The work done
Better Globe Forestry Ltd. (“BGF”) establishes and operates tree plantations in arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) in East Africa. Together with local farmers, different kinds of trees are grown in soils that are difficult to cultivate. For contract farmers, the benefits are many, such as: Improved financial security, better soil health, access to technical assistance and training, reduction in soil erosion, support for children’s education, and more.
It is through social entrepreneurship and sustainable development that BGF, directly and indirectly, helps people out of poverty. By operating tree plantations and working with contract farmers, the number of people in employment increases. Better Globe customers who buy the donation package monthly also help fund community-owned microfinance banks and the construction and renovation of schools.
Because this effort to counter poverty in Africa is grounded in sustainable business principles, everyone involved profits while supporting the environment. As a Better Globe customer, you receive a significant financial return on all the trees you buy, regardless if you buy them individually or through the donation package.
BGF genuinely believes in sustainability and the importance of a long term view. There are no quick fixes. If you want to make a real change, you need to lay a solid foundation and have a long-term perspective on everything you do. When working with the cultivation of the right types of trees for the right environment, the long-term perspective comes almost by itself. The other fundamental factor to BGF’s business is sustainability and caring for the environment to make Africa a greener and healthier continent. As a Better Globe customer, everything you buy contributes to a greener and more sustainable future, both for Africans and the world at large.
For change to endure, it needs to be sustainable for all parties. BGF believe in sustainability for:
- employees on the plantations who receive a salary which enables them to help themselves out of poverty
- the environment and the planet, because tree planting reduces the threat of climate change and desertification
- children living in the local communities who get the opportunity to go to school because we help to fund the construction and renovation of schools through our partner Child Africa
- recipients of microloans from the community-owned banks BGF finance through the donation packages sold to Better Globe customers
- the countries in which BGF operates, as they receive taxes and the economic value added by the industries created
- the communities where the employees live, where infrastructure can be improved and opportunities for growth and better living standards are created
- the customers of Better Globe AS who receive a fair share of profits from the trees and related business development, making it economically sustainable to support Better Globe
Because all parties are winners, BGF is on a sustainable path to achieving its vision to combat corruption and to eradicate poverty, one family at the time. It will not happen overnight. However, what BGF has accomplished since 2004 has exceeded expectations in several areas. And with your help, BGF can move faster towards its goal of a greener and healthier Africa with significantly improved living conditions in some of the most vulnerable communities.
Tried and tested methods give results
You may be surprised to know that none of what BGF is doing is new. In 2004, the Kenyan environmental activist and later Environment Minister Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Prize for planting trees. A few years later, Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for creating the concepts around microcredit and microfinance. And education is well-known to be one of the main roads out of poverty.
However, what BGF does is unique in the world today. Since its startup in 2004, the company has been able to combine all these crucial elements into a sustainable and working business concept that supports everyone involved. And through the crowdfunding strategy created by us at Better Globe AS, everyone can help counter poverty in Africa and build a greener future while being long-term profitable.
The success factor is how BGF combines the various strategies for social impact into a working business model. In short, what BGF does with the help of Better Globe customers who buy the donation package is to:
- Help people to help themselves – the company believes in teaching people to fish rather than giving them fish.
- Plant trees – turning dry and degraded lands into green and productive areas that improve the local environment, counter climate change and erosion, and provide a predictable financial return.
- Fund community-owned microfinance banks – When receiving a loan, the loan recipients also become bank stakeholders. To secure long-term success, financial literacy is taught to further strengthen the economy of the communities.
- Provide water – Funding goes to water-related projects, and contract farmers often receive training in water usage and water conservation by agroforestry field agents.
- Support education – The best way to help people change their situation is through education. For every donation package sold, a part goes to fund the construction and renovation of schools.
- Collaborate – Nobody has ever achieved something of this magnitude on their own. BGF’s collaborations and partnerships are the keys to their and our success.
- Share profits – To finance the business, BGF needs your help. In return, you get a significant share of the profits from the two products sold by us, trees, and donation packages. Revenue comes from agroforestry and the cultivation of trees in arid and semi-arid lands. And the local refinement of tropical hardwoods into sustainable high-end products sold on the global market is the final stage of the profit-generating activities of the company.
Both Better Globe’s and BGF’s vision and long-term goals are to reduce poverty and corruption in Africa. Poverty and corruption are the two most significant constraints holding Africa back from really flourishing. And with the help of people like you, we can make a lasting difference for both African dryland farming communities and the world as a whole.
Since BGF started in 2004, the company has overcome many obstacles that are unique to the challenging work-environment found in arid and semi-arid lands. Here are a few examples of the accomplishments that have been helped along with the support of Better Globe’s customers from around the world:
- more than 2 700 000 trees planted on lands that no one thought suitable for forestry
- paid financial returns to tree owners since 2010, on time and according to plan
- funded the construction of two schools in Uganda built by our partner Child Africa
- funded renovations and supported several schools in Kenya through Child Africa
- funded the purchase of a new school in Kabale, Uganda, Child Africa’s first college
- in addition to company staff, employed several hundred seasonal workers in areas where there previously were almost no job opportunities
- funded two microloan banks that have lent money to over 5,000 families who are now stakeholders
- started a partnership with thousands of farmers who receive great benefits by adding tree cultivation to their business activities
Read more about our impact here →
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