How does scouting work? What is the pathway from idea to experimentation? How can an interesting idea from rural Africa be transformed into a successful small business? It takes scouting!

This is what farip specialises in: “scouting”.  We pick up ideas brought to us by proactive people in rural Tanzania. farip then digs deeper and challenges these ideas, asking questions like: Who are the innovative potential entrepreneurs and their team members who want to bring this innovation to life? How do they organise themselves? Which technical tests can show whether the business idea is feasible? And where is the market for the products?

Many ideas have to be dropped; only the best make it to be supported by farip as a “venture”. The initiators receive funds for the “proof of concept” in defined stages.

farip acts like a venture investor and releases loans for the critical development steps in stages.

farip supports ventures with loans, coaching and exchange of experience until start-ups with their business plans become interesting for investors.

We have two stages in scouting: We support

  1. Ideas – if it is clear whether and which business model can be developed from them.
  2. Experiments – we finance experiments suggested to us by innovators “à-fonds-perdu”. We do not expect refunds for the kick-starter loan we provide. Innovators and entrepreneurs thus get a chance to undertake initial clarifications, and test whether the project can be brought to a stage in which it is feasible to carry it further.
    If the test phase is successful, and the project is accepted by the farip Foundation Board, it moves into commercial development and becomes one of our “active projects”.

farip also finances R&D during the scouting phase, until a business model has been worked out to a stage in which someone wants to try to make it commercially viable.