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Spark’s Busy Summer Vacation

  |   business development, nicaragua, report from the field, socent, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, spark ventures, zambia   |   No comment
What have you been up to on your summer vacation? Here at Spark Ventures we have been busy! With business development projects in Zambia and Nicaragua, exciting progress is being made towards providing sustainable revenue streams for both our partner organizations.

At various points throughout the summer, Spark staff, interns and volunteers have been working to move projects forward from as many as 7 different locations around the globe (Chicago; Leon, Nicaragua; Monterey, California; Mexico City, Mexico; Lusaka & Ndola, Zambia; and Toronto, Canada)! Via many Skype calls and balancing multiple time zones, exciting progress is being made!
In Zambia, the poultry farm, having past its second year of operations, has already raised and sold over 40,000 chickens. In early July, Rich was at the farm to attend a Hope Ventures board meeting and discuss the continuing plans to grow the farm large enough to enter the national supply chain.
In Nicaragua, significant business planning developments have been driven by a talented team of four MIIS graduate students, with the leadership of Spark’s Director of Partnerships, Lucy Jodlowska. The goal of this summer’s work is to identify a potential business venture for Spark and our partner, Las Tías to launch.

began as a remote research project, transitioned mid-summer into an in-country evaluation of the opportunities, including an in-depth presentation to the Las Tías board to gather their feedback and input. The team was joined in late-July by Spark Board Member, Steve Gant and his brothers, all of whom have extensive Latin American business development experience and who worked with the team to further refine their proposed business proposals, as they review financials, conduct risk analysis, identify distribution and marketing challenges and diversification scenarios.

It is through the poultry farm in Zambia, and the soon-to-be-launched business in Nicaragua that our international partners will source sustainable revenue streams. This revenue will support their community programing efforts – serving the vulnerable children in their communities with nutrition, education & healthcare.

With so many advancements being made to propel our partners towards sustainability, will you take a moment to share our work with 5 people? It may not be traditional summer beach reading, but we certainly think this summer has lead to some exciting developments.

If you’d like to see all the action up-close, be sure to check out one of our Partnership Trips to either Nicaragua in October (only 4 spots left!) or Zambia in January!

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