Kidpreneurs and the Power of Banana Leaf Futbols
Doing good doesn't have to be complicated. Just ask any kid, especially 9-year-old James and 12-year-old Jack, sons of a friend of mine.
Through family, the boys met Father Vincent Kajoba who was visiting from Mityana, Uganda. He shared pictures and videos of the young boys in from his village playing soccer/futbol with balls made from the leaves of banana trees.
They wanted to share their love of the sport and do something to help their Ugandan friends. They started telling their story and selling the banana leaf balls to their friends and family throughout Kansas City. The first shipment sold out immediately, and every few months a new shipment arrives.
100% of the proceeds are sent back to Uganda and used to build and maintain a Tilapia pond, providing a rich protein source for the boys and their families. The next project is to establish bee colonies so the village can harvest and sell honey.
From soccer balls in Missouri, USA to tilapia in Mityana, Uganda, a simple Impact Company was born.
We could talk about how long this arrangement will last or debate whether there is a better way to transform the Mityana community, but we'd be missing the really important message of this story. These kids didn't wait to perfect their business plan and marketing material, but forged ahead to do what they could with what they had. Most important, boys on both sides of the supply chain got to experience a small taste of working together for a cause bigger than oneself. And that's the real power of impact investing.
To learn more or to order a banana leaf ball of your very own, check out http://bananaleaf.org/
I've spent many sleepless nights praying and wishing I could just get some rest. Recently we met Gary Brown, CEO of Spiritual Sleep Therapy and I wanted to share his story on our blog. Here it is in his words. …
One third of Americans (82M people) struggle with insomnia and 15% (36M+) struggle every night, two-thirds of whom are women. Spiritual Sleep Therapy (SST) is the first company to produce sleep sessions that use the most effective elements of cognitive behavioral therapy relaxation techniques combined with the power of God’s Word to help those who struggle with insomnia.
REDEMPTIVE METHODOLOGY defined
An enterprise whose primary positive impact on the world happens through the way business is conducted. Its leadership, being rooted in Christ, follows the Spirit with intentionality for how they can participate in God's transformational work in the lives of employees, vendors, & customers while creating sustainable value. Read more and discover best practices.
The Verdant leadership team has spent a great deal of time putting together their framework for how they cultivate new opportunities. Starting with small explorations, they then perform a standard set of rigorous tests before committing in a significant way.
Having spent a week with the team on the ground as an outside observer, we noted there are three key drivers of success…
As a previous post discussed, aid isn't enough to sustainably overcome poverty. What we need is large-scale efforts: from far-reaching Microfinance to big businesses. This blog focuses on the Verdant Frontiers family of companies -- Verde Beef, Verdant Consulting, and Verdant Ventures -- and their efforts to reach scale in extreme conditions.
So far, Verdant Frontiers is generating more than 12,000 ongoing, long-term incomes in the local community. Having a positive impact with this kind of scale takes dedication, business excellence, and God’s merciful provision.
“Jobs – not aid – is the most urgent need of these starving people,” I thought. We crouched on the dirt floor of a twelve-foot diameter grass hut in the Omo River Valley of Southern Ethiopia. Twenty-one hours away from the capital city live the Kara, Hammar, and Benna tribes – people who use cell phones to communicate but whose ways are otherwise unchanged from those of their ancestors who settled the region thousands of years ago. Picture the most remote tribal images you have seen in a National Geographic magazine, and you are likely thinking of these people groups.
Impact Foundation has invested $33m in 62 companies through the end of 2017. As we deploy charitable capital to create economic, social and spiritual transformation, it is imperative that we have tools and data to shed light on the progress being made by enterprises in our portfolio. Are lives and communities actually improving through the investments we make?
Theory of change modeling and impact measurement are robust fields of study with reams of research papers and detailed theoretical papers. These researchers explain the differences between inputs, outputs, outcomes, and outcomes, but there's still much work to be done in translating this to best practices for busy entrepreneurs and donor-investors. We view some of that translation work as the unique role Impact Foundation can play.
Impact Foundation exists to invest charitable capital for economic, social, and spiritual transformation, our version of impact investing. It's the next iteration of philanthropy because innovative foundations and givers have recognized that all enterprises, not just charities, can produce both social and financial results on a spectrum from positive to negative. While we whole-heartedly believe impact investing is here for the long run, not everyone lives every day in this world. That's why we bring you this summary of the most important conversations in impact investing.
If you're new to the conversation and just wondering what the words mean, check out the FAQs and Resources and on our website.
The co-founders of Standard Cyborg and fellow Praxis Labs alumnae Jeff Huber and Garret Spiegel have been named to Forbes' 30 Under 30 for their pioneering work in making custom-fit prosthetics available widely and affordably. Congratulations!
How does a family of seven from Ohio end up living in the midst of goat herders in Kyrgyzstan and developing access to worldwide markets for luxury cashmere? After hearing Sy Belohlevek tell his family's story, the answer seems to be God and grit.
June Cashmere's 100% cashmere yarns are collected directly from Kyrgyz shepherds living on small family farms along the ancient Silk Road amidst the soaring mountains of Central Asia. June is the Kyrgyz word for animal fiber, which is a centuries old vital resource and essential element of their nomadic lifestyle. From felted woolen rugs, to the clothes on their backs, june has made itself an indelible part of Kyrgyz culture. Additionally, the uniquely warm properties of the cashmere from their goats allow them to sustain cold and long winters in the vast mountains in Kyrgyzstan.