Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 24, 2011.

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"Insider" web stories of East African start-ups with business ideas for social change in Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

Watch global innovators at work!  

Stay connected to the teams: Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Contact Us

Deep bow, much obliged (as we say in the South). Thank you to everyone who's donated, tweeted, helped, talked, nudged and pleaded. Now we need your help expanding our community. Please like us on FB and follow on twitter, send this link to friends, and ask ALL to sign up on our blog at youngworldinventors.com!

NEW REWARD:  for $50 donation, we'll send you a DVD of the first ten stories, focused on our Rwanda and Tanzania teams.  [note on cell phone charger reward: the charger's voltage regulator prevents damage to all phones, smart or stupid.] 

Join us to inspire innovation with new startups in Africa andhelp edit the first 10 web episodes -- about creative business with a global attitude. Nine hours to go!

Startup teams show us the process of innovation: how do you make enterprises sustainable? We will edit web ready episodes for local TV, repurpose for radio and show on inflatable screens, to inspire new entrepreneurs in villages.  We are profiling start ups, connecting them to capital and linking them to incubators and places like MIT for further collaboration. We will send stories to colleges in the U.S. as case studies for classes in design, international development and engineering. See updates for story detail and new collaborators (#8).

I taped scenes on team (re)building, business strategies, "soft skills" and more. Smart, ambitious young women run three of the five teams we're following. Jodie is a  new TED fellow, Clarisse graduates in December and shared her hard won lessons on teamwork to a national conference of youth. Jamila and Susaneve are helping farmers earn higher revenues, and Amos is helping dairy farmers produce better milk. David is dealing with sanitation in Kenya -- making fertilizer out of poop. Sign up for video reports to see how to make it decompose faster!

Bernard, the Tanzanian inventor in the video above, works with MIT grad Jodie Wu in Arusha, near Mt. Kilimanjaro. (check our blog). Bernard devised ten inventions after he met a Guatemalan innovator at an international conference: that's cross cultural "pollination." We prowled a junk yard, got directions for Bernard's solar water heater, and watched him teach villagers how to solve problems. Cell phones and low tech inventions could shift power in Africa, as U.S. students help fund, transfer technology (see video there of our Rwanda team) and inspire local creativity. We have a growing list of cool collaborators (update #8).

Join me on a virtual trip with on-the-road clips of people I met in East Africa. Hear new music from Just a Band, our composers who are coming to New York City to mount their video exhibit!  

Funds raised here will pay for transcripts, editing and music.  Please share our KS link on FB or Twitter, 'Like' us, and send the KS link to friends, or just our blog. Get the first bike powered cell phone charger or meet our  music makers, Just a Band in New York before they return to Nairobi in a few weeks!  Thank you for spreading the word!  

FAQ

  • Our Facebook page, Twitter account and blog (links at the top of the page) give background and news about social innovation, and we hope you will “like” us and forward to friends, follow us on twitter, give us ideas. Send our links to bloggers and journalists. Our aim is to (media)seed innovation in Africa and the U.S., at enterprise programs, schools and international agencies. We have collaborators in Nairobi and Boston to help launch our first web series and to help program an interactive website. A seasoned social media volunteer in Kenya found us on twitter and will help in Africa. Kenya’s Just A Band -- whose “Makmende” went viral -- is doing our music. Once we start telling stories, we invite supporters and innovators to connect, open source information and coach teams for success. There are five times as many social enterprise programs in the U.S. than just eight years ago. This new global wave is awesome, and you can have a ringside seat. PLEASE blog about YWI and bring more traffic.

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  • With an international team, we aim to start chats, make mentor and funder connections, and find press coverage. Radio Netherlands wants to see our stories, and we matched up one blogger with a news editor for an innovation story that became a finalist for all Africa business coverage in March (please ‘like’ us on FB and check our facebook/youngworldinventors page for more).

    We’re following three new companies (Global Cycle Solutions, mFarm and HeHe, Ltd.), run by female CEOs, all connected to students from MIT. Just a Band from Nairobi is doing our music, with the first viral hit from Kenya -- Ha-He, a cool parody. This summer we will team up with African shooters to follow stories as they unfold. See more stories and detail on our blog, linked at the top of this page. Tell your friends.

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  • No money comes from your account until we reach our goal, remember. Those funds will help support six weeks (June 23-Aug 2) of shooting in Africa (actually, I covered that myself), footage transcription, editing in Boston, and music from Just a Band. This funding will help leverage two other grants I've applied for.

    Later in phase II we will invite and rate new stories, build an interactive community with social media and events, and team up with African shooters to capture stories as they happen. We plan to have a DIY component on the website so that scouts, innovators and videographers can personalize and improve sound and story quality.

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  • You need an amazon account to donate from $1 to $1000, or if you have none, you could mail us a check. Send a message here for an address. Only when we reach our goal will your donation be processed. You pay nothing until our goal is reached August 24.

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  • Anyone interested in small, scalable innovation, new and seasoned entrepreneurs, teens out to make a difference, international relations students, hobbyists, travelers, students of enterprise around the world, mentors, funders, retirees, MIT grads, the list goes on. When complete, we will distribute stories to key colleges with courses in social enterprise where we have contacts who want stories as case studies. Our goals are to inspire more innovation in Africa and educate and engage American youth in sustainable enterprise.

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103
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    13 backers

    Each dollar gets us closer, and your name appears on our development blog.

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    19 backers

    signed photo card of Bernard in Arusha with his solar water heater made from scrappers (recycled, reclaimed flourescent bulbs, rubber, wood), with instructions.

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    17 backers

    Video posts from our travel in East Africa in July, plus signed photo card.

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    3 backers

    First imported cell phone charger for motorcycles from Bernard's shop at GCS, plus insider video posts from East Africa.

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    3 backers

    NEW REWARD! A DVD of the first ten stories of 2-3 teams navigating the inevitable challenges of startups. Plus a postcard of Bernard's solar water heater and insider video stories.

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    13 backers Limited (7 left of 20)

    First imported bike powered cell phone charger from Bernard's shop at GCS with instructions, plus insider video posts. We'd be grateful for another $10 for shipping anywhere.

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    3 backers

    Bernard's bike AND motorcycle chargers (used by two wheeled taxis in Africa) plus video posts.

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    0 backers

    Add to the bike and motorcycle chargers, the first run DVD of ten stories with insider video posts.

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    3 backers

    Bernard's motorcycle charger, video posts and first run DVD of all ten stories. Plus your name on the new website as KS collaborator.

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    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    Bernard's bike and motorcycle chargers, video posts and DVD and your name on the website. One of three handsome collage designs made from banana and bamboo shavings (wild game, dancing or Kenyan village). Made in a workshop by youth in training.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)

    All of the above, plus we'll hear your feedback on early story cuts and post your name as Post Production Associate on the website. The FIRST donor at this level gets a live audience with multi-talented Just A Band on their trip to NYC (maybe Boston), August-September!

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Funding period

- (60 days)