Really? We haven’t blogged since April?!
Looks like it’s time to surface for a deep breath and an update on what’s been happening in the world of MamaCarts.
Location: Our initial strategy was to launch a pilot in East Africa, Kenya specifically. However, as we took a step back it became clear that our industry contacts and cultural knowledge were stronger in West Africa. Co-founder Rachael Miller served in the US Peace Corps in the country of Benin from 2006-2008. Since then, she has maintained contact with some community movers and shakers over there, one of whom we’ll be introducing in a future blog post, as our pilot program coordinator!
Funding and Legal Structure: We decided to incorporate MamaCarts as a nonprofit. There has been a lot of back and forth in the social impact investing community about (financially) sustainable start up models. The nonprofit route makes the most sense for our team, but it’s important to remember that nonprofit doesn’t mean “no profit”. We still have a business plan, are prioritizing financial modeling and very much consider revenue a necessary part of impact measurement.
Exciting news: Earlier this year, MamaCarts was selected as finalist in Rockefeller’s Centennial Innovation Challenge! This meant we were invited to apply for a grant to support a pilot for 1-year in Benin. We’re waiting to hear back and you’ll be the first to know if our proposal is approved!
Paperwork (ugh): Perhaps one of the most necessary yet noxious tasks for a start up to deal with is filing paperwork. Regardless of the type of entity you are incorporating, there’s a heap of documents to complete and keep updated. Achieving 501c3 status is no joke and we’re learning on the fly. Advice is welcome!
Finally, and most important, there has been an immense outpouring of support from our extended community. Several folks have asked what we need and are ready to help. Thank you!!! While we’re still task managing at headquarters, it’s a powerful motivator to know that help is waiting in the wings when we need it.
Things are moving along and we look forward to posting the next update. In the mean time, check out the latest MamaCarts article from DevEx, they did a great job. As always, thanks for reading!