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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Community, SE Column | 0 comments

Global Drive Project Story ①

Global Drive Project Story ①

The Global Drive Project (GDP), co-sponsored by the Work Together Foundation, SK Happiness Foundation (chaired by Choi, Ki-won), and WheelWishers (chaired by Marije Mellegers), is an initiative aimed at discovering at least 100 social enterprises as investees. Scheduled from April 2013 to March 2014, this project included visits starting from Korea to other parts of Asia to Europe and Africa (over 20 countries in 3 continents) in an effort to collect information on core social enterprise models of the world and integrate it into Impact Investment* for sustainable social issue resolution.

“Farm Shop”, a Kenyan Social Enterprise – A Farm Supplies Franchise Serving Small-sized Farms

The Farm Shop is a social enterprise serving the small-sized farms in Kenya and helping them enhance their productivity by providing quality products, service, and data. The company opens franchise farm supplies stores in remote areas where access to services is difficult, based on the belief that small-sized farms have limited opportunity, options, and knowledge. The retail stores in these areas are managed in an organized, modern, and professional manner. The Farm Shop provides all kinds of services needed for farming, e.g., quality seeds, adequate funds, soil testing services, advanced training opportunities, and information to ensure present and future farmers’ success. All franchise store owners have become leaders in the local community, with their stores serving as hubs for those looking for new and innovative opportunities in their localities.

Hub for Distributing Farm Resources Including Seeds and Fertilizers

The Farm Shop is a social franchise corporation pursuing the goal of improving farm supplies provision for small-sized farms of Kenya. In Africa, small-sized farms are not adequately supplied with the needed resources since they are at the very edge of the distribution network. The purpose of its business is to enable small-sized farms located all over Kenya to have better and timely access to seeds and fertilizers through its farm supplies distribution network.

A large portion of the African population is working in small-sized farms. The Farm Shop endeavors to provide basic infrastructure to ensure that these farms benefit from an adequate supply of farm resources. To date, the Farm Shop have opened 13 small franchise stores, and 10 of them have turned out to be very successful.

What is *Impact Investment?

It is a socially responsible method of investment aimed at affecting the community and environment in a proactive way instead of being limited to profit generation only. So far, most benefactors have refrained from investing in corporations that adversely affect society and environment. In contrast, impact investors go beyond such passive way of investing and actively look for businesses and companies deemed to have potentially positive impact on the community and environment to invest in them on a long-term basis.

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