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Bridging the Gap Between Social Enterprise in Nepal and Community Organization in Haiti

This project will strengthen social enterprises and community organizations in the global south through partnership between Haiti and Nepal.

Photo of Janet Ilott
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*Please Upload User Experience Map (as attachment) and any additional insights gathered from Beneficiary Feedback in this field

The user experience map details the experience of 2 users - Amit in Nepal and Jean in Haiti. Amit launches an SME & is integrated into the I-Cube program for small businesses. This program is then adapted to CBOs in Haiti. Jean launches a CBO and joins the Tab Wond program for CBOs. Amit's company benefits tremendously from the intense I-Cube SME incubation program, while Jean's CBO becomes sustainable, diversifies its programming and benefits more users through the Tab Wond initiative.

Why does the target community define this problem as urgent and/or a priority? How is the idea leveraging and empowering community assets to help create an environment for success? (1000 characters)

The target communities define this problem as urgent because:
In Nepal: young entrepreneurs are excluded from opportunities for growth. This contributes to the country's ongoing brain drain.
In Haiti: local CBOs have the desire to impact on people's lives and are best placed to do so, but lack basic skills and are excluded from funding opportunities.
The project will rely on community assets, leveraging and empowering them as follows:
(i) Nepal - the project will continue to take place at Nepal Communitere, and will continue to use human-centered design for the incubation of SMEs tailored to the local context. This curriculum will be exported and adapted to Haiti, building a bridge between the 2 countries.
(ii) Haiti: the project will take place at Haiti Communitere a resource center supporting local CBOs since the 2010 earthquake. Future Generations Haiti (local NGO) and Haiti Communitere will adapt and deliver the Nepalese SME training so it applies to local CBOs in Haiti.

How does the idea fit within the larger ecosystem that surrounds it? Urgent needs are usually a symptom of a larger issue that rests within multiple interrelated symptoms - share what you know about the context surrounding the problem you are aiming to solve. (500 characters)

This project fits in the larger ecosystem as in Nepal: 1,300 people leave the country daily seeking education/employment opportunities. This project provides incubation space to young people's ideas so they are not lost to migration.
In Haiti : Thousands of CBOs operate, however their impact in improving quality of life is limited as local CBOs lack the skills needed to effectively implement projects. This project will empower organizations to develop, grow and implement better initiatives.

How does the idea affect or change the fundamental nature of the larger ecosystem that surrounds it (as described above) in a new and/or far-reaching way? (500 characters)

This project affects the larger ecosystem as it will help level the playing field in Haiti and Nepal. Incubation in Nepal gives SMEs the skills needed to flourish and compete. Local CBOs in Haiti are often overlooked in favor of larger, international counterparts. Adaptation of the incubation program in Nepal to one that will work with organizations in Haiti will give local Haitian CBOs the skills, space & confidence to implement better projects, access more funding and have a greater impact.

What will be different within the target community as a result of implementing the idea? What is the scope and scale of that difference? How long will it take to see that difference and how will it be sustained beyond BridgeBuilder support? (500 characters)

The result will be better quality of life. In Nepal, the difference can already be seen amongst SMEs. Haitian development leaders will benefit through better skills to help communities and financial stability. The difference will be seen immediately and will be large-scale as 300,000 people in Cite Soleil benefit from better services. It will be sustained as knowledge gained remains in the community, CBOs pay a small user fee to participate and we continue to seek financial support elsewhere.

How has the idea evolved or responded to your user research during the Beneficiary Feedback Phase and any further insights provided if you participated in the Expert Feedback Phase? (1000 characters)

During this phase, Haiti Communitere learned from Nepal Communitere by sharing project documents and lessons learned. In Nepal, over the past year the I-Cube SME incubation program has evolved to better respond to incubation needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. The program has allowed SMEs to grow ideas, become sustainable and create jobs. During this phase NC shared lessons learned i.e. need to teach interactively by dealing with tangible issues relating directly to SMEs' business, need for 1-to-1 accounting training, need to audit organizations during the recruitment phase.
In Haiti, user research was conducted prior to the launch of this call for proposals as the CBOs we work with have repeatedly expressed their desire to receive incubation and training. This call was a good fit for a need HC was already aware of. During this phase, CBO leaders reaffirmed their enthusiasm towards participating in this program and working with and learning from SME counterparts in Nepal.

What are the key steps for implementation in the next 1-3 years? (You can attach a timeline or GANTT chart in place of a written plan, if desired.) (1000 characters)

Key steps for implementing this project over 1 year are:
Nepal :Continued intensive work with SMEs who have already completed the one-year program.
Haiti - Phase I : Adapting SME curriculum to CBOs. This phase will involve : knowledge transfer from Nepal to Haiti; adapting the curriculum to different end users; collaboration between NC and HC, sharing of curriculum, best practices and lessons learned. Duration : 3 mos.
Sharing and exchange of ideas between the two organizations will continue throughout the project.
Phase II : CBO recruitment. This involves identification of 20 CBOs with interest & capacity to participate. We will perform organizational audits to determine what skills gaps these organizations have. Duration : 3 mos..
Phase III : Implementation : During this phase, 6 monthly training sessions will take place covering items such as team management, strategic planning and financial management.

Describe the individual or team that will implement this idea (if a partnership, please explain breakdown of roles and responsibilities for each entity). (Feel free to share an organizational chart or visual description of your team). (500 characters)

This project will be implemented in partnership between Nepal Communitere and Haiti Communitere, organizations with deep roots in their community. In Nepal the project will represent a continuation of the I-Cube business incubation program. In Haiti HC will collaborate with Future Generations Haiti, another local organization, to deliver an incubation program for CBOs that incorporates FGH's seed-scale methodology which involves empowering and leveraging local resources.

What aspects of the idea would potential BridgeBuilder funds primarily support? (500 characters)

Potential Bridgebuilder funds would support all aspects of this project including (i) continuation of the Nepal Communitere business incubator for one year; (ii) Phase I in Haiti - adaptation of the Nepal incubator curriculum to a training curriculum for NGOs in Haiti; (iii) Phase II in Haiti - identification of CBOs; and (iv) Phase III in Haiti - Implementation.

In preparation for our Expert Feedback Phase: What are three unanswered questions or challenges that you could use support on in your project? These questions will be answered directly by experts matched specifically to your idea and needs.

1. In your opinion, what would be the most important considerations in adapting a business incubator program for use for NGOs and/or other non-profits?
2. How do you build a base of local experts to help adapt and co-create incubation curriculum? What do you do if there is a lack of local experts? Can we create cross-cultural expert teams to upskill local experts?
3. What are some business models to help make this incubation model financially self-sustainable, especially if users cannot pay for the incubation program? These are not private companies where you can take equity or invest in, so you cannot take a fee for helping them secure investment. There is unfortunately also a culture of dependency in Haiti, which has been encouraged by some larger NGOs and donors. HC works hard to combat this, however this culture makes it challenging for small organizations to understand the need to pay for things particularly if there is the perception of external involvement.

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The project idea is to adapt a model that is providing incubation to small, social enterprises in Nepal and tailor it to provide support to local, community-based organisations in Haiti. In Nepal this project works with six teams of small entrepreneurs. In Haiti it will work intensively with six organizations and more broadly with 14 organizations. The project will address all three challenges and construct bridges on several levels: geographic between two countries and social between small enterprises and community-based organizations.
It will work as follows:
Nepal- Continuation of incubation for small entrepreneurs: This project will provide funding for a further year of this initiative. The project will continue to focus on IDEO's human centered development concepts and will include lessons learned over the past year.
Haiti: Launch of incubation project for community-based organizations as follows:
Phase One - Adaptation of Curriculum: As mentioned, Nepal Communitere is using a curriculum focused on IDEO's human-centered design. This curriculum is applicable to community-based organizations as they know their community needs but need to prototype this and bring solutions to life. Other topics will include project management, basic finance, HR and strat
Phase Two- Identification of CBOs: We will identify six organizations to work with intensively and 14 organizations to work with more broadly. The six organizations will be identified based on factors including: community involvement, annual operating budget and gender.
Phase Three-Implementation: We will help the social entrepreneurs and CBOs to improve their initiatives.
The anticipated results of this project are:
A project that works in one country of the global south will be successfully adapted to the context of another.
Six groups of small entrepreneurs in Nepal will continue to receive incubation.
A total of 20 community-based organizations in Haiti will deliver more effective community projects

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

More than 300,000 people will directly/ indirectly benefit from this project. This project will have several groups of beneficiaries, as follows:
(i) Nepal: This project will directly benefit six teams of social entrepreneurs as it will mean that they receive continued training and support. It will indirectly benefit the individuals who work for these organizations, through continued employment.
(ii) Haiti: This project will directly benefit 20 community leaders by providing them with intensive training. However, it will indirectly benefit more than 3,000 people who receive programs and services run by these organizations, as well as the estimated 300,000 people who live in Cite Soleil. They will benefit through an overall improvement to programs and services in their community.
In both countries, the primary beneficiaries will be young people. Nepal Communitere works with Nepalese entrepreneurs in their twenties while Haiti Communitere also works with young people.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

This project is unique on several levels. In Nepal the project is unique as it provides incubation for small entrepreneurs, an identified gap that no one else was addressing previously. In Haiti, there are incubation hubs forming but they are aimed at the middle to upper class. None are focusing on the small, community-based organizations we aim to support. Overall this project is unique because it aims to bridge the gap between two very different countries and take a solution that is working well for small entrepreneurs in one country and adapt it to provide support for community-based organizations in another.
Unique Advantages: Both Nepal Communitere and Haiti Communitere have unique advantages in implementing this project because of their strong knowledge of the communities involved. NC has been working intensively with small entrepreneurs for a year while HC has partnered with organizations in Cite Soleil for the past eight years.
Both NC and HC are addressing an unmet need.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Prototype: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Haiti Communitere and Nepal Communitere are both members of Communitere International, a group of organizations that aims to create dynamic, collaborative hubs in disaster-affected communities that make a powerful impact by giving individuals the means to become self-reliant. Web sites: https://haiti.communitere.org/ and https://nepal.communitere.org/

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

We created this project because the communities involved in both countries have asked for it. In Nepal, this project is meeting the needs of small entrepreneurs, a group that was previously overlooked. It is essential to encourage young entrepreneurs in Nepal as currently 1,500 people are leaving the country every day and there is 40% unemployment. In Haiti, this project meets the needs of local community-based organizations a group that has been overlooked in relief and development efforts.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

This project bridges all three topic areas as follows:
In Nepal, the project will primarily bridge prosperity and planet. Prosperity is addressed through this project as lack of investment in small entrepreneurs means there is substantial brain drain and investment in small businesses will help retain talent. Planet because the entrepreneurs receiving training through this project are investigating business opportunities focused on environmental issues.
In Haiti, all 3 issues are addressed and impact one another. Peace is affected by tensions in Cite Soleil due to poor living conditions. Political unrest eliminates prosperity as companies have fled and factories closed. Planet is impacted by deforestation as people use charcoal for cooking. Trash thrown in the streets clogs the sewage system and causes flooding. This project will tailor the Nepalese model of providing incubation for small entrepreneurs and strengthen organizations that are working to address these vital issues.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

HC and NC believe communities are not passively waiting for outsiders to come and help. We believe communities are actively constructing their own futures. That’s why we do not “intervene” in communities but, instead, provide a space where communities can realize their own plans and choose from a variety of tools and models that we help make available.
Multiple partners and communities are engaged in this project. They are as follows:
Nepal Communitere is working with business consultants, business consulting groups and angel investors.
Haiti Communitere will collaborate with Future Generations Haiti, an organization located in Cite Soleil that is specialized in delivering training and promotes community-driven change and reinforces community strengths.
The project will also involve working with the 14 organizations who are members of Haiti Communitere's ongoing Tab Wond initiative. The Tab Wond provides a forum for community-based organizations to network and share best practices.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Both communities face obstacles but have tremendous strengths. In Nepal there is a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to do something on your own and for yourself. There is also a mindset to see opportunity in scarcity. In Haiti local CBOs come from Cite Soleil, an area marred by violence with little infrastructure. Cite Soleil's greatest strength is its people and this project will involve working with community leaders who are spearheading a movement towards positive change.

Geographic Focus

This idea will target two areas of the world: Kathmandu, Nepal and Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

This is a 12-month project. During the course of these twelve months, the project will continue to provide incubation space for Nepali entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, during the first three months of this project, the curriculum will be adapted and tailored to the Haitian context. During the following nine months of this project, the curriculum will be delivered to Haitian CBOs and we will work intensively with them to build on their current skills and abilities.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

If Yes, how has project idea changed, grown, or evolved since last year? (2,000 characters)

N/A

29 comments

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Photo of Luz Gallo
Team

Hello Janet,
While reading your proposal, I want to understand how the two countries are going to be connected. Is Nepal going to provide Haiti with some sort of service o product? Who is going to guarantee the delivery of this to Haiti?
Also, I guess there was a problem with the uploading of the experience map, becaus eI was not able to find it.

Photo of Janet Ilott
Team

Hi Luz, Thank you for your question. In response, Haiti Communitere and Nepal Communitere are part of a family of organizations - Communitere International. However, we are separate organizations that are registered in our respective countries. Nepal Communitere runs a program that provides intensive incubation for small entrepreneurs in Kathmandu. Under this initiative, we aim to both continue this program in Nepal and adapt the human-design centered curriculum NC is using to be applicable to small local community-based organizations here in Haiti. This is a unique project that will bridge two divides - geographical between two countries in very different parts of the world and socio-economic as it adapts a curriculum designed for SMEs to be used for CBOs. We will work together to grow from our experiences and share best practices. This is a jointly proposed project by both organizations. We have not yet uploaded our experience map but will do so before the deadline. Please don't hesitate to let me know if you have further questions!

Photo of bikash gurung
Team

Thanks Janet for sharing! Nepal Communitere is really doing good job supporting small entrepreneurs and the idea of replicating the Icube model in Haiti proves the cross collaboration among sister organizations.
While I was going through the User Experience Map, the map seems little hard to http://read..so might be difficult for us to understand. If you could number the map, it would be really easy for us to go through. Right now, i was not able to figure start and the end. As you can understand, the bridge builders challenge is all about intersection between peace, prosperity and planet, i would love to see the theme reflection in the user experience map. I am also curious if Icube program funding is just for a year or goes for two or more years, i know its being funded by DFID at the moment.
Since we are in refinement phase, I would love to see some beneficiaries feedback from Icube incubatees , I know they have amazing experience to share. Just to make sure, other who would go through the idea get clear picture. Also same goes to feedback from possible CBOs you are targeting for this idea.
Some examples you can check are [they have put in good video]: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/bridgebuilder2/beneficiary-feedback/unity-and-peace-up-safer-communities-programme/comments#c-ff540806c6f25b6e63a0db0e3eec3661

And this one [they have shared good visible, easy to read User Experience map]
https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/bridgebuilder2/beneficiary-feedback/reconciliation-village-colombia

This could also be good resource to check out : https://uxpressia.com/

Congratulations for making it to shortlist. Looking forward to learn more.

Photo of Janet Ilott
Team

Hi Bikash, thank you SO much for your input. I really found the links that you posted to be valuable and have done my best to incorporate your feedback! I apologize for the fact that the user experience map was hard to follow. Over the past couple of days there were some political complications in Haiti that temporarily made our internet access a little more difficult (but also further demonstrated the need for this project). I had a very hard time uploading the documents required. However, I incorporated your suggestions and I think it's now clearer! We have also now included i) profiles of participants in the Nepal i-Cube program and ii) a profile of a potential participant organization in the Haiti initiative. The i-Cube program funding is for one year. Thanks again for your input and please let me know if you would like any further information.

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