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Two Community Initiatives for Poverty Reduction and Empowerment


Min Bista Programme Specialist for Education & He Pei National Programme Officer UNESCO Beijing The Barefoot College India Microfranchising in Latin America, Africa ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Two Community Initiatives for Poverty Reduction and Empowerment

Two Community Initiatives for Poverty Reduction
and Empowerment
  • Min Bista
  • Programme Specialist for Education
  • He Pei
  • National Programme Officer
  • UNESCO Beijing

Scope of Presentation
  • The Barefoot College India
  • Microfranchising in Latin America, Africa and

Indias Barefoot College An Alternative Learning
  • Established in February 1971 as a place of
    learning and a centre of development
  • External experts can do little in community
  • In development, there are no experts
  • Solutions to poverty lie within the community
  • Any village member can acquire the knowledge and
  • For the people, with the people and by the people

  • Men are restless, ambitious, compulsively mobile,
    and want a certificate
  • Training grandmothers is much easier than
    training men
  • The college trains local people as doctors,
    teachers, engineers, architects, designers,
    mechanics, communicators and accountants
  • Women, without degrees and many without the
    ability to read, do incredible things at the
    Barefoot College.

  • Illiterate women have fabricated a sophisticated
    solar cooker, and they make 60 meals twice a day
    using this technology
  • Women use their own unique technology to
    waterproof the roof, and since 1986, it hasnt
  • The college has an illiterate grandmother who
    works as a dentist, taking care of the teeth of
    7,000 children
  • Every 5 years, the children elect someone between
    6-14 years old to serve as prime minister,
    complete with a cabinet and the duty to supervise
    150 schools one girl who was elected went on to
    win the Worlds Childrens Prize

The Barefoot Engineers
  • Solar-powered cookers are constructed to break
    dependence on wood or costly kerosene.
  • Some lessons at the college are recorded and
    uploaded to the internet.
  • There is no hierarchy everyone eats sitting on
    the floor and no one receives a salary of more
    than 150 per month.
  • Importantly, there is financial transparency.
    Staff bank accounts are published, as are company

First woman who graduated as a solar engineer
  • Fi

Sophisticated equipment A pioneering solar
engineer helps install and maintain solar panels
that keep the local villages supplied with
electricity. Solar panels in Tilonia produce
electricity for most homes, besides feeding
barefoot college facilities that include 20
computers, a telephone exchange, 700 lights,
fans, a photocopying machine and an audiovisual
Recycled reports An artist from the Barefoot
College, prepares masks for plays and puppet
shows with material from recycled World Bank
Drop-outs, wash-outs The college gives simple
school lessons in reading, writing and accounting
to adults and children through its night schools.
Night schools impart skills that people need in
their everyday lives
Female strength Women gather in a village square
to raise their voices in protest against cases of
rape. Girls heavily outnumber boys in the night
schools and many of the engineers trained in the
college are women. Women mobilize support for
community development initiatives.
  • The success of the college is being replicated,
    and its impact extends beyond Indias borders.
    There are now at least 20 Barefoot College field
    centers scattered throughout the country.
  • Semi-literate middle-aged women have traveled
    from places as divergent as Afghanistan,
    Cameroon, Gambia, Mali, and Sierra Leone to
    develop the skills to solar electrify their own

Microfranchising creating wealth at the bottom
of the pyramid
  • Has its roots in traditional franchising (TF)
  • Relies on a business model that has been tested
    and proven to work
  • With the proven model, franchisees can operate
    subsequent outlets at lower risk
  • The franchisor provides training and support
  • The franchisor has better negotiating power with
    the suppliers and is able to reach economies of
    scale in several areas

  • Microfranchising already successful social
    entrepreneurs together with people who are
    motivated to create their own small enterprises
    but who often lack skills and capital that can
    lead to success
  • Together they can grow the overall impact of a
    business and create a local ownership and
    management opportunity
  • Different from franchising in size and scale, MF
    has been a powerful economic accelerator in the
    developing world

  • Micro refers to
  • _ Little capital
  • Low income customers
  • Low investments
  • Initial investments needed may range from almost
    nothing to 1500 (in contrast to 3000 to set up
    a shop as an individual entrepreneur or 25,000
    to start a fast food franchise)

  • Can be beneficial in economies where educational
    options are limited, markets are less developed,
    and there is a weak business community
  • For people who are just getting by, do not want
    to invest time and resources to test new ideas
    and do not have the means to make investments
  • MF reduces the risk to the microfranchisees
    because the business model is proven

Example of Famous Microfranchising in Ghana
In 2005, Fan Milk employed 350 people directly
and 8000 people indirectly, of which 7000 are
street vendors. Each day a street vendor buys
33 of inventory and can make a profit of 5.50,
which is higher than the average income of Ghana
1.90. All vendors are required to save 0.55 per
day, almost 200 a year, which Fan Milk saves in
a bank. The saving is available to the
microfranchisees once they leave the company.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUL'S) PROJECT SHAKTI
  • HUL, the Indian subsidiary of the multinational
    company Unilever whose nutrition, hygiene and
    personal care products and brands are widely
    recognized worldwide.
  • HUL launched Project Shakti in 2001, a Base of
    the Pyramid initiative for rural women, or Shakti
    Entrepreneurs (SE), who sell HUL products such as
    soap, toothpaste, and detergent, in their
    villages and nearby communities for a profit. As
    of now there are more than 40,000 SEs covering
    over 100,000 villages throughout India.

  • Members of the Shakti network penetrate and reach
    out to some of the most unfrequented corners of
    rural India.
  • Project Shakti creates income generating
    capabilities for underprivileged rural women, by
    providing a sustainable micro-enterprise
    opportunity, and improves rural living standards
    through health and hygiene awareness.
  • HUL claims the creation of 100,000 SEs covering
    500,000 villages and touching the lives of 600
    million rural people.

  • VisionSpring (VS), formerly called Scojo
    Foundation, is a nonprofit social enterprise that
    reduces poverty and generates opportunity by
    enabling partners to diagnose minor eyesight
    problems and sell affordable reading glasses that
    correct those problems.
  • VisionSpring targets rural areas with the
    explicit goals of increasing the number of people
    with access to reading glasses, creating jobs for
    local entrepreneurs and facilitating access to
    comprehensive eye care.

  • To scale rapidly, VS uses a variety of different
    channel approaches, including Vision
    Entrepreneurs (micro-franchisees) dedicated
    solely to selling VS products and a network of
    partners that carry multiple products.
  • VisionSpring has also developed a referral
    network for people with vision disorders that can
    not be helped by reading glasses alone.
  • It provides a "business in a box" along with
    training for rural vendors, who learn to use
    simple testing charts for vision and then make
    appropriate spectacles.

  • The vendors' cost of production is 2 per pair of
    spectacles and they sell these at 3 each. This
    is affordable for Indian villagers, yet yields a
    decent profit for VisionSpring, intermediaries
    and rural vendors.
  • Hence the scheme is viable and can be scaled up
    to cover thousands, possibly millions of vendors
    across developing countries.
  • Hopes to sell one million spectacles by 2016.

Village Phone Microfranchising in Indonesia
A local small-business enterpreneur purchases a
pre-packaged kit that includes a mobile phone
with a micro-finance loan and then re-sells the
airtime minutes to neighbours. The mobile
phone serves as a platform to provide additional
applications and services to further increase
their revenues and margines One example of its
services is called Day Job Search, which
connects the poor in Indonesia to informal sector
job opportunities, increasing the chances of
stable income for the household. Through
subscription, job seekers pay less than 30 cents
per week in order to receive SMS with a job
listing that meets 3 criteria location,
specified job category and preferred salary
range. The programme has recruited 6,876 VPOs
serving more than 600000 customers. Owned by
women mostly. 57 percent participants have moved
above the poverty line in 4 months (USD 2.50 per
Role of CLCs
  • Information (about skills training, financing,
    materials, market, franchising opportunity)
  • Gatekeeping (a link between businesses and local
  • Training and capacity development
  • Risk analysis (needs, demand, capacity,
  • Create microfranchise as per participants needs
    and demands or to invest in existing
    micro-enterprise and make it suitable for
    replication (or help set up individual businesses)

  • Continued research
  • Protection of members against fraud or business
  • Social networking
  • Identify groups in need of support

  • Research