Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Explain your project in details:
Sembrando Confianza aims at strengthening food security through the commercialization of agro ecological products in Bogota region with a focus on vulnerable populations, by fomenting sustainable production, commercializing in a fair way and promoting responsible consumption. We offer agro ecological, organic and nutritive products with a triple impact : social (inclusion of small farmers), environmental (guarantee in the agroecological production at a small-scale. We connect small farmers that live and grow products in Bogota and nearby municipalities by guaranteeing a constant and permanent offer of different varieties of fruits, vegetables and transformed products certified under a seal of trust. We provide a technical, commercial and logistical assistance, as well as a participative system of certification. We provide a follow-up and monitoring of the farmers network by organizing visits and providing training. The technical support to the farmers tries to strengthen the production process in itself but also in general, to guarantee the perennial of the business of each farmer. We also organize workshops of environmental education with schools and universities that benefited a 1678 people in 2017. With the constitution of the farmers network (38 productive entities of farmers) and the consumers network, we offer activities such as agro touristic visits or cooking workshops (7 visits and workshops in 2017) to the small farmers to get closer with each other. In this way, we take advantage of the knowledges that are exchanged,and this helps them to generate more economic income through agroturism. We have an innovation of products in the vision of consumption because we make home delivery markets. We not only sell healthy products but we also reduce the gap that exists between the urban and rural area. In 2017, we delivered 1,942 baskets of food reaching 260 consumers living in Bogota. We also work with small restaurants.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Sembrando Confianza is a business model with a triple impact : At the social level, we contribute to strengthen food security in Bogota region by improving the production, the distribution and the food consumption. We are part of a participate system of guarantee in which the farmers can actively participate to reinforce agro ecological practices and to offer the consumers chemical free products with responsible manufacture practices. We improve life quality of small farmers and we also work for the SDG reduction of inequalities though the rise of small farmers that benefit a technical, logistical and commercial assistance, by increasing their competition and by making easier their integration in the market. At the economic level, we aim at strengthening the SDG of decent work and economic growth, by dignifying the labor of small farmers, by increasing their income through fair trade with a responsible business model that can reach 300,000 potential consumers. At the environmental level, we directly contribute to the SDG Sustainable Cities and Communities through the promotion of local production and consumption with an important focus on urban agriculture, the supply chain, and the use of availables resources in the city. (e.j. cultivated areas, reused materials, sown fields)
Sustainability and future plans
Our largest goal is the social benefit of the farmers and the consumers; our model of mixed financing enables the operation and maintenance costs to be covered by the sales while incomes coming from the grants help us to cover the projects support. We provide support to small farmers throughout the value chain and we promote green entrepreneurship, then it’s sustainable. Our plans for future growth is to expand the impact of Sembrando Confianza, which means to reaching 100 productive entities of small farmers, through strategies to strengthen the network and to promote the good quality of products as well as reaching the commercialization of 300 baskets of food every week, with a responsible production, commercialization and consumption. We also want to develop new products through the transformation of food, by connecting social needs with productive needs. The other goal in the long run is to participate in the development of Bogota’s public policies for food security and to reach a total of 800 participants in the urban agriculture workshops.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am Diego Cardenas and I am 23 years old. I am the founder of Sembrando Confianza and I studied Political Science in the National University of Bogota. Then, I started to get interested in the urban agriculture and environmental education. From 2007, I started to shape the Sembrando Confianza project, by starting to work with the local community of San Cristobal in the Southeast of Bogota and by promoting urban agriculture as a way to promote food security for victims and displaced people of the Colombian armed conflict. The view in the long run enabled me to see Sembrando Confianza as a project with the potential to be replicated in the surrounds of Bogota, by providing support to small farmers for the production and commercialization. From 2013, thanks the support of the working team of young Colombian and young French people, the project has been greatly stimulated and today it has received awards from the Botanic garden of Bogota, has been part of the 500 best ones for an award of Latinoamerica verde (Green Latin America) and has been one the five finalist of the Viva Schmidheiny awards. Today, my interest for food security, as one the biggest challenges with respect to human rights, has driven Sembrando confianza to integrate the National Network of Family Agriculture in order to have an impact on food security politics. These years of experience with Sembrando Confianza have been driving myself and the working team to go forward in order to increase the social and environmental impact of this project.