OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Creating the opportunity for disabled persons to become self-reliant through poultry

BP aims to empower people with disability to build sustainable poultry farming business that help them break out of poverty & hunger.

Photo of Dr. Mike Iyanro
5 1

Written by

What problem does your idea solve?

About 30 million people in Nigeria have one form of disability or another with majority living in poverty.Although poultry farming is an excellent source of livelihood,but people with disability in remote rural areas continue to struggle with significantly high-level of poverty,&restricted access to the basic human rights which we all take for granted.This is unacceptable.However,it is due to inadequate financial support, farm input,& training needed for them to succeed. This is where BP come in

Explain your idea

BirdPreneur is a social innovation initiated to create livelihoods, boost income and inspire lasting social change in the lives of PwDs. The project trains the target audience in poultry farming, basic entrepreneurial skills,applied math,financial-management skills,personal-initiative,the value of saving & a sense of social responsibility to make them self sufficient. In addition to training,the target audience receives BirdPreneur package that contains technical support in meat & egg farming, chicks(200/person),feeds, vaccines & cage,plus access to market helping them to build efficient&profitable poultry farming ventures.Every week the entrepreneurs alerts the BirdPreneur headquarters about eggs ready for pick up &the headquarters buys the eggs from the entrepreneurs to package it& resell to the market in the cities. For every crate of egg that the entrepreneurs sell to the headquarters, they receive redeemable cash points SMS over their cell phones in return which can either be withdrawn instantly or saved for future withdrawers. Entrepreneurs also receives weekly account updates directly on their mobile phones making the benefits of the partnership transparent. 10% shares of eggs produced weekly are left for the entrepreneurs to feed their family. we have ran a successful pilot benefiting over 100 families in rural Nigeria. We hope to gain design & expansion support from IDEO & Amplify to enable us empower up to 200 PwDs within year 1 of signing partnership agreement.

Who benefits?

The project target people with disabilities in rural & peri-urban Nigeria. For example: Amina is a woman with physical impairment&she is a rural dweller&mother with two kids.Shes been denied opportunities in life due to her disability&has result to street begging. However, Amina got information about BirdPreneur &she decided to enroll for the training. With BP’s help Amina is able to set up a poultry farm at her backyard, gain access to market, &She currently lives healthier&happy life

How is your idea unique?

Major players in the poultry space like BirdPreneur includes Obasanjo Farms, Amo Farms, Godeion Farms, Omoseni Farms. Most of these organizations are focused on giving back to the communities in the form of charitable donations which often doesn’t ease the suffering of the people. The BirdPreneur project is different in three ways: 1) It directly works with the local communities by making them a major player along the value chain; 2) the model uses entrepreneurial and social innovation techniques that turned the target audience into self sufficient entrepreneurs via training and empowerment. 3) the project also leverage on its vendor network (innovative food supply chain) to ensure that produce are sold on time so the entrepreneurs can make money as quick as possible. One of the biggest challenges for small scale farmers in Nigeria is access to market, but this project brings that market and makes it come to life for our entrepreneurs creating a win-win scenario along the line.

Tell us more about you

The Project itself is a product of a partnership agreement between the operator (BirdPreneur Farm Ventures) and the backer (Rainbow Gate Foundation). BirdPreneur Farm Ventures provides space and facilities for the project, while RGFN provides the operating budget and staff. We have other partnerships with Almonsour Foundation and Tony Elumelu Foundation among others.These are not partnerships for the sake of partnerships,but rather connections that help us deliver our services more effectively

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

As a programme that we hope to scale effectively, there are a number of unanswered questions: 1. What will be the best ways to adapt the programme so that it can be replicated across Nigeria and other African countries? 2. Which training techniques would be the most cost effective that would lead to sustainable outcomes for the entrepreneurs?

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Nigeria

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Idea Maturity

  • Piloting: I have started to implement my solution as a whole with a first set of real users.

How has your idea changed based on feedback?

We think that impact begins with understanding our target audience&with this in mind, we use outreach strategies in rural communities across south-western Nigeria to learn about the health-seeking behavior of our audience.For instance,we use interviews,focus groups,&follow-up surveys to know how they value the intervention,how they wish to interact with it,&how much human capital they are willing to input. After considering the results gathered,it showed that accessibility to water has been a major road-block that need urgent attention since many of our beneficiaries had to trek long distance to get water to feed their chickens &do cleaning.We immediately integrated the lessons learned&put a truck in place to help deliver water via central meeting area.This reduced the amount of trekking by entrepreneurs to less than 0.5-1 km for to&fro trip to obtain water.we also working towards getting BP mini trucks to deliver water around locations in the future in order to make it easy for PwDs.

Who will implement this idea?

BirdPreneur Farm Ventures and Rainbow Gate Foundation Nigeria will together oversee and manage the implementation of the overall programme which includes the economic empowerment and the advocacy part of the program. This will be carried out with support from local partners including other local NGO's, People with Disability groups, and local Village Development Association. These partners will enable this initiative to successfully reach the intended beneficiaries.

Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?

Big decisions are often made by the board of trustees and the Reps of the people we serve. We use empathy to put end users at the center of the problem-solving equation, & this we believe is the foundation of design thinking. With this focus, design becomes a tool for change for us.As a core team of diverse individuals, each one bringing unique&complementary skills & experiences to the table, this combination of talent, expertise, high tolerance for ambiguity dedication&determination to impact on the communities we serve & ability to take risks&experiment with new ideas are our greatest strengths.The values we share create a diversity that brings the best innovation. Our ability to relate to a wide array of people has empowered us with critical perspectives to impact on human development.

What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?

We viewed the Amplify as an exemplar of a vanguard platform that has the potential to influence the future of our world positively. This kind of platform with foundation built on human centered design approach stimulates creativity&innovation&taps into the inner child. There is no doubt that this is the type of platform we have been looking for,where empathy marries innovation, a place where our background&experience & skills can be put to use&together with others, make real things happen.

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

The major daily challenges faced by our beneficiaries involve financial and physical constraints of meeting daily needs such as food, shelter, water, and sending their kids to school which is so depressing for them since they have no source of help. Secondly, the biggest systems-level challenge that affects the end-users includes accessing social protection benefits, usually as a result of discrimination, economic and social disadvantages; often as an aftereffect to historic injustices (such as dispossession of their lands, territories and resources), lack of effective government interventions available to them (jobs, educational, and entrepreneurial) those in the rural areas are often neglected and has affected them negatively in so many ways.

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?

IMPACT: By 2022, we aim to have impacted over 3000 PwD entrepreneurs, and adding at least 2000 micro poultry ventures to our portfolio of businesses which would generate over 4,000 direct and indirect employments while impacting the local community at large. QUESTION:How do we further strengthen our model &extensive behavior-change social campaign in a way that would lead to permanent improvements in the lives of PwDs while achieving our vision 2022?

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?

  • More than 2 years

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?

  • Between 5-10 paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • Under $50,000 USD

If your team/idea/organization has a website, please share the URL below.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Stephan Hitchins

With a total population of approximately 180 million and having 30 million individuals having one form of disability or another, the need for change and investment is great. I recently read that Rainbow Chickens in South Africa is on a knife edge and may close. On the bright side this may be an opportunity to approach them and suggest a partnership that will enable a win-win situation both for yourself and the organisation. Just a thought.

RAINBOW's chickens ( are delicious roast dinners, the perfect Isishebo and succulent braais. We produce 4-million birds per week, creating 4-million memorable meal occasions per week. With these inspired insights, RAINBOW is evolving into a consumer-driven brand that recognises that consumers are much more than just people at the end of the supply chain.

Photo of Dr. Mike Iyanro

Many thanks Stephan..From my research RCL are closing down basically because the government has failed to tighten import controls on frozen chicken. Here is a quote from RCL Managing Director “the government was doing nothing to tighten import controls on frozen chicken, and the EU and Brazil, especially, were capitalising on this with large-scale dumping. European countries consumed mainly “white portions” (the breast), which they deemed to be the best cut. The “brown portions” (the thighs and drumsticks) were then sold off at cut price - finding their way to developing world markets such as South Africa, where they were sold cheaper than what was locally produced.“Our company’s troubles could end and jobs saved overnight if the government placed tighter regulations on imports,”

In our own case, the Nigerian government has put a total stop to the importation of frozen foods in Nigeria. At the moment, the annual domestic demand for poultry is 1.5 million metric tonnes, but Nigeria currently produces 300,000 metric tonnes. We need more farmers to come up and balance the 1.2 million metric tonnes remaining. This is a hug opportunity for our program. At the moment, there might be a roadblock around partnering or working with RCL since they are based in southern Africa. However, we might as well learn some strategies from them.
Thank you for the great suggestion.

View all comments