Mašenjka Feels Happy, From A to W, Twelve Campaigns Will Go Out Crowdfunding!


What are the campaigns, what is in the #BigStoriesSmallBusinesses? Take a small A to W quest with Maša and find out! A. stands for Antonov, Ukrainian engineer who constructed the biggest cargo plane in the world, the famous Antonov! Produced in Ukraine. Mašenjka saw it in Zagreb several years ago, once it landed to pick up a transformer for a powerplant . The queue of curious people was the longest queue she has ever seen! Can you imagine how thrilled she was she realised we have another Antonov in one of the teams that is composed of engineers who once worked in the Antonov factory? Now The A. team has created the first electric cargo bike in Ukraine – find out what is their name and try-out the bike when they go out to the crowds with gue...
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Impact Investment for Development Summit 2017


"How can we finance the next 15 years of development work? In what ways should true innovators be engaged in the development process? How viable is impact investment for business and governments alike?" - these were only a few of the many questions discussed at the very first global summit on impact investment for development, held in Yerevan on March 21-22. The summit, has been hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia and INSEAD's Social Impact Initiative as a knowledge partner. Together they have brought together some of the world's leading social entrepreneurs, impact investors and development practitioners. During the two-day event UNDP officials, social entrepreneurs, impact business leaders, representatives...
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Mašenjka Goes Crowdfunding in Kyiv


  On a calm early Saturday morning, with her tiny feet and red hair-locks under her cap, Mašenjka walked swiftly across St. Sofia square. And then down with a funicular to Podil. And then straight along Riviera to Kyiv Hub 4.0. More then thirty curious entrepreneurs waited for her. Fifteen komandas couldn't wait to learn about a whole new world of crowdfunding. Mašenjka was not alone. Little rasta-girl with blond dreadlocks from the Crowdfunding Academy was with her, and two nice and bright comrades from Spilnokosht platform and a cheerful piccola djevushka Italiana. The komandas started pitching: We want school-kids to grow trees and turn grey destroyed areas into green woods. We want anti-cafe in Slavyansk to have a wonderful yard an...
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BUBA BAR - EXTRA CHROMOSOME FOR EXTRA COFFEE


Buba bar - extra chromosome for extra coffee'' crowdfunding campaign was launched with the aim of opening the first coffee house in Croatia to employ people with Down Syndrome. The Bubamara Association needed to raise 10,000 USD to make Buba Bar a reality.Their mission was to improve the quality of life for the intellectually challenged and to evolve the Croatian societal views and acceptance of these individuals into society. With Buba bar project, they wanted to give young adults with disabilities the possibility to live their lives just like every other person.We have collected 16 821$ through this campaign, and the money was invested in space arrangement and furnishing. Buba Bar is now completely adapted for people with disabilities and...
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Providing Youth Education and Employment In the IT Industry


In six months, after a successful pilot in the Korail slum , we helped students who were barely familiar with computers to transform into IT freelancers, earning an average of $100 USD per month. Following up on that success, on October 9th UNDP Bangladesh launched the Youth Employment through Skills (YES) campaign . Today, we are raising money to build our first pilot classroom. If successful, we will expand this programme to 100,000 students across Bangladesh. The Inspiration for Youth Employment through Skills (YES) Despite the huge gains that Bangladesh has made addressing poverty, almost 1/3 of the population, or 45 million, still live below the poverty line. Not only that, but, approximately 41% of Bangladeshi youth are NEET : Not Emp...
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Jobs For Youth, Savings For Government, Return For Investors – All In One?


​ UNDP Serbia is experimenting impact investing through Youth Employment Bond together with Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. The high cost of youth unemployment The youth unemployment rate is very high in Serbia, which requires more attention and also innovative ways to tackle the challenges. The youth unemployment rate in 2015 was 43.2 %, which is significantly above the general unemployment rate in the country (18.2 % for the population of working age 15-64). Having 4 out of 10 young people (ages 15-30) neither in employment, education or training (NEET youth) costs the Government over EUR 1.6 billion a year. You read it right- EUR 1.6 billion. This figure includes costs of various unemployment related social benefits and foregone income ta...
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Saving Lives – One Student At a Time


In a school in a town South of Lebanon, a young boy rushes out of class on a Friday excited to get home and start the weekend. He exits the school gate onto a crowded road that leads to a concealed curve where cars rush by. There is no pavement, no footpaths, and no security measures. The child runs up and down the street looking for his mother, stuck in the usual heavy traffic around the school…  Last year alone, 83 children under 14 years of age lost their lives in road accidents. Many of these accidents took place within the school's perimeter. Live Lebanon is launching the Green Light zone Project to reduce the number of casualties by providing a safe environment for students within and around the school. Children In Direct Danger ...
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UNDP Moldova is keeping the doctor away from more than 3000 school-age children


​ The idea of tackling the problem of low fruit intake in Moldova came during a banal lunch. We were intrigued by the paradox that in a country that is a regional "garden", abundant in fruits and vegetables, the average consumption of these goodies constituted only 60% of the minimum WHO recommended quantity. We then thought about connecting the private sector represented by the fruit producers with the educational institutions, targeting the young generations of our country, where the culture of fruit consumption is just about to be shaped. Our mission was to increase children fruit consumption, by offering them local fresh apples, sliced and delivered in an attractive package, thus making the consumption process "cool" for them. The chall...
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Crowdfunding is not (only) about the money


If you need just money, go to the bank and don't use crowdfunding. Use crowdfunding if you need awareness building, campaigning, initiating debate, attract other funders and build up your community. When we started our first campaign for an energy independent school in Croatia, we didn't have the slightest idea where crowdfunding would take us. From conducting a successful campaign to setting up Crowdfunding Academy and UNDP Alternative Finance Lab , helping to launch more than 15 campaigns in 10+ countries - crowdfunding has definitely taken a hold on us. In the UK alone, crowdfunding for civic causes has gained $30 million over the last five years . But crowdfunding is so much more than about getting the required financing for your projec...
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CROWDFUNDING ACADEMY: DEVELOPING ALTERNATIVE FINANCING CULTURE IN CROATIA


​ Seems like the last few months have gone away in a blink of an eye – that's how long it passed since a group of seven started to plan the Crowdfunding Academy project at small UNDP office in Croatia. Many e-mails, social media posts, new faces, public presentations, crowdfunding facts and working hours later, we are starting to realize the real size of a rock that we've managed to move by successfully bringing this project to life. Within the Crowdfunding Academy educational programme we gathered experts in business, financing, marketing, social media, journalism, strategy planning and many other fields, along with more or less successful crowdfunding campaigners from Croatia. They've shared their experiences through three modules tacklin...
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Crowdfunding As a Potential Behemoth: A Billion Euro Industry Waiting To Happen


Enter your text  Nothing could beat the pleasure of starring at a packed auditorium while I was waiting for the opening talk of the Zagreb Crowdfunding Convention and thinking back of the months of preparations behind us. Industry experts, NGO's and private companies, government representative and numerous curious individuals – we got them all at one place to discuss future of crowdfunding in our region! We've been intensively focusing our work on a variety of crowdfunding activities in order to climb closer to the goal we've set more than one year ago, when we co-founded the Crowdfunding Academy . That was to contribute to the development of a crowdfunding market in Croatia. Our Zagreb Crowdfunding Convention event nowadays comes as a...
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YOUTH EMPLOYMENT THROUGH SKILLS - YES


Bangladesh is a country with a population of over 160 million people, and millions of youth not in education, employed, or in training. On the other side, the need for good jobs in Bangladesh is high. The Youth Employment through Skills (YES) initiative came up with the solution for this huge problem. YES is an educational programme that works with Bangladeshi youth to teach them basic coding skills. Students participate in a 6-month training course, which is led by a skilled coding instructor. They learn how to use computers, perform basic coding, and market themselves on freelancing web portals. ​ YES launched the crowdfunding campaign in November 2016 and, together with their partNers (Standard Chartered, Coders Trust, bKash, Better Shel...
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UNDP Alternative Financing Lab - the next big thing is a lot of small (and smart things)!


Ten months ago we had an eclectic group of people introduce a slew of new financial mechanisms- blockchain based cash transfers and impact bonds for reducing recidivism to forecast based finance for disasters and peer to peer lending for SMEs- emerging into what the ODI calls a new ' age of choice' for the development finance . We tackle this topic not just because there is a $2.5 billion gap in funding the current SDG agenda (even though ODA flows to developing countries continue to increase year on year). We are more tickled by the sheer explosion of money coming from other sources of funding that aren't high on the priority list of either development organizations or governments (admittedly this is fast changing)- the European alternativ...
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GUZGEF SOLAR SCHOOL


Guzgef Solar School project aimed at improving education facilities in rural Tajikistan and provide a better education for children. Almost 70% of the population of Tajikistan live in rural and mountainous areas where electricity is available for no more than three hours a day. The country's lack of consistent grid power means that it is too dark and cold to study in the school during the winter months. As a result, students miss many days of school, making it difficult for them to receive a good education and graduate. At the same time, the country enjoys 280-330 sunny days a year, so the team behind this project created a plan to help resolve the problem of the energy crisis and provide an opportunity to use renewable energy solutions. ​ ...
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HELP US REPAIR THE ELDERLY CENTER IN BALYKCHY CITY


Elderly centre in Balykchy town in Kyrgyzstan was set up by a local non-governmental organisation to provide a gathering place for retired and elderly people who don't have relatives or access to a social network. But, with temperatures dipping way below zero, the centre is largely inaccessible during late fall and winter season due to the poor heating system. This created a break in an otherwise dynamic routine, keeping its visitors contained to their own homes, alone during the colder months of the year. The team behind this project wanted to change that, so they launched a crowdfunding campaign in March 2016 to make the elderly centre energy efficient. With the support of many backers, the UNDP Catalytic and Scaling-up Facility for Europ...
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CROWDFUNDING ACADEMY CROATIA 2016


Crowdfunding Academy Croatia is a non-formal educational programme on developing crowdfunding campaigns aimed for training cooperatives, municipalities and cities, start-up companies, entrepreneurs, craftsmen and all citizens with interesting and innovative projects. The second Crowdfunding Academy took place in summer of 2016 in Zagreb, Croatia with 19 participating teams. All of our teams had great, creative and sustainable ideas such as healthy meals projects, mental health campaign, and campaign for opening the first coffee shop in Croatia to employ people with Down syndrome.The educational program was carried out through four modules. ​ During the first workshop team members were introduced to the basics of a crowdfunding campaign, the...
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BRING WATER FOR LIFE


​''Bring Water for Life'' was UNDP Indonesia's first crowdfunding campaign. This initiative is contributing to the achievement of the 17 globally committed Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly in increasing access to clean water and sanitation, to end poverty, fight inequality and climate action. The campaign was launched on World Water day on March 22nd, 2016 and was aimed at gathering public support for providing clean water access for Napu, a remote village in East Sumba district, by building a solar-powered water pump system Through collective efforts, the partnership with NGO Koppesda (based in East Sumba with supervision from UNDP) and with the support of 400 backers, $ 27,958 funds was raised through this campaign. The f...
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FABULA ORGANIC PENCIL


Mateja Kuhar couldn't stop thinking about the idea of developing a pen from recycled organic waste for more than two years. After she noticed how much organic material was being binned by a local coffee shop and flower shops, she finally shaped the idea of ??making Fabula – organic pencil. This pencil is created from the used tea leaves and coffee grounds from cafes, together with petals discarded by the many florists. When it gets too short to use, the Fabula stub can be activated in water to plant a young Goji berry, golden in berry or a paulownia tree. In December 2015 Mateja and her team launched the crowdfunding campaign so that she could finish and perfect the unique machine used in the manufacturing process.With the support of 270 ba...
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UNDPCrowd – a New Kid on the Block?


She is in her 30-ies, borderless, decentralised and the Master-Mind of "Governance 2.0", the BitNation. Her name is Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof and she shook the minds of #UNDPCrowd yesterday, as the Sun set down over Bosporus and the room was getting hot, powered by each person emitting 100 Watts worth of heat. 100×70=7kW heat. It is so hot I can't think. What the hack is BitNation? I'll quote them as that is the zest of their existence: „ BitNation does not care where in the world you are from, where you live, or what passport you hold. Everyone has the right to enjoy high-end, competitive governance services." And that is the point behind a gal who left school when she was fifteen and is self-thought since. She did quite well with self-e...
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Who’d Say That Willy Wonka and Crowdfunding Have Something in Common?


Last week the Crowdfunding Academy team felt like Charlie in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory – except there was no chocolate river or a lickable wallpaper. If we don't count that rainbow hallway on the way to a rainbow metro station, it wasn't even psychedelic looking. But taking into consideration that we love good ideas as much as Charlie loves chocolate – you will understand this comparison. As we've mentioned in few of our earlier blogs – Crowdfunding Academy went global. Over the last two months we've been intensively working with UNDP offices around the world on preparation of their crowdfunding campaigns. Keeping in mind that crowdfunding might not be the only alternative financing option suitable for their projects, we've been explo...
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