Our projects in South East Asia & Latin America

In November 2014, Romain Joly and Amandine de Montvalon decided to quit their jobs in Paris to work full time for Advise for Change. They are conducting our first projects at international level. Below are short presentations of some of the great social entrepreneurs we have been working with and a brief description of the support that was provided. 

CIMA - Cordillera Azul, Peru

The Center of Conservation, Research and Management of Natural Areas (CIMA) is a NGO responsible for the management of the Peruvian National Park Cordillera Azul (PNCAZ) and of its buffer zone. CIMA’s main objective is to preserve the integrity of the PNCAZ, avoiding its deforestation and loss of biodiversity.

Identified challenge: getting an agreement between CIMA and a carbon credit fund on an investment plan for a $4 million investment dedicated to the support of the cooperatives located in the buffer zone of the park, in order for them to develop sustainable agroforestry practices.

Timing of AfC’s mission: October 2015

AfC’s support:

  • Review of the previous drafts of the investment plan
  • Communications with the carbon credit fund in order to ensure a good understanding of the expectations
  • Draft of guidelines for the new version of the investment plan, integrating the concerns and expectations of all the project’s stakeholders

Short term result (as per 3 months after the end of the mission):

  • Agreement between CIMA and the  carbon credit fund on the new version of the investment plan. Start of the operations with the cocoa cooperatives planned for 2016. 

CIES - Fleximedical, Brazil

The CIES Project was developed to take specialized, humanized and high-technology preventive medical care to communities in need, through advanced mobiles medical centers. It is a leveraged non-profit organization that focuses on low-income people – the population deprived of access to quality medical care.

Fleximedical is CIES’ supplier of its overall infrastructure: trucks, containers, furniture… Fleximedical’s strength is its specialization in medical applications.

Identified challenge: following the constitution of a new board for Fleximedical, need to align all board members on their vision for the future of the company and define the foundations of the 5 years strategic plan

Timing of AfC’s mission: November-December 2015

AfC’s support:

  • Interview of all board’s members
  • Organization of an interactive workshop to reach alignment across the board on the company’s vision and mission
  • Analysis of the market opportunities for Fleximedical, beyond CIES (short, mid and long terms)

Short term result (as per 3 months after the end of the mission):

  • Agreement on a vision and mission for the company and on the operational priorities to develop the business in 2016   

Rexel Foundation, across South East Asia

Picture taken in Tondo, Philippines while visiting a programme called 3S developed by the great LP4Y NGO

Advise for Change conducted a study on behalf of the Rexel Foundation to develop knowledge on innovative solutions providing an access to efficient energy in developing countries. Between January and June 2015, Amandine de Montvalon and Romain Joly interviews more than 40 actors across 7 different countries to collect insights and experience feedbacks.

Please click here to access the dedicated page to this project: http://www.adviseforchange.com/18/access-to-efficient-energy-study

The study aims to:

  • Get a better understanding of local ecosystems on access  to energy;
  • Identify actors that are developing innovative solutions in this field;
  • Determine the main barriers to growth faced by these projects.

 The outcome of this study are:

  • On the one hand, raise these projects’ visibility and share insights on their needs to scale upthanks to large dissemination
  • On the other hand, the Rexel Foundation may support some of the identified projects through skills-based volunteer work and funding. 

Throughout the year, Advise for Change’s team interviewed the following actors supporting or developing social innovations enabling access to efficient energy:

  • International, regional and local public agencies;
  • Entrepreneurs networks;
  • Foundations supporting social innovation;
  • NGOs supporting; 
  • Social entrepreneurs;
  • And any other actors relevant to better understand the issue.

Soieries du Mekong, Cambodia

Picture taken at Soieries du Mékong workshop in Banteay Chmar                                                                                                         

Associating Cambodian hand weaving tradition and French design, Soieries du Mékong is a social entreprise producing silk scarves in Banteay Chmar, a rural Cambodian village. It encourages the empowerment of women by training them in silk weaving and offering them sustainable employment. As of January 2015, more than 75 artisans are part of Soieries du Mékong project.

Identified challenges: productivity, sales development, ensuring positive impact

Timing of AfC’s mission: January – February 2015

AfC’s support:

  • Analysis of the production processes (review of the time & material needed for each production step) and drafting of recommendations on how to improve productivity - Romain
  • Business development & marketing analysis (investigation on business opportunities in Siem Reap and review of the marketing tools accordingly) and drafting of recommendations on how to develop a B2B offer for hotels and travel agencies - Amandine
  • Recommendations on the weavers’ engagement and on ways for Soieries du Mékong to improve its social and economic impact towards them – Romain and Amandine

Medium term results (as per 6 months after the end of the project):

  • Investment in a sewing machine to improve productivity
  • First contracts signed with hotels 

AHCHP, Philippines

Picture taken in the main point of distribution of AHCHP herbal products in San Carlos, Negros

The “Alternative Health Care and Herbal Products (AHCHP) Corporation” offers access to affordable health care by offering an innovative range of products inspired from the traditional herbal medicine.  AHCHP collaborates with a foundation that distributes its products through the church network around Negros island. Secondary activities include distributing generics, and trainings to massage, reflexology, acupuncture therapies. As of May 2015, 15 people were AHCHP’s employees.

Identified challenges: definition of a clear vision and mission as well as a sustainable inclusive business plan

Timing of AfC’s mission: May 2015

AfC’s support:

  • Audit of the entire company (financials, HR, sales & marketing) to help the Board to take decisions on the future of the company – Romain and Amandine
  • Drafting of a safeguard plan (rationalization of products, team and distribution) to ensure a fresh start to the company – Romain and Amandine

Short term results (as per 1 month after the end of the mission):

  • Agreement of the Board on the safeguard plan to reach a financial balance 
  • Definition of a new vision and mission for the company

EDM Entrepreneurs, Philippines

Enfants du Mékong Entrepreneurs (EdME) is a consulting company which provides training, business consulting and incubation services to social entrepreneurs. It was created out of a need identified by its parent organization, Enfants du Mékong to promote social entrepreneurship amongst EdM scholars while also developing local social enterprise ecosystems.

Identified challenge: definition of a sustainable social business model

Timing of AfC’s mission: May 2015

AfC’s support:

  • Coaching of EDME’s President to support him in the identification of what should be the focus of the company (based on the reviews of the financials and the past and future projects in the pipeline) – Romain and Amandine
  • Preparation of the Board meeting in which the future vision and mission would be voted – Romain and Amandine

Short term result (as per 3 months after the end of the mission):

  • Agreement of the Board on a revised vision and mission for EDME from 2016 onwards 

Pelagic Life, Mexico

Pelagic Life is a Mexican NGO aiming at protecting the biodiversity of the open ocean in Mexico. Awareness through documentaries, conferences and exhibitions was how the project got started at the first place. Today Pelagic Life focuses on developing a safe and sustainable shark diving operation in Baja California Sur, to replace shark fishing with tourism. In the small village of Puerto San Carlos, fishermen are trained to be converted into diving guides, slowly reducing their fishing activities and thus becoming pelagic species’ best ambassadors at the village scale.

Identified challenge:  facilitate dialogue with the conservative fishermen community and convince them that pelagic species’ tourism is a sustainable alternative to their traditional way of living.

Timing of AfC’s mission: February – March 2016

AfC’s support:

  • Interviews of local stakeholders (fishermen, tourism associations, local representatives)
  • In-depth and compared market study of shark fishing vs tourism industry at local scale
  • Creation of a cost / benefit tool to help dialogue with fishermen
  • Analysis of Pelagic Life’s impact and acceptation in the community

Short term result (as per 3 months after the end of the mission):

Empowerment of fishermen’ movement to create their own tourism association, Pelagic Life’s role switching from operator to enabler.