This week, as part of B Corp month, we are charged with telling a positive impact story from among our network.
One of our favourites is from our partner, the African Entrepreneur Collective (AEC). This wonderful collection of business accelerators supports local entrepreneurs to drive job growth across Africa. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Collective has been disbursing business resilience grants from a special relief fund (established with help from the Mastercard Foundation) to support entrepreneurial refugees in a Rwandan camp. This is in addition to the business training and financial support that they provide in the normal course of events.
We were lucky enough to be able to support the AEC in communicating some of the refugees’ stories – including that of Karasira Mboniga, who runs a food and money transfer business – as part of our corporate CSR work. Most notably, they were covered in The Economist in a feature entitled, “The world’s toughest business school – the challenges of being an entrepreneur in a refugee camp”, which you can read here. The grants provided by the AEC proved a lifeline for the entrepreneurs who needed to support their families during this pandemic, whilst also avoiding debt and maintaining stock for customers when supply chains suffered.
The fund has already helped almost 4,000 entrepreneurs; 91 per cent of the businesses that were closed have since reopened. On average, the ventures have managed to increase their staff by a third within a month of receiving a grant. Now there’s a positive impact story.
As a proud member of the #BCorp movement, we support #BetterBusiness, believing that it is vital to use business as a force for good. With other B Corps like us, we aim to create an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet. What’s your positive impact story?