BIOTECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA - USA FOUNDA wrote -
Plant a Business Harvest Sustainability!
Join us to support 5 Congolese Ecopreneurs, trained in DR Congo, who are now ready to launch their agri-businesses to produce quality control botanicals for both local and international markets. These Ecopreneurs have learned all aspects of quality-controlled production, the enterprise management, the principles of sustainable production and harvesting, Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS), and are committed to biodiversity valorization.
Our objective is to raise a minimum of $66,000. Up to $30,000 will be used to help the 5 Ecopreneurs buy land at a cost of 500$/hectare. Another $30,000 will provide them with four months of mentorship from botanists, logistics and business experts through the VAMPEEM Project. Lastly, $6,000 will be allocated for administrative expenses. This project is unique because while each Ecobusiness will be creating up to 100 jobs, it guarantees that the added value of the botanicals grown and processed remains with the Ecopreneurs, where it can be reinvested locally to support sustainable economic development. As an added benefit to the community, the impacts of this project will also foster gender equality and women's empowerment, promote climate change adaptation, help reforestation efforts and promote the notion of "trade not aid"!
Be inspired and help us lift these 5 “local champions" into the next stage of their journey!
What is an “Ecopreneur”?
"Ecopreneurs” cultivate and/or collect high value-added plants, called botanicals. Sustainably cultivating these botanicals will greatly benefit local nutrition, regional economies, and revitalize the Congo forests. It also presents a vast business opportunity to enter into a world market of $83 B for which Sub Saharan Africa accounts for only 0.01% of the market share.
The project selects rural Congolese men and women for their entrepreneurial capability, their leadership and their commitment to TRADE not AID. They then enrol in an 24 MONTH TRAINING PROGRAM that focuses on sustainable modern agriculture practices, entrepreneurship, and business plan development, as well as ABS (Access and Benefit Sharing) and Sustainable Sourcing. During the training period, Ecopreneurs learn how to cultivate and process botanicals under the strictest international quality and control standards, using sophisticated laboratory equipment. Well controlled processing yields products that can viably be sold on global markets.
It's very important that the launch of these first 5 enterprises is successful, since it demonstrates the potential to other Ecopreneurs who are also ready to start their businesses. We want you on our team!
For more information, visit our website or send us an email! We look forward to hearing from you, and would love to have you join us!
BDA-USA Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) grant-giving organization. Its mission is to support scientific cooperation, technical training and the implementation and support of biotechnological projects related to the sustainable development of botanicals. Inspired by the paradigm, “Trade not Aid”, BDA-USA is focusing its priorities on the nexus of the valorization of African botanicals and entrepreneurship.
BDA-USA AND THE VAMPEEM PROJECT
BDA-USA Foundation strongly believes that it can accomplish its development goals by supporting the VAMPEEM Project (Valorization of African Medicinal Plants for Mainstreaming Entrepreneurship and Environmental Management) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The VAMPEEM Project’s goals are to help reduce poverty and further environmentally sustainable economic development for vulnerable rural communities in the Congo Basin and is pursuing the following actions:
- Training a new generation of African agro-industrial entrepreneurs, “Ecopreneurs,” who can produce highly nutritious and fortified botanical ingredients for local, regional and even global markets
- Installing key infrastructure, in particular, by implementing a botanical processing centre and a quality control laboratory
- Improve the living conditions of rural populations by creating hundreds of jobs; providing access to healthy diets and nutritious food complements
- Protect the environment by promoting organic and carbon positive agricultural practices that preserve biodiversity.
The VAMPEEM project provides rural Congolese men and women with the expertise to grow and correctly process many African botanicals, which contain important nutrients and medicinal properties. These individuals are then mentored so that they can become successful entrepreneurs with the confidence to launch their own agri-enterprises. These enterprises will be replicated throughout the country, as the Botanical Value Chain is now included into the National Plan for Agricultural Investment (NPIA), strengthening local FOOD SECURITY, NUTRITION, and providing a new source of ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Locally and internationally, botanical growers are known as “ECOPRENEURS” because of their entrepreneurship abilities as well as their commitment to sustainable environmental practices and the revitalization of the Congolese forest. [The VAMPEEM project is funded partly by the Congo Basin Forest Fund/ African Development Bank, as well as The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Heineken Africa Foundation. Technical support for this project is provided by several partners such as WWF-DRC, L'Institut National Pour L'Étude et La Recherche Agronomiques (INERA), HEC Montréal, University of Seghor and many more].