Posts tagged ‘social business’

Selling stoves in Burkina Faso, a humble field guide

Diana Biggs | KF 18 | Burkina Faso

Last week I was lucky enough to join my Entrepreneurs du Monde (EdM) colleagues on a field mission in the Ioba province of Burkina Faso, a rural area that borders Ghana. There, in the town of Dano, is a small EdM office manned by Benoit Some, who covers EdM’s Burkina Faso social enterprise arm, Nafa Naana, in the area.

The small, roadside office doubles as a storage hub and retail outlet for energy-efficient and gas cookstoves (as described in my last blog post).

EdM's Dano office

Cookstove display outside the EdM branch in Dano.

Here, this March, four rural shopkeepers were given training in the Nafa Naana model — the product offering, environmental protection, stock management, cash management and sales techniques. Then in April, EdM set them up for the sale of the cookstoves, providing them with simple management tools, such as receipts and sales lists, posters and an informational leaflet to show interested customers. The organization also installed grills produced by local iron workers to lock up the cookstoves and organized four promotional events in the area to drum up interest. Then of course there were the actual cookstoves, which are supplied to the shopkeepers with interest-free advances.

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7 August 2012 at 08:00 4 comments

Downsizing Development: How a Soccer Ball Could Change the World

Lauren Barra, KF16 Kenya

As several of my colleagues have outlined here, here and here the power of simplicity is particularly evident in microfinance. These borrowers’ success makes me wonder – how else can “thinking small” translate to big changes in international development?

A few weeks ago I got my answer. My roommate Amy emailed with exciting news – “I got the internship!!” After weeks of cover letters, interviews, and language proficiency tests, Amy secured a marketing internship with sOccket, an innovative new social business focused on bringing renewable energy to the developing world. As one reporter noted,

Every great once in a while, you come across something that makes you slap your head and say, “That’s…just…brilliant.”

Continue Reading 26 October 2011 at 22:00 3 comments


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