There are currently seven village-based 2Seeds projects in Tanzania of which three, Bungu, Kwakiliga and Tabora, have started a long-term transition from project to business. But what does transitioning a project into a business mean within the 2Seeds methodology?
In order to reach Maisha Bora and achieve human capital development, 2Seeds Network incubates community-based projects to turn income-generating activities into thriving businesses run by 2Seeds members.
We develop these businesses through a long-term process:
- Engage the community
We only work in communities that have invited us to partner with them. Project Coordinators from international backgrounds spend at least one year living in a community, building relationships and engaging with community members. These Project Coordinators and community members develop deep, trusting relationships with each other that lay the groundwork for ongoing 2Seeds work, engage community members in the broader 2Seeds network and allow 2Seeds members to take risks together.
- Look for the income-generating activity that will work
Incorporating local knowledge and leadership with creative approaches, Project Coordinators and local Project Partners identify income-generating activities that might be suitable for that community. This process may take time. 2Seeds members build resilience as they try different activities, face threats from a changing natural environment, and learn to work together.
- Put in the hours to make it work
Once the income-generating activity has been identified, Project Partners and Project Coordinators work together to build the basis of a sustainable business. This means learning new skills, strengthening group cohesion, and accessing markets.
- Increase productivity
Once the business model is in place, it’s time to ramp up productivity to solidify market connections, lay the foundation of a self-sustaining business and generate life-changing income.
- Draw in the community and integrate other activities into the core business
The business is established and the core 2Seeds members are all successfully working together. Business operations are routinized and local value chains are integrated into operations, creating opportunity throughout the community and spurring local economic development.
- Create freedom to produce conscious choice
The result of this process is that 2Seeds members are able to make meaningful choices about their lives. They have money to cover everyday costs and save for the future; they have business acumen and an eye for strategic decision-making; and they have a network of support to try new things together.
This process of human capital development has long-term effects as Partners expand their skills, earn higher incomes, and bring new models of creative thought and action to their communities.
2Seeds Projects start out like clay, easy to be molded and shaped, as flexibility is necessary to experiment and risk. Once projects transition into businesses it is like the clay turning into rocks, which are a solid foundation that can be added to without easily breaking. When a project transitions into a business, a trial transitions into reality, a subsistence farmer transitions into a businessperson, a dream transitions into a step towards Maisha Bora.
The project-to-business transition is the necessary turning point to professionalizing the activities performed by Project Coordinators, then Business Consultants, and Project Partners, then Business Owners.