Best Ideas 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solution or proposition for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category, click HERE
Women of the Basket (WB)
Explain your idea in details:
As indicated by research, the elderly are predisposed to some constraints as health problems, shelter, unsuitable residential areas, and absence of family and community support, limited social security services, limited employment and income generating opportunities. Here, the elderly are people who are above 65 years. While the above serve as examples of the prevailing problems, it is evident that the older adults continue to form a greater community of a vulnerable population in Africa. Notably, the elderly living in Kenya operate in a context of uncertainty marked by the absence of widespread social security coverage, weak or non-existent pensions and dwindling intergenerational family network (Kenya Population Division, 2018). Therefore, Women of the Basket’s (a social enterprise) key objective is to empower and provide elderly women with financial independence through training them the art of weaving baskets. Women of the Basket seek to enlighten aged women on how to keep themselves busy and make a living out of basketry. While it is clear that a significant proportion of the aged persons are concentrated in the villages, a major percentage of our activities that is basketry will take place in the villages or rural areas. Our target audience is women because they form a large percentage of these vulnerable persons in comparison to men. The innovative approaches that Women of the Basket uses is utilizing plastic paper bags as the raw material. Our baskets will be weaved using sisal fiber (a local material) and plastic paper bags. Plastic has proved to be a threat to the environment and water bodies. Through reducing the number of plastic paper bags we are able to attain a World Without Waste (Coca Cola, 2016). Furthermore, another innovative aspect is creating strong intergenerational family network between young ladies and elderly.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
The Women of the Basket’s (WB) aim is to actively contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by preventing extreme poverty situations in the rural settings. This is done via decreasing the rate of women’s exposure to chronic poor living conditions. Through our initiative, women are able to earn a living since they cannot secure permanent employment and decrease the aged dependency ratio in Kenya which is 4.9% (Kenya Population Division, 2018). Today, the unprecedented demographic transformation taking place around the world poses to be a major threat. It is expected that by 2050 older people will constitute more than one fifth of the world's population. Persons aged 60 years and over will increase from 600 million to almost 2 billion. My project will directly impact the lives of approximately 2,000 aged women from the different regions/ rural centres and empower them. It will also eliminate their socio-economic vulnerability in old age by 65 percent. Where aged people lack of employment and income generating opportunities, this viable idea will ultimately contribute to poverty reduction by 49% where families tend to overlook the needs of the elderly persons. There will also be a reduction in socioeconomic vulnerability in old age at 75 percent. The project will be able to encounter the economic and social factors that impede the development of strong intergenerational network. This way, the young ones particularly the ladies will enjoy the company of aged women who are sources of wisdom and guidance.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
The elderly population as described by the Kenya Population Division (2018) is comprised of seniors from the age of 65 years old and above, is expected to rise to an annual growth rate of approximately 0.2 percent by 2050. Over the years, the subject of the elderly has not been prioritized by public policy, particularly the elderly in the informal sector. Despite the central role of the elderly in the social space they are being marginalized from the formal and informal setting, leaving them susceptible from a structural and relational perspective. Though celebrated in the different cultures in Kenya, older adults have to offer certain services as taking care of their grandchildren in order to live with their kin. Therefore, Women of the Basket is prepared to cater for the populace of uncared aged women which continues to grow at an alarming rate within Kenya. If my idea becomes one of the winning ideas, I believe that this opportunity will open opportunities to work with different Government key agencies towards viable social welfare of the elderly not only in African countries but across the globe. With a business model that integrates key activities like weaving baskets and selling them, the money obtained from such transactions will be used as a source of finances for the organization. The implementation plan will be: 1.) Recruit 200 women in 5 villages- the sustainability of the idea will be through maintaining the number of women who have registered with Women of the Basket. These women should be able to attest to the positive impact the idea has had on their lives especially the financial aspect. 2.) Train the women in basket weaving. 3.) Identify markets for the baskets.
I am Nancy Nzisa Michael, a 26 year old lady who is very passionate, outgoing, and industrious in everything i do. In 2016, I attained a Bachelor in Purchasing and Supplies Management at JKUAT. I have been a leader throughout my schooling years. In primary school, I have been a prefect to the games and dormitory captains. I later proceeded to Muthale Girls’ High School in Kitui where I further sharpened my leadership skills serving as the head prefect for her class. Later on, when I joined University I took up the roles of the Chairperson for two active student clubs: Creative Arts and Association of Procurement Students. In addition, I have been a winner at various national and international entrepreneurship competitions. I emerged top during the Blaze’s business competition ( a Safaricom Youth Network) at Machakos County. This year I was selected as One of the promising 100 selected startups during the Nairobi Innovation Week. I have also secured a place as one of the 1000 selected Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) entrepreneurs which is a large entrepreneurial competition in Africa. Importantly. i have a strong entrepreneurial spirit that enables me develop viable solutions to emerging problems.