How farip is funded
Sponsors for explorations and experiments
Looking for and picking up interesting ideas from Africans in the villages takes time. And so does their subsequent exploration, until it becomes clear exactly what each idea is about, what the effects could be, who wants to take charge of it, and how to clarify important questions. We call this “scouting”. This scouting is a special feature of farip, specifically geared to our purpose of helping good African ideas that are still dormant to make a breakthrough. This is, of course, long before any commercial implementation. Sponsors therefore finance this important exploratory work. The Foundation Board can also use funds for scouting that are not earmarked for a specific other purpose.
Sponsors for “active projects”
As soon as an idea has been explored and it is clear who wants to take it on as a commercial venture, it becomes an “active project”. Active ventures are defined business ideas that are still in the pre-commercial phase and are being tested by Africans who suggested them. Sponsors can make earmarked donations for defined active projects. farip then behaves towards the initiators like a venture capitalist, albeit a “social” capitalist with soft investment conditions, but all the more closely observing what then happens. Because we want to learn what works and what doesn’t.
If a venture is then able to repay its loans, farip reinvests the money in the same way until the business becomes so clear that a proposal for a start-up company becomes possible, which can then be invested in under normal conditions.
Sponsors for capacity-building and training
Early-stage entrepreneurs often have to learn many new skills and acquire new knowledge, especially formal business procedures and documentation. Low levels of education often mean that new staff must be trained intensively, even in basic skills, to enable a start-up to reach the commercially necessary business size. Lectures alone do not help. Much of the learning must take place in the exchanges among small entrepreneurs about their implementation experiences. This approach takes account of the complex and different situations in which they find themselves, and makes the training more effective. Sponsors can make earmarked donations for such training efforts.
Development organisations for specific assignments
Development organisations or government agencies can commission farip to explore in a specific area or on a specific topic whether farip’s approach could be applied, and if so, to suggest how best to do so. Such assignments are handled as standard consulting.
farip aims to use half of the available funds for scouting and training, and the other half for active projects. This division is based on the experience that the best ideas in African villages are often so complex to implement that they rarely get to a point at which financiers hear about them.