- More than 600 million people in Africa live on less than 2 dollars a day.
- Economic growth often harms the environment.
- Aid projects end when the money is spent – new projects need new money.
Create and scale green businesses to start cycles of growth that are positively sustainable without end.
Give with impact.
Your donation creates jobs and prospects for people who currently live off less than $2 per day.
What we do
Turning Donations into Investments
We scout for innovative business ideas that are local-tech, idea-based, scalable, climate- and gender-positive.
We blend various funding sources such as governmental or institutional development aid and private donations.
We turn this money into equity investments of joint ventures that we create with local partners
We operate mainly in areas where private businesses won’t compete yet because markets are still fragile.
We identify and overcome barriers such as skills, norms, access to finance etc. to allow all people to partake, esp. the poorest.
We implement and actively manage our businesses because often it’s lack of skills that prevents great ideas from flourishing.
We develop ways for the businesses to thrive and expand because this is how they become ‘profitable’ and create more and more jobs.
We apply rigorous and encompassing impact reporting on the ‘return’ of our ventures to make sure they meet our developmental goals.
Once our ventures are successful (typically after 10 years), we exit to let them fly into further futures on their own.
We use the proceeds to finance new ventures, and the engine of development keeps running, providing ever more opportunities for ever more people.
How we do it
The Best of Both Worlds for a Better World
We unite the heart and mind of an aid worker with the skill and persistence of an entrepreneur for sustainable businesses that benefit all stakeholders – from the people to the climate.
Why we do it
Rethinking Development Aid
We think it’s time to move to a more effective form of development aid
Donations fund a project; when the money is spent, the project ends and a new project starts with new money, often in the same place. It is much more effective to invest in social businesses that generate returns and thus keep the engine of development running and pay for themselves long term.
We believe business can be a force for good
Still too often, the social sphere and the private sector don’t connect – either because of mutual distrust or for lack of skills. We advocate to put the “social” into “business” and the “business into social”. When markets work, we are not needed: entrepreneurs get credit from a bank, and off they go. Equally, not all can be solved through business: Kids shouldn’t pay to go to school, for example. But there is an area where markets could work for the poorest, but need an impulse to get started. This is where we come in: creating green jobs for poor people.
We know there is a gap preventing ideas from scaling
It’s a funding and capability gap. There is plenty of money and support for ideas at the seeding stage: the market that funds prototypes and early proof of concept is crowded. Similarly, established businesses do have access to commercial loans and private equity investments. What needs reinforcement is the gap where great ideas take the step from prototype to growing businesses. We provide what they need most: grants and social loans on one hand, and business capability (such as structure, business modelling, legal advice, etc.) on the other.
We change the discourse from “charitable giving” to “social investments”
Today, the motivation to donate is usually charity, often triggered by images of suffering. We want to disrupt this approach and let us look at giving what it is and should be: Not a guilt pay-off but a social investment, where donors can expect the same focus and performance from their socio-ecological causes as they expect from their financial investments. The only difference being that our return isn’t measured in dividends, but in “green jobs created” and lives improved
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About six times per year, we will update you on our progress and our latest insights on alternative forms of development aid.