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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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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 three 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 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

21 comments

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Photo of Sophie Lyman
Team

Janet, I'm so glad to see the Haiti Comunitere Resource Center here! I actually stayed at the Resource Center a few years ago, wrote a blog about my stay there, and have been telling people about it ever since! When I was there, various organizations had built example eco-technologies for people to use (I slept in the recycled trash house, used the composting toilets, and marveled at the aquaponics and other eco-technologies). Our consortium is launching a social enterprise to locally manufacture and sell renewable energy cooking solutions (solar and biogas), with a University in Hinche acting as key implementing partner, with their BioScience students providing a means towards human-centered design of products and enterprise operations. I hope we can one day showcase our solar and biogas cooking solutions at the Resource Center, and train people in their usage!

Photo of Janet Ilott
Team

Hello Sophie, it's a pleasure to hear from you! I saw your initiative and was thinking of offering our center as a training location! We would love to have you!

Photo of Janet Ilott
Team

PS. Would you mind sending me your blog address? I would love to see it!

Photo of Sophie Lyman
Team

My pleasure! My blog didn't last very long, and I was a novice blog-writer, but here is the entry on Haiti Communitere: http://sophie822.blogspot.com/2012/03/monday-02202012-port-au-prince-haiti.html

Photo of Janet Ilott
Team

Thank you so much Sophie! I enjoyed reading this! As you know Haiti Communitere has been a launchpad for many projects. I particularly enjoyed reading about the aquaponics. And yes we have somewhat of a "hippy" past but I believe have moved a bit past that! It would be great to have you showcase your projects here and I hope you have the chance to come and visit!

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