BraveHearts Expeditions

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BraveHearts Expeditions: Outdoor Leadership and Adventure Sports Centre for Ghana

Akosombo, GhanaAccra, Ghana
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our Adventure Sports business, BraveHearts Expeditions, introduces modern-day explorer teams of Europeans and Africans to life in the deeper recesses of the Ghanaian Jungle in ways that create a profitable business and provide economic incentives to rural communities to prevent ecosystem decline.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every African knew more about Africa than David Livingstone and Christoper Columbus combined?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Although Ghana is rich in culture, wildlife, forests, mountains and the largest man-made lake on earth – the resources that can be harnessed on a largely sustainable scale to generate high tourism and adventure sports revenues – most of its citizens wallow in economic hardships brought on, in addition to many other reasons, by (1) a weak and falling currency, (2) high unemployment rates and (3) environmental degradation.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Our solution to the problems identified above is BraveHearts Expeditions, a novel business model that (1) Brings in more foreign currency to Ghana, (2) Provides economic opportunity and jobs for us and for our 12 employees and (3) Provides economic incentives to local communities to halt the process of environmental degradation and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Our clients pay us to sleep in canvas tents, hack their way through jungle thickets, scramble over dirt rocks, slush through knee-high rivers and engage waterfalls on experiential learning expeditions that give them so much more personal development achievement in return, and indirectly provides additional monthly income for rural folks, 65% for women.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our Adventure Sports business brings in two distinct revenue streams. The first comes from our Jungle Expeditions where our teams of European and Ghanaian young people push themselves beyond their regular limits of physical, educational, cultural and mental endurance in the deeper recesses of the Ghanaian jungle. Our second revenue stream comes from our Cross-Country Safaris. BraveHearts Expeditions began full scale operations in 2012 with High Schools in Ghana and had revenue of $9,000. In 2013, our expedition revenues doubled, after the MoU that brought in our German and Finnish clients, to $20,000. We further exploited that opportunity with our Cross-Country Safari innovation which brought in our second revenue stream of $24,000.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

In terms of business development achievement, the project has (1) Increased BraveHearts Expeditions’ revenue streams, (2) Expanded our Adventure Sports services to include Rappelling, and (3) Built expedition locations infrastructure for more marketability. Because poverty from unemployment is the single most widespread reason rural communities adopt practices and use technologies that destroy the environment and cause biodiversity loss, the project has further (1) Assisted the rural poor to manage natural resources for sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation in the set-up of community-based tour-guide associations that raise income from local tourists, and (2) Created incentives to slow down the process of environmental degradation in the form of scholarships for brilliant but needy students (15 so far), and in the provision of potable drinking water in rocky villages.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The key outcomes of the project, and the measures of success in revenue terms would be (1) Commercially viable commencement of Canoeing as an additional revenue stream along Lake Volta (projected to bring in a worse-case 4th revenue stream of $120,000 annually), (2) Sustainable small-scale development and facility expansion of our experiential learning expedition locations (which will further help to attract our corporate clients to our Corporate Expeditions), (3) $100 additional monthly income per families of 20 local guides, and (4) 20 additional jobs annually, 65% for rural women.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

In order to remain financially sustainable, BraveHearts Expeditions will continually expand its clientele base to include government, military and paramilitary organizations in Ghana. The more clients we have, the more sustainable our business. This also allows for new and follow-on products and services such as zip lining, paragliding, sky diving, bungee jumping and parachuting. We could also spread across the West African sub-region in 5 years.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We are recognized by the Ghana Tourism Authority as the sole Adventure Sports firm in Ghana. They would seek our advise before licensing any other company to run similar services. That gives us more of a monopolistic power that can keep competition out for a rather long time. In addition, setting up an Adventure Sports company requires the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) licensing we possess, which will further keep the competition out. Our safe expedition policies and our unparalleled expedition safety record will be hard to beat by eventual competitors.
Team

Founding Story

Having been an Explorer on hundreds of international expeditions in Africa, Dziedzorm Kwaku Segbefia, our Founder and Expedition Leader, saw first-hand the many income-generation potential of Adventure Sports. He was quick to notice that Ghana remained one of the most sustainable expedition destinations worldwide, given our almost limitless natural land-forms and water course ways. As a result, he searched for people who wanted some exposure where expeditions, camping and mountaineering were concerned, and found from several places the men and women who comprise the current management team, and founded BraveHearts Expeditions.

Team

Our team is composed of seasoned business leaders from both professional and academic backgrounds who serve as our Business Advisory Board (BAB). Next in line to our BAB are the Managing and Limited Partners, the men and women with both the academic and experiential skills required to run a business as unique and as unapologetic as BraveHearts Expeditions. A constant stream of Ivy League interns from the USA augments our progressive team force.
About You
About You
First Name

Dziedzorm

Last Name

Segbefia

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

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Project
Organization Country

, GA, Accra

Country where this project is creating social impact

, EA, Akosombo

Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Foundations, Customers.

Supplemental
Awards: What awards or honors has the project received?

Ghana StartUp Cup Business Model Competition Winner 2013
World StartUp Cup Business Model Competition 1st Runner Up
Enablis Business Launchpad BPC Winner
Ghana Angel Investor Network Most Promising Entrepreneur

Where have you learnt about the competition?

Through YALI Networks and direct email

Tell us about your partnerships:

We have partnered with the United States African Development Fund (USADF) to introduce commercially viable rappelling services to Ghana as a way of expanding BraveHearts Expeditions revenue streams in order to create more economic opportunity. We are also a Ghana Tourism Authority partner in establishing lesser known Adventure Sports in Ghana. Dartmouth College's Dickey Center for International Understanding provides interns who help us scale up.

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The biggest challenge to the success of our project is cultural. Ghana does not have an outdoor culture like it exists in South Africa, for instance. The population does not readily find recreational opportunities as a matter of course in the Great Outdoors. We plan to overcome this challenge by employing marketing strategies and techniques that will make Outdoor and Experiential Learning and Adventure Sports the better recreational and team-building option.