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From Problem to Profit: How a Casual Conversation Leads to a Business Opportunity

A few days ago, I had a meaningful conversation with a member of our community about the challenge of bread scarcity during Ramadan. It was evident that many people struggled to find bread for their morning tea, having to travel to neighboring communities to look for it.

My friend and I shared in the frustration expressed by many, but instead of dwelling solely on the problem, we decided to explore potential solutions for ourselves and our community. I introduced him to the Innovators Compass, a tool designed to help identify and solve challenges effectively.

We began by identifying the primary needs of our community members regarding bread accessibility during fasting. It became clear that people desired not only quality bread but also convenient access, without the discomfort of traveling elsewhere.

We brainstormed various ideas, including starting a local bakery, establishing connections with suppliers for bread delivery, and setting up a bread retail outlet. Among these options, starting a retail business emerged as the simplest and most feasible, requiring minimal capital and expertise.

What started as a casual conversation soon evolved into a practical business idea. My friend took the initiative and launched a bread retail business for his sister, which quickly gained traction. Within a week of starting, the business had already achieved over 50% profit.

The Innovators Compass, an Asset Based Community Development and Human Centered Design (ABCD, HCD) tool used by CorpsAfrica Volunteers, played a crucial role in guiding our community-led development efforts. It emphasizes putting people at the forefront and tailoring solutions to their interests and priorities.

This tool is invaluable for organizations and communities seeking appropriate and effective problem-solving strategies. As emphasized by the Country Director of CorpsAfrica/Ghana, it is essential to avoid solving the wrong problem with the wrong solution. The Innovators Compass ensures a focused and impactful approach to addressing community needs.

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