The Digital Solutions Unit (DSU) from Solidaridad based in Brazil, responsible for the development of mobile applications for the digital inclusion of rural producers in South America, was selected to participate in the Women-Led Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI) online programme led by Miller's Center for Entrepreneurship.
The programme mentors are renowned Silicon Valley executives who help validate and accelerate the social impact of sustainable development projects, as well as provide access to new markets and investors. For its 2020 edition, 17 initiatives were selected from 11 countries, their focus varying between education, health, agriculture, water, infrastructure, information technology, financial services, culture and crafts. Solidaridad was the only organization in Latin America among the participating organizations.
The DSU team, led by Violaine Laurens, wants to perfect the business model for their Farming Solution and Extension Solution applications through this mentorship. The applications help collecting and processing the data from technical assistance visits to producers. Once the information is processed, the DSU creates personalized learning tools for producers to make more efficient and sustainable management decisions on their rural properties. Currently, nearly six thousand producers in South America benefit from these digital solutions.
Adjusting the business model to the potential users and clients of Extension Solution and Farming Solution, is essential for the financial sustainability of these digital services. The Miller Center mentoring program provides us with effective help to tackle this challenge.” -Gonzalo La Cruz, Solidaridad’s South America Director.
Until September, the mentoring will focus on defining the positive impact that the DSU wants to cause in the rural sector, including a tactical, operational and financial expansion strategy. For Denis Oliveira, SDU Business Coordinator, participating in a high-level acceleration programme could mark a significant change for the ubit. "Among all the benefits of the program, I highlight the quality of the content received, thanks to the excellent technical level of the weekly sessions," he says.
"Starting in October, we will begin to see how to scale up our initiative, identifying gaps to involve more and more producers around the world," he adds. At the end of the program, in December, the projects that demonstrate the best performance will be invited to present their value propositions to global investors.
About the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship
The Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Santa Clara, in California, USA, seeks to accelerate social enterprises that can improve and transform the lives of a billion people in poverty. So far, more than 1,000 social enterprises have been accelerated by their programmes, and have already impacted the lives of more than 400 million people.