Monday, 4 May 2009

Leaving for East Africa

Tuesday 5th May marks the third visit to Africa, by Social Enterprise Africa's Ben Parkinson, joint managing director and enthusiastic international development social entrepreneur. This time the visit is to East Africa and the aim is to support the sustainability of as many high quality African NGOs and CBOs, through advice and support with fundraising and strategy.

SEA is also about bringing innovation and technology and Ben hopes to formally launch the Butterfly Project, a unique project and methodology designed to find and nurture the potential social entrepreneurs of the future. Initially linking with a Kampala Football Club, SEA plans to set up an indigenously run CBO to fully test out the Butterfly concept in an urban area of Africa. You can see some photographs from the Nigerian pilot at, plus some details of what constituted its success.

Although it is hoped to keep this blog regularly updated, you should also be able to see information at

Later on, Ben will be visiting rural areas, with a view to instigating a sister project for Butterfly, in a more remote environment, but also to look for opportunities to market goods produced in remote rural areas nationally or internationally.

On this trip, Ben travels with Ceris Dien, representing Kushinda!, a project set up to provide a market for African arts in Europe. As a result the itinerary includes a wonderful Kenyan theatre NGO and a number of individual talented artists. You can see a little more of Ceris' work at

In Kenya we are also visiting Kickstart International, a US charity based in Nairobi, which has developed technology specific to the needs of rural-dwellers. SEA is championing their Super Moneymaker waterpump, as a means to increase yields or reduce workloads of rural farmers. More info at

Future plans include West Africa later this year, where SEA's joint MD, Celestine Iro is already setting up a rural development project to create an African brand for rural agricultural produce in Nigeria. Watch this space for more information from Cel!

Enough for now - packing still needs to be done!


  1. Dear Ben (and Ceris),

    I am so glad to hear the details of this trip. With all that is going on in my life right now, I haven't kept on top of things very well and for that I apologize!

    Am looking forward to following your progress!


  2. I am overjoyed that you finally have the opportunity to visit Africa. The last time we spoke, I know you were interested in going but had not yet made the trip.

    I hope for the best, and look forward to reading about your adventures.

    There is nothing more grand in life than pursuing a dream.


  3. Dear Colleagues
    Have a great trip ... learn a lot ... and if you have a chance identify why hard work in poor places gives such limited rewards? This is a question Muhammad Yunus asks ... and his answer is that it is the systemic failure of the socio-economic system that has been built.
    Peter Burgess

  4. just by a quick perusal at what SEA is doing and the OBJECTIVE of the East African Trip, you suddenly appreciate the work Ben and SEA are doing. see more about KickStart at

    Ben, we look forward to hosting you.