Impossible partners with Tessa Wernink on a journey across 17 interviews to meet entrepreneurs and business people from around the globe, whose curiosity has led them to question current systems and develop more ethical and sustainable business practices.
The Gift Of Trying
In the fourth and final episode of this series we see the bigger picture – and why these entrepreneurs feel they need to keep on trying. Despite dealing with complexity on a day-to-day basis, they are determined to work toward their greater plan. Patrick, Mike, Douce, Washikala and Chance might be on to something. By starting and supporting these businesses, they have created a new model for people in the region to take ownership of their future. What are the ingredients for long-term impact and building ecosystems that flourish? We revisit Mike and Patrick and find out whether their approach could become a model for others. Could they be getting it right?
Building An Ecosystem
Episode three takes us deeper into the intricacies of setting up a business in an uncertain and complex environment. If social entrepreneurs can offer ideas and business solutions for community value, what role should government play? And how can NGOs and other societal actors get involved? Besides the insights from Douce and Washikala, we meet Chance Rwezi, who runs a coffee co-op on the island of Idjwi. While Douce and Washikala need to test their assumptions within their communities, Chance has challenges that lie outside the country. How does he see the balance between local and global economies and community value?
Stepping Into Risk
In episode two, we meet entrepreneurs in Eastern Congo who have made a business out of their personal mission. From her factory in Bukavu town, Douce Namwezi and her team want to improve the position of women in their communities and have set out to address this through the production of feminine hygiene pads. But can you set up a business around a product no one feels comfortable talking about? Six hours north, in the city of Goma, Washikala Malongo and his company Altech are on a mission to eradicate energy poverty. Do they have what it takes to build a nationwide business in a country where two thirds of households can’t afford the solar powered products they make?
The Story of Complexity
In the first episode, we meet Patrick Byamungu and Mike Beeston, both founders of the Eastern Congo-based accelerator Ensemble Pour La Difference. After working as a journalist for 8 years, Patrick became tired of re-telling the same story. The story of emergency relief without lasting change. He meets Mike, who has sold his global digital agency and wants to know whether his human-centred business techniques could be relevant for entrepreneurs in the DRC. Together they start an accelerator for for-profit, social-aware businesses and tell us about the complexity of the task ahead.
Trailer: What If We Get It Right? Season 2 | Congo
After the success of season one, Tessa Wernink and Impossible take the What If We Get It Right? listener to the Democratic Republic of Congo. After decades of international humanitarian aid, local for-profit and socially-aware entrepreneurs are now setting up businesses with the aim of creating lasting economic value and contributing to long-term stability and peace. Wondering what it takes to get it right, the podcast uncovers the roles social entrepreneurship and planet-centric thinking play in building sustainable value for communities across Eastern Congo.
Cynthia Wandia: Going the Extra Mile with Community Banking
Cynthia Wandia is Co-founder and CEO of Kwara, a digital banking platform for savings and credit cooperatives, starting in Kenya. By digitising these community banks, Cynthia is showing how technology can be leveraged for communities who are often excluded from traditional banks. After studying electrical engineering and working in several different countries around the world, Cynthia set up Kwara in Kenya in 2018. It currently serves 28,000 members.
In Kenya, mobile money is ubiquitous, and as more and more people own and can afford a mobile phone, payment options and innovations in business have reached a far greater number of people than ever before. But Kwara sees that simply introducing mobile payments is not enough to support people in ‘the last mile’.
Cynthia and her team believe that the only really fair financial institution is the one that people build for themselves; something which humanity has been doing for centuries. Kwara’s aim is to help communities digitise so that they can own the benefits of technology that other sectors have been able to enjoy.
SDG #10 Reducing Inequality