’ve seen popularity of the stoves skyrocket as customers have learned how useful they can be. 
 
Sbongile, a Kiva fellow, worked with ACE’s sales team for 7 weeks observing the team’s work and conducting borrower verifications for Kiva. 
 
“I was surprised by the love of the stoves displayed by the community members,” Sbongile said. “When I asked why they liked the stoves so much they said these were not just ordinary stoves, but provided lighting to their houses, which are now as bright at night as if they had electricity, making it easier for their children to study safely.” 


 
Since July 2015, $362,425 in Kiva loans have helped power ACE’s loan program to reach an additional 3,753 customers in Lesotho.  
 
Loans for the cookstoves are given to groups of 10 or more people and the individual units sell for approximately $120 each. Each loan distributed by ACE offers 0% interest and requires a 25% downpayment. The rest of the loan must be repaid in 9 months. 
 
The biomass cookstoves also have great sustainability and health benefits. They consume 50% to 70% less fuel than traditional cookstoves, reducing deforestation and the time spent gathering fuel. Sources of fuel can include wood pellets, sticks or even cow dung. 
 
One of the key features of the cookstoves is that it’s smokeless. This feature can prevent various illnesses, such as respiratory infections and chronic bronchitis, that are associated with smoke inhalation and often disproportionately affect women. 
 
The demand has grown so much for these products that ACE is now expanding into Uganda in addition to its 2 current locations - Lesotho and Cambodia.
 
In order to keep up with demand, the ACE factory in Maseru also employs about 60 locals, which are 59% women and include some individuals with disabilities.   
 
On her trip, Chelsa was able to meet with ACE Founders Alice Troostwijk and Stephen Walker and tour the factory that provides so many needed jobs. 
 
She was also able to visit Kiva borrowers, participate in cookstove demonstrations and accompany Sbongile on borrower verifications.
 
“One of the major improvements Sbongile made while she was there was to encourage ACE to set up a 5th two-person team solely focused on repayments,” Chelsa said. 
 
ACE borrowers use M-Pesa to make payments on their loans, which is a mobile phone-based money transfer service. 
 
The ease of this service can often come into conflict with intermittent cell phone service, particularly in the rural mountain areas, which leads to delayed payments or confusion over whether a payment was made at all. 
 
To alleviate this stress, Sbongile’s suggested team would be responsible for calling the borrowers or traveling by car to collect their payments, if need be. 
 
Simple solutions such as this two-part team are some of the small ways in which Kiva fellows aim to help Field Partners improve borrowers’ experiences and achieve their goals. 
 
As for ACE’s goals, “Our aim is to continue scaling by entering at least one new market every year,” said Mara Luchiana, who’s in charge of social media and marketing for the social enterprise. 
 

19.10.2017 Stoves that cook up jobs, charge cellphones and keep kids healthy

The solar-powered cookstoves produced and distributed by Kiva partner African Clean Energy are no ordinary cookstoves: they cut fuel consumption, create healthier air in homes and feature a USB outlet to charge cellphones or run LED lamps.
 
For some families in Lesotho these innovative cookstoves are the only source of power in their homes. 
 
“This particular cookstove is brilliant because the USB plugin and solar panel is a HUGE help in initially winning people over,” said Chelsa Bocci, Senior Director of Community Marketing at Kiva, who visited Lesotho in July.
Chelsa and the ACE team after a sales meeting where they gave a demonstration to people in a remote village and taught them how to use the cookstoves. The group was then posted to Kiva for funding a week later.

 
ACE offers loans to finance the purchase of the stoves, which it also produces and distributes. They’ve seen popularity of the stoves skyrocket as customers have learned how useful they can be. 
 
Sbongile, a Kiva fellow, worked with ACE’s sales team for 7 weeks observing the team’s work and conducting borrower verifications for Kiva. 
 
“I was surprised by the love of the stoves displayed by the community members,” Sbongile said. “When I asked why they liked the stoves so much they said these were not just ordinary stoves, but provided lighting to their houses, which are now as bright at night as if they had electricity, making it easier for their children to study safely.” 


 
Since July 2015, $362,425 in Kiva loans have helped power ACE’s loan program to reach an additional 3,753 customers in Lesotho.  
 
Loans for the cookstoves are given to groups of 10 or more people and the individual units sell for approximately $120 each. Each loan distributed by ACE offers 0% interest and requires a 25% downpayment. The rest of the loan must be repaid in 9 months. 
 
The biomass cookstoves also have great sustainability and health benefits. They consume 50% to 70% less fuel than traditional cookstoves, reducing deforestation and the time spent gathering fuel. Sources of fuel can include wood pellets, sticks or even cow dung. 
 
One of the key features of the cookstoves is that it’s smokeless. This feature can prevent various illnesses, such as respiratory infections and chronic bronchitis, that are associated with smoke inhalation and often disproportionately affect women. 
 
The demand has grown so much for these products that ACE is now expanding into Uganda in addition to its 2 current locations - Lesotho and Cambodia.
 
In order to keep up with demand, the ACE factory in Maseru also employs about 60 locals, which are 59% women and include some individuals with disabilities.   
 
On her trip, Chelsa was able to meet with ACE Founders Alice Troostwijk and Stephen Walker and tour the factory that provides so many needed jobs. 
 
She was also able to visit Kiva borrowers, participate in cookstove demonstrations and accompany Sbongile on borrower verifications.
 
“One of the major improvements Sbongile made while she was there was to encourage ACE to set up a 5th two-person team solely focused on repayments,” Chelsa said. 
 
ACE borrowers use M-Pesa to make payments on their loans, which is a mobile phone-based money transfer service. 
 
The ease of this service can often come into conflict with intermittent cell phone service, particularly in the rural mountain areas, which leads to delayed payments or confusion over whether a payment was made at all. 
 
To alleviate this stress, Sbongile’s suggested team would be responsible for calling the borrowers or traveling by car to collect their payments, if need be. 
 
Simple solutions such as this two-part team are some of the small ways in which Kiva fellows aim to help Field Partners improve borrowers’ experiences and achieve their goals. 
 
As for ACE’s goals, “Our aim is to continue scaling by entering at least one new market every year,” said Mara Luchiana, who’s in charge of social media and marketing for the social enterprise. 
 

19.10.2017 Biohacking in Africa: A Tool for Justice, Empowerment, and Development

A presentation by Mboa Nkoudou and Thomas Hervé at the Global Community Bio Summit following up a previous project covered earlier:
SOHA project evidences on: obstacles to the adoption of Open Science in Haiti and Africa

19.10.2017 Defining Open: BioHack the Planet - Wakanene Sebastian Kamau

Wakanene Sebastian Kamau writing in Biocoder:
How do we define an open community and what would we want from one? The inaugural BioHack the Planet conference took place this September in Oakland, California. Hosted in Omni Commons, the volunteer collective home to the DIYbiohub Counter Culture Labs, the conference embodied the spirit of the community it sought to bring together...[more]

19.10.2017 Traditional 'Orphan Crop' Research is Revolutionising Food and Nutrition Security in Africa

Millie Phiri Sonia Naidoo and Nadia Ibraimo writing in Biz Community Africa:
Research focusing on traditional crops that are often ignored and known as "orphan crops" shows they contain minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body and are mostly consumed by rural African people. Various agricultural research institutions in Africa are currently carrying out research on these crops mainly to improve yields and controlling and lowering disease tolerance...[more]

19.10.2017 Waste Collection: A New Frontier For The Fashion Industry?

By Alden Wicker

Many consumers are unaware that a large chunk of their wardrobe is essentially plastic. More than 60% of the global fiber market is polyester, a carbon-intensive petroleum product which has been refined to the point of doing almost anything we ask of it. It can look like silk, cotton, or soft faux fur, or can be combined with natural materials to improve their performance and lower cost.

But consumers are very aware that the ocean is filling up with plastic. By one estimate, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 unless we course correct. Most of the plastic entering the ocean (86%) comes from Asia, where use of plastic disposables is skyrocketing and collection and recycling infrastructure has yet to be built. Asia is also where 86% of polyester textiles are manufactured.

An obvious solution? Source the raw material for polyester manufacturing right from Asia’s plastic crisis.

Turns out, that's exactly what fashion companies are doing.

Take the European brand C&A. Polyester accounts for 21% of the material it uses in its clothing, so the company has set a goal of replacing virgin polyester made from petroleum with polyester made from recycled water bottles. C&A China is leading the way, selling 30,000 denim garments in 2016 made with Global Recycled Standard (GRS)-certified polyester.

In Delhi, the company Conserve India shows the benefit of sourcing materials where you manufacture. The ethical fashion manufacturer pays waste pickers for all manner of plastic waste and has so far transformed 12,000 tonnes of waste into belts and wallets that are sold in fair trade boutiques all over the world. “We use everything that comes into the waste stream," says the company's founder Anita Ahuja, an Ashoka Fellow. “Tire tubes, seat belts, fire hoses, cement bags, rice bags, packaging material from bread. For each material we have a different way to process it and a design lab where we experiment, like what kind of shapes and structure the product should have.” Waste-pickers supply 80% of the company’s raw recyclable material. Ahuja plans to release the process her company uses to recycle the plastic waste, so that other companies can use it for bigger environmental impact.

H&M’s spring Conscious Collection featured a blush evening gown made from plastics collected from the shore of Jakarta, Indonesia. Adidas put out a swimwear line made from discarded fishing nets collected from the ocean – one of these giant nets can apparently yield 1,000 swimsuits – and is now using recycled ocean plastic to update its classic shoe designs. In luxury designer Stella McCartney’s latest ad campaign, models dance and pose in front of mounds of landfill garbage to celebrate using polyester from recycled plastic ocean waste.

"Ocean plastic" as defined by fashion companies is a loose term. It's not possible right now to collect plastic directly from the ocean, because most of it has broken down into far too tiny bits to be efficiently collected. So brands instead are turning to a process that looks more and more like old-fashion recyclables collection – albeit by private textile companies rather than municipal authorities.

Parley, who provides the material for the Parley Ultraboost collection by Adidas, gets its plastic mainly from beach cleanups around the world. But in the Maldives, Parley is working on education and setting up a waste diversion system that goes beyond just cleanup. In Indonesia, where locals tend to bury plastic waste on the beach, Parley is working on raising awareness and providing materials for waste collection. The textile manufacturer Aquafil has relationships with families in the Philippines and Cameroon who collect and sell discarded fishing nets used in ECONYL fabric. Nike is even designing new products based on what is most easily collectable.

In the United States, a few states have adopted deposit-return systems, in which consumers pay extra for bottles, which can be returned to recycling facilities for a refund. This has pushed recycling rates in those states up to 70 to 95%. But in developing countries that struggle to build and maintain basic infrastructure like recycling pick-up, recycled plastic fashion may help them leapfrog right over recycling collections infrastructure, much like private cell phone technology leapfrogged over telephone infrastructure.

By monetizing plastic waste, fashion companies can incentivize the citizens in Indonesia, China, the Philippines, and beyond to collect plastic bottles and fishing nets instead of tossing them by the side of the road or in the ocean, and provide additional income for the world’s poorest coastal residents. The next obvious step is for textile manufacturers to invest in basic plastic waste collection centers, and locate them near to textile manufactures.

As social entrepreneurs and innovative companies experiment with solutions on the ground, the Paris Climate accord is making a carbon tax or cap-and-trade look ever more likely. This would push up the cost of polyester made from virgin petroleum and make recycled polyester look more enticing from a profit perspective.

With fashion conglomerates buying up leather farms and tanneries in order to secure their supply, you may before long see Adidas or C&A-branded recycling containers on your next visit to Bali.

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Alden Wicker writes on behalf of the Fabric of Change Initiative, a partnership between Ashoka and C&A Foundation to support social entrepreneurs and bring transformational change to the apparel industry: www.changemakers.com/fabricofchange. This article originally appeared on Ashoka's Forbes Chanel > https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2017/10/16/waste-collection-a-new-fr...

19.10.2017 La nouvelle route de la soie, une opportunité de développement pour l’Afrique ?

Vue du port de Doraleh, Djibouti - Photo UN/Evan Schneider

La Chine avance vers l’Afrique de l’Est avec un projet colossal

Le projet Road and Belt Initiative, aussi appelé nouvelle route de la soie, a été annoncé en 2013 par le président chinois Xi Jinping. Il ambitionne de relier la Chine, par la mer et par la terre, à plus de 60 pays (majoritairement des pays en développement) représentant plus d’un quart du PIB mondial. Le tracé prévisionnel de la route maritime prévoit qu’elle contourne le continent asiatique par le Sud pour relier les ports chinois aux pays du golfe du Bengale, avant de traverser l’océan Indien pour rejoindre l’Afrique de l’Est. Quatre pays ont des ports sur cette route : le Kenya, le Soudan, l’Éthiopie et Djibouti.

Les relations entre l’Empire du milieu et le continent africain ne sont pas nouvelles : on compte en Afrique 52 missions diplomatiques chinoises et les échanges commerciaux étaient estimés à 220 milliards de dollars en 2014 par l’Initiative de recherche Chine-Afrique (CARI) de l’université Johns-Hopkins. Ce sont ces relations et ces échanges que la Chine cherche à favoriser avec ce projet qui bénéficiera aux exportations de produits manufacturés chinois comme aux importations de matières premières, si l’on en croit Françoise Nicolas, directrice du Centre Asie de l'Institut français des relations internationales (Ifri). La Chine est aussi attirée par les matières premières que par le marché de consommateurs offert par le continent.

Si les débouchés évidents du projet « nouvelle route de la soie » sont commerciaux et économiques, les intérêts diplomatiques et politiques ne sont pas à minimiser. Certains spécialistes comme Tom Harper, de l’université du Surrey, soutiennent qu’un des objectifs de cette route est de « transformer les relations de la Chine avec ses voisins asiatiques et avec le monde entier » ; d’autres vont un peu plus loin en affirmant que la Chine cherche à affirmer son rôle de leader des pays en voie de développement.

 

À lire aussi sur iD4D : « Les relations Chine – Afrique : impacts pour le continent africain et perspectives », synthèse de conférence iD4D.

 

Chine en Afrique : une certaine vision du développement

Pour Branko Milanovic, économiste des inégalités et professeur à l’université de New York, alors que les pays du Nord s’embourbent dans une vision douce, la nouvelle route de la soie permet au gouvernement chinois de réactiver la définition du développement majoritaire avant les années 1980. Selon cette vision « hard », « le développement n’arrive pas par lui-même et les justes prix, l’abaissement des taxes et la dérégulation ne suffisent pas » ; les pays en développement ont surtout besoin d’éléments concrets comme les infrastructures. Et c’est effectivement ce que la Chine travaille à fournir aux pays africains partenaires : entre 2003 et 2015, l’aide de la Chine vers l’Afrique est passée de 631 millions d’euros à près de 3 milliards, selon l’université Johns-Hopkins. Les investissements chinois financent principalement des grands axes de communication et des unités de production, comme le montre cette liste des projets emblématiques établie par The Guardian.

 

À lire aussi sur iD4D : « Faut-il diaboliser la relation Chine - Afrique ? », par Jean-Bernard Véron, président du Comité des solidarités internationales de la Fondation de France.

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Actuellement, les pays africains accueillent favorablement ces investisseurs, et cette nouvelle source d’aide est souvent considérée comme un partenariat économique gagnant-gagnant plus que comme une politique d’aide. Les résultats d’un sondage Afrobarometer de 2016 réalisé dans 36 pays du continent montrent que 63 % des Africains pensent que les investissements chinois ont une influence positive dans leur pays. Selon Jing Gu, directrice du Centre pour les puissances émergentes et le développement global à l’université du Sussex, « il est important pour la Chine que sa relation avec l’Afrique apparaisse comme mutuellement bénéfique. »

D’autres sont plus circonspects face à l’implication de la Chine et des entreprises chinoises en Afrique et s’interrogent sur la nouvelle dépendance du continent africain. Le caricaturiste Godfrey Mwampenbwa représente ainsi souvent l’iniquité qu’il perçoit des échanges Afrique-Chine (ici, ici ou ici). Quant à Lauren A. Johnston, chercheuse à l’Institut de recherches sociales et d’économie appliquée de l’université de Melbourne, elle estime que dans leurs négociations avec les autorités chinoises, « les gouvernements africains doivent être intransigeants […] afin de sélectionner une combinaison de politiques et de structures de gouvernance qui maximise les gains pour l’Afrique. »

 

Toutes ces questions sur la coopération Chine-Afrique seront au cœur de la deuxième édition du China-Africa Investment Forum organisé les 25 et 26 novembre 2017 à Marrakech.

 

À lire aussi sur iD4D : « Chine-Afrique : “Une relation aux accents coloniaux de plus en plus critiquée sur le continent », William Gumede, économiste et politologue sud-africain.

Rédaction iD4D


À propos de cette publication

Découvrez les « Actualités du développement », la nouvelle rubrique du blog iD4D. Nous l’alimenterons régulièrement à travers deux types de contenus : des focus thématiques proposant un bref état des lieux sur un sujet d’actualité et des revues de presse présentant une sélection d’articles web, de réflexions et de décryptages. 

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Cet article La nouvelle route de la soie, une opportunité de développement pour l’Afrique ? est apparu en premier sur Ideas for development.

18.10.2017 The NGO's eye in the sky

Image: 

In the quiet of early dawn, a tiny motor springs to life. Moments later, a drone leaps into the open air, poised for the day ahead. Its mission could change the way governments and NGOs take on community resilience threats.

In Nepal and Timor-Leste, where survival is closely tied to successful farming, drone technology could save thousands of lives, millions in aid funds, and months of recovery.

Crop farming and livestock is the main source of income for 68 percent of Nepal’s population and 80 percent of Timor-Leste’s, but natural disasters and climate change create an ever-changing landscape that rock community resilience. Mercy Corps has implemented a program to take on this threat.

The Managing Risk through Economic Development (M-RED) program focuses on communities in Nepal, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste. Its goal is to limit disaster impact by improving each country's physical environment and ecosystem. To make this a reality, program workers have helped locals adopt low-cost mitigation techniques and promoted selective crop planting. M-RED’s latest initiative will use data-collecting drones to boost its model for agricultural development and sustainability.

Seasonal monsoons regularly threaten food security problems in Nepal and Timor-Leste, placing subsistent farmers at risk of losing their livelihoods. For Nepal, still shocked by the devastating 2015 earthquakes, a new approach to farming and disaster preparedness is desperately needed. Deploying drones to monitor crops, soil health and weather patterns could be the break in the clouds that farmers need.

Mitigating the Effects of Natural Disasters

Far above the ground, the drone captures images of destroyed terrain following a summer storm. The photos are woven together to create a detailed description of events for analysts and aid workers.

Every year floods and landslides kill many people and destroy property in Nepal. In the last 24 years, flooding and landslides have been responsible for 65 percent of the country's disaster-related economic losses.

Last August was one of the worst flooding events in years: 460,000 people were displaced by heavy flooding, which destroyed fresh crops, polluted fertile farmland and submerged thousands of houses. Nepal's government sought $41.4 million to aid 1.7 million Nepalese suffering from food scarcity, broken sanitation systems, and other problems.

M-RED will use drone technology to measure and monitor land to take more effective preemptive measures in Nepal. By observing targeted areas, the program should accurately detect and track land use changes. The data — predictive analytics used to model floods and track shifting rivers — will benefit target communities.

Safeguarding Agricultural Health

As its trip comes to a close, the drone sweeps over a farm, where its remote sensing cameras it carefully survey the field and crops below.

Timor-Leste has had its own struggles with climate change, including reduced soil fertility, soil erosion, and drought. Recovery from an El Nino event in 2015-2016 has been slow. Food insecurity is still a lingering concern. The latest Global Hunger Index has ranked Timor-Leste as the ninth hungriest country in the world.

A nation is only as strong as its peoples. With malnutrition rates among the highest in Asia, development across the board in Timor-Leste has been slow going.

M-RED is already showing farmers how to combat these realities by planting crops that have higher success in poor soil, shifting cropland to agroforestry and teaching land management techniques.

With drone technology, M-RED is designed to revitalize agricultural development tactics in Timor-Leste. Using small, attachable sensors, a drone can take infrared (NIR) images, giving farmers sight beyond the naked eye. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), even makes crop health visible.

examples of drone photography modes

Immediate practical applications include estimating crop yields and tracking losses due to drought or disease. And those are just the most immediate. As with Nepal, the true strength of this technology stems from the data it will collect.

Read more about the potential for drones in humanitarian crisis at Wired, The New York Times, and UN News Center.

18.10.2017 The NGO's eye in the sky

Drones are taking aid to the air
https://www.globalenvision.org/2017/10/16/drones-friend-humanitarian-aid-work

18.10.2017 Gidi Mobile ,Tuteria and others hope to teach the next billion users Tuteria

Victor Asemota writing in the Guardian:
What will happen if 1 billion Technology teachers get trained in Africa? I asked myself this question a couple of weeks ago after I remembered my conversation with my friend Tunji in San Francisco. We were at the Google Launchpad Accelerator where his startup was one of the very first from Africa at the accelerator.

Tunji Adegbesan is a teacher. He lectures at the Lagos Business School, and he puts what he teaches to practice as the founder of the education startup, “Gidi Mobile.” The startup’s mission is simple, provide education at scale via mobile while making it engaging and exciting. He has generated a lot of interest from investors and partners as well. Google gave Gidi Mobile $1M the week their CEO, Sundar Picha, visited Nigeria...[more]

17.10.2017 Essential Ways to Promote Your New Website

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

Recent studies show that 81% of customers visit a company’s website prior to making a purchase. While some people visit it directly, following the link featured in blog posts, social networks and emails, most of them start by typing a keyword into a search engine. Given the fact that 75% of users never scroll past…

The post Essential Ways to Promote Your New Website appeared first on Return On Now.

17.10.2017 A Fellowship for Life

A Fellowship for Life

Lisa Jones | October 17, 2017
Miriam Reyes is the co-founder of Aprendices Visuales (Books for Visual Learners), a nonprofit organization that connects children with autism with tools to develop their full potential, as well as a...

17.10.2017 Renforcer la contribution sociétale de la recherche pour atteindre les ODD

Une pâte nutritionnelle pour lutter contre la malnutrition aiguë, en Ethiopie © UNICEF Ethiopia/ 2015/Tesfaye - Flickr Cc

L’Agenda 2030 adopté par les Nations unies en septembre 2015 constitue un véritable projet de transformation de nos économies et de nos sociétés. Pour relever ce défi, la recherche et l’innovation doivent être mieux mobilisées et leurs contributions sociétales renforcées. Des expérimentations visant à rapprocher le monde de la recherche et la société émergent et commencent à produire des effets concrets.

 

De plus en plus d’attentes envers la recherche

L’innovation est considérée comme indispensable aux transformations des activités humaines qui permettront d’atteindre les objectifs de développement durable (ODD). Alors que nous ne pouvons plus faire comme avant (« business as usual ») mais que nous n’avons pas encore les clés pour faire autrement, l’appel à l’innovation, sociale ou technique, est partout. Ainsi, les attentes à l’égard des chercheurs sont de plus en plus fortes : au-delà de la compréhension des phénomènes, le monde de la recherche est perçu comme pouvant apporter des solutions nouvelles. Dans ce contexte, s’il est important de réaffirmer la nécessité de la recherche fondamentale et de la protéger contre tout impératif d’utilité, il est également urgent de mobiliser davantage de recherche au service de l’invention de solutions. Car force est de constater que, face à la complexité des phénomènes et à l’ampleur des risques de tous ordres, les attentes de la société civile, des politiques, des bailleurs de fonds et des acteurs privés sont réelles et croissantes. Pour y répondre, il est nécessaire de renforcer la contribution sociétale de la recherche, une injonction qui touche particulièrement le domaine du développement, depuis toujours engagé sur des terrains qui font face aux nombreux défis économiques, sociaux et environnementaux.

 

À lire aussi sur iD4D : « La science au service du développement : investir sur des technologies appropriées », par , Fondatrice de SoScience

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 Collaboration, mixité et mutualisation : outils essentiels de la recherche

Il n’est ni antinomique ni vain de chercher à combiner une recherche de qualité et des apports de solutions sur le terrain. Bien au contraire. Même si ce n’est pas leur unique rôle, les chercheurs peuvent contribuer à inventer des solutions. Mieux, ils le doivent, car le temps presse. Et cela passe par une collaboration accrue avec les acteurs de terrain : dans ce processus de collaboration, chaque acteur se concentre sur sa force principale et l’écosystème entier en bénéficie. Depuis longtemps, l’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) innove avec des acteurs de terrains et considère cette collaboration comme fondamentale.

Le Plumpy’Nut est un exemple emblématique de ce type de collaboration : en 1998, une pâte nutritionnelle à base d’arachide est développée suite aux travaux de recherche conjoints de l’IRD et de l’entreprise Nutriset. Résulte de cette collaboration le Plumpy’Nut, produit qui, sur la seule année 2016, a permis de traiter deux millions d’enfants atteints de malnutrition aigüe. Cet exemple illustre l’apport concret et direct que peut avoir la recherche pour le développement lorsqu’elle s’associe à une entreprise à impact social.

Face à l’urgence, il faut aujourd’hui revitaliser cette relation sciences-société qui est loin d’être naturelle ou aisée. Car les chercheurs, en répondant aux incitations de leur communauté (évaluation par les publications ou les brevets déposés et non par l’impact sociétal de leurs travaux) ne sont pas suffisamment à l’écoute des besoins, ni en quête de de solutions. La recherche et la société sont trop éloignées, ce qui génère alternativement une confiance aveugle et une défiance absolue à l’égard des chercheurs. Une autre forme de relation, délibérément coopérative, est aujourd’hui nécessaire : il s’agit de coconstruire des solutions entre acteurs engagés, citoyens et chercheurs. L’innovation qui sera réellement porteuse de progrès (humain) naîtra de la rencontre entre des acteurs dissemblables mais complémentaires. Pour que cette rencontre soit féconde, de nouvelles formes de travail, de rencontre et de collaboration sont nécessaires.

 

À lire aussi sur iD4D : « Numérique et développement : de nouveaux leviers pour les ONG et les bailleurs », par , Responsable numérique, innovation et communication à l'Agence des micro-projets, ONG La Guilde.

 

Les Campus de l’innovation pour la planète: des lieux d’innovation au service du bien commun

Fort de ce constat, l’IRD a réorienté, en 2016, sa politique de valorisation de la recherche pour en renforcer l’impact sociétal. Il la met notamment en œuvre dans le cadre de ses Campus de l’innovation pour la planète. L’objectif de ces campus : disposer de lieux et d’outils innovants facilitant les rencontres et les expérimentations entre chercheurs, entrepreneurs sociaux, représentants d’ONG et autres acteurs de terrain. Le campus de Bondy, fer de lance de cette politique, a été rejoint en 2017 par des campus partenaires situés à Dakar et Ouagadougou (ce dernier bénéficiant d’un financement du ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères). Après un an d’activité, le constat est sans appel : ce type de lieu peut rapidement favoriser l’émergence de solutions concrètes. À titre d’exemple, lors des journées de rencontres The Future Of Water, programmes de recherche collaborative créés par l'entreprise sociale SoScience, partenaire des Campus de l’Innovation, Abdou Maman (fondateur de l’entreprise sociale nigérienne Tech-Innov) et Geoffroy Lesage (enseignant-chercheur à l’université de Montpellier) ont décidé de s’associer. Ils collaborent pour démontrer la faisabilité de systèmes décentralisés de traitement des eaux usées, à faible coût et économes en énergie, favorisant la sécurité sanitaire des communautés rurales sahéliennes mal desservies. Ils travaillent aujourd’hui à l’intégration d’un traitement par membrane gravitaire, développé par Geoffroy Lesage, aux technologies utilisées sur le terrain par Tech-Innov. Un bel exemple de partenariat de recherche entre un laboratoire et une entreprise sociale !

Au service du développement, et plus largement au service du bien commun, le monde académique doit repenser ses liens avec les acteurs de terrain. La mise en place des Campus de l’innovation pour la planète est une expérimentation qui prouve qu’il est possible d’obtenir des résultats dans un temps court et surtout que l’appétence de tous les acteurs pour ces collaborations existe. D’autres instituts de recherche, associations et entreprises, engagent désormais des actions pour une innovation responsable. Plus nous serons nombreux à mettre en œuvre ces nouvelles formes de cocréation de solutions et plus nous pouvons espérer atteindre les objectifs de l’Agenda 2030 de façon inclusive et durable.

 

À lire aussi sur iD4D : « L’innovation, la réponse à beaucoup de problèmes de développement » par , Économiste, Professeur au Collège de France

 

 

Cet article Renforcer la contribution sociétale de la recherche pour atteindre les ODD est apparu en premier sur Ideas for development.

16.10.2017 Why Do We Hate Each Other So?



I never thought I’d see a time again when our country was so divided. This division we are seeing is reminiscent of the 60s when racism was out loud, dogs were sic’d on black people, and a whole lot of other things. For me I don’t know who is against me or who is for me when it comes to other races. I want to believe that most people are inherently good, but assuming can get me in an uncomfortable situation or worse. This shouldn’t be happening in 2017! The way we treat each other nowadays reminds me of the Civil Rights Era. Black people not knowing if white people are ‘friendly’s’ or the enemy; white people feeling the same way. Racism is so ugly; it divides, splits, and divides again creating an atmosphere of fear, and mistrust.



            All the protesting and acidic verbiage about black people, about white people, reminds me of when I was five years old. One day I was sitting on our back porch in Delray. Delray is a small community located in Southwest Detroit. Delray had the feel of a small town where everyone knew your family and family sometimes lived as close as a walk to the corner. During the 60s in Delray there were blacks and whites. For the most part I didn’t see white people come visit us except my Uncle Richie’s high school friend. They were so close they even took a picture together. Now I don’t know how his parents felt about Uncle Richie, but Jimmy was lovingly accepted in our home. I can’t recall having any white friends, and it wasn’t an issue with me either. Going to school with blacks and whites, they were just other kids to play with on the playground.



            I remember one day while sitting on our back porch playing with my dolls, I could hear our neighbor calling her dogs to eat. This neighbor seemed like a mean lady to a child’s eyes. She never spoke to my mom or my grandparents. There were times when I heard my family members talk about her. They would say she didn’t like black people and one of the reason she had mean dogs was so she could sic those dogs on any black person who came on her property. The name my grandparents called our neighbor was Butchee. I never saw her up close, Butchee had a gray privacy fence I thought kept those vicious sounding dogs contained. Part of that was true, but the real truth was Butchee didn’t like Black people. Butchee was racist.

            That word ‘racist’ was too adult for my 5 year old mind. All I understood at the time was that Butchee was mean and her dogs were always growling or barking whenever we were in our own backyard. 



            One day Butchee was preparing to feed her dogs. She fed them raw meat. I was on the back porch playing with my dolls and heard a loud scream. It sounded like it came from next door, in Butchee’s yard. After that scream I would hear several more and what sounded like angry dogs attacking someone. I ran to the privacy fence and looked in between the slats, I saw her two bull dogs biting Butchee. One dog was biting her leg, the other had his teeth in her side. With so much fear in my soul, I ran to my grandmother speaking frantically while trying to pull my grandmother to the back porch.  My granny ran back into the house and called the police (9-1-1 wasn’t created yet!) By the time the police and ambulance arrived, I had been told to go inside the house and stay. My granny and other family members thought they were protecting me from witnessing such a tragedy. They had no idea I had peeped through the fence and saw the dogs jostling for a piece of Butchee. That visual has remained in my memory for 51 years. I can’t un-see what I saw that cloudy day.



            I don’t know why Butchee didn’t like black people, we weren’t bad people. We kept our home up, didn’t break laws, worked everyday, we did what adults were supposed to do. But something inside of Butchee wouldn’t allow her to like us. I wish I could understand why people hate the things that make us different. Me being black and you being white, Cubano, Latino, etc., what’s the difference? It’s like having different spices in the gumbo. Those spices give the gumbo its flavor, its nuance. For those that don’t like black people and other minorities, you need to understand something, we’re not going anywhere and you’d better learn to live with us. Otherwise your hatred might cause some physical malady. Negative stress is bad for you, so just drop the drama and let’s move on. Taking this country back 50-100 years isn’t beneficial to anyone. There are more important things to focus on. Have you noticed ISIS or any of the other terrorist groups aren’t trying to destroy us? No, they’re watching us destroy ourselves.

           


12.10.2017 Women's Rights in Crisis

The fight over access to contraceptives in crisis
https://www.globalenvision.org/2017/10/06/womens-rights-crisis

11.10.2017 Women's Rights in Crisis

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Women living in crisis are facing a new front in the fight for women’s rights and reproductive rights.

The world’s leading family planning funder, the United States, has stalled all funding to the UNFPA and threatens to eliminate global aid directed at family planning and global health. An estimated 214 million women worldwide have an unmet need for modern contraception. The loss of such crucial funding could not only derail efforts to provide contraceptives but would interfere with access to quality health services and information for women worldwide. These effects could be far more severe for women living in crisis.

Rates of sexual and gender-based violence are higher in humanitarian crises such as war, natural disasters, and famine. Women and girls are further exposed to the vulnerabilities of womanhood: Rape, sexual exploitation, increased risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, maternal death, unsafe pregnancies, and forced marriage. Reproductive health issues are already a leading cause of death and illness for women of childbearing age under normal circumstances.

The fear of unwanted and unintended pregnancies is even more pressing where conflict is already life-threatening and health systems are weak.

More than 26 million women and girls of reproductive age are in need of humanitarian assistance. In 2015, 65 percent of maternal deaths occurred in humanitarian or fragile settings. Family planning is life-saving in these instances.

“To be pregnant in the middle of a humanitarian setting is already a dangerous situation, but for girls aged 15 to 19 the risk of pregnancy-related death is already twice as high than for somebody in their twenties,” said Kesaya Baba, from the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. “For girls aged 10 to 14, the risk is five times higher.”

The need for family planning has risen along with the number of displaced persons. Many women in countries experiencing crisis want contraceptives, but funding for long-term contraceptives is often overshadowed by humanitarian needs. Or it is simply ignored.

Between 2002 and 2013, only 15 percent of an estimated 11,000 proposals to provide health care and protection in 345 humanitarian settings even addressed family planning.

Global Partnerships and Gender-focused Humanitarian Approaches

Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) was born out of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning. It’s a global partnership that aims to provide contraceptives to 120 million girls and women by 2020. The network of governments, private and country donors, NGOs, and private companies works in 69 developing countries. Core partners include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UK aid and USAID.

The plan’s mission is simple and echoes many before it: Give women and girls access to family planning tools so that they can choose when and if to have children.

The partners of FP 2020 understand that family planning is a life-saving resource—and human right—that holds the power to simultaneously meet women’s needs and longer-term development goals. The multi-sector partnership is designed to overcome economic, social, geographic and political barriers by mobilizing all sectors.

“Family planning is one of the smartest investments that countries can make for their futures,” said UNFPA Acting Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem. “Empowering women and adolescent girls to choose whether and when to have children empowers them to make free and informed decisions in all aspects of their life. They can stay in school longer, earn a degree and enter the workforce; ultimately making families, communities and nations thrive.”

But if the partners want to meet their 2020 goal, they have to step up their efforts and funds to meet the growing needs of women in humanitarian crises.

“To be pregnant in the middle of a humanitarian setting is already a dangerous situation, but for girls aged 15 to 19 the risk of pregnancy-related death is already twice as high than for somebody in their twenties,” said Kesaya Baba, from the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. “For girls aged 10 to 14, the risk is five times higher.”

In 1995, the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crisis was formed to create specific approaches for humanitarian settings. Similar to FP 2020, the group is a network of donors, UN agencies, and NGOs dedicated to providing extensive care and contraceptives to women in crisis.

The group developed the Minimum Initial Service Package , a set of procedures, along with prepackaged kits that could be distributed at the start of a humanitarian crisis to ensure reproductive health needs are met. The kits provide short-term contraceptives, like condoms and the morning after pill, as well as other reproductive health supplies to reduce HIV transmission and child and maternal death. The procedures address ways to prevent sexual violence and help victims cope.

The Inter-Agency Working Group is making a significant impact on reproductive health in humanitarian settings, but securing funding and ensuring that services are implemented at the onset of crisis continue to be barriers. The minimum initial services packages were a higher priority at the second Family Planning Summit last July. NGOs pleaded with governments and donors to fund contraceptives in humanitarian settings. Donors also committed to developing a global roadmap to collect and use data on reproductive health in regions under the struggle of crises to better serve and provide services to women.

But funding for initiatives is still small, and even that is threatened. In the face of the current White House’s elimination of  UNFPA funding and reinstatement of the Helms Amendment, also known as the Global Gag Rule, it’s likely these funding gaps will persist. The administration has also threatened to completely defund USAID’s family planning budget.

FP 2020 at Work in Crisis-Affected Nigeria

Nigeria, an FP 2020 partner, has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The Boko Haram insurgency has internally displaced 1.7 million people in the Northern states. The country has a severe shortage of health workers as conflict has damaged or destroyed more than 40 percent of health facilities.

In August 2016, the International Rescue Center used specially designed services to open a clinic in the Bakassi camp in Maidiguri. It is the only clinic providing extensive reproductive health care in the camp, including long-term contraceptives and obstetric services.

Many women come to the clinic in search of contraceptives. Sexual violence is a constant threat in the camp, especially for the many women who arrive alone. Some women in the camp have never heard of contraception before.

A recent article in the Times  of London, tells the stories of women in the Bakassi camp who find contraceptives as an option to ease their shifted reality.

"In the villages, some women give birth every year,” said Fanne, a 21-year-old who had never heard of contraceptives. “In the current situation, if I have more children, what will I give them to eat?"

The International Rescue Center also provided other health centers and support in the Northeastern states of Nigeria, teaming up with government health facilities to emphasize reproductive health care. From January to March of this year, the center provided contraceptives to 3,474 women, with 69 percent of them being new family planning users. At least 14.4 percent of women selected a long-lasting method, choosing from oral contraceptives, implants, and hormonal injections.

UNFPA is doing similar work in Northeastern Nigeria. It paired with the government and civil society to provide basic reproductive health services, train health workers, and reduce the stigma surrounding family planning. An estimated 1.5 million women and girls in Northeastern Nigeria were reached by these activities between 2015 and 2016.

UNFPA and the International Rescue Center work shows that when women have access to contraceptives and information, they will choose to use them. But as numbers of displaced women increase and funds for family planning decrease, the goals of FP 2020 and women’s rights are at risk.

“The US is the No. 1 donor in the work that we do,” Bill Gates told the Guardian. “Government aid can’t be replaced by philanthropy.  When government leaves an area like that, it can’t be offset, there isn’t a real alternative.”

11.10.2017 FINALIST: Iseult Ward of FoodCloud (UK and Ireland)

In 2013, while studying business at university, Iseult and her friend Aoibheann O’Brien discovered that over 30% of food produced globally was lost or wasted, much of it completely edible. At the same time, almost a billion people were going hungry. Digging deeper, they discovered the problem was just as acute in their home country, Ireland, where 1 in 8 people experience food poverty.

Getting good food to those who need it

And so they got to work developing FoodCloud. The platform connects businesses with surplus food to charities in their community. For example, someone working in a supermarket can upload details of food they have to donate to the FoodCloud app, which then sends a message to a local charity letting them know of the donation and the time they can collect it. With businesses having to pay for throwing out food waste, it’s win–win for everyone.

KARE Social Services is a case in point. The Irish charity provides services to the elderly and vulnerable. From 2014 to 2016, 20% of their food was collected from retailers Tesco and Aldi through FoodCloud, saving them about €3,000 per week.

FoodCloud also offers a support centre, data on social and environmental impact, and full traceability and due diligence for food safety. They are also developing the quality and quantity of data collected so that partner businesses can use it to improve their operations, offering further commercial benefit.

The future is connected

FoodCloud now works with over 2,000 supermarkets in the UK and Ireland, and has redistributed over 22 million meals to those who need it most. In May 2017 alone, the equivalent of 1 million meals were distributed through the platform to 5,000 charities. Its goal over the next two years is to grow its network to 6,000 donating stores and over 10,000 charities. It is also exploring how it could expand the platform into other international markets.

Find out more about FoodCloud > https://food.cloud/

11.10.2017 FINALIST: Elizabeth Latham of The Sustainable Protein and Environment Initiative (SPE) (USA)

Methane is a greenhouse gas roughly 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. A key source comes from farm animals, such as ruminants like cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats. As our global population grows and demand for meat increases, the challenge of reducing methane production from the industry becomes ever more important.

Innovating the ruminant gut microbiome

Could a probiotic be the solution? Scientist Elizabeth Latham thinks so. She’s developed a patent-pending bacteria (Pb 79-R4) whose metabolism reduces methane in the gastro-intestinal tract of ruminants. It does it by outcompeting the microbes that produce methane.

Pb 79-R4 also suppresses certain micro-organisms that cause disease, such as E. coli and Salmonella, reducing the need for antibiotics. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated and can be sprinkled over feed, pasture or water, so it’s easy to store and use.

Halving methane production

SPE originated from Elizabeth’s PhD research and was driven by her passion to help farmers produce safer food products, keep animals healthy and tackle climate change. Pb 79-R4 has been shown to reduce methane by over 50% in their research herd. Elizabeth estimates that if just 1% of producers in the US use the probiotic, it would be the equivalent of removing over a million cars from the road.

In the next two years, SPE has ambitions launch in Texas, where 13% of the cattle in the United States are raised, and from there to expand to other US states and internationally.

11.10.2017 FINALIST: Andrew Foote of Sanivation (Kenya)

In Kenya, 95% of solid human waste is released into the environment untreated. This is a key driver of diarrhoeal diseases – the leading cause of death in children under five years old. Unfortunately, current solutions for faecal sludge management are often too expensive and difficult for local authorities to manage.

Two problems make an enterprise

At the same time, there’s also a huge need for affordable, clean biomass fuel. Andrew Foote and co-founder Emily Woods – engineers turned entrepreneurs – asked: ‘What if one of these challenges was the answer to the other?’

Sanivation partners with local authorities in Kenya to scale waste processing services and transform faeces into a charcoal substitute. Specifically, they take faecal sludge, from their own toilets and those of others, treat it with solar thermal energy and combine it with other waste streams to make charcoal briquettes. These briquettes burn longer and produce only one-third of the carbon emissions of traditional briquettes.

The benefits are already being felt. Take Margaret and her family. In the past, they had always had to choose between going to the toilet in an unsafe open field, an unhygienic shared pit latrine, or using a bag (and throwing it into the street). Now Sanivation has installed a toilet in her home, her family has a much safer and healthier choice. In addition, the community around Margaret benefits by Sanivation ensuring the human waste is safely managed and transformed into a fuel the offsets deforestation.

Safety, dignity and health

To date, Sanivation has provided sanitation services for over 2,500 people in communities and refugee camps. They’ve treated 11 tonnes of human waste in their two factories and sold over 70 tonnes of briquettes, saving 6,610 trees in the process. And they’re employing over 40 people in the local area.

The team is partnering with local governments to operate full-scale municipal waste processing factories and plan to serve at least 25,000 people per factory by 2020. With an estimated 4.5 billion people living in places where waste is not safely managed, Andrew and the team see huge potential for growth.

Find out more about Sanivation > http://www.sanivation.com/

11.10.2017 FINALIST: Christine Moseley of Full Harvest (USA)

Did you know that 50-60% of romaine lettuce is left in the field in California, never to be eaten? And across the US, around 20% of fresh produce suffers the same fate? It’s perfectly good, delicious food that goes to waste because it’s ‘ugly’ or surplus to requirements. This is against a backdrop of one in seven Americans described as ‘food insecure’ and two-thirds as ‘obese’.

A B2B marketplace

Discovering this shocking reality was what spurred Christine Moseley to start up Full Harvest. It’s the first business-to-business produce marketplace connecting large farms to food and beverage companies. Soon it will also be open to food banks so that they can redistribute food that otherwise wouldn’t sell.
At its heart is a user-friendly tech platform, which acts as a one-stop-shop providing automated services like online payments, purchase orders and invoices, as well as communications tools. It makes selling, finding and buying excess produce fast and easy.

Since launch, Full Harvest has sold 2 million lbs of produce from US and Mexico farms. To grow that volume, approximately 100 million gallons of water would have been used (enough to provide drinking water for 500,000 people for a year), and 700,000kg of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted – all for nothing if the food is wasted.

From ugly to profitable

Full Harvest is already working with major national food and beverage companies, and Christine estimates that there is a US$12 billion market for ugly and surplus produce in the US alone. Next year her goal is to sell more than 20 million lbs of produce, to be working with farms in Central and South America, and to be at the forefront of a movement to drive out food waste.

Find out more about Full Harvest > https://fullharvest.com/

11.10.2017 Anika Pande: From quitting a job in finance to investing in people

Anika quit her job in finance to work for a grassroots NGO in rural Odisha

When Anika Pande, quit her job at a leading finance company in Bangalore to work for an NGO in rural Odisha, she did not know what to expect. Today, after spending nearly two years working and living in a remote village in Gajapati district of Odisha, her learnings are immense.

Anika is deeply passionate about social work, but about the initial months working in the field, she says “I knew I wanted to help, I didn’t know how to identify the problem”. And the problems were manifold. Gajapati district is part of the Naxal affected region in India and is one of the 100 most backward districts in the country.

A majority of the people in the village where Anika worked relied on subsistence agriculture, which is heavily rain dependent and does not offer enough opportunities for all villagers. Owing to this, young men in the village had migrated to neighbouring states in search of employment. In such a scenario, the challenge Anika faced was to provide the people in the community with an alternative source of livelihood.

Anika worked with the villagers to set up a viable alternative source of livelihood

When she was looking for avenues or sectors which were financially viable, Anika noticed that the people in the local community went foraging for produce in the forests surrounding the village.

“I noticed that they source honey naturally, from the forest. Honey is commercially viable, so I thought why not turn that into an enterprise?”

After consulting with the villagers, Anika decided to set up an apiary unit. Almost immediately, there were numerous challenges that she faced: the villagers had to be trained in apiary culture, market linkages had to be developed from scratch, but the most important roadblock of all, was finance.

Anika decided to set up a commercial apiary unit from scratch in the community

Setting up a small scale apiary enterprise would require capital. Anika went ahead and informally began crowdfunding money for the project “We got people to finance the project, I even tapped into my personal network to raise the money” Anika raised the money on a hunch that selling honey would be profitable. Her hunch turned out to be right. Nearly a year and half after setting up the apiary unit, the rural entrepreneurs are now beginning to taste success.

Over the course of setting up a social enterprise from scratch, the most important lesson for this finance professional was learning the importance of money.

“When we think of 8 lakhs in the city, it doesn’t amount to a lot. But that amount literally has the power to change lives.”

For the local community in the village, wilfully neglected by mainstream financial institutions, the capital Anika raised and the guidance she provided allowed them to set up new avenues of livelihood. And as a result of her intervention, incomes have risen by nearly 30%. By selling the produce directly to the consumers, the people have managed to cut out the middlemen and are reaping the benefits of the work they do.

The community members harvest the honey from the apiary unit

When Anika heard of Rang De a few months back, she was astonished by how much the Rang De model and the issues it is addressing resonated with her own experiences in the field.

“I have seen that people in rural areas do not get loans; banks hesitate to lend here because simple things like the collection of money and disbursal is a challenge in areas without financial networks” Anika says, before continuing “It makes sense to invest with Rang De because of the sheer impact that your money has.”

Anika, who is now a Rang De social investor and heads the organisation’s Bhubaneshwar Chapter, wholeheartedly belives in the work being carried out by the organisation.

The experience of working at the grassroots has taught Anika two very important realisations. The first being the power of finance in transforming lives, especially when delivered through the right channels, into the right hands. The second is discovering the fearless entrepreneur in her who is ever ready to take on challenges. At Rang De, we are proud to be associated with passionate and committed people like Anika, who are working towards bringing about lasting change.

Inspired by this article? Find out more about the work Rang De does and join our fight to end poverty.


Anika Pande: From quitting a job in finance to investing in people was originally published in Rang De on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.