We manage special projects on behalf of organizations/companies and ensure all project design, implementation and measurement is done at the highest standard possible and achieves biggest desired impact. We also pilot projects for organizations to assess the viability of implementing the intervention/concept on a larger scale, incorporating sustainability and impact assessments. We also implement special projects (mostly high impact projects identified by the company or other funding agencies) that the company implements from time to time, funded in partnership with other non-profit and/or private agencies. AfCeME implemented projects revolve mostly around Education, Entrepreneurship and Talent, and mostly focused on the youth.
BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION (BEI) PROGRAMME
After carefully examining lending approaches in the market both by financial institutions and non profit organizations, AfCeME recognizes that there seems to still be a huge gap between lending to improve poor peoples' lives and lending for profits, or generally lending to tick some boxes. The Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation (BEI) Project is an innovative initiative by the African Center for Monitoring and Evaluation (AfCeME) to boost economic growth among the very poorest communities initially in Kenya using a consolidated approach to innovative businesses for shared risk and profitability among group members. The BEI programme falls under the organization's Special Projects unit.
The BEI programme is highly innovative, integrating a complex lending approach based on a group lending strategy and integrating members'physical bank and mobile-based banking approaches in transactions of money. The project provides lending services to groups of membership between 20 and 50 of mostly up to USD 1,000 per group (some higher amounts may be given to some groups with exemplary performance both in repayments and business project innovation and profitability success).
The unique aspect of this Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation programme includes:
1) Very poor populations in rural communities and urban poor can pull efforts together and start an income generating intervention while paying just a small amount of money that they can confidently afford per month,
2) Through a well organized contributions, savings and lending structure, the company can recover its amounts advanced to groups comfortably with very limited expected default rate availing more cash to reach to bigger masses of the rural and urban poor communities, and
3) Through the expert/consultant incorporation in to the entire business approach funded through a small interest the organization charges loans advanced, group members reap maximum benefits of knowledge and expertise to efficiently and profitably operate the identified business ventures.
These three key aspects sets the BEI programme as a clearly unique approach of doing business with the lower tier of poor populations in Africa, with a critical focus to improving livelihoods through transformative and brilliant business ideas while creating a sustainable business for the company and immense wealth for group members.
AfCeME's BEI business projects run from dairy, to indigenous crops and livestock, like bananas, local vegetables, chicken, fish, etc. Other agricultural projects are long-term but highly profitable, like various types of trees, based on local contexts. Other groups may come up with other non-agricultural projects like bicycle and motorbike transport businesses, etc.
This is a highly transformative idea to our African poor households who may not be able any time soon to get a capital boost for their business ideas. Through interaction with some groups that are coming on board to take advantage of this very well designed lending approach, they are extremely excited about this opportunity, quoting one of them: _"This will just make our dreams to implement our business ideas come true, since we would never whatsoever have afforded to acquire capital for our business ideas- we can now dream and be trained to be experts on ideas we have always dreamt of" _The BEI programme, to us at AfCeME, is a timely idea to position development in a sustainable business approach and eliminate or limit dependence for survival. It is also expected this project will create massive job opportunities to many youth languishing in rural and urban poor areas due to lack of jobs, opportunities and funding for inherent ideas._
The company partners with Project Alternatives Ltd to constantly measure progress on household incomes, food security and proportions of banked rural households among group members through a comprehensive tracking sheet and periodic rigorous investigation.
We encourage any partner who may be interested in this brilliant project to partner with us in its scaling to impact more rural and urban poor, either through a grant or as a private investment.