Friday, December 25, 2009

Simple Mobile Services - Big Impact!

We all know how popular and widespread mobile phones have become in Africa, Tanzania in particular. However innovative mobile services have yet to catch on. This Fast Company article describes one of the many ways NGOs in Tanzania and across Africa are leveraging mobile services to solve day to day challenges with direct positive impact.

Note however, that these are foreign companies bringing in solutions from outside. I don't see how the NGOs can't employ Tanzanian developers and even more surprising is that local firms aren't capturing this market.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Memes and Social Media

On this TED Talk, Alexis Ohanian (filmed November 2009) shows how Internet trends can essentially affect consumer demand. His presentation also hints at how demand can be measured using social networks.

Read more:
About this video
TED Talks homepage

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Web Hosting for the Masses - TZ Style

I recently discovered by mistake through a random google search. On the surface, it just seems like one more web hosting company sprouting in Tanzania. But look more closely and you'll see an innovative model and some creative services.

First, they're mission is very clear and their services are geared around this mission. Second, they have lowered the barrier to entry so that anyone can now have a site to promote themselves or their business for potentially zero initial cost. They are also using mobile payments to collect payments, which I personally haven't seen much of.

What I'm really glad to see is that local technology entrepreneurs in Tanzania are thinking beyond just making money and getting creative in how they do business. This they will need to continue to do if they are to survive in the increasingly competitive East African market.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Youth Development Network in S. Africa

South Africa's Youth Development Network (YDN) provides a free flow of information between the public, the youth, and six partner organizations that presently do worth with the youth.

The six organizations that are working together are:
- Establishment for Comprehensive Youth Development
- Junior Achievement South Africa
- Joint Enrichment Project
- Resource Action Group
- Southern African Association of Youth Clubs
- School Leavers Opportunity Training

The YDN website provides comprehensive African country reports that would prove to be useful starting points for young adults looking to do business across Africa. The information presented is also useful for seeing major trends in education or health related issues experienced by the youth that may present opportunities for social and scalable enterprise.

Read more:
Youth Development Network homepage
About YDN
Country reports index
Partner organization contact info

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Youth Business International

Youth Business International (YBI) - founded in 2000 and one of 20 not-for-profit organizations whose president is the Prince of Wales - is focused on supporting young entrepreneurs.

By leveraging funding, volunteer business mentors and their network of corporations looking to invest in enterprise run by youth, YBI entrepreneurs are "helping to grow local communities, stimulate job creation and provide essential products and services".

Read more:
YBI homepage
YBI Entrepreneur of the Year competition
Map of YBI projects

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

iA: Information Architecture

Web design firm iA (or Information Architecture) is using some innovative ways to map out internet activity.

iA's Web Trend Map for 2008 could be used as an important tool to assess the diversity of activities that take place when we go online, sometimes without us realizing.

An excerpt from the iA website:

"The Web Trend Map is a yearly publication by Information Architects, plotting the Internet’s leading names and domains onto the Tokyo Metro map. It organises closely associated websites and names, ensuring that every domain is on an appropriate line. As a result, the map produces a web of associations: some provocative, some curious, others ironically accurate."

Such a trend map could be utilized to investigate where opportunities for collaborative entrepreneurship may lie in the future.

Read more:
iA homepage
About iA
About the iA Web Trend Map project

Green VC

Green VC provides information that supports environmentally-friendly and social ventures run by students.

It partners with funders, conferences and media outlets to provide more access to entrepreneurial resources that would be of use to young innovators, especially students in the United States.

Read more:
Green VC homepage
About Green VC
Funding resources

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another youth-media platform

A recent article discussed the opening of a Ghana Chapter of Speak Africa, a Pan African multi-media and communication platform for youth.

Speak Africa hosts audio, video and written content authored by youth. According to their website, Speak Africa seeks to is "
designed to work in partnership with young people to improve opportunities for their expression, exchange and meaningful participation in advocacy, decision-making and development using multi-media tools and channels (ie. TV, Radio and Print) as well as visual and performing arts and culture".

Read more:
Article: "African youth are agents of change - Prof Okine"

Speak Africa homepage

SkollEMERGE 2009: Reflections

Last Sunday we had the opportunity to be at SkollEMERGE, a one-day conference on topics in social entrepreneurship. Inspired by the Skoll World Forum, this conference acknowledges students as entrepreneurial social change makers in a multiplicity of academic fields, from environmental scientists to linguists.

In discussions between a host of professions, Two themes remained consistent throughout the day: Unreasonableness, and value creation.

Caroline Casey summed it up best, saying there are five rules to being a social entreneur:
(1) Be a duck, ie: learn to look calm outside and paddle for your life underneath;
(2) Love failure, ie: learn to be used to, acknowledge and improve on mistakes;
(3) Never give up;
(4) Know your friends; and
(5) Be self-aware
, ie: don't lie to yourself.

To keep up with everything that was going on, we tweeted along with many others throughout the day. Browse what everyone is saying by following the list #emerge09.

Here are a few tweets from others:

@santalvarez: The main messages from EMERGE: "be dangerous", dream, don't settle, challenge the traditional and never give up #emerge09

@brendanbaker: Intrapreneurs must be comfortable working in shades of gray, speaking various languages to different audiences. #intrapreneur #emerge09

@rodneyschwartz: Most important thing i had to say at skoll #emerge09 was that people should not waste their life engaged in roles w/o meaning go4 #socent

Follow @vijanafm here.

Read more:
SkollEMERGE website

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What's cooking

With the new year approaching, Vijana FM's been busy working on a protocol for people to contribue to this blog. We're currently recruiting volunteer content authors who can produce audio, visual or written content on topics that relate to social entrepreneurship for youth.

We've also been trying to figure out the best way to lay out our content and how we can best reach media outlets globally, especially in developing countries.

If you'd like to help us with anything, feel free to drop us a line: admin (at) vijanafm (dot) com

Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Reminder: Echoing Green App due December 2

Further to our previous posts, we'd just like to remind our readers that the Phase 1 of the Echoing Green Fellowship application is due December 2nd!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mobile Technologies and NGOs

A partnership between the United Nations Foundation and the Vodafone Group Foundation recently released a report titled "Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in Mobile Use by NGOs"

Abstract: "In this second publication in our Access to Communications Publication Series, the authors examine real-life examples of and trends in wireless technology solutions being used to drive change in the areas of health, humanitarian assistance, and environmental conservation. The compelling stories portrayed in this report demonstrate that telecommunications can be a powerful tool for positive change in our world. Between December 10, 2007 and January 13, 2008, 560 non-governmental organization (NGO) workers participated in a survey designed to demonstrate how NGOs are using wireless technology to help reach various social, civil, economic, and political goals." (Source: IFAP)

The report, authored by Sheila Kinkade and Katrin Verclas, is a comprehensive survey into how non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially working in Africa, have been able to leverage mobile phones to meet their respective goals.

Data presented in this report provides evidence that mobile phone usage continues to grow in a continent that is leap-frogging communications technologies. It may also be of value to young entrepreneurs seeking to expand their reach and/or develop mobile-friendly initiatives.

Read more:
Report (PDF): Wireless Technology for Social Change..."
IFAP Abstract page

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Doing business in Africa

Another TED Talk, this one presented by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on what African business has been and is about.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria's first female Finance Minister. She has had extensive experience previously working at the World Bank.

Facebook driving online traffic in Africa

ICTworks reports that Facebook is boosting Internet traffic in Africa. Many marketing and technology experts at ICT companies are finding increasing needs to get online and get on the social networking platform.

An excerpt:
"Facebook has over 300,000 users in Kenya, is the most popular site in South Africa, and is growing by 20,000 new users per month in Nigeria and Ghana - 3x the US growth rate."

Read more:
ICTworks blogpost
About ICTworks
"Facebook in Swahili" forum

Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose

Daniel Pink - author and speaker on how the realm of "work" can be improved - held a small talk at TED talks earlier this year, focusing on the science behind motivation.

This short talk may be useful for young entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business from scratch, especially with respect to their human resources structure. There are some important points Mr. Pink makes about what motivates us, and what may consequently help us be more productive with our time at work.

Read more:
Daniel Pink on TED talks
Daniel Pink's homepage
TED Talks homepage

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Cash4Africa is a money transfer service operating in Africa. It is a subsidiary of Roraima Financial Services (RFS) based out of Nevis, West Indies.

Considering the flows of diverse capital throughout the African continent, this would be a valuable service to entrepreneurs who are thinking of scaling up.

Read more:
Cash4Africa homepage
About Cash4Africa

William James Foundation business plan competition

The William James Foundation has opened up its business plan competition. Winners are eligible to different brackets of funding to jump-start their projects. A key process of the competition is feedback.

The Foundation provides feedback on the following, according to their website (extracted from Competition Guidelines):
  • How you described your of products or services, and the problems they solve
  • How you are thinking about your market targets, promotion, and market testing
  • Your assessment of risks, competitors, substitute products or services, and your competitive advantage
  • Your timeline
  • Your analysis of your cash flow needs, and the sources and uses of funds
  • Your management team strengths and needs, and organizational structure
  • The overall viability of your business from a financial profit point of view
  • The value and feasibility of your social and/or environmental goals
In order to apply, entrepreneurs need to send a "Intent to Compete" e-mail to competition(at)williamjamesfoundation(dot)org with a short paragraph about their idea and contact information. Thereafter, executives summaries are to the same e-mail address due by December 4, 2009. There is a application processing fee which may be waived in advance.

Read more:
About the William James Foundation
About the competition

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Unreasonable Institute

The Unreasonable Institute hosts an intensive 10-week Summer Institute for social entrepreneurs around the world, with the possibility of funding thereafter.

An excerpt from their website:
The purpose of the Summer Institutes are to provide: "personal & entrepreneurial skill development, intensive collaboration & work-shopping, and involved guidance from mentors. Additional support includes website design & development, premier research access, and free legal consultations. Each Unreasonable Fellow will graduate the Institute with a viable business plan that is purposeful, sustainable, scalable, and replicable."

Following the 10 weeks, entrepreneurs then talk about their developed proposals at a Pitch Fest hosted by investors. Proposals also get posted onto the Institute's online marketplace network.

Applications for the Institute open November 15, 2009 and are due by December 15, 2009.

Read more:
The Unreasonable Institute homepage
About the Institute
About the Summer Institutes
Application process

HBS Ideacast: Design Thinking

Innovations today do not just involve a good idea for how to do something more efficiently than before. They involve a whole process of production, marketting and revision that embeds their audiences within the creation cycle.

The Harvard Business School Ideacast features Roger Martin this week (Rotman School of Managementm, University of Toronto). Dean Martin discusses the importance of "design thinking", which merges analytical thinking and creative thinking.

According to an abstract on his book, modern businesses can innovate if they employ and encourage design thinking: "This form of thinking is rooted in how knowledge advances from one stage to another--from mystery (something we can't explain) to heuristic (a rule of thumb that guides us toward solution) to algorithm (a predictable formula for producing an answer) to code (when the formula becomes so predictable it can be fully automated)".

Entrepreneurs who are seeking to create a new business model, especially within the technology sector, are encouraged to check out this podcast and book. For innovations that involve sustainable capacity-building, it is important that they are both "creative, and replicable".

Read/hear more:
HBS ideacast audio
Roger Martin's book, The Design of Business
Harvard Business School home

Friday, November 13, 2009

EG Fellowship: Phase 1 due December 2

Phase 1 applications for the Echoing Green Fellowship are due December 2nd!

Don't forget to get your application for a groundbreaking, innovative and sustainable idea in.

Read our previous post on Echoing Green's Fellowship.

Other links:
Echoing Green homepage
Application procedures
Last year's Fellows

Monday, November 2, 2009

Measuring Social Value

Building and expanding a venture that creates social value involves assessing impact. How do you measure how your project has improved the quality of life of your constituents? What has been the "value" added?

The Research Initiative on Social Entrepreneurship (RISE) published a report in March 2004 titled "Double Bottom Line project report: Assessing social impact in double bottom line ventures". Essentially prescribed as a methods catalogue, the project and report have analyzed currently existing approaches to measuring social value.

The report has important implications on the autonomy of social enterprise, since improving and expanding services in the face of concentrated economic and a technological changes requires acute accountability of value-add.

The report has been compiled by Catherine Clark (Columbia Business School), William Rosenzweig (Haas School of Business), David Long (Abt Associates), and Sara Olsen (SVT Consulting).

The RISE webpage
PDF report: "Double Line project report: Assessing social impact in double bottom line ventures"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

YOSEFO: Micro-lending in Tanzania

The Youth Self Employment Foundation (YOSEFO) is dedicated to providing microfinancing services to young men and women in Tanzania "so that they can create jobs, educate their children, live a healthy life and improve their overall standard of living."

YOSEFO is heavily supported by the Tanzania Investment Bank and the National Microfinance Bank (NMB). This year alone, YOSEFO disbursed about TSH 3.2 billion (about $3 million) between January and September. According to an article on YOSEFO's achievements since its inception 12 years ago, about 70% of this year's beneficiaries were women, and 48% lived in rural regions.

Read more about YOSEFO's financial services:
The Citizen - Article on YOSEFO
YOSEFO homepage
YOSEFO news resources

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tanzania Business Plan Competition

The Business Development Gateway is an initiative in Tanzania funded by the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, the National Microfinance Bank (NMB), the Peoples Bank of Zanzibar and ZAIN Telecom.

The initiative has opened up its application process for the Business Plan Competition.

Eligibility rules are as follows:
  • You are a national of the United Republic of Tanzania and you live/work on the mainland, Zanzibar or Pemba.
  • You apply as an individual.
  • You are 18 years or older.
  • Your business concept or idea is potentially viable and legal and concerns the expansion of an existing business or the start-up of a new business based in Tanzania.
  • You have a registered for-profit business or you plan to register a for-profit business.
  • You have a privately-owned business. If your business is a joint venture, it has majority ownership by Tanzanians.
  • Your business idea is in one of the following sectors: agriculture and processing, manufacturing, tourism or services.
Applications are due by Friday 13th November 2009.

Read more:
Business Development Gateway homepage
About the Business Development Gateway
Business Plan Competition Eligibility
Other Business Plan Competition guidelines

Microfundo: "a for music"

Microfundo is using a new, simple and collaborative model to keep music artists inspired and fans satisfied.

By creating a profile through Microfundo, music artists can be financially supported through loans from fans. Once an artist's financial goal is reached, Microfundo gives them their funds in bulk, and then helps the artist repay the loans back to the fans with money raised from music sales online.

Since this is a global scheme, artists anywhere who have a following can use Microfundo to take their projects to the next level.

Read more:
Microfundo homepage
About Microfundo
Microfundo on Twitter

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Provides news on Africa's internet growth. Entrepreneurs planning projects related to ICTs are highly recommended to follow OnlineAfrica.

OnlineAfrica website
OnlineAfrica RSS newsfeed
OnlineAfrica on Twitter

Teach a man to fish

Teach A Man To Fish - a UK-based charity - is holding their third annual Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education (2009).

Teach A Man To Fish is an organization that works "to broaden access for the poor to a high quality education combining vocational training and entrepreneurship by supporting institutions working in this field to increase their financial self-sufficiency."

The Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education are given to create incentive in small business ventures that increase value in society. An excerpt from the Competition Guidlines:

"The competition is open to all organizations based in Africa working in education, from primary through to tertiary, as well as in non-formal and adult education.

"As well as a first prize of $10,000 and two runners-up prizes of $5,000, there are up to 50 awards of $1,000 available for the best entry from every country on the continent.

"The top three award-winners will be sponsored a trip to South Africa for the awards presentation and peer learning visits to key Educating Africa and TeachAManToFish partners."

The deadline for the 2009 application is December 31st, 2009. Entries may be submitted online, via e-mail, or via post.

Read more:
Teach A Man To Fish homepage
Competition Guidelines
Teach A Man To Fish on Twitter

YIPE: Focussed on youth enterprise

Follow @yipeorg on twitter for information for youth on how to start a business.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Africa Youth Trust

Africa Youth Trust (AYT) is a Kenyan-based organization focused on youth-led development initiatives.

Through its three core program models - Youth Action Against Corruption, Parliament Synergizing Youth in Law Making, and the East African Youth Human Rights and Democracy Program - AYT seeks to empower young adults to persevere through country-wide challenges and build sustainable solutions with social benefits.

AYT is current accepting applications for its training workshop on Equal Status and Human Rights of Women in East Africa.

Read more:
AYT homepage
Youth Action Against Corruption
Parliament Synergizing Youth in Law Making
East African Youth Human Rights and Democracy Program

Friday, October 16, 2009

Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition hosted by Foster

University of Washington's Foster School of Business has opened up its application process for the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC).

An excerpt from the GSEC website: Students from around the world—and across fields of study—are invited to find innovative, commercially-sustainable business solutions to problems of poverty in the developing world. GSEC plans are judged on the quality of life in the developing world, financial sustainability, and implementation feasibility.

Winners are eligible to funding that can propel their projects forward.

Read more:
GSEC website
GSEC Flier
Previous winning business plans

Monday, October 12, 2009

Acumen Fund begins accepting Fellowship applications

The Acumen Fund seeks to use entrepreneurial means to solve the world's biggest challenges. As a non-profit global venture fund, it utilizes "small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen" to galvanize affordable, market-based products and services that address these challenges.

The Acumen Fund Fellowship recruits highly driven individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue the development of a project in theme areas such as health, water, housing and energy.

An excerpt from the mission of the Fellowship program:

"Through the Fellows Program, Acumen Fund’s goal is to build an entrepreneurial bench of professional talent with strong operational skills, experience in low-income markets, and the moral imagination to build enterprises that meet the needs of low-income consumers. Each year, Acumen Fund recruits highly talented and passionate young professionals to reflect on their role as leaders, build their leadership capacity, and provide much needed management support to our investees."

Youth who have ideas for sustainable social entrepreneurship are highly encouraged to apply, given the Acumen Fund's extensive involvement in the field of entrepreneurship and technical assistance for projects that successfully and efficiently serve basic needs in areas where they are most needed.

Applications for the 2010-2011 Fellowship will be due November 5, 2009.

Learn more about the Fellowship to see how you can apply:
Acumen Fund website
Fellowship program page
Fellowship FAQs

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mo Ibrahim index ranks African nations

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation - an institution committed to promoting good governance across the African continent - has published an index that ranks African countries based on:

- Safety and Rule of Law
- Participation and Human Rights
- Sustainable Economic Opportunity
- Human Development

These rankings may be useful for both, young entrepreneurs living inside as well as outside the listed countries, in planning and targetting potential social enterprise initiatives. "Negative" governance does not necessarily equate to the impossibility of starting capacity-building projects, but may instead present an opportunity to do so.

Check out the rankings here.

Read more:
Mo Ibrahim index methodology
About the Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Thursday, October 8, 2009

SriBuo boosts Ghanaian music artists

SriBuo Media is a new initiative aimed at bringing talent from Ghana onto the world stage.

Focusing on the music industry, SriBuo provides exposure for Ghanaian musicians and in turn brings quality music to listeners from all over the web, including those subscribing to Napster, Amazon MP3, iTunes and other social media portals.

Read more:
SriBuo website
SriBuo on Facebook
Contact SriBuo

Monday, October 5, 2009

We are growing, yet shrinking

An interesting video on general technological growth statistics. This may be useful in the consideration and/or planning of tech-based ventures.

Video researched and produced by Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod, and Jeff Brenman.

To find out more about the "Did you know?" project and updated presentations since then, check out Karl Fisch's blog post.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Computers, Business and Optimism in Uganda

Computers and the Internet are becoming more accessible in Uganda.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard have partnered up to raise the bar in the IT sector.

According to a article, "the partnership has made laptops, complete with a one-year warranty, available to Ugandans for US$175".

Support is also available: People can bring their laptops to Business Information Centers, specifically catering to rural IT needs, which offer maintenance and space to cultivate entrepreneurship in technology.

In addition, UNIDO has been able to implement a Graduate Entrepreneurship Training through IT (GET-IT) program for youth. Through GET-IT, which is active in 28 locations globally, students are trained on how to use the Internet to pursue entrepreneurial projects.

Read more: article
GET-IT homepage

Kenya Commercial Bank investing in education

Kenya Commercial Bank's (KCB) week-long Community Week began on Saturday, October 3. As part of its social responsibility program this year, the KCB Foundation is focussing on the improvement of school enrollment in promotion of the Kenyan Government's free primary education scheme. There will also be an effort to address education with special needs.

This year, KCB will be supporting Nairobi River Primary School in Buruburu.

Read more:
Kenya Broadcasing Corporation article
KCB homepage
KCB article on Community Week

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mobile phone banking in East Africa

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) has an interesting discussion on the merits of Kenyan-based cell phone banking initiative, M-pesa, and its counterpart in Tanzania on its blog: Read the discussion here.

Cell phone banking has the potential to make things move a lot faster in a region where a formalized credit structure has yet to be implemented. Transactions - both for households and commercial businesses - are able to become quicker and cheaper through money transfers done over mobile devices. However, as CGAP's blog shows, there are other factors at stake, such as mobile service provider competition and geographic location.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ikotoilets and Public Health in East Africa

A new breed of social entrepreneurship is sweeping the East African coast. Ecotact - a Kenyan private market-based organization working towards improving sustainable environmental sanitation - announced The Ikotoilet project at the Clinton Global Initiative this week.

The Ikotoilet project focuses on providing:

- Low-flush toilets in both the ladies and gents toilets
- Waterless urinals in gent’s toilets
- Shower facilities
- Water saving taps and soap dispensers
- Dry toilet system - a facility for urine harvesting and water conservation
- A free-of-charge toilet for the disabled
- Tanks for rain water harvesting.
- A changing area for babies
- Sanitary bins
- Full length mirror
- Music
- Snack shop
- Shoe shine vendor

(Source: About Ikotoilet webpage)

In doing so, the Ikotoilet initiative is trying to positively transform the public approach to maintaining a healthy living, while creating jobs and investing in social entrepreneurship activities. The project will begin implementation in Kenya and Zanzibar, and is set to scale up into greater Tanzania and Uganda in coming months in partnership with entrepreneurial youth.

The Ikotoilet project is based on Kenyan entrepreneur David Kuria's ideas for increasing the urban poor's access to high quality sanitation, a basic but important need in East Africa, while still involving them in a self-improvement process.

Read more:
SOAworld Magazine article
David Kuria's idea on Ashoka's website
Ecotact website
Clinton Global Initiative website

ReWork engages Tanzanian entrepreneurs

Rework The World is group that seeks to mobilize young people and facilitate their access to making positive change. Rework was created from a partnership between the YES Campaign and the Tällberg Foundation.

In May 2009, Rework held a workshop conference in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania to attempt to figure out what sustainable ventures could be explored by Tanzanian entrepreneurs that promoted positive social change. The themes of the workshop were centered around how to tackle youth unemployment. As such, presentations were given from the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Youth Development.

The results from the conference were twofold. Challenges in youth communication platforms were identified, and initiatives that needed to be worked on were suggested.

Two main goals that were borne out of the conference:
1. Build a youth-led solar economy;
2. Use media to assist in the youth education/communication process.

Vijana FM is a youth communication platform specifically meant for entrepreneurial support and collaborative planning amongst youth. We are not directly affiliated to Rework, the YES Campaign or the Tällberg Foundation, but we are always looking for room for collaboration. Get in touch with us at admin (at) vijanafm (dot) com.

Read more:
Rework in Tanzania news article

Monday, September 21, 2009

Entrepreneurship opportunities for high school students

Entrepreneur U, a website created by DECA Inc. and funded by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, contains information about how entrepreneurial secondary-school aged youth can access opportunities to learn more about small business planning.

The website was created with hopes to "bridge the gap between high school students interested in becoming entrepreneurs and postsecondary institutions that have viable entrepreneurship education options."

Read more:
Entrepreneur U homepage
Entrepreneur U scholarship information
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation website

Working with African coders: AppAfrica

AppAfrica is an incubating space for African tech entrepreneurs.

Their primary objective is to provide "a physical space with a solid Internet connection, servers, software and computers that allows students and recent graduates a place to develop their ideas in a constructive environment with industry professionals as mentors outside of school".

By offering a platform from which techies can exchange information and collaborate on software projects, AppAfrica seeks to bring local entrepreneurial talent to the global marketplace for computer software development: "Entrepreneur projects are refined and prepped to help them secure funding and launch sustainable, profitable businesses."

(Source for quotes: About AppAfrica)

Read more: (publishing arm)
AppAfrica Labs (incubating arm)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

YouthActionNet Fellowship

YouthActionNet provides training, networking and advocacy opportunities for individuals with ideas for social change, similar to Echoing Green.

The 2010 Fellowship opens March 2010.

Read more:
About the YouthActionNet Fellowship
YouthActionNet 2010 Fellowship application guidelines

Monday, September 14, 2009

Echoing Green Fellowship: Phase 1 begins September 21

Echoing Green supports social entrepreneurs in delivering new, ground-breaking and high-impact products and services.

According to their website, Echoing Green (1) identifies entrepreneurial visionaries with bold ambitions, (2) invests in their innovation and skill, (3) provides hands-on support, and (4) connects entrepreneurs.

Through an intensive 3-round application process, individuals or pairs can work with Echoing Green in seed funding their ideas for positive social change.

Phase one of the Echoing Green Fellowship opens up September 21, 2009 and ends December 2 @ 5pm EST.

Read more:
Echoing Green homepage
Application procedures
Last year's Fellows

Friday, September 11, 2009

Collaborative ideas for Africa: Africa Gathering

Africa Gathering is a collaboration framework built to facilitate the free-flow of creative sustainable development ideas for Africa. These ideas span across technology, social networking, health, education and good governance.

By using conference-style meetings a few times every year, Africa Gathering brings together technophiles, entrepreneurs and thinkers in an effort to exchange, discuss and provide feedback to ideas.

An extract from the Africa Gathering website:

"We facilitate the passionate conversation surrounding how new technologies are opening the eyes of the world to a strong, independent and prosperous 21st Century Africa by bringing inspired people together to talk, share and listen... By providing a place for like-minded people to join together we hope to accelerate the rate of ideas that are generated and of networks that are made. We believe that true technological development relies on understanding, creativity and sharing."

This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in hearing and sharing ideas on sustainable development in Africa. The process of development is a sensitive one: It is becoming increasingly important to consider local ethics and values when facilitating the access to the freedom of peoples' choice, and this cannot be realized without a collaborative framework. Initiatives like Africa Gathering encourage an "open-source" dialogue of ideas in order for the ideas to be strengthened based on a diverse body of information.

Hence, both private and public market enthusiasts will likely benefit from attending, especially if they intend on being involved with political, economic, social and human development in Africa.

The next Africa Gathering happens in London, UK on October 9 and 10, 2009. After that, Africa Gathering will take place in Nairobi, Kenya on December 21 and 22, 2009.

Related links and sources:
Information for prospective speakers
Tickets for prospective participants
Africa Gathering website
Twitter: @africagathering

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Investors Without Borders

An extensive list of upcoming business plan competitions in the field of sustainable and social enterprise can be found on the Investors Without Borders wordpress site.

Business plan competitions and fellowship grants are another form of venture capital geared for social enterprises that need grassroots technical and financial assistance.

To check out more work by Investors Without Borders, visit their homepage.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Banglore-based Unnati providing vocational training

Unnati is working to provide vocational training for poor, unemployed youth in Bangalore, India to expand their potential to work in the private market.

An excerpt from a PRLog article:

Unnati, incepted in 2003, trains youth in the chosen vocations that are relevant to the job market. Economically backward drop out adults aged 18 and above (both boys & girls) are offered the 3 months rigorous training. Currently seven vocational courses are offered - retail sales, guest care, industrial tailoring, entry level voice & data (BPO), security services and industrial painting. In keeping with the ultimate goal of Unnati of not just enabling employability but making Unnatians responsible citizens, the program covers life skills, communication, spoken English and basic computer usage. The NGO has since placed close to 800 youth from really poor backgrounds in reputed corporates like Café Coffee Day, J P Morgan, Levis and ITC among others.

Read more:
Unnati website - "Unnati To Train 1 Million Underprivileged Youth For Employability By 2020 Through 1000 Centres"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Research positions opening up for youth

YouthSeen - an organization that is involved with academic research in unemployment in developing countries - has opening up a few research assistanship positions in Kenya, Tanzania and The Netherlands.

The positions will require research in youth entrepreneurship and self employment.

Read more:
YouthSEEN Wordpress

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Global Entrepreneurship Teleconference, November 16 - 22

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (based out of the United States) and Make Your Mark (based out of the United Kingdom) have a created a week for entrepreneurship, consisting of a free global teleconference on how to build business.

This year, TargetGov a US-based federal contractor, is set to host the conference from November 16 - 22 and focus on how global entreprenuers can do business with the US government.

An excerpt from the conference description:

Global Entrepreneurship Week will connect young people through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. Students, educators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, non-profit leaders, government officials and others will participate in a host of activities that include virtual and face-to-face events, large-scale competitions and intimate networking gatherings.

Read more here: - "TargetGov to Act as a Partner in Global Entrepreneurship Week 2009"

Monday, August 31, 2009

BOOST Fellowship introduced to East Africa youth

Building Opportunities on Student Talent (BOOST) Fellowship, based out of Zimbabwe, has opened up it's application process for youth in East Africa. It is collaborating with the Inter-region Economic Network (IREN) to bring entrepreneurial guidance and resources to Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.

The coordinator of the program, Judith Grace Auma, mentioned: "The programme is designed to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurial innovators, financial and managerial leaders to help shape a successful future for their respective countries and continent."

Lena Zamchiya, CEO of Zimbabwe-based BOOST Fellowship, sees the efforts of BOOST as a means to help youth become more productive in the private market: "Under the social enterprise, we train the students to be able to identify social issues within their communities with a view of starting private enterprises based on the needs they met."

Read more here: - "East Africa: IREN to Empower Young Entrepreneurs" - "BOOST Fellowship Brightens Future for the Youth"

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