TechnoServe Launches Nonprofit Channel on YouTube

Highlights include profiles of Believe Begin Become business plan competition participants

JANUARY 16, 2008 —TechnoServe has launched a nonprofit channel on YouTube that will feature some of the entrepreneurs participating in the organization’s business plan competitions, as well as other videos highlighting TechnoServe’s impact in various sectors and countries around the world. The channel launches with seven entrepreneur profiles from TechnoServe’s Believe Begin Become national business plan competition in Tanzania.

The channel is being launched in collaboration with Google.org and YouTube. Google.org has been a key supporter of the Believe Begin Become programs in Ghana and Tanzania.

The Believe Begin Become program - currently also being run in Kenya, South Africa and Swaziland - is designed to give enterprising men and women the training and resources they need to launch or expand businesses, while fostering a broader culture of entrepreneurship within a country. All participants receive training and networking opportunities. Trainers, volunteer consultants and local mentors then help many of them to turn their ideas into business plans. Finalists receive post-competition mentoring, access to capital providers, and vouchers for business services; winners also receive seed money.

Believe Begin Become is based on a similar program in Latin America, where TechnoServe currently runs business plan competitions in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile and Ecuador.

Visitors to TechnoServe’s YouTube channel can watch the promising entrepreneurs outline their business idea, identify the market value and articulate the business plan competition’s role in the development of their businesses. In the Tanzanian contest alone, businesses ranged from selling carbon credits to rebuilding a local high school and running a radio station. Visitors can also use Google Checkout on the site to make financial contributions to TechnoServe’s entrepreneurship programs such as Believe Begin Become.

TechnoServe will regularly update and add fresh content to the channel. The next phase will feature additional new entrepreneur profiles from Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya.

About TechnoServe: TechnoServe helps entrepreneurial men and women in the developing world to build businesses that provide jobs, income and economic opportunity. Since its founding in 1968, the U.S.-based nonprofit has helped to create or expand more than 2,000 businesses, benefiting millions of people in more than 30 countries. A Financial Times survey has rated TechnoServe one of the world’s top five non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for corporate partnerships. TechnoServe has also been recognized as one of the world's "Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs" by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.