Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.
The primary goal of the Foundation is to empower as many people as possible through economic development. In our host countries we are providing the initial capital and resources for groups to start businesses. To "create a pathway out of poverty" people need jobs. Underemployment is not only a problem of the developing world, but also in the developed world. The difference is that in the developing world opportunity for gainful employment or to secure resources to start your own business is almost non-existent.
Part of the problem in Haiti and Ghana is that many products sold within the countries are imported. Without a local market place, it is difficult to strengthen the economy. We are actively helping the groups market their locally grown and manufactured products.
Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.
Currently we are increasing geographic reach within our host countries. We began our development model in Haiti. Our projects are located in Milot, Thibeau, Lory, Larevoie, Campion, Dubre, Jean-Michel, Laplange, Riviere Sable, Grison Garde, Carre and Robillard. In Ghana, we began our work in western Ghana. We drilled 9 borehole wells reaching over 9,000 villagers. This established our relationship with the local people and we now have 7 economic projects in Ghana located in Dawhenya, Odumase, Akrusu Saisi and Tema. We are now assisting in the development of marketing strategies within our host countries and on-going training for our group members.
Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)
Government, NGOs/Nonprofits, For profit companies, Academia/universities.
If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?
We could not exist in Ghana without the support of the government. The President's Office through the Minister of State accompanies our teams on occasion and helps us to maneuver through existing red tape.
Our partnership with World Vets is helping to provide education, advice and supplies to ensure the success of our 5 animal husbandry projects in Haiti.
The for profit companies are providing a necessary source of funding for our projects and also increased awareness about our work. Employees from these companies have become involved in our projects.
Our partnership program with local universities is new but we envision a long term partnership with students and professors. The Foundation will benefit from their expertise and also increase our visibility.