Working with Global Cycle Solutions, the 2012 EDC will help to enhance and expand a market-based entrepreneurial program which provides both business opportunities and needed, innovative products to villagers in Ng’iresi and the surrounding area. Donations to Global Cycle Solutions will be processed through their fiscal sponsor, Echoing Green. 95% of your donation will go directly to Global Cycle Solutions, with the balance supporting the capacity of Echoing Green.

Global Cycle Solutions is a social enterprise working to disseminate affordable, quality technology for villagers around the world. Its core team works on the ground in East Africa visiting villagers to understand their lives and needs. Where there is a need and a solution, GCS brings that product to these villagers. Where there is a need and no solution, GCS develops these technologies in-house to cultivate creative capacity in the local communities. In 2009, Global Cycle Solutions opened its offices in Tanzania. The company began as a technology company, developing and selling bicycle add-ons to improve the lives of smallholder farmers. However, GCS soon realized that it was not enough to just sell products in stores. It had to go to the village. In the villages, GCS learned that there were more challenges than just the hardship of smallholder farming. Many villagers lacked basic luxuries like light at night and electricity to charge their phones. And thus, in 2011, GCS shifted gears from just selling bicycle products to selling a portfolio of products to improve village life. Its focus became about empowerment–empowering promising youth with an opportunity to become GCS entrepreneurs, providing GCS product services in the deepest of villages and selling GCS products to create a ripple of impact at the village level. Today, it’s not only about transforming the bicycle into a vehicle of innovation, but it’s about improving village life with affordable, quality products.

  • Jodie Wu was a summer intern at GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy and has received a number of accolades, including recognition as an Echoing Green Fellow, TEDGlobal Fellow., Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Most Promising Entrepreneurs, and Forbes' 30 under 30.

Echoing Green’s mission is to unleash next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. Since our founding in 1987 by the leadership and investment of the leading global growth equity firm, General Atlantic, we have provided more than 500 promising social entrepreneurs with $31 million in start-up funding, customized support services, and access to our global network of champions. These social innovators have gone on to launch, and now lead, some of today’s most important social enterprises throughout the world. Others have gone on to become leaders in a variety of sectors, having been profoundly shaped by their experiences launching social enterprises. Our highly competitive global Fellowship provides more than $2 million annually in seed support to a diverse group of emerging social entrepreneurs. From thousands of applicants, typically fewer than one percent are ultimately selected to receive up to $90,000 over two years to support the launch of their new organizations. Jodie Wu was selected in 2010 for her organization, Global Cycle Solutions, and its mission to transform the lives of smallholder farmers and rural villagers around the world through affordable, appropriate technology and training for income generation.

Donation Levels/Impact for GCS:

  • $200- Kickstart an Entrepreneur - Help an entrepreneur get off the ground with 3-month training, GCS shirt, marketing umbrella, and demo products to start a small village-based cell phone charging and solar light rental/sales business.

  • $500- Fund a Rural Technology Kiosk- Give a one-year loan to a GCS dealer ambassador to start a small solar or agricultural business in the heart of a village using GCS products. Help generate a monthly income of $75/month for ambassadors while also providing affordable services for villagers living off <$2/day. Paid loans will be funded forward to open additional rural technology kiosks.

  • $1,000- Light up a school. Light up a community - GCS will set up a a 50-light system in which community members can rent out a light for the price of kerosene, generating nearly $3,000/year. Eligible schools are required to commit their first $1000 earned towards lighting up another community. After that, all moneys earned shall be devoted to funding their community projects of choice.

  • $5,000- Create 6 months of Synergy and Innovation - With a donation of this level, support the paired work for a Product Development Fellow and Global Cycle Solutions' Tanzanian Innovator to work alongside each other to further product development. Projects in the pipeline include maize grinders, rice threshers, and drip irrigation kits. Ensure the continued development of innovative, life-changing products.

Total Raised: $15,105.63 Potential with GE Matching Funds: $29,310.56