Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Tag ‘internet’

The Internet for people with no Internet

Tags: , , , , , ,

In this week’s post from our June Entrepreneur in Residence, Kenny Ewan of WeFarm delivers a TEDx Talk about providing the benefits of the Internet to the 500 million small-scale farmers around the world with no Internet access.

ewan

WeFarm is a pioneering social enterprise, scaling a unique peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for the 500 million small-scale farmers around the world with no access to the Internet. These farmers are isolated; often many miles walk from the nearest village or access point to vital information. They have no way to diversify, improve their farms and livelihoods or even start a new micro-enterprise. Which is where WeFarm comes in. With WeFarm, users can share questions, advice and ideas addressing anything from farming techniques to business ideas, and all accessible to anyone, anywhere – without leaving the farm or having any access to the Internet.
WeFarm picture farm
Since its launch, WeFarm has already scaled to more than 29,000 farmers using the system, with more than 3.6 million SMS processed already. By harnessing the generations’ worth of knowledge contained within farming communities themselves, WeFarm aims to have one million farmers benefitting from the system by end 2016.

About Kenny

Kenny-Ewan 2Kenny is CEO of WeFarm, a pioneering social enterprise, scaling a unique peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for the 450 million small-scale farmers around the world with no access to the internet. After graduating from the University of Dundee, Kenny went to Peru in 2002 to work on sustainable development projects with indigenous communities. He loved the country so much that he decided to stay. In 2007, he became Peru’s Country Director for ProWorld Service Corps. This international development NGO specialises in projects for isolated, indigenous communities. He returned to the UK in 2009 to join the Cafedirect Producers Foundation (CPF) start-up team. He designed and managed all of CPF’s international projects across East Africa and Latin America.

Thinking outside the innovation box

Tags: , , , ,

The surge in innovation triggered by the invention of the internet and the development of the worldwide web 20 years ago has, to put it bluntly, changed everything. Apps appear (and disappear) all the time as we seek to harness the power of a virtually free globalised communication system. There are apps to tell us how many kilometres we’ve run, jogged, walked; there are apps to monitor our health, apps that recognise wine labels and can tell us where to buy a bottle; there are even apps to tell us about apps.

business-2

Some of these apps will turn out to be useful, some will be a flash in the pan, and some will be game-changers … but so far none will tell you how to be successful in starting up a business and making it grow.

If the truth be told, although the internet has changed everything, everything has stayed the same. The challenges of starting and developing a business are the same now as they have always been. Whether you’re operating in the infotech world of apps or have developed a new medical procedure, if you want to monetise it then you need to answer one fundamental question: what are we going to sell, in what market, and at what price?

Although the question is simple, the answer is probably not because inherent in it is a business fundamental: can we sell enough of our product to generate sufficient cashflow to allow the business to survive? Let’s remember, without cashflow, the business will fail: it’s as harsh as that.

If your analysis shows that you’re unlikely to sell sufficient volume and you’re unable to market it at a sufficiently high price, then this suggests that you’re unlikely to be able to start up a company. But that’s not the end of it: if, in your opinion, the product or service is a genuine game-changer then, after establishing your intellectual copyright, you could market it on licence to one of the big players in the field and take royalties

The real business world is one of harsh reality. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute for every 100 start-ups, 25 fail in the first year, 27 fail in the second year and 21 fail in the third year. That’s a staggering 73% failure rate over the first three years. The main reasons are: incompetence (particularly emotional pricing, taking too much from the business, non-payment of taxes, no knowledge of pricing, lack of planning, lack of knowledge of financing and no experience in record keeping) and lack of managerial experience (particularly poor credit granting practices and too rapid expansion).

Having invented a game-changing and innovative product, remember that starting up your own company is not necessarily the right answer. So consider sharing the risks and working with others to monetise your great idea.

  • Useful links

  • Tags

  • RSS Promoting Enterprise

    • EEPA 2019 Compendium December 12, 2019
      During the SME Assembly 2019 the 13th edition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) took place. The EEPA recognise the best of the best, with six individual category awards, 1 Grand Jury Prize and Special Mentions. Want to learn more about the 2019 winners? Now you can! The 2019 EEPA compendium is now available […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Week Newsletter 2019: Issue #8 December 10, 2019
      The SME Assembly 2019 might be over, but the conversation is still going! This year the SME Assembly 2019 was an important contribution to the upcoming SME Strategy from the European Commission. During the Assembly delegates experienced the enterprising nature of Finland with a visit to Team Finland, and an entrepreneur expo throughout the event. […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Skills for the industry of the future! December 5, 2019
      Can you imagine what the jobs will look like in the industry of the future? Innovation, digitalisation and technology are driving the industry towards more competitiveness and change. Workforce needs new skills, competencies and creativity. The project ‘Skills for Smart Industrial and Digital Transformation’, launched two years ago by the European Commission, has helped cities, […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Romanian Radu Dumitrescu wins SME Week Youth Essay Competition 2019 December 3, 2019
      Radu Dumitrescu, 24 year-old from Romania, was proclaimed a winner of this year’s SME Week Youth Essay Competition during the European Commission’s SME Assembly. Radu Dumitrescu is one of the Editors-in-Chief of The New Federalist web magazine. He has a Master’s in Comparative Politics and is interested in voter behaviour, European affairs, and corporate personhood. […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Assembly 2019 – Day 3 November 28, 2019
      The third and final day of the SME Assembly started with an overview and discussion on the future roles for regions and cities in promoting both entrepreneurship and SMEs. The session was opened by Kristin Schreiber, Director for SME Policy and Entrepreneurship, European Commission: “I believe we achieved a lot through the single market and […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Economic Performance Review November 27, 2019
      Every year the European Commission analyses how much progress the countries made in implementing the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA). The SME performance review is one of the main tools the European Commission uses to monitor and assess countries’ progress in implementing the Small Business Act (SBA) on a yearly basis. With an emphasis on the […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Assembly 2019 – Day 2 November 27, 2019
      Day 2 of the SME Assembly opened with inspiring and thought provoking speeches from keynote speakers Professor Daniel Isenberg, Alberto Onetti and Petri Peltonen. Professor Daniel Isenberg spoke of the need to change our beliefs surrounding entrepreneurship and the fundamental need to focus on scaling up and ban unicorns from public discourse so as to […]
      promotingenterprise
    • EEPA Class of 2019 November 27, 2019
      The European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2019 celebrated the best of the best in a ceremony on the 2nd day of the SME Assembly 2019. On 26 November 2019, six category winners were awarded with EEPA prizes, and an overall Grand Jury Prize winner was crowned as being the most outstanding project across the six categories […]
      promotingenterprise
    • SME Assembly 2019 – Day 1 November 26, 2019
      The SME Assembly 2019 is underway! Day 1 got the event off to a fantastic start and was full of events and experiences for this year’s delegates. Kicking things off was the SME Envoy meeting, which also featured discussions on the future of SME Policy, including presentations and speeches from Amazon and Sugartrends representatives. Whilst […]
      promotingenterprise
    • Meet SME Assembly 2019 speaker – Alberto Onetti November 19, 2019
      Today on the Promoting Enterprise News Portal we are excited to introduce another speaker for the SME Assembly 2019, Alberto Onetti! Alberto is the chairman of the Mind The Bridge foundation which works to bring startups and corporates together to enhance growth and foster innovation. He is also the co-founder of Funambol, a white-label cloud […]
      promotingenterprise