An Update from Michael, ELI Social Entrepreneurship Year-To-Launch Award Winner
Jul 23rd, 2012 in Hart Fellows
ELI SE Year-To-Launch Award winner Michael Bernert (Duke '12) sends us an update on WAVA LLC's progress in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
"A few highlights include:
• $21,500 in revenue from loan repayments and equipment sales.
• 30,000 acres surveyed as we scoured Sierra Leone in search of the very best farmland.
• 1,100 acres leased for 50 years in Bonthe District.
Perhaps most importantly, our work is generating employment and enhancing food security. While managing the expansion, our farmers have been hard at work. We estimate that our first round of loans created over 50 full-time jobs and is on track to produce 210,000 lbs of rice and 88,000 lbs of cassava for local consumption."
Michael received $25,000 from ELI in May 2012 as the first-ever recipient of the ELI Social Entrepreneurship Year-To-Launch Award. This award is created with the intention of allowing graduating students to choose post-graduate experiences that will engage them deeply in their personal passions and development through the experience of launching a social enterprise. In the process, students will have the ability to pursue effective solutions to real-world social challenges while being challenged to develop their skills and efficacy as lifelong leaders of social change.
WAVA, LLC provides West African agricultural entrepreneurs with the capital, equipment and coaching to create profitable enterprises that nourish, employ and empower local communities. After analyzing West African markets, we leverage asymmetric information to make highly profitable agriculture investments that compete in the global and growing trillion dollar+ market for agriculture.