New Yorkers raised a record $500,000 to support work with entrepreneurs in Africa at a glittering black-tie event in Manhattan in early November.
The eighth annual Changemaker’s Ball, which supports Self Help Africa’s work in poor communities across Africa, saw almost 500 people gathering at the Chelsea Piers venue.
“The Change Maker’s event allows New Yorkers to help build profitable small businesses in Africa,” said James Kelly, Self Help Africa’s SVP and Director of Business Development. “Most of these are small family farms which struggle to feed and clothe the family, but which can be transformed with some small investments.”
“It was an incredible night, to see so many people coming together from across New York, in support of people who live thousands of miles away but to whom they feel connected. For me, the common bond is enterprise – New Yorkers recognize what it means to work hard to achieve great success, and they’re keen to support the same initiatives in Africa.”
A particular focus of this year’s event was TruTrade, the award-winning trading innovation developed by Self Help Africa to increase prices paid to farmers for their crops. The initiative blends mobile phone payments and trade finance and has paid over 25% price premiums to the farmers in the last two years by reducing middlemen costs and opening up new export markets.
“The night was all about celebrating change,” added James. “Change has been brought in 2017 to almost three million Africans whom Self Help Africa has engaged with through our programs and we will continue to change the lives of many more in 2018 because of the support we received through this event.”