On a warm Friday afternoon in the slums of Madhukam, in the heart of Ranchi, India, a middle-aged man arrived at a public water station with two 20-liter containers to fill. The water station - directly adjacent to an open sewage drain - was really just a concerete wall with four pink spigots protruding from its barren surface. On top perched two large, seemingly empty holding tanks of water. The man placed one of his containers under the first spigot and turned the handle. A small flow of water came out. Within a minute, the flow turned into a trickle, and the trickle quickly became nothing. The man moved to the next spigot, and then the next, only to have all four repeat the same pattern. In the end, the man left carrying only six ounces of water in his two 20-liter containers.
Combining the experience of running the DM2006 award winning social enterprise: Ideas-at-Work (IaW), the knowledge acquired with the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) program (2007), and her recent completion of an MBA (2012), Angelique Smit decided to found the Social Enterprise Support initiative, a network group that provides support and advice to fellow social entrepreneurs in a variety of areas.
Created after intense consultation with social entrepreneurs about their support needs in their path to build successful business models, Social Enterprise Support (SE-Support) emerged as a place where social entrepreneurs from all over the world find fellow social-minded entrepreneurs for a sounding board, bouncing ideas, brainstorming or advice.
How can one go to scale? This is the continuous challenge that confronts all successful social entrepreneurs. For Grupo EOZ in Mexico, there were a few key elements behind their answer: a combination of funding, partnerships and publicity, much of it due to its participation in a national TV competition called Iniciativa México.
From August to November 2010, 50 finalists from a pool of 47,000 initial applicants were featured weekly on the national TV competition.
2 Weeks left to nominate and win US$20,000!
For the 7th consecutive year the World Challenge is searching for grassroots community projects that promote sustainable development through innovation and original thinking. Their mission is simple: to reward small businesses which have found solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems.
If you have what it takes, they would like to hear from you. Please check their website and fill in an application form. You have until the 19th of June, at midnight. Their judging panel will select the best 12 entries to be filmed by BBC World News and featured in a special ad series in Newsweek magazine.
Hello Development Marketplace Community! I am writing to introduce myself. I am the manager for a Development Marketplace funded project called “Adding Value to Waste in the Cassava Processing-Goat Keeping Systems.” The project won funding in the 2008 Global competition. It is being implemented in Abeokuta Nigeria.
This entry is the kick-off for featured blog I will be submitting regularly every two weeks. I’ll be bringing to you updates on how the project is going: challenges, successes, bottlenecks and maybe even some unexpected turns and twists.
BP Agrawal is a double Development Marketplace winner. He won in 2006 with his Sustainable Rainwater Harvesting project and in 2007 with Walk-In Clinic for the Masses. This is being reposted on the occasion of Blog Action Day 2010.
Visit Sardarpura, a sleepy Indian village 150 km (93 miles) southwest of New Delhi. Women have gathered at the village square. They are tapping empty matkas (earthen water pots) to produce melodious beats. One is humming the “lament of bride": "Dhola thare desh men, moti marvan aant. Daroo milti mokali, paani ki koni chhant."
In your land
Not a drop of water
Brides have to fetch water from miles
It is hard to survive but for your love
Thus laments a bride.
Sudden commotion drowns the melody. Children start running in the dusty streets and yelling “Pani Aagayaa. Paani Aagayaa” (Water has come! Water has come!). Women wrapped in vibrant colors rush with their matkas resting on their waists. The water tanker had just arrived — after two weeks.
That is the perennial scarcity of drinking water in rural India!
The future of Ethiopia’s drought-threatened agriculture is in the hands of the country’s resourceful women farmers, Development Marketplace 2009 winner Ehsan Dulloo says.
Dulloo calls the women Ethiopian agriculture's “primary seed custodians.” They’re the ones who “have to confront significant uncertainty in the climate every year and regularly face food shortages as crops fail,” he says. That’s why Dulloo and the Institute of Bioversity Conservation in Addis Ababa – where he is a scientist – developed the winning project Seeds for Needs. (Participating farmer Bertukan Kebede is shown with daughter in photo from project workshop.)
Seeds for Needs aims to benefit 200 woman farmers who are running out of options on their subsistence plots in the increasingly dry highlands of eastern Ethiopia. Through Seeds for Needs, the woman farmers will get access to new strains of seeds -- produced at gene banks -- that may prove more hardy than the traditional varieties of seeds the farmers have been using to overcome droughts that are more frequent and intense because of climate change.
Mozambique’s weak socio-economic infrastructure and geographic location make the country particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Rain-fed agriculture is the main livelihood for subsistence farmers in this southeastern Africa country. But the resources farmers depend on are severely affected by the climate hazards of drought, flooding, and epidemic disease, and the outlook is for even more adverse impact. Moreover, the Government of Mozambique currently has neither the capacity nor the financial resources for an integrated adaptation strategy.
Helvetas (Swiss Association for International Cooperation), which has promoted rural development in rural Mozambique for more than 30 years, is working to close those gaps through activities concentrated in rural areas in the Northern Provinces of Cabo Delgado and Nampula. (Photo above shows Zero Emission Fridge seed storage silo that was Development Marketplace 2009 finalist and which subsequently won $2 million funding from European Commission Food Facility.) The Food Security and Value Chain (SAAN) project aims to contribute to increased livelihoods of semi-subsistence farmers and increased income from cash crop sales. To achieve its goals, SAAN promotes organizational and entrepreneurial capacity for improved productivity, post-harvest management, and processing and commercialization of agricultural produce.
Climate proofing of the Helvetas Mozambique Food Security and Value Chain (SAAN) project should decrease the vulnerability of farming families and increase their adaptation capacity. A Vulnerability Assessment and Evaluation of Adaptation Capacity (CVCA) in Cabo Delgado Province improved understanding of links between climate related risks, people’s livelihood, and project activities.
What are the critical elements necessary for sustainability and scalability of social enterprise?
Sustainable development has been one of Development Marketplace's themes since its beginning 10 years ago. It's hard to count all the DM winners and finalists who have come forward with innovative "green" ideas that they wanted to share. Just a few examples:
One of the winners in DM2007 -- themed "Health, Nutrition, Population" -- was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology-sponsored project to develop clean-burning cooking charcoal from agricultural waste. Haiti's traditional cooking fuel often comes from wood. But wood burning produces high pollution that is a cause of widespread respiratory disease. Substituting charcoal for cooking not only improves the health of Haitian families, but also means fewer trees -- a major protection against soil erosion -- are cut down.