Brac

Brac

BRAC

SERVICE

BRAC has set up 16 social enterprises addressing community needs and providing jobs to many. Its flagship social enterprise is the retail outlet Aarong Craft Shops in Bangladesh, reaches more than 65,000 artisans. Its dairy business, BRAC Dairy, collects milk from 54,000 marginalized farmers and has 20-30% of market share.

With the profit, BRAC can offer free education programs to build skills and training for decent jobs in growth sectors.

BUSINESS MODEL

Around 1980, funding for BRAC’s programmes was nearly 100% donors.  BRAC pioneered the first sustainable social business privitization model. By the mid 1990s, BRAC had already reduced external funding to about 50%. Today, the organization generates 80% of its $485 million budget from its wholly owned social businesses.

IMPACT

Place: Bangladesh (70,000 villages), Afghanistan (4854 schools), Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.

Scale:  110 million poor people per year are impacted (75% of the Bangladeshi population), 2 million children enrolled in schools

Depth
  • Child mortality rate in Bangladesh dropped from 20% to 5%
  • Built the Bangladesh’s skills sector, helping people to get out of poverty
  • Supporting entrepreneurs
  • Improving working conditions with SMEs and strengthening value chains

ORIGINS

When the war ended in Bangladesh in December 1971, Fazle Hasan Abed, an executive for Shell in the UK, sold his flat in London and returned to the newly independent Bangladesh to find his country in ruins. Abed decided to use the funds he had generated from selling his flat to found BRAC to improve the living conditions of the rural poor.

BRAC initially concentrated on programmes that included agriculture, fisheries, cooperatives, rural crafts, adult literacy, health and family planning, vocational training for women and construction of community centres.

In 1974, BRAC set up its first social business to finance its programmes : a printing press.  Owning a press was a way to cut printing costs and to open up the future relevance of schools curricula and cultural evolution. In its first year of operation, the press made $17,400 in profits. In 2007, it was generating $340,000 in profits

BRAC used the profits from its printing press business to fight dehydration, the leading cause of high child mortality rate in Bangladesh. BRAC trained 4,000 oral rehydration workers (ORWs) and then sent them out to educate some 30,000 families on how to make an electrolyte-rich fluid for children with diarrhea. BRAC used a performance-based incentive system for the workers: the more each parent remembered, the higher the ORW’s salary. The program played a major role in halving the country’s infant mortality rates.

While the oral rehydration campaign was in full force, BRAC launched the social business of Aarong Craft Shops. Aarong helps 65,000 rural artisans market and sell their handicrafts and has become the most popular handicraft marketing operation in Bangladesh.

Using revenues from Aarong, BRAC began testing microfinance and primary education initiatives. When the oral rehydration campaign concluded in the 1990s, BRAC was ready to scale up its most successful microfinance and education programs.

BRAC also trains and employs workers in its dairy and milk collection center, trained workers to inseminate or vaccinate cows, trained workers to become para veterinarians, or trained silkworm rearers and spinners.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • In 2001, BRAC established a university called BRAC University.
  • BRAC’s Informal schooling system in 2007 has established : 20,000 pre-primary, 32,000 primary, 2000 secondary schools.
  • To provide education through internet, BRAC partnered with San Francisco- based gNet to create bracNet, which is building Bangladesh’s high-speed network from scratch.
  • BRAC has also started to replicate internationally, in Afghanistan (4854 schools), Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.
  • BRAC is the world’s largest non-governmental organization with over 120,000 employees.

GET INVOLVED !

Shop

Buy handicrafts from rural artisans from Bangladesh, from one of Brac’s social enterprise Aarong Craft.

Work for Brac

Find jobs or internships in Bangladesh or other countries to help Brac reach its social mission.

As a visitor

BRAC welcomes visitors from around the world to experience firsthand its wide range of actions and innovations (national & international government officials, donor agencies, prospective partners, academia and individual practitioners).

Samasource

Samasource

Samasource

SERVICE

Samasource provides hands-on services to digital companies to enrich and label their large datasets.  Being data-driven is key for a digital business to succeed today.

Samasource offers 4 services:
Cleaning, verification and enrichment of companies’ data sets.
Builing training data for natural language or computer vision algorithms.
Creating or moderating content, and optimizing images
Personalized online customer support 

BUSINESS MODEL

Samasource is a non-profitthe entirety of revenues generated are reinvested to scale the impact. 

Samasource uses a proprietary technology platform, the SamaHub, that breaks down large-scale digital projects from clients into smaller tasks for workers in developing countries or refugees to contribute. This is called microwork.  These workers are trained in basic computer skills for a few weeks at delivery centers with which Samasource partners, and paid a local living wage for their labor.

Samasource and in-country partners collaborate on the recruiting process, which targets women, youth and refugees without formal work experience who are earning below a local living wage.

Samasource is a pioneer in the field of impact sourcing, the practice of hiring people from the bottom of the pyramid to complete digital work.

IMPACT

Place: Kenya, Uganda, India, and Haiti.

Scale:  9,081 people from 2008 to 2016 have been employed by Samasource, which use their earnings to support an average of 3 dependants.  

Depth

  • By moving from $2 to $8 a day, Samasource workers vastly increase their spending on safer housing, nutritious food, education, and healthcare.
  • They gain valuable work experience that helps them build a pathway out of poverty. 84% of workers continue to work or pursue education after they leave Samasource. 

ORIGINS

Fresh out of Harvard in 2005, Leila Janah landed a job as a management consultant. One of her first assignments took her to Mumbai, where she traveled by auto-rickshaw to a sleek outsourcing center staffed by well-educated Indians from middle-class families. The ride took her past one of Asia’s largest slums, Dharavi, where cholera outbreaks are commonplace and children die of preventable diseases. Outsourcing might have been providing millions of jobs, but it wasn’t helping the country’s poorest. She began to think, “Couldn’t the people from the slums do some of this work?”

Janah, 32, turned that idea into Samasource —Sama is Sanskrit for “equal”—as an outsourcing company that hires people in Africa and Asia to perform digital tasks for companies like Google and LinkedIn.

In 2013, she launched a job-training program for low-income workers in the US. It helps people plug in to on-demand services like Lyft, TaskRabbit, and Instacart. Dubbed Samaschool, the effort is now rolling out across the US and, thanks to an online curriculum, globally.
(Wired)

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Samasource expanded in Europe (sales office in the Netherlands and Paris). 
  • Leila Janah started a second social enterprise – for profit this time – LXMI, selling luxury organic skincare products. She also released a book, “Give Work“, in September 2017 about how to  incentivize everyone from entrepreneurs to big companies to give dignified, steady, fair-wage work to low-income people.

GET INVOLVED !

Give work too!

Interested to know more about Leila’s solution to end poverty? Read her book, where she shares poignant stories of people who have benefited from Samasource’s work, where and why it hasn’t worked. 

Work for Samasource

Team up with some of the most talented people in Silicon Valley–and around the world (Kenya, France, Netherlands…)—to solve global poverty.

Maharishi Institute

Maharishi Institute

Maharishi Institute

SERVICE

Free full-time and part-time education to young people. Education includes self-development programmes which develop students holistically, improve learning ability, improve behaviour and lead to greater skill in action (Transcendental Meditation, TM-Sidhis programme).

BUSINESS MODEL

Maharishi Institute is the first self-funding university in the world, where the government doesn’t pay any money, and the students earn money and pay their own fees while going to school. 

The first year is completely free. From second year, students must work four hours a day in any number of jobs throughout the university : either university staff positions (marketing, admin, finance…) or in the Invincible Outscouring call center on the campus. The Invincible Outsourcing is a BPO call centre, whose backbone is a technology provided by IT companies.   The university runs on the BPO call centre business profits. 

Students receive a stipend from this work to cover their own living costs, to pay back their student loan or to support another student in a pay-it-forward-plan. Students also receive zero-interest study loans to cover tuitions, a daily lunch, free clothing and leadership training weekends.

The school building was donated by one of the main mining companies.

IMPACT

Place: South Africa

Scale:  Over 5000  students have gone through the programs.

Depth

  • Take entire families out of poverty in one generation: graduates now work in the banking industry, in the IT sector, at the Stock Exchange, in the government or have started their own companies. “Our graduates  can earn enough money in two years to buy and build a house with water and electricity, and over time can support their extended families. It’s a source of tremendous pride for someone with no hope for the future to become someone who is highly respected in their community.”  (Dr. Blecher)

ORIGINS

While working as an actuary and international business consultant, Taddy Blecher, born in South Africa, turns down a well paid job offer in the US in 1995 to remain in South Africa to pursue education and employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth.  

In 1999, after four years of teaching the Trenscendental Meditation Technique to  students at schools, Blecher began contacting rural schools and city business’ to recruit students and donations for an “almost-free business university”, the Community and Individual Development Association (CIDA) which he co-founded with 250 students  To get the school started, Blecher was given the use of a Johannesburg office building by an investment bank called Investec and his former employer gave him use of an office. Belcher taught students to type 30 words per minute using a photocopy of a computer keyboard and successfully pursued donations from companies like JP Morgan and Dell computers as well as some entrepreneurs.  

Blecher started Maharishtri Institute in 2009, when he co-founded  a 225-seat call centre called Invincible Outsourcing, to allow disadvantaged students to earn funds for education while they are still in school. 

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Over 5,000 students have gone through the programs at our previous university CIDA City Campus, the ‘First Free University in South Africa’, and now we are in the process of scaling up our new initiative, The Maharishi Institute, from 250 students to 1,500 within the next two years. 
  • And because MI has its own self-funding mechanism, we will be able to realize Maharishi’s vision to replicate the school in every province in South Africa and every country in the continent.”  They are currently creating the education replication demonstration site to showcase the model.  “We’ve had amazing support from strong South African and international partners that view this model as a key to bring about sustainable transformation in South Africa, and other African countries“. Supporters include: the Oppenheimer Family, Anglo American, Datatec, Chuma Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Skoll Foundation amongst others.”

GET INVOLVED !

Volunteering, sponsorship & start your own

Want to sponsor a student from Maharishi Institute, or volunteer in the university?  Contact them also to know more about the business model.