Where does elea invest?

Portfolio

Global diversification, topical focus

Across Africa, Asia, and Latin America, elea invests in entrepreneurial solutions that have a substantial and measurable social impact at the base of the pyramid by creating opportunities to improve livelihoods in regions of the world where average daily incomes are USD 2 per capita or less. Investments focus on three topical areas: global value chains, new technologies, and professional skill building.

Global value chains
As 70 % of the population of developing countries depend on the agricultural sector to make their living, entrepreneurial solutions to train the farmers and thus to enhance productivity and to improve product quality in accordance with ecological and fair trade standards are an urgent need. As most of the farmers still have no direct access to local, regional or global markets, elea invests in partners who help to build skills and aim to optimize specific links of the (global) value chain in this sector.

New technologies
Clean energy or new communication technologies are classified explicitly as positive development factors that stimulate entrepreneurial activities. elea supports projects and companies that aim to electrify rural regions or to develop or spread affordable technologies which create new opportunities as well as jobs and improve the quality of life for people at the base of the pyramid.

Professional skill building
Through vocational skill trainings or capacity building programs, socially disadvantaged people obtain a chance to secure their existence and to live a more independent and dignified life.

  • iCow
    Kenya

    iCow
    Kenya

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    New technologies

    Project duration
    2013–2017

    Partner
    Green Dreams TECH Ltd.

    Green Dreams, a social company based in Nairobi, Kenia, developed iCow, an innovative agricultural information platform that is accessed primarily via mobile SMS, with the goal of delivering pertinent and timely information to an eco-system of agribusiness actors. Through iCow, farmers receive advice on agricultural best practices, track their cows through their respective estrus cycles, and get contact information of a variety of agricultural service providers.

    Learn more: Do a few sms make me a better farmer?

  • Dharma Life
    India

    Dharma Life
    India

    Region
    Asia

    Topic
    Global value chains

    Project duration
    2015–2019

    Partner
    Gajam India Ltd.

    Dharma Life’s goal is to create and manage a rural distribution network for affordable, innovative products and services tailored to the needs of households at the base of the pyramid. The offering addresses six causes: Access to clean energy, safe drinking water, livelihood products, reduction of indoor air pollution, as well as improvement of nutrition and personal hygiene. Dharma Life recruits, trains, and supports village-level entrepreneurs (so-called Dharma Life Entrepreneurs, DLEs) to act as local representatives and sales agents of Dharma Life, anchoring the organization and its services in the village community.

    Learn more: What are consumers in rural India actually looking for?

  • Coffee Circle
    Ethiopia

    Coffee Circle
    Ethiopia

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    Global value chains

    Project duration
    2013–2017

    Partner
    Circle Products GmbH

    Coffee Circle is a dynamic Berlin-based startup founded by young entrepreneurs, whose mission is to bring the world’s best coffee from Ethiopia to Europe via online sales and in turn help improve living conditions of coffee farmers significantly. Coffee Circle attaches great importance to the establishment of sustainable relationships with suppliers and trades the specialty coffee directly with the farmers in Ethiopia.

    Learn more: Can I find the world's best coffee online?

  • BagoSphere
    Philippines

    BagoSphere
    Philippines

    Region
    Asia

    Topic
    Professional skill building

    Project duration
    2015–2019

    Partner
    BagoSphere Pte. Ltd.

    BagoSphere provides underprivileged youth in the Philippines with financially accessible professional training that subsequently allows them to take up a job in the country’s fast-growing call-center industry, thereby increasing their monthly income three to five fold. BagoSphere connects students with Microfinance Institutions to allow them to pay the training program tuition fee up-front and repay over a period of 12–18 months.

  • Copia
    Kenya

    Copia
    Kenya

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    Global value chains

    Project duration
    2017–2021

    Partner
    Copia Global Inc.


    Copia’s aim is to bring e-commerce to poor rural customers by building an efficient mobile technology-enabled last-mile distribution system. A network of agents, typically owners of small shops, have Copia’s product catalog on display, take orders, collect mobile money payments, and serve as delivery points, which allows them to earn a sales commission. Customers in turn get access to fairly-priced and reliably delivered goods that would otherwise not be available to them.

  • awamo
    Uganda

    awamo
    Uganda

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    New technologies

    Project duration
    2017–2021

    Partner
    awamo GmbH

    awamo offers a software solution that allows Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to digitize their operations with a core banking system, and at the same time to anonymously exchange and verify credit information on borrowers. The company is building a technology infrastructure with the potential to revolutionize the unregulated financial market, thereby securing fair access to financial products for the base of the pyramid.

  • Digital Divide Data
    Kenya

    Digital Divide Data
    Kenya

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    Professional skill building

    Project duration
    2017–2021

    Partner
    Digital Divide Data


    Digital Divide Data (DDD) is a pioneer in Impact Sourcing, an economically sustainable approach to alleviate poverty by providing training, employment, and higher education to underprivileged youth. DDD’s new cloud practice in Kenya strives to become the first Amazon Web Service (AWS) Partner in East Africa, creating next generation, sustainable jobs, and further strengthening DDD’s leading role in the impact IT outsourcing industry.

  • M&P Hairdresser Business Skills
    Bolivia

    M&P Hairdresser Business Skills
    Bolivia

    Region
    South America

    Topic
    Professional skill building

    Project duration
    2015–2019

    Partner
    Fundes Bolivia

    A targeted training program for small “mom & pop” hairdresser shops in Bolivia in basic shop management, financial literacy, and marketing, also introducing new technologies, equipment, and supplies ensures the shops’ survival by making them more competitive. In a first phase, training sessions will be complemented by individualized on-site consulting in order to establish and implement shop-specific improvement plans. In a second phase, the micro-entrepreneurs will be supported in forming shop associations to combine marketing efforts and purchasing power.

  • SSACI Bookkeeping Apprenticeships
    South Africa

    SSACI Bookkeeping Apprenticeships
    South Africa

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    Professional skill building

    Project duration
    2015–2019

    Partner
    Swiss South African Co-operation Initiative

    The Swiss-South African Cooperation Initiative (SSACI) is a public-private partnership in development originally founded by the Swiss government. As an innovative pilot project, SSACI is introducing a dual-system apprenticeship for bookkeeping (Financial Administration Officer), the first test ever in South Africa of a dual-system apprenticeship in the service sector. Based on this pilot, apprenticeships should become part of official government education programs for the service sector.

  • B'Ayoba
    Zimbabwe

    B'Ayoba
    Zimbabwe

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    Global value chains

    Project duration
    2016–2020

    Partner
    B'Ayoba (Pvt) Ltd

    Today, most of the fruits of the baobab trees in Zimbabwe fall to the ground where they rot unused. However, in the industrialized world, the powder of the fruit is gaining rapid recognition as a "superfood" for its range of nutritional benefits. Under the guidance of B’Ayoba, a Zimbabwean food production company, poor rural smallholder farmers collect the ripe fruits and bring them to local processing centers where the fruits are cracked and the pulp is separated from the shell. In B’Ayoba’s plant in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, the pulp is further processed and the baobab powder, a produce rich of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium, is packaged for export to Europe and North America.

  • Jazza Centre
    Kenya

    Jazza Centre
    Kenya

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    Professional skill building

    Project duration
    2016–2020

    Partner
    Jazza Centre

    Founded in 2013, Jazza Centre provides underprivileged people without formal education in Kenya with a professional skill training that allows them to take up jobs as domestic workers, including housekeepers, nannies, cooks and gardeners. Following completion of the intensive training course, Jazza Centre hires the best training participants and places them in households and enterprises. The organization follows up regularly with its clients to ensure that employees are working in a safe environment on one hand and that the quality of the work delivered responds to a high standard on the other hand.

  • Angaza Design
    Worldwide

    Angaza Design
    Worldwide

    Region
    Worldwide

    Topic
    New technologies

    Project duration
    2013–2017

    Partner
    Angaza Design, Inc.

    Angaza Design developed an innovative Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) technology that allows communication between small devices such as affordable solar lamps and the mobile network operator. Beneficiaries buy a product for as little as 5 USD and pay back the remaining amount through regular installments using the PAYG technology.

  • Mad’Eole Joffre-Ville
    Madagascar

    Mad’Eole Joffre-Ville
    Madagascar

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    New technologies

    Project duration
    2014–2018

    Partner
    Mad'Eole Association & S.à.r.l.

    Capitalizing on the region’s favorable climatic conditions, Mad’Eole has been working with village communities in the north of the country since 2007 to construct Madagascar’s first wind and solar energy plants which provide access to cheap, environmentally friendly and reliable energy. The power grids are run by the village communities themselves, installed and maintained with the help of Madagascan engineers trained in Switzerland, and operated by local people. Strongly supported by elea, Mad’Eole successfully implemented pilot installations in four villages and is now rolling out its model to neighboring Joffre-Ville village.

  • Smart Dukas Nairobi
    Kenya

    Smart Dukas Nairobi
    Kenya

    Region
    Africa

    Topic
    Professional skill building

    Project duration
    2016–2020

    Partner
    TechnoServe Kenya

    Through a comprehensive approach, owners of small grocery shops (called “Dukas” in Kenya) in poor neighborhoods of Nairobi are trained in basic business skills – such as cost management, product selection and marketing – and receive dozens of hours of professional in-shop consulting to implement tailor-made action plans. Under the unified brand “Smart Duka”, the project’s goal is to substantially improve the business position of traditional Dukas, and thus to secure the jobs of the shop owners and their families.

elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization
Mühlebachstrasse 70
8008 Zürich
Switzerland
T +41 (0)43 466 77 44
F +41 (0)43 466 77 46