Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
Our goal is to expand the global implementation of the MCM, increasing access to financing for women entrepreneurs to start new businesses creating access to products and solutions with an economic benefit. We believe that expansion of the model will lead to the global financial inclusion of entrepreneurs and purchasers of these products. Over the next 3 years, we project that through the MCM, entrepreneurs throughout the developing world will sell more than 100,000 products, creating a net economic impact of at least $2.5 million for more than 250,000 people living in underprivileged communities. They will do this while generating approximately $280,000 in net earnings for themselves and local leadership.
Which barrier(s) to financial inclusion does your solution seek to address? (select all applicable)
The lack of affordable financial products tailored to the needs of underserved and excluded communities,, Other (Please describe below).
If you selected 'other' above, please specify which other barriers to financial inclusion you solution seeks to address:
The lack of financial products that allow entrepreneurs to start up businesses in new and/or uncertain markets
For which underserved or excluded communities will your solution create access to valuable, affordable, secure and comprehensive financial services?
The model primarily serves two groups of beneficiaries: first-time women entrepreneurs and village families. Women entrepreneurs are typically between the ages of 18 and 55 with limited education, little business experience and few (if any) income generation opportunities. The MCM allows them to generate income and open a savings account usually for the first time, putting them on the path to full financial inclusion. They are able to start businesses that they would never be able to using only microcredit. Village families save money and increase productivity by purchasing previously unavailable solutions to local needs. The village families generally live in communities with populations of between 500 and 5,000 inhabitants. These communities lack access to even the most basic products and services. The MCM creates economic opportunity for the first time for women entrepreneurs and economic security for the first time for village families.
Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?
After beginning in Guatemala in 2004, the MCM has now been replicated in Ecuador, Nicaragua, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Successful feasibility studies have been conducted in Peru, Mexico and Egypt. The MCM can be replicated in any region where there are individuals interested in starting new businesses and isolated villages that lack access to basic products such as reading glasses, water filters, solar solutions and more. Our plan is to establish incubators in different regions throughout the world to create appropriate modifications and scaled impact.
If your solution is dramatically successful, how will things be different in 10 years?
If the MCM continues to be successful, in ten years the global landscape for starting new and uncertain businesses will be dramatically different. Individuals with an interest in entrepreneurship but without a business background or education will have access to financing in order to be able to “test drive” an entrepreneurial opportunity and generate an income with taking on the risk associated with a loan. These entrepreneurs will have access to savings accounts and over time, other financial services. And through their businesses, they will create access to products and services that provide a high economic return from a savings/cost avoidance/productivity increase perspective for isolated villagers throughout the world. These villagers will have the economic security that comes with being able to save more and spend less.
What will have had to have changed to make this happen?
In order for the global landscape of entrepreneurship in new and uncertain markets at the base of the pyramid to have changed dramatically, the MCM will have had to have been implemented in regions across the world. Organizations working to support villagers throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East will have had to adopt the MCM as a successful part of their activities. For there to be a true shift in the opportunities available to new entrepreneurs, the MCM cannot expand only under the name of CE Solutions. We must work to make the model as replicable as possible so that NGOs working on a range of other initiatives can add the MCM to their array of initiatives. We will have had to have spent a good deal of time over the next ten years focusing on creating an intelligent and efficient mechanism for the continuing global expansion of the MCM, which is precisely what we plan to do.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The MicroConsignment Model (MCM) is currently operating in six countries (Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, South Africa, the Dominica Republic and Haiti). We are working with partners in Egypt, Peru and Mexico to increase global use of the model. Our entrepreneurs have conducted over 3,500 village campaigns offering a mix of 15 base-of-the-pyramid product solutions and earning over $150,000 while doing so. More than 95,000 products have been purchased generating over $3.5 million in net economic impact to more than 175,000 direct beneficiaries.
The MicroConsignment Model has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of rural villagers in developing countries. Entrepreneurs gain not only a source of income, but also a path towards financial inclusion through access to savings accounts for the first time. Community problems are addressed by these entrepreneurs, limiting the need for continuous relief work, keeping communities healthier and creating economic security.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
Over the next five years, we project that through the MCM, entrepreneurs throughout the developing world will sell more than 200,000 products, creating a net economic impact of at least $5 million for more than 500,000 people living in underprivileged communities. They will do this while generating approximately $540,000 in net earnings for themselves and local leadership and making regular deposits to new and previously unattainable savings accounts. We also intend to increase the impact of the MCM by increasing our capacity to train and provide assistance to organizations interested in implementing the model.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The MCM has been successful for over eight years. We have created profound impact in the most marginalized communities. The challenge now is determining how to effectively and efficiently expand our impact on a global level.
We have identified three primary challenges. We need financial resources. To overcome this obstacle, 80 percent of our financial resources needs are addressed through sales, income in the field, and our innovative Social Entrepreneur Corps internship program. We need strategic partners in new countries. We can reach out and create partnerships through our Ashoka network. And we need to capture and spread knowledge of and about the MCM. We have launched the Center for MicroConsignment at Miami University to foster this dissemination.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Successful launch of pilot program in the Middle East with two local partners
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Successful launch of an enhanced knowledge sharing platform and global replication fund