Archive - February 2013

1
Worldcoo founders share experiences to more than a hundred students from KIC InnoEnergy Masters programs
2
Sergi Figueres: "Our challenge is to bring our know how in the field of crowdfunding to put our bit to help develop cooperation projects"
3
The communication, the best way to reach your crowdfunding aim
4
Worldcoo signs an agreement with the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation
5
“El Día del Trillo”
6
The UNICEF’s promise is renewed
7
Crowdfunding reaches the sun
8
Worldcoo has a new partner!
9
Preventing Noma is a must, but, what happens with ill children?
10
Governance matters most in sustainable economic development. Ethiopia is doing well

Worldcoo founders share experiences to more than a hundred students from KIC InnoEnergy Masters programs

Worldcoo’s founders, Aureli Bou and Sergi Figueres, shared their experiences on entrepreneurship last week, in the Networking Day, an event promoted by one of their principal partners, KIC InnoEnergy.

More than a hundred students from different KIC InnoEnergy Masters programs (RENE, MIE, SELECT & Clean Coal) attended the Networking Day Event, held on last Wednesday, February 6th, at CC Iberia Incubator and EsadeCreapolis venues in Sant Cugat. The objective of the activity was to present to the students the KIC InnoEnergy’s mission and business objectives, to create networks between students from technical and management Master programmes, so as to create joint work on the Master thesis, and to develop the added value activities of the students in research and business creation. It has been the first time that students from 4 different KIC InnoEnergy MSc programmes meet together.

The opening speech was performed by KIC InnoEnergy CEO, Diego Pavia, who spoke to the students about the main objectives of the masters, the opportunities they will find along the way and what was expected from them as participants. Afterwards, Aureli Bou and Sergi Figueres, Worldcoo’s founders, shared their experiences on how creating and sustaining a new business with KIC’s support was like.

In the second part of the meeting, the students from RENE, SELECT and Clean Coal visited KIC’s incubator facilities, as well as a sustainable house built by the start-up Noem and located at the entrance of the EsadeCreapolis building. In addition, MIE and RENE students doing the MSc participated in a networking session for the cooperation of their MSc thesis work, structured as a three-minute pitch made by the students. This activity was followed by the session’s wrap up.

Sergi Figueres: "Our challenge is to bring our know how in the field of crowdfunding to put our bit to help develop cooperation projects"

Worldcoo’s CEO, Sergi Figueres, signed this morning an agreement of collaboration with Carles Llorens, director of the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD). The aim of this agreement is to promote cooperation crowdfunding as a new way of financing cooperation projects, in front of the current decline of funding by the government. “What is needed is to push the business world to cooperation”, said Llorens.

This new partnership will mean for Worldcoo access to technical validated cooperation projects validated by the Agency and its advisers, and for the ACCD will be a new way to seek funding for projects that now they can not stand, joining to other already initiated ways of funding, as the sponsorship agreements.

Sergi Figueres has emphasised that “our challenge is to bring our know how in the field of crowdfunding and to get involved people and businesses through our website www.worldcoo.com. In this way, we put our bit to try to get where government does not reach”. Precisely one of the characteristics of Worldcoo is any cost for NGOs, while ensuring the full contribution of crowdfunding to projects, because their profit is in the management plans of the companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility. Therefore, it represents a paradigm shift on how far the world has worked in cooperation. Sergi Figueres, Aureli Bou i Bernat Mir launched this company one month ago, and they already work with projects from Intermón-Oxfam, Fundació Campaner and Desos NGO.

Carles Llorens says that “we have large difficulties to maintain public investments in cooperation for more than a year and a half, so we have put in place mechanisms to solve it”. The willingness of the Government is to find new ways of financing and innovative instruments adapted to the Catalan cooperation reality. Also meets the guidelines of the Master Plan for Development Cooperation 2011-2014, which establishes the need to promote innovation in policy instruments for development cooperation of the Government, as the tools to implement the strategies of cooperation have evolve according to the changes in international contexts.

Both Worldcoo as the Agency have shown hopefully in this agreement and wish a long and prosperous partnership.

The communication, the best way to reach your crowdfunding aim

Getting money from a crowdfunding site requires much more than having a good project. Crowdfunding experts say that it is not enough to communicate that you’re working on a good cause, which is also needed, they remark that the key factor is to reach your audience in the best way. And that means that you should invest a huge effort on planning your communication campaign, and then, of course, making it available to many people as possible.

As ReelSEO publishes, the communication in crowdfunding is a must to success, so it requires effort, patience and creativity for doing your best in it. The best idea to start is making a good video to show your project in a funny and interesting way. “You need an idea that attracts great interest, and you need to be able to spread the word using the various media outlets at your disposal”.

This is an example of a good audio-visual communication to show your project and to ask money for it:

The video is about two guys who have decided to create a peanut butter company called GoodSpread. They promise to donate a pack of therapeutic food to a child suffering from severe acute malnutrition just from a purchase of one pack of their peanut butter.

This video has humour, a delicious, enticing product, and the feeling you’re doing something for a good cause aside from just helping two guys with their business. And another important thing emplaces you to share it and to explain it to all your contacts. Because sharing is caring!

Worldcoo signs an agreement with the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation

On Wednesday 13th of February, the Catalan Agency For Development Cooperation (ACCD) will present a collaboration agreement between them and Worldcoo, the best way they have found to get funding for the projects they support.

The agreement is part of the Catalan Government’s desire to find new ways of financing, additional to public resources, for development cooperation projects, as well as new innovative instruments adapted to the Catalan cooperation, for example, microdonacions. At the same time, this agreement meets the guidelines of the Master Plan for Development Cooperation 2011-2014, which establishes the need to promote innovation in instruments for development cooperation of the Government. The Catalan Government evidence with Worldcoo that the tools to implement strategies cooperation have evolved according to the changes in international contexts, as well as the needs and interests of the actors in the North and the South.

With this agreement, Worldcoo will start to work with new different NGO’s as well as more new projects. It represents a big expand in the research of high quality projects that will allow Worldcoo to keep offering to its community the best projects around.

By singing this agreement, Worldcoo is linked with the most relevant and important cooperation agency in Catalonia and its prestige and reputation. Worldcoo is proud to partner with the ACCD and appreciates its trust and support.

The people in charge to present the deal and sign the agreement this Wednesday will be Carles Llorens, Director General for Development Cooperation, and Sergi Figueres, CEO of Worldcoo. Roger Albinyana, Foreign Secretary, will also attend the signing.

“El Día del Trillo”

Every Thursday, in La Aurora, Nicaragua, there is a tradition related with agriculture and rice. It’s called “El día del Trillo” (The thresh day). This tradition consists in that each farmer goes to la Aurora, to the COOPMULKRI cooperative, to thresh the rice produced in their own plots.

Thanks to DESOS NGO this cooperative works every Thursday full of its possibilities. They work to improve the quality of basic grain crops, as rice, beans and corn, because it makes up the basic diet of Nicaraguan society. Thus, this NGO in COOPMULKRI helps the farmers in the crop rotation, sowing seeds of good quality and postharvest processes.

At the same time, improving the quality of the grains is used to promote the economy of the community. The increase in production and quality guarantees superpluses to commercialize in the local and national market, and it’s transformed in wealth and in improving their way of life.

In the Desos’ Flikr account you can see images about how they work.

Enjoy the weekend!

The UNICEF’s promise is renewed

UNICEF has already published its annual report about the child survival in the World. They have named it “Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed”, because, as Anthony Lake, its executive director writes, “there is much to celebrate”, but still help is needed. This is why their promise to help the children all over the world has been renewed.

More children now survive their fifth birthday than ever before ― the global number of under-five deaths has fallen from around 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011 (according to UNICEF). All regions have shown steady reductions in under-five mortality over the past two decades. In the last decade alone, progress on reducing child deaths has accelerated, with the annual rate of decline in the global under-five mortality rate rising from 1.8% in 1990-2000 to 3.2% in 2000-2011.

The gains have been broad, with marked falls in diverse countries. Between 1990 and 2011, nine low-income countries — Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Niger and Rwanda — reduced their under-five mortality rate by 60% or more.

But any satisfaction at these gains is tempered by the unfinished business that remains. The fact remains that, on average, around 19,000 children still die every day from largely preventable causes. With necessary vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care, most of these young lives could be saved.

As the message of this UNICEF report makes clear, countries can achieve rapid declines in child mortality, with determined action by governments and supportive partners. Their progress over the last two decades has taught UNICEF that sound strategies, adequate resources and, above all, political will, can make a critical difference to the lives of millions of young children.

This report concludes that “the unfinished business of child survival remains substantial, but extraordinary progress is possible in reducing under-five deaths in all regions and mortality settings. Many countries have managed to sustain high rates of reduction over more than two decades; indeed, more than half have already reached low-mortality status”.

Source: UNICEF.

Crowdfunding reaches the sun

As Forbes published in this article, “the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission could finalize regulations this year to implement the JOBS Act, the 2012 law that lets startups raise funds directly from mom-and-pop investors”.

There is one startup, called Mosaic, who has already started to make it possible. “The two-year-old Oakland, Calif. firm won approval in California and New York to allow individuals to invest directly via its website. The twist is that the investments are loans, not equity, and the money goes (for now) only to new solar power developments”. They use crowdfunding to let ordinary investors own a piece of the sun.

“One of the fastest ways to build the clean energy economy is to allow more people to benefit from it,” says Billy Parish, Mosaic’s 31-year-old cofounder and president.

Anthony Kim, a solar analyst with research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance, questions whether Mosaic can attract a big enough pipeline of investors to fund large solar projects. “For now, I think it’s a relatively niche product,” he says.

The startup hopes to build on its current 7,000 potential investors via social media referrals and by targeting foundations, financial advisors and corporations.

Source: Forbes.

Worldcoo has a new partner!

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya • BarcelonaTech (UPC) is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research, specialised in the fields of engineering, architecture and science. Since this week, it has become our second partner.

The activity that goes on at the UPC campuses and schools has made the University a benchmark institution. The University harnesses the potential of basic and applied research, and transfers technology and knowledge to society. These actions make the UPC -in partnership with the productive fabric- an agent and driver of economic and social change. In a highly creative context, the UPC’s research, teaching and management projects are based on principles that Worldcoo also subscribe: freedom, justice, democracy, solidarity, cooperation, sustainability, efficiency, transparency and social responsibility.

The UPC is present in over 130 countries in five continents thanks to the agreements and alliances with universities and institutions all over the world. This international profile is also made evident by the participation of its members in development cooperation projects and initiatives. The Centre of Cooperation for Development (CCD) is a section of the UPC, created with the aim to encourage the implication of the university in cooperation for development, and to support initiatives within this field among the UPC community members.

The relation between the UPC and Worldcoo will propitiate mutual support, thus trust and credibility because UPC is a benchmark institution in Technology. This collaboration also will involve The Centre of Cooperation for Development (CCD) which will provide help by advising Worldcoo when selecting projects and NGOs to support.

With this, Worldcoo wants so ensure that all projects listed, meet the technical, ethical and transparency requirements of excellence that users expect from us.
To conclude, we would like to appreciate the UPC for joining our team, it is an honour.

Preventing Noma is a must, but, what happens with ill children?

Fundació Campaner’s first priority is to prevent Noma. As we have already explained here, the project: the fenced area for crops construction is a fundamental goal to avoid malnutrition in Diffa, one of the principal causes of the disease.

The WHO (World Health Oraganization) estimates that 140,000 new cases of Noma occur each year and of these, only 10% survive. That means that 126,000 die each year, mainly in sub-Saharan countries from Senegal to Ethiopia, a region known as “the Noma belt”.

Thus, the prevention is fundamental, but there are also lots of children infected who need to be treated. Its treatment is very easy and cheap: if the condition is detected in the early stage, progression can be prevented with only the use of mild antibiotics and immediate nutritional rehabilitation. Fundació Campaner is also aware of this, and they have decided to start the construction of a hospital in Diffa, Niger. Fundació Campaner wants to make everybody part of it, feeling complicit with the sick and underprivileged children assistance in the country.

Worldcoo gives its full support to this foundation and its projects, because we believe we can change Diffa’s children reality.

They are not guilty of their situation. They all deserve something better and you can change it. It’s up to you. Are you in?

Governance matters most in sustainable economic development. Ethiopia is doing well

Douglas Beal of the Boston Consulting Group and Andy Ratcliffe of the Africa Governance Initiative, share lessons in The Guardian on how developing countries are turning wealth into wellbeing for their citizens. This video talk about it, and share different examples to understand the reality of this countries and what are they politics respect the sustainable economic development.

Beal defend that there are things that can be done to improve the wellbeing of population which doesn’t required money, “it’s all related in making the right decisions”. He uses Ethiopia as an example of a government that is doing it in the right way. “Ethiopia is actually one of the countries that are the strongest in translating the improvements in their wealth into improvements in wellbeing”, Beal says. “One of the things they have really improved is healthcare and also outcomes of healthcare”. They did it focusing the improvement on what they were wrong: “rather than being reactionary to a particular disease is about getting into the communities, hider communities healthier workers to go out, explain that access to clean water can prevent diseases, uses of condoms,… and all other things that can prevent the need for greater healthcare in the future”, explains.

In their opinion, Ethiopia is very successful at doing that. It has changed in recent years and its evolution is well, but they still have lots of problems to solve. This is why the work done by NGO’s like Intermon Oxfam in there is still needed.

Source: The Guardian.

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