Social Enterprise Bean Voyage Giving Women Farmers More Control, More Income
Thursday, February 8, 2018
A young social enterprise nonprofit called Bean Voyage is seeking to dramatically increase the incomes of women farmers by cutting middlemen from the supply chain, improving quality and leveraging an e-commerce platform for sales in key consumer markets.
The “proof of concept” for the market access model, which involved two women coffee farmers in the Los Santos region of Costa Rica, proved so compelling to the organizers of a new social entrepreneurship award created by Facebook and One Young World that it earned Bean Voyage the top prize this week. The award gives the startup $55,000 in Facebook marketing credit and mentorship from Facebook Vice President for Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson.
Bean Voyage now plans to expand its program and commerce platform into additional farming communities in Costa Rica and Guatemala throughout 2018, giving more women farmers control of their coffee’s journey directly to consumers, with the greater goal of dramatically increasing farmers’ incomes several times over.
Bean Voyage is led by founders Sunghee Tark and Abhinav Khanal, who first got acquainted with the Costa Rican coffee sector during a 2014 trip to the Perez Zeledon region through Indiana’s Earlham College during the harvest season.