Given 9 out of 10 businesses are not around after 18 months, if a business school said that 80% of its graduates were running successful businesses two years after leaving, that would be an impressive statistic, right? Even more so if the graduates had never had business experience before. And still more if they were coming from one of the poorest parts of the world.
Well, if you don’t know Devin Hibbard or the full story of the great work they are doing at BeadForLife, I encourage you to take a look at this, as that’s what they have delivered in rural Uganda.
This is heart-warming account of empowering the best in people, partnering with those who are less privileged (not doing ‘to’ them) and women working with women to support community development. The holy grail of social enterprise is sustainable trading revenues – ie, selling something that people actually want to buy – this is one of the most impressive models I have seen and I have been around the space for over a decade.
Contribute globally or locally? Hold universal values on women’s rights or adjust to local cultural norms? Do something you have experience in or follow the call of what’s needed?
Hear some great answers from Devin as she and her team expand to support 1 million women entrepreneurs over the next decade…
Watch here for Jack Butler’s interview with Devin Hibbard:
Devin Hibbard bio – co-founder and ED of BeadforLife
Goethe quote (hit link and scroll down – it may not be Goethe after all and expansion from W. H. Murray?)
0:00 – welcome and intro
1:25 – getting to know Devin; parents in the peace corps; travelling in Nepal seeing people farm with oxen; how little she knew about how people really lived
4:00 – BeadforLife business; starting with a need, not a business plan; saying YES to the river! (what’s flowing); the BeadforLife graduation model
6:50 – 90% funded through product revenues (this is impressive and uncommon in the nonprofit world)
7:30 – Goethe – how all manner of things (resources, allies, partners etc.) can fall into place once you commit to a certain path
9:00 – BeadforLife current scale – in Uganda for 10 years now, really honing the model before expanding
10:10 – the gap of capital vs the gap of confidence (the latter more often being the problem
11:50 – BeadforLife business success rate – 80% of graduates still have a successful business after two years (vs 80% failure for Ugandan businesses as a whole)
12:30 – scaling by partnering with orgs who are already deep rooted in communities and cultures (rather than franchising)
14:45 – what’s the highest leverage action you can take as a first world citizen?
15:05 – the importance of money in the hands of women
15:40 – giving opportunities vs handouts; partnering vs helping (circle of connection in which everyone is enriched)
17:20 – how you can get involved with BeadforLife
18:40 – where are we at with global poverty? Whilst most Millennium Development Goals won’t be met, we have made great progress but India and China more so than sub-Saharan Africa
19:45 – numbers in poverty are up but proportions are down (because of population growth)
20:30 – why self-sufficiency and confidence is so much more than money
22:00 – the model of love + business, based on authentic relationships
22:40 – why Devin gets called ‘Coach Devin’ (rather than Mama Devin)
23:10 – time horizons are by necessity so short for very poor people that BeadforLife has to give tools which are implementable tomorrow
25:00 – how to balance deeply held beliefs about women’s rights with local cultural norms
27:00 – how to create a more sustainably just world? The importance of looking at trend lines, not the headlines (e.g. malaria is way more of a killer than ebola ever has been)
29:00 – go where you are called to serve – local or global or both
29:45 – the problems of poor governance in African countries (whilst not needing to be a Western brand of democracy)
30:30 – the more full promise of democracy we are living into
31:15 – how people can pay things from cellphones easier in Uganda than in the US!
31:45 – the rise to the amazing millennial generation – so interested in global; low levels of institutional trust – or just the nature of institutions and where we gather has changed (Facebook etc.)
33:45 – high-functioning presence – how to be present and on our spiritual path, whilst also making social enterprise waves
37:00 – the practice of humility – just being of service and letting go of the rest
38:20 – Devin’s lifehacks – not going to a meeting in a non-native culture on your own – really relying on your local team to tell you what you can’t understand (in the social interactions)
39:55 – Devin’s developmental edge – taking her space as a women entrepreneur
41:00 – Steve Jobs model – stay close to innovation and marketing (but maybe not a good model of being healthy and kind? Jobs’ reputation for shouting at staff etc.)
42:20 – connecting with Devin
43:50 – informed optimism for the future…
44:40 – speaking out against aid dependency: partnering with people to create self-sufficient futures