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Micro-Business Incubator (MBI)

MBA in MBI: Small investments into big dreams that open doors for young people. Our idea is a business incubator that will work as a platform to tackle the problem of youth unemployment by identifying and training employable and entrepreneurial young people to design and operate the microbusinesses that provide jobs for other youth and meet the communities needs for goods and services.

Photo of Alain MABOKO
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The Micro-Business Incubator (MBI) is a platform for young entrepreneurs to develop and refine their entrepreneurial ideas and compete for investment and launch business that open up employment opportunities.  The idea comes from the need to create more jobs that entry level graduates and young people can perform.  In Goma, North Kivu – the eastern border town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, universities are churning out 2,100 graduates every year, but the job market is producing less than 300 jobs.  The idea aims to invest in the micro-start ups that give young people opportunities for employment. Rather than donations, this platform will use impact investments and crowd-funding (primarily from the local middle-class) to support young entrepreneurs who understand that business development is also about job creation. These investments will be packaged as low-interest loans or equity stakes.

The best mentors are business people/managers in Goma.  We would like to identify these individuals to volunteer their time to support participants in the incubation process of their businesses.  Goma is full of goods and services providers who can help young entrepreneurs manage their enterprises and network.
 
MBI will support new ideas, business development and mentorship of participants directly over a 6 months period.  The participants will formally continue the mentoring relationship over the course of one year.  Return on financial investments will depend on the agreed upon repayment calendar of the impact investors.  The repayment schedule will take place 6, 12, 18, 24 months following the start-up each participant’s social enterprise.  Impact investors will have the option of cashing their investments beginning 12 months after the start-up of the social enterprises at 6 month intervals.
 
Once the cohort graduates from the program they will begin a mentoring relationship with chosen mentors for a minimum of 12 months.  This mentoring relationship can continue informally following the initial 12 months.  The cohort graduates will take part in monthly peer-to-peer reflections coordinated by the MBI for a 6 month period to share lessons learned and to inform institutional knowledge to improve services provided by the MBI.  MBI will provide risk management services to cohorts who seek second round funding through micro-finance or formal banking institutions.    

The keys to success will be developing local ownership of the concept of impact investment and inspiring young people to invest in themselves and their ideas instead of the prodded path of seeking unsustainable employment.


 

What are the next steps for implementing this idea?

- Organizational establishment (2 months) - Mapping of the community needs for goods & services in Goma (2 months) - Fund-raising for first round of investments (3 months) - Request submission from social entrepreneurs (1 month) - Interview selected finalists (1 week) - Select cohort (2 weeks).

Briefly describe a user scenario which illustrates the specific need that your idea is trying to solve.

Chubaka is a 28 year old university graduate who lives in Virunga, a neighborhood in Goma characterized by the multitude of hand-made wooden homes built on black volcanic rock. Since graduating from university, Chubaka found a small house to rent near the community water tank. During the dry-season, Chubaka fills up his 20-liter jerrycans of water and sells them for $0.20 each, during the rainy season he sells his jerrycans for $0.15 and makes about $10 a day in revenue but $2 after costs before he goes out into town to look for work. He He reaches out to the MBI one day after one of his customers told him that he heard the Micro-business Incubator is looking for entrepreneurs to improve access to water in Goma’s neighborhoods through profitable businesses. After noticing that almost half of the people who come to fetch water are children under 10 years old he submits a business proposal to include a delivery service to his water business and wins a place in the pioneer cohort where he learns business modeling, financial and human resource management, customer retention and risk management among other business skills from seasoned business development experts. He also strikes up a good relationship with John a taxi-driver who finished secondary school at the top of his class but didn’t have enough money for college but seems to know everyone in Virunga. On graduation day, Chubaka presents his business plan for the water delivery service and earns a $1,200 low-interest loan to start his business. He chooses John and Fatima as his employees. Fatima is a young girl from his cohort with a knack for closing deals who lost a job-offer from a prominent Non-profit organization because she refused to kick-back some of her salary to the human resource rep. Together, these three young entrepreneurs begin their business under the tutelage of Deo, a coffee shop owner in Goma known for her extravagant hairstyles and propensity to feed street children with gourmet food. After a difficult start-up period, Chubaka and his team can boast a client list of 120 families who pay a monthly fee for regular water deliveries and three hotels that have commissioned water deliveries when their own water reserves run low. After 6 months each earns a weekly salary of 65$ and the business is generating profits of 120$ a month.

Complete a User Experience Map. This will help you visualize how a potential end user will interact with your idea. Once you have completed it, upload it using the Upload File button at the end of this form. PDF files preferred.

  • Completed

Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

Young people (18-45 years of age), - high school graduates, college graduates, entry-level job seekers, under-employed professionals in Goma, North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A successful entrepreneur for this program will bring the following assets to the table: - Entrepreneurial spirit/experience - Formal education - Understanding of the community needs - Innovative responses to meeting community needs - Quick learner and proficient teacher - Perseverance A critical component to the success of the MBI and the corresponding success of participants is the mentoring that comes alongside business start-ups.

How is your idea specifically increasing access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people?

Unemployed young people have a unique perspective on the service and product delivery gaps that exist in their communities. They often reside in underserved communities. The entrepreneurial ones see these gaps as opportunities and only require mentoring, the right competitive environment and a financial boost to turn these opportunities into businesses that create jobs. This idea will nurture the innovative small businesses that create jobs for 1-3 people such as motorcycle food delivery services.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

To test out the viability of the MBI, we will pilot a "pioneer class" of 10 young business minded individuals. These candidates will be mentored on key business principles for a short defined period of time after which they will all submit a business idea and plan for operationalization to a competitive review. The "winning" proposal writer will then hire a group of 1-3 candidates from his cohort to help launch his/her business.

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

The MBI is looking for general feedback on the idea and guidance on how to manage risk in micro-businesses and strategies for recruiting social investment.

The idea emerged from:

  • An OpenIDEO Meetup

How do you envision your idea being implemented?

  • Keen to be involved in prototyping but need partners at some stage
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Attachments (2)

Small Investments into big Dreams-Micro Business Incubator.doc

Great Vision Small Business Start lower-Think higher-Skill faster-Do big.

ideo.pdf

Chubaka's experience with the MBI

50 comments

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Spam
Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Alain the idea is good. It is a relative to mine. How might we work across the border to leverage experience over time?

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

let connect regularly, share experience en endeavors. I wish I have you in my team.

Spam
Photo of An Old Friend
Team

I added you to my team. We value your contribution. Let's keep these ideas alive!

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

sounds great. likewise. thank you team.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Dear Alex and Team, It took me quite long time meeting with different youth CSOs here in Goma sharing on youth unemployment and underemployment issues, many ideas came up. the CSOs and YALI(Young African Leaders Initiation/YALI network here (Obama's initiative) which is closely working with our MBI have realized that the poor retirement policy and heavy tax are blockages for the youth startups in the region. MBI planning to further actions for youth support. thanks sharing with us your experience or ideas in this challenge.

Spam
Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Good job Alain. Our Innovation Centre is also on the move, making some good progress slowly but surely.

Spam
Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Great ideas Alain,
I run an youth centre in Uganda, let's see how we connect to share information. In the meantime you can read about my work at www.ceda-Uganda.org or my project CATHY (Catch Them Young).

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Do you have some collaborative input for Alain – or questions to help him expand his thinking here, Rehmah?

Spam
Photo of Jean-Marc Mercy
Team

Alain, great ideas. Maybe one of the ways to help young entrepreneurs have access to mentors is to organize workshops where identified mentors are invited as guest speakers, and young entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more. I am curious to know how you will implement your idea. We are working on a similar project here in Kinshasa. Let us connect and share more thoughts together. Look forward to hearing from you.

Spam
Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Alain,
To build up to your idea, you find that Amy young people have ideas but they can't actuaries them due to several reasons, but on of the critical areas of intervention we found and do are these:
1. Leadership skills Development: skills like self-discovery, goal setting, communication, confidence are critical is enabling youth to think by themselves, have critical and problem solving skills and get confidence to take on challenges.
2. Vocational skills: by developing their technical skills, youth can easily translate this into business. Here are talking bout tailoring, cooking and backing, art and crafts, electrical repairs etc. the focus here is to teach people not to dispise certain jobs just because they are graduates. Those with innovative ideas are supported but knowing that those will take months if not years to materialize into actual businesses.
3. Business skills training: take the youth through idea generation, market research, business planing, book keeping, resource mobilization etc, you can also add on branding and marketing.
4. Financial literacy, because the youth don't have money ate hand, you need to train them in budgeting, saving and investment. The form savings clubs and set goals on how much each must save and at what period. Discourage them from going to micro finance companies or banks for loans to start businesses.
5. Incubation: support them to actuality their ideas by giving them space to learn, share and network for peer-learning. Invite mentors to come and talk to them.
6. Skills linkages: connect the youth to mentors to guide them to further develop their ideas, these may be people doing similar work or not.
7. Mentorship: continue mentoring the youth by exposing them to other networks, guiding them to refine their ideas and access bigger funding when their businesses grow.

With this kind of thinking and order the youth will be supported to fully start the business with confidence and see it grow to employ other youth. It is paramount to encourage the youth to start with businesses that are sustainable in their communities and also to remember to "think big, start small and scale up"

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

REHMAH
Thanks reaching out. It was great going through your work, I am proud of what you doing. In my opinion CATHY is one of practical aspects for the youth people to Emerge. Connecting will let us discover and share more.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

REHMAH
Great orientations, I take note of your points, I really appreciate, I and my team will integrate some of the points in the work we are projecting to do, will share and develop some of the feasible ones. I look forward reading from you again. Much thanks.

Spam
Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Alain,
Thank you for adding me to your team. I will support you to bring to life those ideas even outside this forum. Let's keep the fire burning and the conversations flowing.

Spam
Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

go to the COCA COLA site and see if they are still taking applications:
http://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/5by20

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

REHMAH,
thanking you for this, I am going to give it a try. I appreciate reading from you.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Dear Rahmah,

I appreciate that you orient me in (Micro Business Incubator, MBI) idea implementation,

I'm in fact working over. I strongly consider your points. so how far are you with the SWBAP? wishing good success and glad reading from you sooner.

Spam
Photo of Jean-Marc Mercy
Team

Alain, I discussed with Rehmah, who seems to have more experience in youth development initiatives. I suggest that we organize a Skype conference to discuss about what we can do together.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

sounds good, let go for it, my team and I prose Friday evening, 3 pm my time(2pm in Kinshasa, 4pm in Uganda). I will send you an e-mail with details on how we can coordinate.

Spam
Photo of John V. Kimario
Team

Dear Allan and Team,
I love and support your awesome ideas
Allow me to quickly link you to a living practice here in Morogoro Tanzania, at The Sokoine University of Agriculture, where they have established a graduates
society, with five objectives…I hope it is good idea to link with them for the benefit of both. Kindly below find some “original” materials from two web points, one belonging to the Group “SUGECO” that I PERSONALLY ADMIRE and PRAY that you should not miss by the time this challenge closes. .. In case you have come across them; kindly bear with me, and give them another look…
Cheers. Here are their ideas in situ…
Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO)

http://apf-tanzania.ning.com/group/sokoine-university-graduate-entrepreneurs-cooperat

SUGECO society is an organization that was planned to make a difference in the minds of Graduates from higher learning institutions towards self employment, agribusiness development and Job creation.
The potential for this organization to make a difference cannot be overstated. The avenues are open and the sky is the limit. Innovation in minds, acts, and actions are what SUGECO is to pursue.
Started July 2011 registered on Friday 8th July 2011 with cooperative Registration No. MGR 620. Started with 40 founder-members: mainly SUA undergraduate finalist and post graduate students in 2011, who were aspiring to start their own agribusinesses after they graduate from SUA, and academic staff members in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness (DAEA)
PO, Capacity, Education
Website: http://www.sugeco.org/‎
Specific Objectives
http://sugeco.org/preview/objectives-of-sugeco/
1. To develop training framework and curriculum that will:
• Transform minds of graduate towards agribusiness self-employment
• Provide leadership, management and skills development
2. To establish institutions that will encourage
• Technology transfer
• Access to financial services
• Access to information
• Access to domestic, regional and international market
3. Business Networking to reduce transaction costs
• To support business startups and sustain- ability through provision of business support services
• Run agribusiness incubator
• Establish agribusiness services provision
4. Grant applications to support investment into public goods / services that will
• Enhance business startup to improve access to finance, market, information, technology and networking o Improve / enhance dialogue with government on agribusiness development
5. Generation of capital for members through:
• Savings and credit systems
• Investment of funds in low risk investment acquired through shares
• Joint business venture among members
• Access to venture capital

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Dear john,
Thanks reaching out, what a great link...with pleasure., I really appreciate connecting with the links. as I look forward discover more there in.
will get back to you for more discussion
thanks again.

Spam
Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Hey team, congratulations. Let's finalize this idea. I travel next week.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Rehmah,
should we confirm our Skype call with jean Mery. looking forwad talking to you.
did you have a look on MBI updates? journey map,...
thanking you again for your contributions. will always appreciate.
best.

Spam
Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Hi Alain, my blog featuring how you will be planning to take your idea forward is up. Check it out here!:
https://openideo.com/blog/youth-employment-challenge-community-ambassador-update-6

It's great to hear that you'll be connecting with your virtual teammates with your on the ground team! I'm looking forward to hear more about MBI's partnership with the YALI network as well!

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Hello Shane,
Great having your feedback. Thanks for the link.
Just to share on the MBI progress. For further refining, MBI sets a met up with the YALI network here (Goma) this Sunday 10th, 1 pm. We will have opportunity to tackle some of the points (sharpen the idea) and engage with the YALI here in refining.

Spam
Photo of Paul Petruccelli
Team

Hi Alain – Congratulations on making the Refinement List! At Generation Enterprise (www.generationenterprise.org), we are running a similar program for unemployed street youth living in slum areas in Lagos, Nigeria and New Delhi, India. Rather than train these youths for jobs they may not find, we teach them the skills they need to create jobs for themselves and others in the community. We recruit local street youths (via NGO and government partnerships), then provide basic business training and, importantly, training in design thinking. They then apply these skills to map the community’s needs/interest for various types of goods or services. The participants develop promising business concepts and, with a small bit of seed money from GEN, actually test out their ideas in the marketplace, using rapid prototyping to adjust the business concepts along the way. Following the testing period, successful enterprises graduate from the program and, with startup funding (small loans) from GEN, they are able to start up their microenterprises. We also provide each business with a mentor, to provide ongoing support and advice as they get started, and particularly to help them grow. These small businesses may range from supplying office cleaning services to the growing number of businesses in the area, to providing cement to builders operating locally, to setting up entertainment kiosks that sell/rent DVDs and CDs to local residents. As you can see, there is considerable overlap with your MBI initiative. I hope you’ll review the website. Happy to help with ideas, lessons learned, etc. as you refine your approach.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Paul,
Good job.
Am excited for the similarity between MBI and GEN. the overlaps make sense to me and appreciate that you come up with good points.
it wonderful going through the web site, I can see that connecting will enable us learn more and improve ideas and experience . I still look forward going through the website and reading from you. will be always glad reading from you as my idea and approach need refinement.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Dear Paul, I really like that you reached out, I just want to know how we can exchange tools, lessons learned for business training and strategies for mapping community needs for goods and services.

Spam
Photo of Paul Petruccelli
Team

Dear Alain,
My apologies for the delay in responding. Perhaps the most useful material I can provide at this stage is a summary by Generation Enterprise of lessons we've learned over the past three years of operation. http://genterpriser.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/gen-shares-lessons-learned/ . The link is to a post by our President & COO, Michael Kuntz, and discusses learnings in Program Delivery, Entrepreneur Evaluation, Business Model Design, and our own Service Model. In particular, you may want to note that we've found, for instance, that when we've pushed Fellows (program graduates) to work together on a project that was not of their own design, they've generally been unsuccessful. This may be relevant to your intended approach of putting a group of people through your training, but then picking one business (and individual) to fund and having him/her hire a couple of other program graduates to work with him in the business. Just a watch-out regarding the possible impact on people's attitudes toward a business that is not "theirs." We've also found a large difference in success rates between individuals who are pursuing entrepreneurship out of necessity vs. those pursuing it because they have a "vision" of a business they want to build. Skills (in the chosen business) and educational background are also key factors in predicting the likelihood that a business will be successful. Finally, these programs need to grapple (as we are already doing) with the understandable tendency among some program participants to start up undifferentiated, "copy-cat" businesses. These may succeed in generating increased income for the business owner, but their undifferentiated nature makes it unlikely that they will grow and generate viable jobs for others in the community. It seems likely that if programs such as these only help to create micro-enterprises that are destined to remain one- or two-person enterprises, then the cost of the program may be too high to justify the jobs it can reasonably be expected to generate. Thus, it may be productive to focus energy at an early stage on creating differentiated businesses that have the potential to expand beyond the micro level and on to the SME level.
I hope the above is helpful to you, Alain.

Spam
Photo of Agraj Dangal
Team

Hi Alain
This is a great idea, apparently my activities in Nepal coincides with yours. We have government facilitated incubation centres here which have not really been able to address the problems. Many winners of the facility have not been able to really use the opportunity. The program has helped provide the startups with a recognition which makes it easier to enter banking facilities.
When I visited the centres I got a chance to interact with only few of them. I would like to know about how are you addressing the issue of continuos evaluation and monitoring of the program. Lets take it as a long run deal. Initially there is great enthusiasm but which tends to diminish. Can you elaborate on its sustainability.
I am very skeptical about this idea since I have witnessed the least utilisation of the resources here in my country.
Thanks and good luck with your journey

Spam
Photo of Jennifer Fong
Team

Hi Agraj! Having also participated in a year-long social enterprise incubator before, I saw a few ventures drop out which was disappointing for the organizers and the fellow teams. But understandably, some teams may dissolve during the process for various reasons.

One of the preventative measures the incubator put in place to prevent drop-outs was to ask ventures to pay a fee to be in the program - which could either be used to help pay for costs, or could be reimbursed after a venture completes 100% of the program. Another thing they enforced was if ventures missed more than 3 sessions, they would be asked to leave the program and other ventures of the 'waiting list' were brought in.

Have you seen any preventative measures on your end?

Spam
Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Good tips Jennifer. Thanks for sharing!

Spam
Photo of Agraj Dangal
Team

Thanks Jennifer for your post, this certainly helps clarify few of my doubts. It would be great if you could be more specific of making this project self sustainable in the long run (I believe we can not only count on the fees provided by the ventures). Looking forward to hearing from you

Spam
Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Halo Alain and Team..

I appreciate your awesome work-

Some interesting topic -

Invitations to join in a Webinar & Twitter Chat 9/17
" Collaborating to Solve Youth Employment"

#AfricaYouthFwd #SocEntChat

http://www.changemakers.com/futureforward/blog/webinar-twitter-chat-917-collaborating-solve-youth-empl-0

* Let's showup and engage the audience with our findings and possibly seek feedback

Spam
Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Alain,
I am traveling right now, please send me an email so that I send you some ideas to Emin this project. Email: rehmah71@gmail.com

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

REHMAH,
thanking for your time,
I went through the link (cocacola website), of course I find and discover good things in, however the opportunity wasn't available. think it was expired already. your orientations are great. thanks again in directing refining my idea MBI and Emin my project on youth unemployment and underemployment.

Spam
Photo of Jean-Marc Mercy
Team

Alain, let us see how best we can work together on the projects. MBI and Bridge have the same vision. Let us join forces and tackle the issue of youth unemployment. The Bridge project has a component on training youth on entrepreneurship. Please let us arrange a Skype call. Rehmah and I discussed last on how we could work together. Look forward to your feedback soonest.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Mercy, the idea is great. Further collaboration is needed. As you are in Kinshasa, why not using phone line (+ 243 81 46 46 536 /+243 99 71 23 134), feel free to call any time (best 9am, 2pm, 8 pm your time). Thanks passing me your mobile phone contacts if you don't mind. Look forward your feed back/talking to you.

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Great to hear you're all planning to continue to collaborate towards creating more impact. Way to go! And do share your milestones along the way back here on OpenIDEO – we'd love to hear how things continue to evolve...

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Hi Meena, the MBI team members are great. we're having good and new ideas from the discussions, we actually planning a Skype call with Mercy and Rehman, as evolved, we're working on the coordination of the call. new ideas are coming up and stepping to next milestones.
thanks following up.

Spam
Photo of Uwe Schn
Team

ooops...I am team member ;-) Wellcome team! Thx Alain.

What about if you make a very short (3-4h) "pioneer class" session with some startup minded people and try to fill out a business model canvas http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas/bmc

The canvas is for free. This is the easiest way to enter the idea of lean startup mgmt, a great tool to ideate on business cases and to see what makes sense for a MBI.

If you need more support about the BMC send me a short email and I will upload some tutorial about it on a dropbox.

It might be that I can offer a small team of students from Oct-Dec to work some hours per week on the idea. They have to pass some semester work in context of entrepreneurship and I provided them the idea to work on this topic. I will keep you informed.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Dear Uwe,
That is a great idea, I look forward making together a "pioneer class" and session. thanks for the caneva, will take my time to fill out it.
also, I just want we can collaborate on design for the MBI, particularly the training and mentoring of participants.
thanks collaborating.

Spam
Photo of Uwe Schn
Team

Hi Alain, I looked to other chats at openideo and found a link to a business model canvas what is especially developed for social entrepreneurship. maybe that helps more. http://www.marsdd.com/mars-library/social-enterprise-business-models/

BR UWE

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Hello Uwe, surely that will help. you are right. thanks.

Spam
Photo of Bryan Mochizuki
Team

Hi Alain - I enjoyed reading your idea. I'm interested in learning more about some of the specifics of the commitment - in particular, how the program might be funded and who might participate as mentors to the pioneer class?

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Hi Bryan.
Great reading from you. Thanking you for being interested in my idea.

MBI as a nonprofit structure will submit proposals that will provide details on implementation of the structure (MBI), administration and programming. - Programming phase: - (planning surveys to select best entrepreneurial ideas among community young Leaders based on a schedule: selection of pioneer class to implement microbusinesses. –Training (technical skills), mentoring and fund raising (capital/funds from investors).

The structure will support young people ideas, contact local mentors and outside mentors, provide a space to learn, share and networking (clubs): take the youth through idea generation (enabling youth to think by themselves), business planning, and market research (youth will be supported to fully start the business with confidence and motivation).
- Administration: The installation of the structure (official representation), will include volunteers and full time personnel to carry out MBI program ideas.
would appreciate sharing your thoughts to build up/develop this idea.
Sorry for my late response, looking forward hearing from you again and sharing more on my idea.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

Bryan, I’d like to provide more contexts to your question. Your input helped our meet-up group to continue to refine our ideas. In Goma, there are over 600 registered non-profit organizations, 1,600 foreign workers and the base for the UN mission in Goma. In brief this means that there are quite a few people with expendable income and a social agenda. There is also the goods and service industry (particularly hotels and restaurants) that is in place now to meet the needs of these workers. The large gap however is in providing goods and services for the community at reasonable price points and a smaller gap is making the goods and services more efficiently available for the constituency of foreign workers. Our hope is that the MBI can support the entrepreneurs in Goma to identify these needs and have the skills and resources to meet these needs in a profitable manner that creates jobs for other young people.

Our goal is to tap into the working class in Goma and inspire them to be impact investors into these micro-enterprises. Using the crowd-sourcing model we hope to recruit investors who can provide equity or low interest start-up costs to the chosen participants in the MBI. We have not yet confirmed what operational costs will be however our initial estimate is that 35% of investments will go towards MBI operational costs and capital for risk management of participants business endeavors and 65% will be directed towards the business investments.

We think that this model will be most sustainable over the long-term however we recognize that the MBI will itself also require start-up costs to get platform going, specifically in regards to mapping of community needs for goods/services, costs related to the initial selection process and training of the pioneer class.

The question around mentors is something that we really wrestled with following your comments. While the easy win in Goma is to go to the business theorists in universities, we felt that the most impactful mentoring will come from business practitioners. Ideally business owners/operators in Goma will be willing to volunteer their time as mentors to the participants. As I write this, we are seated at the first coffee shop in Goma that was started by a young woman entrepreneur named Deo. Deo would be an ideal mentor for our program and we have solicited her involvement. In addition to local entrepreneurs we would also like to include entrepreneurs from other parts of the world into our program. Skype, Internet and mobile technology will make it very easy for business people from other parts of the world to contribute to the mentoring of the participants. We are still working on how this can be feasible but it’s an exciting prospect we’ll explore as the MBI gets more traction.

Do you have any ideas or experience in mentoring and mentoring models that have been successful that you can share with us? Thanks again for your feedback.

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

My team is contributing validly in the MBI (Micro Business Incubator) idea progress. thanking you all.

Spam
Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Here's a friendly tip: update your OpenIDEO profile so folks can appreciate who they're collaborating with here. Think skills, experience, passions & more!

Spam
Photo of Alain MABOKO
Team

thanks for the point, with pleasure. sooner.

Spam
Photo of Rehmah Kasule
Team

Alain,
I have tried to get in touch with you in vain, I have sent you several ideas since last week. Please check your email.