In early 2015 I traveled to Nicaragua with a group of Spark Ventures supporters. Among the group was a family who had helped to fund the acquisition of our 175 acre farm in the mountains of Matagalpa. This farm is where Spark’s agribusiness was launched with honeybees in 2015 and soon will be thriving with plantains and young cacao trees. But back in February, it appeared more like we had purchased a rather random piece of jungle! As I walked with them through our farm – up and down hills, across small streams and navigating thick overgrown grass, bushes and lots of trees – I thought, “Will they see the potential in this chaotic, messy piece of land?”
Potential has been part of the story of Spark Ventures since day one. My cofounders and I saw the potential in the work of Hope Ministries in Zambia when we first volunteered with them in 2006. We saw the potential that could come from a partnership with these dedicated new friends from the other side of the world, and the potential to attempt a new model for international philanthropy. Today, we have cultivated a community of financial supporters like you, who believe in the potential of Spark’s work, and a growing number of you have experienced it for yourself. Like that family who walked the farm with me in Nicaragua, more than 350 of you have made the journey with Spark to Africa or Central America and seen not only the potential, but the actual impact of our work together.
I am proud and humbled to share some of our accomplishments from the past year and stories of impact with you. Know that we could not do what we do without your partnership. You are part of the dedicated, passionate and generous community of Spark Ventures – and thanks to you our potential has taken flight.