Promoting socially and environmentally sustainable social enterprise

Posts in category Media

Discussion paper: Why are sub-Saharan economies not growing sustainably?

Keith Palmer’s most recent discussion paper focuses on why sub-Saharan economies are not growing sustainably.

High GDP growth rates sustained across sub-Saharan Africa throughout the 2000-2012 “long decade” led some to claim that a process of economic transformation took place across the continent. However, the reality was very different with strong external drivers and weak domestic policy responses causing a deterioration in the competitiveness of agribusiness and manufacturing.

A breakdown in the favourable external environment since 2013 has exposed the need for major policy shifts, beyond simply restoring macro-economic balance. However, this will only be possible when host governments fully appreciate the nature and magnitude of the challenges their economies face and are willing to effect the necessary changes. At present too many have looked at the headline GDP growth rates and assumed wrongly that all is well.

The paper can be accessed here.

Keith is EfD’s Chair of Trustees.

EfD announces support for techfortrade’s Open Book Trading initiative

EfD has agreed to support the continued expansion of the Open Book Trading initiative, an online trading service for agricultural produce.

See here for more information.

Linkage Africa Case Study

EfD has prepared a case study documenting the lessons learned from Linkage’s pilot scheme. Linkage is a vegetable brokerage enterprise working with smallholder farmers in Nakuru, Kenya. The pilot scheme was implemented between July-December 2014.

Agriculture Thematic Funding Window

EfD recently launched a thematic funding window to identify and support social enterprises working in agriculture that require grant funding to initiate or scale up their operations. Some design features of the thematic funding window are provided below:

  • Sector: We are interested in opportunities involved in agriculture, with a particular emphasis on those opportunities that utilise technology to improve agricultural productivity.
  • Country focus: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
  • Population group: Opportunities should target improved livelihoods for smallholder farmers.

  • Size of grants to be provided: Grants are available through the funding window from a minimum value of $20,000 to a maximum value of $60,000.

The funding window has now closed to new opportunities and the selected grantees will be announced shortly.

LivelyHoods Case Study

EfD has released a new case study on LivelyHoods, a social enterprise that trains and employs unemployed youths to market and sell life-improving goods in Kenya’s hard-to-reach slum communities.

The case study provides an overview of the LivelyHoods business model, how the business intends to grow to date, and how it intends to scale up over the coming years.