Seema Patel

New in the Activity Database: Agora, Streetwires, AmazonLife and More

AmazonLifeSun Shines for AllAgora PartnershipsI’ve been reading through a slew of successful BOP business models and am continually and consistently amazed and inspired by people’s fortitude and creativity. I find myself thinking, “How did they come up with that?” and other times I wonder “Why didn?t I think of that?” Sometimes it’s as simple as taking an existing activity and giving it a new life as a working business model. Sometimes, it comes from wanting to give something back to the community that you grew up in as you see it deteriorating. Other times, it originates from wanting to use the skills you possess for something more. Whatever the motivation, you could say that it’s the fact that they took action to make these things happen and follow them through that is most inspirational.

Check out the Activity Database homepage, and read on for a synopsis of newly-added projects.

The Streetwires Project

Started in 2000 with two artists and three founders, Streetwires is a business with a social mission that is tackling the problems of unemployment and poverty in South Africa head on. Focusing on the unique and dynamic genre of wire art, the project is providing the skills training, support and raw materials necessary to enable over 100 formerly unemployed men and women to channel their natural creative energies into this vibrant art form.The Sun Shines for All Initiative–Rural Electrification in Brazil
Approximately 25 million people in Brazil do not have access to electricity. Fabio Rosa, a local social entrepreneur, is aiming to fill this need through low-cost rural electrification models to improve the quality of life for the rural poor and to slow urban migration.

AmazonLife–Natural Latex
AmazonLife harnesses the power of business to produce Haute Couture products that support local communities and conserve the environment. In the early 1990s, Jo?o Augusto Fortes and Beatriz Saldanha, cofounders of Brazil’s first eco-product store EcoMercado, found value in a natural rubber material extracted from the Amazon region of Acre.

Agora Partnerships–Beyond Microfinance
Agora Partnerships is a community of development and investment professionals, volunteer consultants and entrepreneurs committed to launching and growing successful, socially-responsible businesses in emerging markets. We leverage investment in areas where inefficient capital markets and other formidable barriers to entrepreneurship have prevented talent from achieving its full potential.