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Webinar: What Does ‘Impact’ Mean to You?

Posted By Mia Haughton, Vera Solutions, Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Live Webinar on Thursday, May 3rd at 10am (BST)

Every nonprofit is working towards making a positive change in some way, be it in the lives of individuals, our communities, or the world we live in. But how do you measure the impact of the good work you do?

Nonprofits who want to increase their mission’s reach need to define what success looks like to them so that they can measure it more effectively. Join us for a live panel discussion where three nonprofit trailblazers from different ends of the spectrum, each with their own unique insights and real-world experience on the topic, will answer the question: what does ‘impact’ mean to you?

Speakers:

Zak Kaufman, Co-Founder & CEO at Vera Solutions
Joanne Trotter, Global Lead, Results and Learning at the Aga Khan Foundation
Amanda Feldman, Director at The Impact Management Project

Don’t miss out, save your seat today >>>

 

Tags:  impact measurement  innovation  Performance Measurement  salesforce  social impact  webinar 

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SKOLL ECOSYSTEM EVENT - STREET BUSINESS SCHOOL

Posted By Amy Yanda-Lee, BeadforLife, Saturday, March 24, 2018

THE ART OF SOCIAL FRANCHISING * SKOLL WORLD FORUM - ECOSYSTEM EVENT

Thursday, April 12 - 4:00 PM @ The One Pub

There is growing interest in using social franchising in the global development sector as a means to scale:
• NGOs see franchising as a way to add proven program to their work without reinventing the wheel.
• Donors see franchising as a tool to reduce the costs of each group having to invent their own program.
• Groups/Organizations with a proven and scalable model use social franchising to develop an earned income stream to lessen their dependence on philanthropic funding.

Join us over a pint as we examine social franchising with a case study on how to scale impact of a program proven to alleviate poverty. Through aligned partnerships, Street Business School (SBS) shares how it has successfully scaled its proven model of entrepreneurial education for women living in poverty from Uganda to seven countries across East Africa within the past two years. This example of social franchising has operationalized through funder and NGO partnerships in which locally led organizations are joining a movement to achieve ambitious global impact.

Come with your questions, ideas and experience to this highly interactive session. We will rely on YOU, the audience, to ponder the challenges, surprises, and greatest opportunities that exist in social franchising. We will also hear from panelists who have experience using Street Business School’s franchise model to magnify their own impact. Panelists include:
• Segal Family Foundation CEO Andy Bryant who will share how Segal leverages the partnership with SBS to scale impact while supporting other Segal grantees and grassroots led organizations.
• Street Business School CEO Devin Hibbard who can speak to the strategy of social franchising and the execution of this specific case and these strategic partnerships.
• Dandelion Africa Executive Director Wendo Aszed who can speak to the franchise customization process as she is currently implementing SBS in Dandelion’s community as both a Segal grantee and an SBS Global Catalyst Partner (franchisee).
• Fourth panelist – to be announced at Skoll World Forum
• Moderator, Joahim Ewechu Street Business School Board member and Founder of Unreasonable Institute East Africa.

Refreshment and gifts provided at 4:00. Come early for a drink and chance to network. The panel will begin at 4:15. Thank you to Segal Family Foundation, Moxie Foundation and Street Business School for their fiscal sponsorship of this event.

 

Tags:  social enterprise  Social entrepreneurship  social impact 

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MDIF closes $6-million media impact fund

Posted By Peter Whitehead, Media Development Investment Fund, Tuesday, March 20, 2018
New York, March 19, 2018: Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) today announced final close of MDIF Media Finance I, a $6-million impact fund investing in independent news media in select emerging and frontier markets.

“We are delighted to have closed MMF I and ramp up financing for companies that provide the news, information and debate that people need to build open societies,” said Harlan Mandel, MDIF Chief Executive Officer. “MMF I loans will help build companies that expose corruption, hold governments to account and provide balanced coverage of elections.”

MMF I provides affordable debt to independent news companies in a range of countries where access to free and independent media is under threat. The fund will invest in companies in countries such as India, Ukraine, Bolivia and Lesotho.

MMF I notes pay 4% annual interest and, under a pioneering agreement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), MDIF and Sida provide investors with 55% first-loss protection. Sida also provides technical assistance grants to fund investees to build their management capacity.

MMF I investors include the Open Society Foundations (Soros Economic Development Fund), Dreilinden, a Dutch family office and Antonis Schwarz.

“MMF I will finance investments in software, equipment, content production, workspace, as well as working capital and short-term cash-flow needs – all vital for company growth,” said Mr. Mandel. “With the successful close of MMF I, we are now looking forward to launching MMF II later this year.”

About MDIF

MDIF is a New York-based not-for-profit investment fund for independent media in countries where independent media are under threat. It has 22 years’ experience of helping build quality news and information companies – print, digital and broadcast – in emerging markets. It has:

  • invested more than $166 million in 114 media companies
  • worked in 39 countries on 5 continents
  • a current portfolio of more than $60 million invested in over 50 media organizations

For more information, contact Peter Whitehead, MDIF Director of Communications, peterawhitehead@mdif.org, +44 7793050670.

Tags:  emerging markets  impact investing  impact investment  social business  social impact 

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AXiiS is closing the gap with 6 billion (USD) in assets under management ready for SMEs to access finance Today!

Posted By Hitzel Trejo, Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade, Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Updated: Thursday, April 13, 2017
https://youtu.be/I4QvUzUwkxQ

About AXiiS:

Unique in its industry, Access and eXchange impact investment for Sustainability (AXiiS), is populated with local Financial Advisors based on their grounded work in the field with agriculture and forestry SMEs in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, ensuring sustainable investment ready cases.

Selected SMEs are profiled based on criteria ensuring their investment-readiness, while collecting relevant data on investment in agriculture and forestry sectors. It showcases blind profiles of SMEs and Financial Service Providers to ensure security and to enhance the matchmaking process.

To join or find out more, visit: www.axiis.ca

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  A Access to Finance  apps4africa  asset finance  banking  capacity development  climate resilience  emerging markets  Environment  environmental impact  finance  Global. Development  India; ANDE members  Investors  Latin America  news  nicaragua  Performance Measurement  Rwanda  Scale  SDGs  SGBs; accelerators; East Africa  SGBs; Environment; accelerators; energy  smaholder farmers  small and growing agrobusiness  smallholder farmers  smes  social impact  supply chain  sustainability  sustainable development  Tanzania  Uganda 

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Join the June Forum Focused on Exploring the Changemaking Continuum from Local to Global

Posted By Erina McWilliam-Lopez, Center for Social Impact Learning at the Middlebury Institute of Internationa, Thursday, March 30, 2017
Updated: Thursday, March 30, 2017

As our communities grow increasingly fragmented, we see a pressing need and relevance for understanding how to transcend borders, facilitate dialogue across difference, leverage storytelling for social change, and cultivate a new generation of development practitioners. This year’s June Forum hosted by the Middlebury College Center for Creativity, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (CCISE) brings together curious and inspired educators and practitioners at Middlebury’s Bread Loaf mountain campus to exchange ideas about how to best equip students to learn and work for positive change both at home and around the world.

The keynote speaker will be Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College. He will discuss the process of combining rigorous academics, experiential learning, entrepreneurship, and locally-minded service in pursuit of positive social change.

In this rural, retreat-like setting, guests will have the opportunity to forge connections and partnerships around the fire, over a glass of wine, in a workshop, or on a walk in the woods. Please visit our website for more information; register on the Middlebury online box office, or email middleburycse@middlebury.edu with questions. Educators, social change agents, and development practitioners from around the world are welcome! We hope to see you this June! 

Location: Middlebury College Campus, Vermont
Dates: June 12-14, 2017
Registration and contact information: http://mcse.middlebury.edu/event/juneforum/

 

 

 

Tags:  conference  social impact 

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​Agora Partnerships Launches Application for 2017 Accelerator Cycle 2 Class

Posted By Elysa Neumann, Agora Partnerships, Thursday, March 9, 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKRdMGQbY_Q&feature=youtu.be

 
Agora Partnerships has launched applications for its 2017 Accelerator program.
 
Through its flagship Accelerator program, Agora Partnerships strives to accelerate the shift to a sustainable economy by providing entrepreneurs who are intentionally building businesses that solve social and environmental challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean with the resources they need to grow. Since 2011, 125 companies working in 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have participated in the Agora Accelerator, raising USD $52MM in capital and creating over 5,000 jobs. This year, in solidarity with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agora Partnerships is aligning our Accelerator tracks to advance the SDGs.
 
The Accelerator is a 4-month program designed to provide high-potential entrepreneurs with the knowledge, network and access to capital necessary to create system change, through in-depth, personalized, 1:1 consulting; access to the Agora Partnerships’network of mentors, investors, and capital opportunities; and a global community of peers.
 
Agora’s Accelerator program is designed for companies who are solving social and environmental challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, matching the following criteria: 
 
  • early or growth stage, past proof-of-concept; 
  • currently looking for investment to scale; 
  • legally incorporated as a for-profit structure with basic accounting systems in place; 
  • average annual income of USD $50K to $2MM; and, 
  • with a clear, measurable and sustainable impact.
 
Agora Partnerships looks to work with entrepreneurs who embody the leadership qualities of agency, empathy, curiosity and perseverance.
 
To apply to Agora Partnerships’ 2017 Accelerator click here.
 
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Agora Partnerships is a network committed to leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs by finding innovative ways to drive more human, social, and financial capital to the leaders and ideas that will make our world a better place. To learn morevisit: AgoraPartnerships.org

Tags:  Acceleration  accelerators  Agriculture  Business  Caribbean  central america  energy  Entrepreneurship  Environment  impact  impact investing  impact investment  innovation  Latin America  nicaragua  SGBs; Environment; accelerators; energy  small and growing agrobusiness  social ent  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship  social impact  sustainability  talent  Women 

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TA Finance for SGBs - a scarce good down the road?

Posted By Pedro Eikelenboom, PUM Netherlands senior experts, Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Some perspective...once upon a time...

Picture yourself at a roundtable session with the topic ‘financial   instruments to support private sector development – how can business and non-profit collaborate’.  Guest speakers include a representative from a development bank, a public enterprise development agency, a non-profit and an enterprise

It reads like one of the many 'powwows' on the topic, though the invitation to this event has long but expired - it took place in October 2005 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands….


The impact investment eco-system

Fast-tracking time to 2016, there’s a new world created around impact investing. It has grown into an enormous market place for innovative financial (and non-financial) products and instruments. Where investors and prospects meet up, advised by consultants, think tanks, investment networks and so forth.

Many type of impact investors have entered the market, from banks, pension funds, wealth managers, family foundations, governments, development finance institutions and NGO’s. Hereby gradually expanding their investment portfolio into high-risk sectors like agriculture, in challenging countries, and targeting enterprises with ticket-sizes between US$ 100k – 500k.

It’s a shift (change in strategy) by some investors, with many key players shifting their ‘grant funds’ to a ‘return on investment’ portfolio. Is the eco-system creating a scarce good out of grants (in most cases being technical assistance / knowledge sharing) directed to support capacity development within enterprises? 

The true price of grants

Impact investing cannot only be about moving investment capital to riskier endeavors. It’s a combination of capital investments and non-reimbursable investments (the so-called grants). And the latter being a crucial factor in supporting the public good impact through technical assistance or capacity building trajectories for the beneficiaries. Neither is it a combination of 90-10, where grants serve as a bit of technical assistance on the side.

Reaching the enterprises that have growth potential but limited access to finance, means taking risk (call it technical assistance, capacity-building, non-reimbursable grants, first loss, equity stake, if you like) through a structured deal proposal between the impact investor, (perhaps) a development bank, an NGO, a technical service provider and so forth.

Several studies have stated that there is sufficient capital in the world to invest in small and medium sized enterprises (the ‘missing-middle’), in volatile sectors and in frontier markets. So money is not the issue – though the non-reimbursable investments are unfortunately becoming a scarce good due to policy changes within the public and non-profit sector.

However, beyond the non-profit community, grants are often perceived as ‘little strings-attached subsidies’, which require no financial returns. Of course, non-financial impact (social, environment etc.) is sought, though it’s based on expectations (outputs, outcomes). If one fails to reach the objectives, basically there’s not much harm done, it is - in the end - a grant.

How can we change this mindset? Grants do have a ‘price-tag’, value or leverage when dealing with blended finance. I’m sure, many investment deals in frontier markets would and will not happen without some flow of subsidies structured in the deal. Surely not advocating that grants should have a ROI too – next to non-monetary impact (social, environmental) -, but we should not take for granted the indirect value or direct leverage a subsidy has in the impact investment space. What can grant providers request or negotiate more in return for their contribution? Elements such as securing a seat at the board table of an investee (steer company’s public good objectives), or commit private grant funding to the related capacity-building program of an investment.  

Transferring skills & knowledge to secure ROI

Potential investment prospects (enterprises) may have fragile balance sheets, weak governance or inefficient processes. For that reason they are often initially overlooked by investors. As the impact investment marketplace is moving towards the ‘high-hanging fruit enterprises’, the power of knowledge becomes even more visible. Short-term technical assistance (related to entrepreneurship development) can strengthen an enterprise, making it robust and subsequently ‘de-risk’ its profile to potential investors.

In the case for professional volunteer service organizations (i.e. PUM, IESC, ACDI/VOCA, SES etc.) – its transfer of knowledge is as crucial as the committed capital investment to enterprises. Next to that, these organizations have a wealth of data, network and track-record in advising enterprises around the globe.

In the access to finance space for entrepreneurs, professional volunteer service organizations can play a critical role in strengthening the business competences of enterprises.

The lack of available (and/or affordable) local network of skills and experiences, that can contribute to the range of challenges an entrepreneur faces, is the gap where professional volunteer service organizations can offer qualified, experienced volunteer professionals to donate their time in transferring knowledge with entrepreneurs around the world. 

A structured approach

A structured approach on enabling enterprises in frontier markets to grow is essential and contributes into embracing entrepreneurs beyond the ‘usual suspects’. Collaboration through acknowledging and applying each other’s strengths is the way forward in achieving a sustainable return and impact through investment. And not to forget the role of governments and multilateral institutions in continuing - or at least not further reducing - ODA funded enterprise development programs. Of course, few would disagree with this conclusion, though the eco-system unfortunately exhibits far too few cases to proof otherwise.

For more insights on the role and added value of professional volunteer service organizations like PUM can have in strengthening SBG's as to de-risking their profile to impact investors, download the enclosed (full) article. 

 Attached Files:

Tags:  accelerators  Access to Finance  Business  capacity development  Capital Aggregation  early stage ecosystem  emerging markets  entrepreneurship  entrepreneurship ecosystems  impact investing  impact investment  inclusive business  Investors  partnership  Pioneering Capital  Private sector development  social business  social entrepreneurship  social impact 

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Talent for the Future: Sourcing Job Opportunities for Trained Professionals in Social Enterprise Management and Impact Investing

Posted By Erina McWilliam-Lopez, Center for Social Impact Learning at the Middlebury Institute of Internationa, Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Agile, Sharp, Passionate...Prepared
The Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) is sourcing field assignment opportunities for our upcoming June 2016 FMS fellows. We select and train talented professionals from around the globe. After completing the FMS certificate training in social enterprise management and impact investing, our trainees become FMS Fellows, otherwise know as capable and competitive candidates for social start-ups and impact investors. Our sweet spot is preparing and coaching professionals to be effective and focused while navigating the challenges of a growing enterprise. We know that business expertise such as marketing and operations is good on paper, but we look for proof that our candidates have the ability to effectively implement in a variety of fast-paced and ambiguous environments. We find people who are resilient, clear-minded, curious, and above all–people who play well with others! 
 

A snapshot of the FMS fellowship candidate group is below:
  • An average of 3-5 years of work experience in diverse industries including finance, banking, management consulting, international development, philanthropy and non-profit management. 
  • Graduates from some of the world’s top universities. 
  • Trained in social enterprise management, financial modeling and analysis, portfolio management, impact measurement, and social business design. 
  •  A group of 350+ FMS alumni. The expansive and diverse FMS talent pipeline includes alumni candidates who are available for permanent positions that support a wide range of business needs. 

 

Below are two ways to engage depending on where you are at in identifying talent needs: 


1. Interested but want to chat with us first? Click here to complete our partner sign up form.

2. Ready to submit an opportunity? Download our 
 job description template and submit to fmspartners@miis.edu
 
Do you know an enterprise or organization that may benefit from partnering with FMS?

Nominate an organization or enterprise by contacting Partner Engagement Associate Christina Lukeman at fmspartners@miis.edu.


To learn more please contact Christina Lukeman, Partnership Coordinator at fmspartners.miis.edu or visit go.miis.edu/fms

Tags:  entrepreneurship  impact investing  social enterprise  social impact 

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Announcing a New Impact Investing “Hard Skills” 2-Day Clinic: Financial Analysis and Modeling for Social Businesses, Projects and Impact Investing Funds

Posted By Erina McWilliam-Lopez, Center for Social Impact Learning at the Middlebury Institute of Internationa, Friday, April 8, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
What hard skills are required for a career in the impact investing? For starters, you are going to need to know the difference between debt and equity. You must be able to understand financial statements and how to create a financial model, analyses, and forecasting.

What is a social enterprise? What does “impact” really mean? The “impact space” spans across all industries. It is an exciting new approach that uses finance and business as a tool to address pressing environmental and social needs. Many purpose-driven people have worked “close to the impact” through the Peace Corps, or with a local nonprofit. However, the essential frameworks for social business design can be challenging to distinguish for those who have little or no background in basic finance.

We’ve designed a 2-day intensive clinic focused on the essential frameworks for financial analysis and modeling for social impact. The clinic is a comprehensive introduction that will break down key concepts. It has been designed as a primer to the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) certificate training in social enterprise management and impact investing.

The clinic takes place the weekend prior to the upcoming FMS Monterey certificate training—June 4 & 5, 2016. It is ideal for incoming FMS participants as well as past alums who lack a solid background in finance. This course is also an excellent opportunity for professionals interested in gaining a foundational starting point for understanding how impact investing and social enterprise works. Check out the schedule for a break down of each day.

Workshop Fee: $450 (special pricing available for FMS participants)

To apply, submit your information here – https://fms1.typeform.com/to/x0JSWn

Course Instructor

Kim Kastorff founded both Kimpacto, Inc. and Global Success Fund, after many years in banking, investments, social responsibility & education, and understanding that social entrepreneurs & global businesses need affordable financial services, funding and greater collaboration, plus the increasing importance to demonstrate social impact. Today, there is an increasing trend for ‘Maximizing financial + social impact.’  Kimpacto further supports impact investors in connecting their personal mission with impact funds and social investment opportunities.

Kim’s goal is to promote financial inclusion and push for a more educated and financially sustainable global environment.  As a Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corporation, Kimpacto, Inc. is held to our global mission and a higher level of social, environmental, community and governance standards.
Kim is fluent in English & Spanish and brings her global finance, investment banking and Big 4 Consulting experience (U.S., Europe & Latin America) and holds an MBA in Finance, and a Masters in Research – Impact Investing and FINRA Securities Licenses (7, 63, 65).

THE CENTER FOR SOCIAL IMPACT LEARNING (CSIL) was founded at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in July 2014 to proactively advance millennial engagement in the emerging fields of Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing through three interrelated lenses: Academic, Experiential, and Action Research.

CSIL stands out among today’s impact-driven career programs because it’s designed to serve the full spectrum of emerging social entrepreneurs—from undergraduates to graduate students to accomplished professionals, offering them both valuable learning experiences in the social enterprise field and seamless transitions from one stage of professional development to the next. With a focus on social enterprise management and impact investing, CSIL offers world-class experiential learning opportunities including a unique career launchpad program named the Ambassador Corps, and the award-winning Frontier Market Scouts fellowship and training program.  CSIL acts as a vehicle for positive impact in communities around the world by partnering with small and growing social sector businesses and responsible investment funds seeking new talent, and then matching them with globally-minded and diversely-skilled professionals.  Visit go.miis.edu/csil

Programs

TheFrontier Market Scouts Fellowship Program
An award winning two-week certificate training program and corresponding social sector fellowship opportunity for young professionals and graduate students who seek a career in social enterprise management and impact investing. Visit: go.miis.edu/fms

Research Lab
An action oriented research unit focusing on case study analyses in emerging markets and seed state social venture management, with an emphasis in utilizing impact metrics and enterprise risk. The Research Lab launched January 2015, under the direction of Dr. Yuwei Shi.

Ambassador Corps
The Ambassador Corps program connects students to the front line of social impact with unique global internship opportunities.A select group of thetop undergraduate university students from across the US are chosen to do an 8 to 10 week international summer internships. Visit: go.miis.edu/ambcorps

 


 Attached Files:
Clinic Flyer.pdf (214.94 KB)

Tags:  Access to finance  bootcamp  early stage ecosystem  emerging markets  impact investing  impact valuation  jobs  mentoring  metrics and research  professional development  social enterprise  Social entrepreneurship  social impact  training 

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Mobile World Congress 2016 Jumpstart pitchers: Esoko

Posted By Simone Fugar, Esoko, Friday, February 26, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf8ZvU7lS4o

 

Author: Hillary Miller-Wise (Esoko CEO) for Mobile World Congress 2016 

 

Like many technology start-ups that have managed to survive beyond a year or two, Esoko is continually evolving. We believe that when you are finished changing, you are finished in this industry.

One of our biggest challenges for us has been to evolve quickly and in a smart way. We haven’t always succeeded at that but we’ve learned a few things along the way.

Before I go there, let me first talk about the problem we are trying to solve and how we are solving it. Smallholder farmers across Africa struggle to access the information they need to increase productivity and sell their crops at a good price. Esoko believes that by putting simple but powerful communication tools in the hands of agribusinesses and farmers, we can make markets work better for the poor.

We use mobile and web technology to provide farmers with vital information on how to grow their crops better, what inputs to use, where to sell and at what price. We also enable businesses like buyers, input suppliers, financial institutions and mobile operators to gain better visibility into what’s happening on the farm and to know their customer. We currently work in 10 countries and reach more than 300,000 farmers.

 

 

During our seven years, we have made several strategic pivots. One of the first was a market segment problem pivot. We started by targeting farmers directly but, given their low willingness to pay, we pivoted to serve businesses and other entities that work with farmers. Another was a sales channel pivot. We launched in Ghana and served customers directly, but now we also work through resellers in different markets, who we’ve trained and certified to sell our services. This year, we are planning perhaps our biggest pivot to date. We will carry out a customer problem pivot by integrating digital financial services as part of our suite of service offerings.

Change is hard. One of the ways that we try to mitigate the risks involved in these pivots is to learn as much as we can from others who have tried and succeeded or failed. This is one of the key benefits of Mobile World Congress for us. It provides us with an opportunity to see how other companies are solving for similar challenges. It also affords us an opportunity to explore strategic partnerships to grow the business and continue to innovate.

By the end of 2020, Esoko will have grown its revenue 10 times over 2015 levels and be the leading solution for businesses to communicate and transact with last-mile markets in Africa. We will only get there by continuing to learn and by being willing to change.

 

Tags:  Agriculture  capacity development  social entrepreneurship  social impact 

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