1. What is your innovation?
Online crowdfunding platforms are emerging as viable financing mechanisms for start-ups. We build upon this momentum by providing a package of social media tools to develop relationships between small-scale farmers in developing countries and internet users in the West. In particular, we leverage recent innovations in internet-based telecommunications to bring the development stories of third world farmers into every Seeder's living room, encouraging meaningful investments for long-term impacts.
2. Who gains the most?
Three groups will gain from the Seeder platform: 1) Partnering development organizations will receive positive publicity on social media, as well as crowdfunding for their projects. 2) In turn this funding will ultimately benefit African smallholder farmers who participate in our partners' programs. 3) Online 'Seeders' will receive personal feedback from their investments / donations and a rich interactive environment in return for their support.
3. Who pays?
The main source of funding comes from the online community of 'Seeders' who make small project-specific donations to one of our partnering organizations. A fee of 10% is deducted to finance the Seeder platform, and the rest goes directly to the development project. In addition, partnering organizations pay an annual membership fee for hosting projects on the platform. Lastly, targeted advertising on our platform will supplement and enhance our income stream.
4. What is your success?
In 12 months, the benchmark is to develop the Seeder platform, put it online, and establish 2 pilot projects in the field for proof of concept. From these 2 projects our goal is to crowdfund 200 households with $20,000 ($100 per household) from at least 500 'Seeders.' During this pilot, an innovative text messaging toolkit will be developed to connect farmers with Seeders.
In three and five years, we hope to have 10 and 50 partners and 10,000 and 50,000 Seeders seeding $200,000 and $1,000,000.