Creating social enterprises in African villages by The Printernet Project.
We invest in villages to establish social enterprises to allow people to connect to the full web.
Our approach has been tested in villages in Malawi, Burundi and Uganda. The approach is to first create the infrastructure that always reliable and affordable internet access to the full web by investing $2000 in a solar powered wifi and three computers, a desktop digital printer and an Internet connected TV. After that is in place we coach the leaders to start and grow a sustainable business. The platform for coaching is exclusively Facebook as in Africa my partners can access FB without paying minute charges. I have 30 years of experience in project management and consulting to business, the coaching is based on my experience.
The approach as of today is most successful in a village in Uganda. In 6 months his social enterprise earns $400 to $500 a month in profit. His profit supports planting a million trees.As of today he has planted 270,000 fruit trees. In addition to being a food source, it lessens soil erosion. Since all of my partners are working to reach the UN goals, they are involved in all the aspects of this initiative.
My partner in Uganda calls himself an "eco warrior." We are now working on a daily basis in four villages exclusively using the Facebook platform.There has been no advertising or marketing or overhead expensense. No over head as I am coaching pro bono The next step is refine the experience, nurture our present partners and continue to develop new partners. $10,000 or $20,000 will allow us to create more prototypes and model a teachable approach to coaching.
Is this proposal for a practice or a project?
What actions do you propose?
We propose a pilot project with 6 villages in Africa. After a year of work, we have proved the concept in four villages. The next step is to test our approach in 6 villages. Since our overhead today is zero and all of the work is exclusively on the Facebook platform, we believe it can scale. To confirm that belief the pilot project needs as many villages as we can identify.
To scale the outstanding challenge is to train more coaches. There is an opportunity among college students who are interested in learning to coach "eco warriors" in Africa. The college students will learn how to coach small business, in industry, the government and non profit sectors.
As the Printernet Project works closely with the Global Center for the Study of Social Enterprise 501 (c3) we have access to college students. Kevin Wilson, the head of GCSSE, teaches in a college today. Teaching coaches, as the work with our partners is limited to the Facebook platform.
The necessary improvements vary from village to village. In some it is a few more computers. Seven seems optimal based on the experience of leading village in Uganda. Money for computers are invested only after the business model is working in a particular village. Computers have much lower return on investment without the presence of leadership teams. Our leading village has such a team. Today it is earning $400 to $500 a month. The offer computer skill training at a cost of $19 for a three week course. About 30 people have completed that course. In addition they use some of the profits of their Cafe to give micro loans to village people. As of today they have given 6 loans between a $100 to $200. The loan recipients include vegetable growing, raising chickens, sewing and brick building. They have all repaid their loans and are earning some profits as of today.
The actions are to invest some money to get all the Printernet Cafes to an minimum operational capacity.
In Malawi it means replacing the Printernet Start up Kit that was destroyed by the recent cyclone. In addition $2000 will be spent for Jonas Fadweck to complete the building that will house the Printernet Cafe.
In Uganda it means money to pay to register a Village Bank. It will also include $1000 in capital for the bank.
In Burundi, Canon Felix will receive $2500 to upgrade his installation with 3 computers, an internet connected flat screen TV and upgrade his digital printer.
We are ready to bring on two more villages.That will happen within 2 weeks from when money is received.
In Uganda, Joseph Atwongerie is on the road to plant 1,000,000 fruit trees in his district. He has planted 287,000 as of today. The seedlings are being prepared for the next wet season starting in September. Till now he has financed through charity to supplement his earnings. Funds will be invested to support his tree planting work. Since he has a group of 30 volunteers and a leadership team he can plant 7,000 seedlings in an 8 hour day.
Our partner in Burundi is on track to plant 200,000 trees today. Starting just a year ago his team has planted 45,000 trees. He established a nursery that has 95,000 seedlings in their nursery.
Who will take these actions?
The "eco warriors" leaders in specific villages are the key actors. In addition my own work in coaching is a necessary piece of the puzzle.
Atwongeire Joseph in Uganda, Jonas Chadweck in Malawi, Canon Felix in Burundi and Emmanuel Niyoyabikoze in Burundi lead volunteer organizations in their villages. As part of the process they post regular dispatches and longer stories in the Printernet Project group on FB. They also supply monthly statements in the form of spreadsheets which I use to inform my coaching.
They will take the actions on the ground. Michael Josefowicz is working from the cloud.
Where will these actions be taken?
Actions will be taken in as many villages in Africa allowed by the resources we have. We are in the process of finding and vetting people in villages in Africa. As of today May 15, we have 1 more in Uganda, 1 in Nigeria and 1 in DRC ready for investment when we have the funds.
In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.
What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
Our partners as of today are in the process of planting 1,200,000 trees. Each of our four partners has tree planting program in their strategy. Based on the information from google "A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year," when the tree planting is completed the result will be 57,600,000 lbs of carbon will come out of the atmosphere.
The Printernet Cafe is a trigger for the internal growth of social capital. That capital is reinvested in the village in the form of modern agriculture techniques, building structures that are more resistant to the effects of severe weather and vocational training. Perhaps most important are the new educational opportunities for computer skills and use of the Internet. As severe weather continues the investments will lead to resilient communities.
What are other key benefits?
In addition to supporting the work in carbon mitigation, our project creates new paying jobs, new businesses as well as increased education opportunities. We expect to follow the lead of Atwongyerie Joseph in Uganda in teaching vocational skills until we get to a functioning capability of vocational training in the village at an affordable cost and based on the needs expressed by the village people.
We also expect to follow the lead of Canon Felix in Burundi. He is already teaching English to 175 students in Gitega. The expectation is that if progress in the past predicts progress in the future, he will have a sustainable English learning program and an effective literacy program. As we continue to develop the prototypes we expect to have guidelines that will be shared open source.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
As we have completed the pilot stage we are asking for funds to do a prototype that will demonstrate that it can scale.
Installing a Printernet Start up Kit in two villages @$2000 each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,000
Adding to infrastructure in 2 villages in Burundi @$1500 each . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,000
Fees and capital for a Village Bank in Uganda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2, 000
6 months salary for 6 village based Printernet Reporters @ 200 /month. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $7,200
A full time coach/adviser trainer @500 /month for 6 months . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,000
Total.. . . . . . . . . . . . $19,200
Installation and upgrades will be completed 1 or 2 months after funds are received.
Evaluations will be ongoing. interim reports monthly.
A summary will be produced 6 months after funds are received.
About the author(s)
Michael Josefowicz is 72 years old living in New York. He has 30 years of experience of running his business.The services offered were delivery of print artifacts, consulting with both large organizations to increase their sales and profitability. After he retired from the printing industries, he taught team building and project management at Parsons School of Design. His required course called the "Language of Production" allowed him to work with many hundreds of students over the course of seven years.
Since retiring, Michael started the Printernet Project to connect the reach of the Internet with the Power of Print. Using a webbased workflow it is possible to write and design anywhere and print and distribute anywhere.
In addition to the Printernet Project in Africa,he is working to start a "Printernet Zine" to used as marketing material for printers in the States to show their customers what is being done in Africa. The Printernet Zine also has regular columnists from countries in the Global North. PDFs will be made available freely for people not using them for a commercial purpose. Those who do use them for a commercial business will be charged some appropriate amount. Using the Printernet workflow if 20 printers sign on to use the PDFs and print 1,000 copies each, that will give the Printernet Zine a total circulation of 20,000 printed and distributed at no cost.
I will take a closer look at other proposals. I hope anyone who sees this proposal and sees a synergy will comment so we can explore.
Transmedia and Transliteracy in Nemetical Analysis: Computer Science & IT Book Chapter | IGI Global http://bit.ly/2tDbv7A
The Printernet Project Website http://bit.ly/PrinternetProject
Printernet Project on facebook