At the end of 2015, we pledged to implement our Rural Business Workshop project in three different regions—Central America, Colombia, and Tanzania—and because of your support, we accomplished our goal. The workshops provide business skills, funding, and ongoing mentoring to empower young people to turn coffee farming into a business that provides a good life. With these tools, not only are young farmers optimizing their farms, they are starting side businesses that provide steady, year-round incomes.
In 2016, 250 young people living in coffee growing communities participated in our workshop with 90 young people from Tanzania alone. Our workshops in Tanzania were particularly significant because it was the first time in Coffee Kids’ history that a project was implemented anywhere in the continent of Africa.
In coordination with the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation (HRNS) regional office in Northern Tanzania and with support from the local Tanzania Coffee Farmer Alliance (TCFA), we began implementation of our Rural Business Workshops in June 2016. As TCFA provided a network to farmers, we formed three youth agricultural clubs serving 90 young people that created the space for the exchange of ideas and technical training.
All three youth clubs engaged in the following entrepreneurship and business skills trainings:
- Introduction to entrepreneurship
- Is farming a business?
- Projected Income Statement (PIS)
- Record keeping
- Business plan writing
- Business evaluation
Upon completion of the sessions above, participants presented their business idea to a wider audience at a business event. During the business event, the selection committee consisting of RPCS and HRNS representatives and two mentors, conducted a business assessment of each proposal. Criteria for evaluation included:
- Key partners
- Key activities
- Projected Income Statement
In the end, seven business plans from each youth group were selected summing up to 21 in total. Stay tuned for updates about how the business plans are going and watch our young farmers develop into viable, profitable, entrepreneurs!