A path towards financial independence
Assist marginalized entrepreneurs with launching their micro-businesses, and generate an income
Create links between experts and mentors to professionalize the micro-businesses, and ensure their sustainability
Social enterprises are businesses, which integrate a social purpose, and re-invest surpluses into their social objective.
Social entrepreneurship plays a significant role to reduce inequalities as it engages youth, promotes female leadership and can be developed in a diversified range of sectors (agriculture, catering services, sanitation, cleaning, recycling, etc.).
Social entrepreneurship is a powerful means to promote financial autonomy, and enhance the living conditions of underprivileged communities.
The Alter Start project addresses a growing social issue: the low economic activity among migrants in Switzerland. The project offers an innovative solution which complements existing services: a platform to assist migrants in the creation of their own microbusinesses.
The program provides free and ongoing support to migrant microentrepreneurs for 18 to 24 months. Within a co-working space, they are offered individual coaching for the creation of their businesses. Once launched, the microbusinesses are monitored during their first year of existence.
A holistic and personalized solution:
- EPersonalized support is provided to each beneficiary during the key steps of his/her project: business plan, communication and marketing, test phases and launch.
- EGeneric training modules (administrative and legal procedures, technical standards, etc.) are given in groups, in collaboration with external experts.
Launched in: 2017
Location: Canton of Vaud, Neuchâtel and Geneva
IFPD partnered with the Brazilian NGO Viva Rio to launch a project focusing on women entrepreneurship in the favela of Cantagalo (Rio de Janeiro). The project offers vocational training modules in bakery and hairdressing/beauty. These areas of activities correspond to the most popular options, and there is considerable local demand for these services.
Once training is completed, the project offers two possibilities:
- EProvide women who are willing to launch their own businesses with the basic skills needed to set up and manage their microenterprises. Once the microenterprises are launched, the project provides support and inputs to help women entrepreneurs develop and sustain their activities.
- EFor those women who do not wish to launch a business by themselves but prefer to access the job market, the project creates links with local employers.
Launched in: 2018
Location: Cantagalo Slum, Rio de Jainero, Brazil
Local Partner: Viva Rio NGO
IFPD collaborates with Business and Professional Women Nepal (BPWN) to develop projects targeted at poverty reduction and women empowerment.
There is a significant local market for these activities, and the concept of cooperatives is very successful in Nepal. The goal of the projects is not only to provide women with a means to improve their living conditions and perspectives for the future but also to prevent them from falling into the clutches of prostitution networks.
Training and equipment for the creation of microbusinesses/cooperatives are provided by the projects and targeted at four types of activities:
- EGoat husbandry
- EOrganic millet farming
Launched in: 2016
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Local Partner: Business and Professional Women Nepal
200 underprivileged households have been selected in the project area to learn how to increase their income through activities in the field of agribusiness.
The agribusiness activities include:
- EKitchen gardening
- EMaize, rice & potato cultivation
- EMushroom production
- EDetergent production
Launched in: 2015
Location: Bodhgaya, State of Bihar, India
Local Partner: Agragami India
The project in Mumbai encouraged the formation of self-help groups among slum women.
The goals of these groups were focused on building and supplying joint savings accounts, and on creating joint income generating activities.
Members could request a loan from their group according to their needs (business, education, housing, medical expenses, etc.).
Groups started commercial activities such as:
- ESewing/embroidery/recycling of old saris
- ECanteens / snacks / food supplements for children
- EManufacture of soaps / incense sticks / spices, etc.
Implemented from 2001 to 2012
Location: Bandra East Mumbai, India
Local Partner: Centre for Study of Social Change (CSSC)