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The Community Agency

The Community Agency is a carefully crafted ecosystem delivering both social impact and revenue.
Through partnerships,
We deliver professional training, social business incubation and consultancy
For
Unprivileged populations, third sector professionals, corporates and local authorities.
As the Agency, our job is to bring all players together, so that:
Today’s unprivileged get access to the professional training they are asking for and that the market wants,
Enable one of the key elements needed to empower people getting themselves out of endemic economic vulnerability,
Support the third sector in improving its own efficiency and professionalism,
Corporates and local authorities co-created the the products and services aimed for the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ people themselves want, need, design and benefit from.
Desenvolvimento de projetos
Sim
Problema Social que ele pretende resolver
Lack of access to professional training for underprivileged populations (in favelas) Current situation: scattered initiatives unevenly implemented; and financially inaccessible to this public. Root causes: lack of public investment and political will; endemic security, health and poverty issues. Our objective: higher value and more stable longer term employability. Lack of professionalism and efficiency of the third sector & social businesses Current situation: existing training programs though mostly expensive, inaccessible, time consuming and providing only basic training instead of high quality technical training for third sector professionals. Root causes: scattered initiatives, lack of sharing information and best practice; volunteers and employees of the third sector often less qualified and trained as in the private sector; lack of accountability. Our objective: more efficient, better run, higher impact actions on the ground. Lack of knowledge, understanding and talent
Como funciona o seu negócio
As the Community Agency, we bring all relevant partners together to deliver: 1. Professional training In practice: Presencial courses, Online courses, Curricula; For: Local community, Third sector, Corporates, Local authorities Delivered by: Training partners, Governmental agencies, The Community Agency Revenue streams: Courses delivered, Speaker and facilitator fees, Fundraising, Membership/ Admin fees. 2.Social business incubator In practice: Incubation programs, Short to longer term coaching of projects For: Local social business projects, Local third sector projects; Delivered by: Social incubator partners, Social investors, The Community Agency Revenue streams: Speaker and facilitator fees, Fundraising, Membership/ Admin fees 3. Consultancy & Research In practice: Consultancy, BOP market research, Management of CSR portfolio For: Corporates, Local authoritie Delivered by: Local residents trained, Local projects, consultancy partners Revenue streams: consultancy
Como é o modelo de sustentabilidade financeira do seu negócio?
Year 1: Main costs: human resources & development; investing in accessible below-cost training for fragile populations. Main benefits: consultancy & incubator. Profit in year 1 estimated at: R$172,800 Year 2: Main costs: Main costs: human resources & expansion in other cities; investing in accessible below-cost training for fragile populations. Main benefits: consultancy & incubator; and re-investment of profits, after tax. Profit in year 2 estimated at: R$204,000 Year 3: Main costs: human resources & expansion in South Africa; increasing salaries for the 'BOP' consultants trained through the 'training' offer. Main benefits: consultancy, incubator and training; and re-investment of profits, after tax. Profit in year 2 estimated at: R$370,000
Viabilidade financiera
The key success factor is in the quality of the ecosystem; meaning the quality, involvement, trust and professionalism of all the partners it will take to deliver this. Luckily, we can already count in our closest networks the following players to help us succeed: In Brazil: Accenture, Ernst and Young, Coca Cola Institute, Impact Hub Sao Paulo, Aspen network, Petrobras, Rio+B, Sistema B, Rio Resiliente, Brasil Tomorrow, Projeto Brasil 27, Yunus Negocios Sociais (sim...), Sitawi, Sebrae, GOMA, Templo, Sikana, Viva Rio, Universidade da Correria, Favela Verde, Perestroika, Schumacher College, Gaia, Escola Design Thinking, FGV, Laje, and Amani Institute. International networks: University of Stellenbosh, MSLS Sweden, Impact Hub network, Ticket for Change, Europe Tomorrow, PwC, Radley Yeldar, Aspen network, Natural Capital Coalition, IUCN, USC business school, IE Madrid business school, HEC business school, Massive Small, Sikana, Schumacher College, and Emzingo.
Riscos
1. Entering those territories (favelas), win our licence to operate, gain and maintain trust, ensure community participation, buy-in and inclusion, avoid security risks. How we are minimizing and mitigating that risk: Working in full collaboration with established trusted existing projects on the ground, using their local relationships and reputational capital to enter the territory and protect our licence to operate in this very challenging and complex environment. Key team members of this project are personally involved with established NGOs working in favelas, have personal contacts there and benefit from an impeccable reputation on the ground. By monitoring community feedback and maintain participation. 2.Lack of interest from participants, mostly our primary ‘bottom of the pyramid’ beneficiaries. How we are minimizing and mitigating that risk: Mapping necessities, limitations and opportunities flagged by the community itself. Working with established local NGOs.
Equipe
Oi! I’m Alexandra, French/Romanian living in Brazil. I have 10+ years experience in sustainability strategy and communications and running development programs. I’m working with academia, large corporates, social businesses and the third sector. I’ve studied and worked in four continents. Behind me, are several networks: including Humana (a 50+ sustainability consultants network: humanasustentavel.com) and Emzingo (an international education social enterprise; emzingo.com).
Escalada
I believe you learn best from the worst. First: Piloting in Rocinha and Complexo de Alemao, two of Brazil’s biggest favelas, and learn from one of the world’s most challenging and complex environments. Second: Adapting, expanding and replicating the model around Brazil and South Africa (initially in a township in Cape Town), because of the systemic similarities between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. Third: Build an international network of Community Agencies working and learning together globally, at the same time as securing their individual financial sustainability, managing local impact and servicing their local markets.
Qual seu principal objetivo ao participar do Yunus Challenge?
What I have is an idea, a network, and people already engaged around the project. I am now looking forward to being challenged, pushed and supported to make the Community Agency ever more relevant and impactful. Hopefully, the concept will evolve over time, adapt, learn from its mistakes, and hopefully improve. Ultimately, this project is about employability, longer term higher value employment, more efficient social initiatives, and breaking down the divide between the so-called 'top' and 'bottom'. That's what's really at stake. There is no ego in my approach. So please challenge me to find the best solution to tackle those challenges together.
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