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About the Author

Andrei Tuch
IT/translator (Estonia)

Technical writer, freelance translator, occasional journalist, all too rarely blogger, wannabe exegete.


Investing in Talent

Published 20th June 2010 - 0 comments - 1993 views -

From my first Th!nk3 post, I talked about making aid efficient. The most efficient structure that the West has come up with is the small enterprise.

Here's someone who has actually made it happen. Kresten Buch is a co-founder of Human IPO - a microfinance venture with a twist. Unlike the majority of sites, such as Kiva or Zopa, it is designed to provide not just loans, but also expertise. Business plans are put on display, and investors can choose whether they think an idea will work - as well as suggest improvements.

As a proof of concept for Human IPO, Kresten and his colleagues have successfully launched a business incubator for tomato farmers in Kenya. I'll let him do the talking:'s Kresten Buch from Andrei Tuch on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, while Kenya is part of ACP,  it does not appear to qualify for free access to the EU market, like Sao Tomeo and Principe. Even if it did, the EU trade preferences do not apply to processed materials, and the ideals of small business suggest that the best way to proceed after scaling is to add value at home.

However, with a yield of 15 tons per year - from a single 15m x 8m greenhouse - and a corresponding revenue of around $15,000 per year, it's a hell of a start.

Category: Agriculture | Tags:


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