Mmofra Trom Bead Project
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Go to Project: Mmofra Trom Bead Project.
The Mmofra Trom Bead Project is a social enterprise that raises profits through bracelet sales to fund education for children in Ghana.
About Your Organization
Mmofra Trom Bead Project
Country where this project is creating social impact
Ghana, GA, Somanya
Is your organization a
Non‐profit / NGO / Citizen sector organization
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Growth (your pilot is up and running, and starting to expand)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
There are children in developing countries that, if educated, could end to the cycle of poverty that has affected their families through obtaining a higher-paying, stable occupation. This is because education creates economically productive citizens. Higher productivity leads to higher standards of living, which create better health conditions, more employment opportunities and higher environmental awareness which, put simply, contribute to the end of the cycle of poverty. Simultaneously, there are countless hours wasted by students in developed nations that could be better used to address social issues while gaining an experiential education. Furthermore, there are many small businesses in developing countries seeking financing for expansion that can not afford the 30-40% interest rates.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
The Mmofra Trom Bead Project addresses all three problems with one solution. The three demographics looking for social improvement collaborate to operate a bracelet business. The profits from this business are used to fund education for students in Ghana. In our recent expansion, the MTBP proposes to implement an expense that covers an internship program that provides students from developed countries the opportunity to travel to a developing country and learn about social entrepreneurship. This program will evoke empathy in the university students prepare these young adults to be committed to social change. The beads from the bracelets are made in Somanya, Ghana by local artisans. They are bought in large quantities at fair trade prices which contributes to the economic development of the artisans and their families. The students then string the bracelets for a couple hours a month and then ship them to the US. MTBP uses a portion of the retained earnings to give loans at a 5% rate.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Beads are bought by program directors from three artisans based in Somanya, Ghana. The main supplier is named Juliana and she supports her family and pays tuition for her children to attend school. The bracelets are then brought to the Mmofra Trom Elementary school where 16 orphaned students were given a full scholarship to attend, room and board. The students are very busy with their studies, sports and activities, but make time to string the bracelets a few hours a month as a team. The children 16 children are able to make around 1,000 bracelets in a few hours. This project was originally designed because there was no funding for these children to attend high school and college after they graduated the Mmofra Trom Elementary School. Students lead by professor Diane Kellogg, developed a sustainable business plan to teach the US students about social entrepreneurship and find funding for the Ghanaian students. The bracelets are then shipped to Bentley University where students market and sell the bracelets. Every business decision made considers how it will affect the children's education fund that is comprised of the aggregate profits stored in a BofA account in the US. The first child to benefit from the Bead Project will graduate in 2013. Until then, the money is stored and safely invested. One of our recent investments has been to give a microloan to a network of female poultry farmers near Akusari, Ghana.When MTBP leaders met the group they explained how if they had a mill,they could make feed and sell to other farmers to grow their business. MTBP gave them a microloan
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
The School Fund is a non-profit organization that shares a mission and target very similar to that of MTBP. Specific children that are in need of funding for their education are listed on the website. People can donate directly on the website and choose the child who they want to fund. The personalization of the children directly being funded by the School Fund is a potential threat as far as competitors, but is an avenue that the MTBP is currently exploring. On the other hand, MTBP is a sustainable, income generating business that raises money through profits rather than donations. The bracelets are a statement that the customer supports social and economic development globally.Other organizations, like Relief Beads, sell bracelets that use a portion of sales to fund a different cause.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
MTBP gives the gift of education one bracelet at a time. Students helping students end world poverty through education.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Instead of seeking donations, MTBP developed a social enterprise that evokes empathy in stakeholders- students, interns,and customers.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The Mmofra Trom Bead Project has sustained over $25,000 in aggregate profits. This is enough money to ensure that 6 children have funding to attend the best high schools in Ghana. MTBP is working hard to expand our project to cover high school and university tuition for the 16 original children and grow the initiative to benefit more children in the surrounding areas. These children strive to be doctors, professors, accountants and journalists. They want to benefit their communities and provide better lives for themselves, their sisters, their brothers, their children and their countries. These children feel empowered because they have contributed to the Mmofra Trom Bead Project which is funding their future education costs. These kids get so excited when they talk about what high school and university they will attend. Before the Mmofra Trom Bead Project, these kids were scared about what would happen to them after elementary school, now they know that their dreams will be a reality.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
MTBP is working hard to increase sales so that all of these children will have the funding needed to complete their education. The MTBP has entered many competitions to increase global awareness about the project. The bracelets offer customers the ability to redirect their spending to educate children in Ghana while still buying the gifts and jewelry that they would have otherwise bought. We are working hard to get the bracelets in more stores, increase our internet presence and get the bracelets on more college campuses. This will ensure that MTBP can reach its goal of educating 16 promising Ghanaians that will enhance their communities. They have confidence knowing that there are people across the globe that believe in them, understand their situation and want to help!
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The barriers are that the project is dependent on volunteer time from both the American students and the Ghanaian students and that it is hard to justify advertising expenses to increase sales.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Reaching enough money to send 10 students to high school.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Gain more public awareness
Increase internet traffic
Sell bracelets in more stores and at more college campuses.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Reaching enough money to send all 16 students to high school.
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Gain 1000 twitter followers.
Receive 50 online purchases per month.
Find 10 active whole-sellers and 15 college campuses to partner with.
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
The "Aha" was when we realized that we could make a difference after receiving the grant to attend the AshokaU conference. That was the first vote of external confidence that the Mmofra Trom Bead Project received. They realized the fact that in the last three years we have taken the project from an idea to a sustainable social enterprise operated by students and a professor mentor/ adviser. They were astonished that we are on track to send all of these children to high school and university and are already planning on who will be the next group of children to benefit from the project. Since attending the conference, we have recently won awards to validate our efforts and gained global recognition. We are confident that people all over the world will wear Mmofra Trom Bead Project Bracelets to show that they are committed to ending the cycle of poverty through education.
Tell us about your partnerships
Currently,we have partnerships with Baking for Good, which donates a portion of sales to the Mmofra Trom Bead Project when the customers selects our cause. We are currently seeking more partners.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
We rely on student volunteers and interns that dedicate their time to expanding the MTBP. Furthermore, the children in Ghana donate their time to the project to ensure that their is a steady supply of bracelets to sell. In addition, without faculty guidance, we would never be where we are today.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
Collaborative advertisement opportunities/ sharing ad space/ putting links on websites.
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