Entraide "Empowering Africans"

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Entraide "Empowering Africans"

Brazzaville, Congo (Brazzaville)
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The mission of Entraide (Which means mutual help) is to contribute to empowering the entrepreneurial potential of Africans for personal development and a durable financial autonomy. Our program is unique and based on three key components: Training, Opportunities, and Services.

In September, we traveled to the Congo to run a pilot program for Entraide.

At the end of our three month trip, four seminars have been organized and about 400 Congolese attended the seminars. 18 students were trained on proper business management skils. For the first generation, the students launched a yogurt business in order to practice their new knowledge and sold 1200 bottles (at 100 Franc CFA each) in just 2 days.

The students of the second generation started a cake business and sold 1295 cakes in three days (at 125 Franc CFA each). 90% of the students have their business plans written, 80% have seen an increase of more than 25% of their business revenus, and according to our projection more than 50% of our graduates will see their business revenus increase by more than 200% by December 2013.

The students responded positively to the training and we received feedbackfrom all 18 students about 200 surveys. The number of students on the wait list is currently over 150 students. We visited a local orphanage, donated over 30 t-shir.

Finally, in 2012 (from September to November) a total of 26 Congolese have been trained by Entraide.


About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Congo is a developing country where the majority of the people live on less than $2/day. In the last two decades, Congo experienced three civil wars that stopped the progression of the country and its population. On March 3, 2012, an explosion killed hundreds of people and left thousands homeless. This situation is forcing the country to go backward and it will take many years for Congo to recover from this disaster. The National Report of Human Development, published in 2010 by the government of Congo, stated that the percentage of unemployment in Brazzaville, the capital, is 61.6% and in Pointe, Noire, the second largest city, 53.6%. Access to education and health care is very limited for the majority of the people. According to the report published in 2010 by UNICEF, 42% of Congolese live in poverty, 37% of the population lack education, and 60% do not have access to health care. Additionally, in a total population of four million, only 6,000 people have access to micro credit.. Due to the event on Sunday, March 3, 2012, these numbers have increased and will continue to increase if no action is taken. In Brazzaville, Congo, it is common to see lower income people operating their own small businesses on the street. The majority of the businesses sell goods and services that were purchased from neighboring countries. However, according to our research and reports from local newspapers, 80% of the businesses fail within six months or never expand or progress.

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

The mission of Entraide (Which means mutual help) is to contribute to empowering the entrepreneurial potential of Africans for personal development and a durable financial autonomy. We provide new and basic entrepreneurship and business management training to the people in Africa. The program was designed to transform the way of thinking and the way of doing business of Africans and help them develop new business habits and live peaceful life. Our organization is created to be self-sustainable, scalable and replicable. In addition, through our community oriented activities (OSP, Seminars, comunity project, salongo…) individuals, families can get out of poverty, become self-reliant, and enjoy a peaceful life in every country in which Entraide will be established Entraide means “mutual aid” in French. This is exactly what Congo Entraide, a non-profit organization in The Republic of Congo, is all about. It exists as an empowerment program of local education. The driving force of the organization is an entrepreneurial training program intended to promote alternative source of income, greater self-reliance, and enhanced community support. Our vision is simple and can be summarized as follows - TEACH basic practical business skills - EMPOWER students to work to achieve goals - GUIDE AND PROVIDE FREE CONSULTING through principles of free enterprise. - CHALLENGE THEM DO IT themselves - SUPPORT through alumni and mentoring programs
Impact: How does it Work

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

The program is designed to teach the basic entrepreneurship mind set by using real world case studies and examples. The case studies include; a pig farm, cleaning service, simple cellphone shop, and small restaurant business. The course will help the students to learn by asking critical questions and providing hands on exercises. As the capstone of the program, the students are required to create their own business plan. This program will empower the students to start their own business and increase their ability to be effective workers. The goal of Entraide is to empower the people in the Republic of Congo and all Africa by providing an entrepreneurship-skills training program. The training program is not designed to cover all of the expenses associated with the services. Therefore, in order to self-sustain our program, we initiate IGA (Income Generating Activities) or supportive business. The business has two purposes: 1. Provide sustainable financial support to the training program 2. Serve as the laboratory for the students to learn and apply their new skills In the Congo, our plan is to launch a chicken farm business of 500 birds initially to sustain the whole Entraide program. The team worked with Dr. Paul Johnston, former Director of Benson Institute at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, to create a highly effective operation to provide quality products to the consumers. With the business established, Entraide will have the capability to self-sustain the training program and its employees. Moreover, this business will generate employment opportunities for local Congolese. The revenue from the farm will serve to: - Pay salaries of all Entraide employees - Provide scholarships for the poorest students, especially women with children - Facilitate the expansion of Entraide - Meet other financial needs of the whole program such as attending conferences, marketing, research and development, future rent and other expenses.

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

With the price we offer for the training, there will be no co petition with local institution. Instead a program designed in the US to help Congolese will attract thousands of Congolese than will local institutions. However, several international institutions provide a fast training in basic business concept that is very different from what we will offer. - HOPE international (HOPE): A non-profit organization that provides microfinances and basic business skills operated in 16 countries. HOPE Congo has partnered with KIVA to provide their program in Brazzaville Congo. - MUCODEC: A microfinance institution that does not provide business training - CAPPED: A local microfinance institution that provides approximately the same program than HOPE. They provide fast and basic business training. - Private schools, there are number of institution provides general education to business area as well. However, most of the people cannot enter to the school because of the high cost of the tuition.