|A 5 Eco-Pesa voucher worth 5 shillings at |
participating businesses in Kongowea.
Location: Kongowea Kenya
Status: Finalizing 1 year pilot
Report: November 2010 Evaluation (pdf)
Contact: Founder Will Ruddick
The Eco-Pesa (Ecological Money) pilot programme has created a community business voucher to benefit the environment and economy of Kongowea, a [slum] district of Mombasa. The voucher acts as a currency that can be exchanged for local goods and services and redeemed for Kenyan Shillings. As Eco-Pesa can only be spent in local businesses within Kongowea, its use creates a direct incentive for residents to take an active role in their community while also helping the local economy and environment.
Participating businesses receive training and incentives in introducing greener business practices, while youth groups and other community members are encouraged to start new environmentally-friendly businesses in the area in return for payment in Eco-Pesa vouchers. After the pilot phase and as the initiative develops, Eco-Pesa can be given as micro-loans to stimulate small enterprise.
|Kongowea Business owner using Eco-Pesa|
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Kalan of BoP.
We have seen Eco-Pesa as a powerful and holistic model of community development and believe it is also an appealing alternative for donors. So many donations come into impoverished communities in Kenya but there is very little to show for it. Most donor money leaves the communities it was targeting almost immediately. With Eco-Pesa we have a chance to make sure that funds stay in the community and help build the economy in an environmentally conscious way.
Impoverished communities like those in Kongowea continually face the following challenges:
- Lack of purchasing power. The average daily income of buisnesses in the slums is $5 USD. This is generally used to support at least 5 family members.
- Inability to obtain loans.
- Lack of trade between businesses causing money to flow out to businesses out of the community.
- High levels of unemployment and an inability among local business to make use of this spare capacity.
- Lack of social services, such as waste management.
- Lack of means and incentives, to invest in the local community.
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Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.