A Positive Voice

Positive Planet US

Positive Planet US, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing economic, social and ecological inequity through entrepreneurship, is proud to launch “A Positive Voice”; a podcast series featuring the continuing stories of both success and struggle, of underrepresented social impact entrepreneurs from around the world. As supporters of these initiatives, you deserve to hear these amazing stories, from a new generation of social impact entrepreneurs, first hand. So we thought what better way than to allow for the founders to tell you themselves. Enjoy at your own pace!
Episode 16: Mathias Apovo and BDLS use innovation education to empower the African youth in Burkina FasoEpisode 15: Cathleen Trigg-Jones and iWomanTV show us how "magic happens when women create together"Episode 14: Ebenezer Lartey and Market Express connect local farmers to grocers to deliver more than just food through innovative ecommerce in GhanaEpisode 13: Christine Matovich and CommonTime provide global access to the arts and and a new avenue into arts education
Oct 27 2021
53 mins
Episode 12 - Hicham Zouaoui and Otman Harrak challenge cultural norms and influence through user-experience in the first ridesharing app, now a staple in a culture where sharing is a given
Co-Founders and childhood friends, Hicham Zouaoui and Otman Harrak came back to Casablanca after spending high school and college part  experiencing different cultures and realities. Once back together, they had the idea to build out a new their business model and the first ridesharing app in Morocco.Now they're working together in a big, beautiful office overlooking the cinematic backdrop of Casablanca. "It's been a wonderful adventure", as Otman puts it. Carpooling isn't a new concept for a culture that already has sharing as a big part of its values. This is what made it challenging for people to understand that it was ok to exchange money for something that is usually considered simply neighborly ⥖ even among strangers. Hicham started Pip Pip Yalah through a Facebook group, just connecting people wanting to travel between universities and their hometowns. Ridesharing. They started talking about the new concept just among friends. They got all the way up to 100 users before reconnecting again with Otman, coming back from studying in the London School of Business and the Grenoble École de Management. Pip Pip Yalah now has recorded over 26 million kilometers in shared rides, reducing CO2 emission by 6,500 tons as people shared their ride and did not use their own cars.Hicham and Otman talk us through serial-entrepreneurship, battling “against” cultural norms, user experience and driving social, economic and ecological impacts by facilitating and incentivizing ridesharing throughout Morocco.Their pure friendship and excitement to conquer their mission together really comes out clearly in this very light and joyful conversation. It challenged us to battle through interpreting  English and French context together at the same time. Their story of beating the odds is certainly inspiring and we know they are only at the beginning of their journey.Learn more about Pip Pip Yalah downloading their app or visiting their website https://pippipyalah.com/
Sep 8 2021
48 mins
Episode 11: Sophia El Bahja and Nobox Lab use design thinking and social innovation to develop new forms of education to prepare Morocco's next generation
Sep 7 2021
45 mins
Episode 10: Fadila Bennani and Amaz utilize Moroccan craftsmanship to build an ethical, eco-friendly and socially sustainable sneaker brand in Casablanca.
Jul 10 2021
47 mins
Episode 09: Stephen Kyei and LeathOnCall use innovative ways of building environmentally sustainable shoes and socially sustainable partnerships with friendly vendors in Ghana
On this episode we speak to Stephen Kyei, a shoemaker in Ghana using innovative tactics to create shoes from cork sheets. After working for some time in oil and gas companies throughout Ghana, ensuring environmental safety standard were met and getting his environmental resource management certificate. At the same time, he was importing leather goods from India and Spain to resell, and the business grew, until he reached a point he need to focus 100% on the business. From there, he started researching other sustainable resources he could use to build his products. He landed on cork sheets from rare cork trees.In order to dig deeper into his story, we invited Gideon Dendzo back on the show from our previous episode, this time as a co-host asking the questions. Stephen and Gideon could have easily seen themselves as competitors, but have come together to leverage each other’s talents and resources, in order to build businesses that will sustain jobs in their community, provide quality clothing to their people and help reverse the effects of pollution by using recycled products.With his venture and partnerships in the community, LeathOnCall was able to develop a three-pronged approach to building a sustainable business; Economic sustainability - Building durable, inexpensive shoes with innovative environmentally sustainable resourcesEnvironmental sustainability - Creating durable shoes with resources from wasted cork treesSocial sustainability - Creating jobs for those in need in his communitySupport this and more initiatives like it HERE, as we are excited to be launching our second "Accelerator Hub" program in the US, dedicated to helping minority women in the U.S. kickstart and grow a business. 25 startup founders will be selected to participate in this intensive 10-week coaching program in partnership with Capgemini and Genpact.
Jul 2 2021
49 mins
Episode 08 - Gideon Dendzo and Giddins Fashion build an ecosystem for sustainable business in Ghana, by creating durable products with recycled materials and employing the unemployed in his community
Jun 30 2021
53 mins
Episode 07 - Babacar Lo and Taag Education work on reverse engineering what preparing for the realities of the job market in Senegal looks and feels like
Babacar Lo is a serial entrepreneur from Dakar, Senegal. He has also been a university professor level for ten years. There, he realized that people were going to business school for a Master’s Degree, but were not getting traction once entering the job market. He clearly saw that students were not being prepared with the practical skills needed to jump into a new job and hit the ground running. Students were trained to pass through a process with certain academic requirements, and not being trained with skills they need to succeed in the market.So in 2017, he founded Taag Education, a platform that identifies the hard skills and soft skills needed for specific job positions in Dakar. Taag has now over 400 job descriptions on the platform. Through a filtered search, the user is able to identify which job positions most align with their interests. They then take a test to see how their current skills match up to those job requirements, and are then directed to the right material and professors, to start filling those knowledge requirements.Lo participated in the 2020 round of the @afidba, a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, international and bilingual programme dedicated to the inclusive, digital and sustainable economic growth in continental Africa, in partnership with @positive planet international.Building a new avenue to #employability in Senegal, Taag helps to reduce poverty and build a more economically and socially sustainable economy in Senegal.Support this and more initiatives like it HERE.AND if you're interested in VOLUNTEERING and helping build our next and largest entrepreneurial endeavor in the US, to accelerate 50 female entrepreneurs in social, environmental, democratic and economically sustainably enterprises, send an email to our Head of People, Katherine Alafodimos @ katherine.alafodimos@positiveplanetus.org
May 22 2021
43 mins
Episode 05 - Rosemary Kwofie and Edward Neequaye use Built Accounting to democratize prosperity, making digitalization truly an inclusive advantage for micro enterprises throughout AfricaEpisode 06 - Antoine de Mirbeck and Rédouane el Haloui fill a hidden gap with a rapidly growing “Uber Freight” in Casablanca, MoroccoEipsode 04: Florence Bassono and Faso Attiéké nourish a network of farmers and families far beyond the kitchen in Burkina Faso
Faso Attiéké produces fresh and dried cassava couscous (attiéké). The company produced 542 tonnes of attiéké in 2019 and currently employs 50 full-time employees. Florence Bassono founded the company in 2015 after being stopped at the border, she was forbidden to bring attiéké into her community in Burkina Faso, an essential piece of their diet. She now works with 500 small-scale cassava farmers. They’ve differentiated themselves from the competitors through the quality of their products and their brand image. Faso Attiéké’s is having a tremendous impact on the community. By creating over 50 full-time jobs, giving sustainable income to over 500 local farmers and 200+ female cassava collectors, Florence’s presence goes far beyond the kitchen.“I started the business on the side while still employed by another company, which gave me the ability to take out a bank loan. Later on, we also received a loan from the Fonds Burkinabè de Développement Economique et Social, a national investment fund; a grant from Luxembourg-based NGO ASTM; a loan from Initiative Ouaga, and a grant from the Danish-backed Programme for Economic Growth within the Agricultural Sector (PCESA).”                                                    - Florence BassonoFlorence founded the organization in 2015, and participated in the 2020 round of the AFIDBA, a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, international and bilingual programme dedicated to the inclusive, digital and sustainable economic growth in continental Africa, in partnership with Positive Planet International.
Apr 2 2021
20 mins
Episode 03: Fanta Mone and Malaika’s Garden redefine happiness in education for mothers and children in Burkina Faso
Apr 1 2021
23 mins
Episode 02: Yaye Helene Ndiaye and Kitambaa address the social inequalities that arise without an infrastructure that considers feminine hygiene needs
Kitambaa, which symbolizes and evokes ‘dignity’ in Swahili, aims to provide young African girls and women of childbearing age with washable pads that meet their hygienic needs, in order to enable them to go to school and so to participate in an equitable manner to national development. By reducing the upheavals caused - in their education and in their lives - by their periods, and the lack of accessibility to disposable hygiene products and adequate infrastructure, Kitambaa is providing an ecologically and financially sustainable solution while answering her community social needs. 40% of girls between the ages of 9 and 17 have skipped school at least once a week every time they get their period due to lack of sanitation.This absenteeism has a negative impact on academic performance. In some cases, girls (11.2%) drop out of school because of challenges encountered during their periods.Women lose 40-45% of their income during these five days.More than half of elementary schools did not have sanitary facilities. 52% of schools did not have a toilet and 59% did not have access to water.Thanks to her experience in NY, her education and her life experience in Senegal,  Yaye Helene understood very fast the importance to supplement any outside funds (NGO or donors’ funding) with local support - whether using a local Mayor’s enthusiasm or the new creation of a free zone in the country.Y.H. Ndiaye founded the organization in 2019, and participated in the 2020 round of the AFIDBA, a multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholder, international and bilingual programme dedicated to the inclusive, digital and sustainable economic growth in continental Africa, in partnership with Positive Planet International.Guest Co-Host: Catherine Roggero-Lovisi, former President of Revlon North America
Apr 1 2021
49 mins
Episode 01: Yaye Souadou Fall and E-Cover work to reverse the effects of mass rubber pollution in Dakar through eco-friendly upcycling
Mar 24 2021
25 mins