LES: Lavinia's Eco Solutions

LES: Lavinia's Eco Solutions: Nepali Green Entrepreneurship Centre

Kathmandu, NepalThe Hague, Netherlands
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Idea
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The Nepali Green Entrepreneurship Centre is an innovation hub for young entrepreneurs to flourish, while supporting them with implementing sustainability projects for the (rural) poor, with companies and organizations in the field. This will empower the entrepreneurs, as well as the (rural) poor.

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

Young Nepali entrepreneurs get a platform for implementing green and sustainable projects in collaboration with companies and organizations, while helping (rural) poor people in a beautiful country such as Nepal?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Nepal is also one of the poorest countries of the world since it stands on 138 on the Human Development Index (HDI) while people also suffer from food deprivation, bad sanitation, lack of drinking water, pollution, inequality, high unemployment (especially youth), environmental problems, and lack of (sustainable) energy and light. As such, Nepal is a country where sustainable development is profoundly necessary.

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

Young people are the future of Nepal, of the world, but they need a platform to flourish. LES has been asked by local Nepali youth to help with this. Therefore, inspired by Seats2Meet and iHUb, from 2015, LES will offer an office space in Kathmandu for young entrepreneurs wanting to work on sustainability projects in Nepal. Three young Nepali will maintain and manage the office. All the entrepreneurs will be trained in their first year by LES regarding sustainable business models, project management, fundraising, and coaching. Partnerships with companies and organizations will be established for maximum impact and efficiency. Sustainability projects can be implemented in (rural) poor areas where it is most needed, but also possible.
Impact: How does it Work

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

A young green energy expert, a social geographer, and a community builder find each other at the Green Entrepreneurship centre, dreaming about a project in a rural village. LES provides them information, a network, training, and coaching. LES also contacts companies of which one has great solutions for rural sustainable energy; a combination of biogas, solar and biofuels, and another company is specialized in food (Unilever). Partnerships with the young entrepreneurs are established and a pilot project starts in a village. People enjoy the green energy and light, which increases security, studying and socializing in the evenings. Bioslurry is used to increase healthy crops and yields. The project is upscaled and replicated in other areas.

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

Young entrepreneurs will be reached at first, by providing them a better future, employment, education, coaching, and general increase of self-esteem, self-confidence and empowerment. At least 1000 people will be reached through the sustainability projects, improving their lives with green energy, reduction of indoor pollution due to reduction of firewood and dung for cooking, employment, food, and studying opportunities with light at night. 1.2 billion people in the world lack reliable electricity and (local) food production needs to increase in quality and quantity in order to feed us all, and this will be tackled by these projects. Furthermore, the UNDP proved with the Micro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) in Nepal that even the poorest of the poor can be lifted out of poverty with entrepreneurship, while increasing empowerment and equality. So what are we waiting for?

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

In the first 5 years, projects are aimed to spread over the rural areas in Nepal in order to have a positive impact on social, economic and ecological terms. If successful, similar centres will be implemented in in other cities and areas of Nepal (e.g. Pokhara), as well as other countries. In these 5 to 10 years, we aim to have a positive impact on local as well as global social and economic issues of unemployment, inequality and poverty, together with environmental issues of resource use, pollution, climate change, deforestation, and biodiversity degradation.
Sustainability

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

Stage 1: The costs for the first year of this Green Entrepreneurship centre will be €16.000, excl. trainers, workshop materials, salaries EU staff. This will be covered through crowdfunding and prizes such as the this Unilever Award 2014. Stage 2: After the first year, the centre will run on fees of the young entrepreneurs themselves, partnership donations, project incomes, and possibly external funds and prizes such as the Energy Globe Award.

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

There are other examples of these projects, though not exactly the same. For instance, there is the concept of Seats2Meet, with which entrepreneurs meet each other in an open office space, for instance in Utrecht, The Netherlands. LES goes there often, and finds it stimulating. In addition, there is the iHUB, a successful ICT centre for entrepreneurs to meet and start businesses together. Both concepts have been successful, so a centre which provides similar opportunities, together with additional ones such as training and concrete support with implementing projects, seems very promising.
Team

Founding Story

When travelling in Nepal in 2005, Lavinia was amazed by the beauty of the country and its people. The friendliness, the peacefulness, the gentleness and the magnificent Himalaya. However, she also saw the poverty and struggle of the Nepali. Indeed, she met a young Nepali who has been struggling whole his life in poverty and asked Lavinia for help. Back in the Netherlands, she had been thinking about a way to help him and the country in a sustainable manner. After some time, she came up with this project. It has been developing over time, and with the help of two trainees, the project has finally taken maturity since the last couple of months. Now she is ready to go back to the country and implement it with passion!

Team

Lavinia Warnars (Owner & Founder LES) Sylwia Koricka (Junior Consultant LES) Ana Rodrigues Gomes (Junior Consultant)
About You
About You
First Name

Lavinia

Last Name

Warnars

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

Project
Organization Country

, The Hague

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Kathmandu

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Businesses, Other.

Supplemental
Sector

Improving Nutrition, Greenhouse Gases, Sustainable Sourcing, Opportunities for Women, Inclusive Business, Smallholder Farmers.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

Young Nepali Entrepreneurs are the first customer/recipient groups and some are already very interested in the project. They will have to be involved in the first stage of the project: setting up the centre. The second stage is to include (rural) poor in the entrepreneur's green (energy) projects, therefore being the second customer/recipient groups. A third group of customers is the private sector and (development) organizations working through partnerships with the entrepreneurs on local solutions.

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

In the first two years, starting in 2015, this prize could help us invest in an office space and three young entrepreneurs managing that space. It will also support investments in training and coaching the entrepreneurs with their business models. This will cost at least € 16.000,-, excl. training materials, trainers, and the three EU based staff of LES (Lavinia Warnars, Sylwia Koricka and Ana Rodrigues Gomes). Furthermore, the prize can support investments in a website, crowdfunding campaign and general publicity in Nepal and the Netherlands. Overall, the prize would be a boost for the project, and it could realize a long-aspired dream!

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

Since January 2014, Lavinia Warnars has been working full time for LES on sustainability projects, consultancy, coaching, and workshop facilitation. She has been working since 2009 on the Yasuni-ITT Initiative of Ecuador to keep oil underground in the most biodiverse park of the world. In 2013, Lavinia did a traineeship at the Hivos Green Entrepreneurship Department with regards to renewable energy, agriculture, and carbon finance.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?

yes

Will you require a visa to enter the UK?

Are you are a current Unilever employee?