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Young ethnic adolescents are developing their own businesses capitalizing on bio-edible insects, forest products, culture and tourism.

Photo of Cherry
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

We will work with communities with marginalized ethnic adolescents to enhance their own traditional know-how on insect farming by supporting “diversity business” ideas to capitalize on bio-edible insects, forest products, cultural diversity and tourism. To this end, we will use our Gender Action Learning System methodology to facilitate community engagement and behavioural change where families and communities discuss their needs, constraints and dreams openly together by drawings fostering supportive relationship focused in supporting especially, young women to start and operate an enterprise thereby encouraging girls, who are traditionally passive of decision-making, an enabling environment to decide for themselves, challenge their creativity and make their ideas happen. Moreover, we will provide technical product development, business skills intervention and small capital grants towards entrepreneurship and thereby giving them a choice in their future to be more confident in making their life-changing decisions while at the same developing respective value chains by creating their own brands, network and market themselves that innovates traditional wisdom for sustainable prosperity. This will be done by brokering experience of ethnic youth from National University of Laos' "Edible Insect Demo Unit witneighbourinp. at the end, this project helps address discrimination faced by rural ethnic youth who are double burdened with poverty, lack of access to economic opportunity and susceptibility to baneful migration to neighboring countries in an era when current economic growth in Laos, do not enable enough for them to participate in the economic flow. This project that develops rural value chain on insect farming and alternative food helps ethnic adolescents build prosperous life while preserving harmony with their native environment by not only creating additional income but also contributes to food insecurity and provides alternative nutritional food options.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

At the end of the project, it is expected to benefit around 10,000 young adolescent girls including ethnic groups in rural areas in North, Central and South of Laos. The project will provide them a mix of technical and skills building interventions that build the capacity of the target groups’ capacity to do and capacity to be and see a prosperous future, both for themselves and for a sustainable environment they are in. Activities would include (a) household change planning and action learning to shift traditional roles of women and men in the family so that young women can access economic opportunities; (b) exposure to role models of young women entrepreneurs and their supporters; (c) life planning and training on product development particularly on insect farming, marketing, business plan, value chain; savings for change (d) setting up of small grant mechanism for young people’s diversity business; (e) setting up of Business Circles for negotiation and enable them to engage

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

This project is unique for it attempts to invest in up valuing insect as alternative food product that is less attractive, yet will create massive contribution to food insecurity and nutritional gap in rural areas while innovatively preserving traditional wisdom and boost stability of biodiversity. It also fosters the much needed long term solution to the current socio-economic gap within the country that targets the most marginalized group, i.e, ethnic girls adolescents, inside the most potent portion of the population, the youth. Moreso, because of providing a non-traditional training on business skills development and behavioural change intervention, it strategically fosters new paradigm for the future Lao economic drivers. One clear advantage is availability of means to upvalue insect production as alternative food product as it is popular in Lao, i.e., wasp, bees, ants, cricket, etc. Market linkage will be addressed by public campaigns on nutritional front with academe research.

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)

Oxfam is a conferederation of non-profit organizations working to empower people against poverty across the globe. See

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 always attempt to try innovative ideas out what is already available to support sustainable development - including food security, livelihood stability and economic empowerment of the poor especially women and youth. Oxfam in Laos CD-CID - ...which proved inspiration on the "how" while the FAO 2014 research on Edible insects in Laos on the "what" of this idea

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

Bridging Planet and Prosperity: planet is influenced by how people are aware and equipped with the necessary knowledge to preserve and utilize it the best possible way towards prosperity. Prosperity is also influenced by industry of people and know-how on how to make effective use and stewardship of their environment.

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

We will work with civil society organizations, development partners, market vendors, community people/youth as well as business/product development advisers from National University of Laos' school of gifted and ethnic students that provides training on insect farming innits Edible Insect demo unit.

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

- there is viable source of insects, insect farming is already being practiced in Laos but nutritional information are not present and the public are not much aware of its contribution to food insecurity

Geographic Focus

Lao PDR, Southeast Asia

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

36 months

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

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jaskeerat Bedi

Hi Cherry , what an interesting idea. Have you also looked at

Might be some interesting intersection!

Photo of Cherry

Thank you very much for your interest! I will take a look and see links to improve this proposal!

Photo of Cherry

Hi! yes thanks for sharing! I think good to connect with them! ,It is a clear example and inspiration for the business case. I am now more curious on their technology, product development techniques and government engagement that enabled them to upscale not just locally but also abroad!