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/
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.
After successful careers in the musical sales and financial services business, Joe was ready for a new challenge. So, during May 2013, he went on a 4-day fast and committed to God to sow (invest and give) 90% of his personal income to the work of the Kingdom of God on earth, and to live on 10% of his income.
The very next day, while driving, Joe saw a sign announcing a new Wal-Mart Store opening in his area. He felt God speak to his heart to contact Wal-Mart and try to begin a business relationship. Having spent his Saturdays serving meals to homeless men, Joe developed a burden to help. Over time that burden grew into an idea to offer affordable insurance to help people land on their feet even after the toughest life situations.
Ethiopia has changed since the famine of the 1980's that prompted pop stars to raise funds through a lovely concert and catchy tunes. Explore the current landscape with one of our portfolio companies.
Verde Beef Processing is a feed production, cattle fattening and beef processing business Located in Ethiopia’s largest state, Oromia (about 3 hours from Addis Ababa), Verde Beef is raising the country’s largest herd of cattle.
Verde has been leasing a processing facility but is quickly outgrowing it. Overall, this business is on track to scale to $100mm in revenue and $38M EBITDA per year. At that level of productivity the company will employ 2,500, and create 50,000 new jobs in the beef industry.
Work is how I amass enough power and wealth to make other people work for me.
Business is the means by which a few owners get rich through the effort of others.
The highest calling of a Christian in business is to make a lot of money to give away to the church and ministries.
We may not say it quite like this, but many of operate as if these lies and half-truths are true. If this is how we view work, it's no wonder that 70% of Americans hate their jobs or are completely disengaged (according to a Pew Research Poll.) This lame understanding of work also limits our potential to partner with God in some really amazing ways. By renewing our theology of work, we can better understand the role of business in the Kingdom of God. This is essential if we are to realize the power of business to serve as winsome witnesses of the Gospel, creatively demonstrating our faith by being part of the solution.
Pete Ochs" business Seat King exemplifies the best of "Redemptive Business" as a means of creating jobs and transforming lives.
Expanding on traditional Evangelism/Discipleship, the idea of Redemptive Business borrows heavily from Praxis Labs’ concept of a “redemptive entrepreneur”, or one who seeks to embody the gospel in creating and building a venture that leaves a meaningful impact on the world.
In the first 18 months of Impact Foundation, we have place $30 Million in 53 Impact Companies, spanning the globe from Silicon Valley to Laos. The impact of those investments encompasses most of the main categories of transformation sought by traditional charity plus a few areas that charity cannot reach. Read about the causes and places that our investments seeks to transform.