A perfect match: How replication partnerships can effectively meet local challenges
Within the last couple of months, we have facilitated over 15 Replicator Connect Workshops in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa and Ghana. Very soon we will bring our Replicator to Mauritius and Burkina Faso. We engaged hundreds of future entrepreneurs and existing enterprises, collaborated with over 40 successful eco-inclusive ventures around the globe (Originators) and matched them with over 20 motivated entrepreneurs and enterprises (Adopters) in Sub-Saharan Africa to date. Time to pause, reflect what replication can achieve and take a closer look at our matches.
Local Replication & the global SDGs: Why replicate a proven eco-inclusive business model?
In our global efforts of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), spreading impacts of eco-inclusive enterprises has now a greater role to play than ever. Local ownership and multi-stakeholder partnerships are key to jointly address sustainability challenges within communities. Replication is an effective way of multiplying impacts of local eco-inclusive businesses in order to achieve greater global visibility and impact.
How do eco-inclusive business models innovatively meet sustainability challenges and how are these models unique?
In the case of the innovative agro-forestry business model of Sustainable Agro Ltd. (SAI), smallholder farmers are enabled to grow new plants next to their traditional crops to generate an additional income. At the same time, SAI serves as an umbrella organization, which bring the farmer's produce to the market and hence directly generate income for these smallholders.
SAIs business model is innovative and unique as it showcases an alternative to traditional agriculture while at the same time assisting smallholders in bringing their products to the market.
The model is an easy-to-implement strategy to reduce local farmers vulnerability exacerbated by low incomes and crop seasonality. While this model on its own contributes to SDG 1 (Eradicating poverty), it can be replicated in many ways and across regions to multiply these impacts.
Replication for impact in action
In Vhembe district in South Africa, one of SEED’s Adopters has proposed replicating SAI’s model using the unproductive land for granadilla production, which will grow throughout the whole year and therefore provide a steady income flow for smallholders. The next milestone of the Replication-Match will be a feasibility study of the adapted business model.
In another South African province, Mpumalanga, a second aspiring Adopter plans to plant Moringa trees using SAIs model, which provides local unemployed youth and elders with job opportunities. A pilot project is soon to be carried out with a group of identified women.
Which core activities can be replicated to achieve local impact on sustainability challenges?
Our Kenyan Originator Cleanstar is a successful eco-inclusive enterprise primarily active in product innovation. The enterprise provides sustainable, affordable, multipurpose soap, which is crafted from used oils. Replication will not only improve hygiene in local communities, but it will also create jobs in the surrounding communities, where unemployment is prevalent.
In Uganda, Cleanstar’s model is a highly relevant solution to a local challenge: Poor sanitation and hygiene is a constant problem, and Cleanstar’s Adopter would, therefore, like to locally distribute the soaps. Building up a customer base will provide income to the Adopter, and it will allow Cleanstar to expand to the wider African market while improving hygiene in the communities.
Replication the way forward to meet local sustainability challenges and the global SDGs?
SEED Originator Biotech sells biogas digesters, which can be fuelled with various kinds of organic waste, thereby bringing a reliable and sustainable energy source to many different segments of the population. The digesters save local communities energy costs, making the model a solution to a global problem.
While SEED’s efforts of promoting replication and eco-inclusive enterprises aim at achieving widespread sustainability impacts, our focus lies on benefiting communities to meet pressing local challenges.
In Busia Municipality in Uganda, one of the most pressing problems is the high cost of energy, while at the same time large amounts of biodegradable waste are generated. Biotech’s Ugandan Adopter has identified the local replication-opportunity and plans to develop training opportunities as one of the next milestones to bring the project to life.
Biotech’s Originator-Adopter-Match highlights how replication can provide an effective way of meeting local sustainability challenges while striving for regional and global impacts.
The SEED Replicator Programme showcases the most promising eco-inclusive business models and their experiences, challenges and success factors in order to offer aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to copy and adapt the models in different geographical locations. Replication broadens the impact of these models and promotes business partnerships among eco-inclusive enterprises.