Economic development for community benefit
Aiming for an integral approach, the local economy is pivotal in the empowerment of people and the development of sustainable livelihoods. StartFund supports social business initiatives that benefit the larger community. The emphasis on financially sustainable projects stresses the importance to create models with the ability to financially carry itself after initial support. This could involve:
a) Seed capital for individual entrepreneurs with innovative business models that have found solutions to address society's challenges through their products or services.
b) Financial support for NGO's working with social business initiatives, preferably through cooperatives, to address community social needs.
StartFund would also like to move away from individual income generation or employment generation as a final goal and instead look at money as a tool for people to address challenges relating to for example healthcare, education or environmental issues. StartFund is therefore particularly interested in businesses and cooperatives which look at larger sustainable business chains and ways in which products or profits can be used to serve the basic needs of the community as a group.
Besides sustainable economic development, StartFund distinguishes itself by emphasizing the importance of people's holistic awareness. Originating from the belief in the interconnectedness of life, a cyclical mind-set is essential in all the operations. StartFund aims to stimulate the creation of nurturing environments which promote an attitude of inclusiveness and cooperation in its activities. It encourages ways in which people are stimulated to discover their essence and potential, share and take care of themselves and each other and are reminded of the necessary balance between thinking/feeling and giving/receiving. Although challenging sometimes, StartFund believes these element could and have to go hand in hand with the fulfilment of other basic needs in order to create truly sustainable societies. All of this requires a strong set of skills and awareness from the implementing partner organisation as well as from change agents within the communities.
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