social good

african cartel

African Cartel

By now you should know that I have a massive passion for social good and more specifically business that are in business to do social good. And this is exactly why I absolutely love African Cartel, which launched today.

Sure, it was launched by Mark (who is my co-founder at WooThemes of course) and his wife, Xenia, so perhaps I'm a tad biased. But in all fairness, African Cartel really is an awesome project for a whole bunch of reasons:

  • African Cartel highlights exactly how capitalism doesn't just fill all the gaps that exists in marketplaces. Here you have entrepreneurs that are willing to work hard to earn a living, yet they don't have a distribution model or the skills to simply create one (something which we take for granted online, because it's quite easy to setup an online business). African Cartel creates that platform and puts a distribution model in place which will hopefully give thousands of people worldwide access to this art.
  • Poverty remains a big problem worldwide and especially in developing countries. "Established" entrepreneurs - like Xenia & Mark have done in this regard - can create opportunities for others to earn a living and build a better future for themselves. That is social good. Hopefully African Cartel can empower these artists (entrepreneurs) to paint a better life canvas for themselves.
  • This is a proudly South African project which again showcases the immense amount of talent that we have in our beautiful country. I'd also venture to say that most developing countries have a natural and inherent cultural buzz that could spawn similarly awesome projects around the world.
I'll stop gushing now, but I really love the project and all of the ideas behind it. Check it out for yourself.


Except for being butt-ugly, I've been enjoying my love-affair with Kiva for quite some time now, because I absolutely love helping other entrepreneurs in whatever way I can. I've now made 26 loans on Kiva already, totaling a tad over $1000 and I'm constantly amazed at how easy they pull me to further grow that portfolio of mine.

Basically what happens every couple of weeks is that I get an e-mail saying that $x.x worth of loans had been repaid and that this credits were now available on my Kiva account. So I log into Kiva immediately and reinvest the money in new loans. But something else always happens: I invariably end up adding another $50 or $100 to the portfolio (in addition to redistributing the available credits).

I just think that this is such a great marketing strategy on their part, plus it's not rocket science or groundbreaking either. They're really just tapping into my own "need" to be involved in social good in one way or another.


AE: Contributors Update #7

I'm incredibly excited today to announce that Aboard Entrepreneurship's 55th contributor is investor and entrepreneur, Brad Feld.

Brad's addition to the contribution team - along with Mark Suster's (which we announced before) - represents a massive coup for our team and the project in my opinion. Here's a couple of reasons why I'm so excited to have guys like these involved in the project:

  • This project is about entrepreneurship and empowering upcoming entrepreneurs do be better entrepreneurs in the future by teaching them skills and inspiring them via the shared knowledge and experience of all of our contributors.
  • Guys like Brad & Mark have been there, done that and got a cupboard full of t-shirts. My dad always told me that there's no replacement for experience (I suspect he also used this - when I was younger at least - to keep me in my place) and the absolute wealth of experience that Brad & Mark will provide is immense. Heck, I can't wait to read there contributions!
  • As investors, Brad & Mark, have worked with so many different entrepreneurs on different businesses in different situations. In my mind there's no way that most of us can replicate that kind of exposure to multiple businesses & entrepreneurs, which means they're in a great position to be able to suggest that entrepreneurs that does A, B & C tend to be more successful than those going with X, Y & Z.
  • They're both great writers. If you're not reading their respective blogs, you'll probably have no idea why I'm as excited as I am to announce this...

We're fast approaching the second-phase of the project (a complete Kickstarter campaign with all of the appropriate details), but in the meantime sign up to our newsletter and we'll keep you updated.


AE: Contributors Update #6

Something really cool has happened recently with regards to the contributors for Aboard Entrepreneurship: it has gone somewhat viral. :)

A couple of the new contributors that has joined up in the last week, has taken the individual initiative to introduce us to some more awesome entrepreneurs and had recommended that they get involved with the project. As you can imagine it is pretty hard getting the attention of well-known people (like all of our contributors) as e-mail overload is a real issue for most of us, which is why these viral introductions & recommendations have been amazing!

Here's the 4 new contributors:

We're very close to having 1000 people signed up to the mailing list at this stage. Head on over to the site and sign up to be notified of the next phase of the project which will be launching soon.


AE: Contributors Update #1

After successfully launching Aboard Entrepreneurship yesterday with 10 contributors, we've been blown away by the initial interest in the project. Hundreds of people have signed up to the mailing list and there's a bunch of awesome people who've reached out to us to contribute.

We're up to 16 awesome contributors now and I'd like to just introduce you to them (as the site currently can't hold all of them):

Expect a couple of updates like this in the next couple of days. :)

Who would you like to see joining Aboard Entrepreneurship?

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