Aiming for an integral approach, the local economy is pivotal in the empowerment of people and the development of sustainable livelihoods. Through analyzing the dynamics in the community’s agricultural, industrial and service activities, inefficiencies are pinpointed and addressed through the development of social businesses. The features of these businesses show great resemblances with the concept of a social business as described by Muhamad Yunus. Inspired by its past experiences, StartFund co-funds projects that support local entrepreneurs with the objective to:
• provide the entrepreneurs and the emplyees with a higher standard of living and a better income
• create a fund run by the village to invest in educational, healthcare or environmental purposes
By offering initial guidance and creating sustainable solutions together with the people involved, the projects aim to tackle bottlenecks in order to decrease costs, increase production and raise profits. With these increased profits and income, the social business holder, possibly together with others, can invest in a fund that addresses community needs in the field of healthcare and education. In this way, a system will be created where profits benefit the individual entrepreneurs while at the same time local communities finance and run their own basic institutional facilities in a sustainable way.
Besides sustainable economic development, StartFund distinguishes itself by emphasizing the importance of people's holistic development. This can be accomplished for example, through strengthening our capacities to observe, reflect, listen and engage. StartFund promotes an attitude of inclusiveness and cooperation in its activities and encourages other ways in which people are stimulated to discover their potential. Keeping in mind the balance that is aimed for between thinking and feeling, these activities can entail organizing communal dialogue sessions or sports events, encouraging people to make music or write a poem, facilitating yoga session or classes about the different ways to prepare nutritious meals using local produce.
Creating space for people to explore their thoughts and feelings requires a certain level of consciousness and skills from the implementing partner organization’s project leader as well as from change agents within the communities to make sure the aspired shifts can be anchored over the years. These shifts can only be accomplished step by step and efforts should be weighed out against what that the community can afford in view of their level of basic needs fulfilment. However, basic needs development and consciousness development can be pursued simultaneously and can even leverage each other in the aim of accomplishing a higher quality of life.
To ultimately transform the way we live as human beings, we need to work on understanding ourselves. This will put us in a better position to help not only ourselves but also others and recoRead More
StartFund co-funds projects for a maximum of four years. These projects have to meet our selection criteria.Read More
In the village of Thawar, India, Drishtee aims to support a sustainable future through livelihood, services and infrastructural development.Read More