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*We've hit our target! At least 15 Changemakers in Kenya with ideas to end poverty will be enabled. Let's bring it home strong! Every extra $1,000 we raise is another local Kenyan Changemaker identified and supported for 3 years by Spark! The more money we raise, the more people we lift up out of poverty!

RECENT MEDIA

Sunrise:Studio 10:

The spirit of entrepreneurship can end poverty. If you're reading this, chances are you're fortunate enough to be in a position to help. 

Let's make it happen.

Proudly Australian and not-for-profit, Spark International aims to lift 1 million people out of extreme poverty by enabling local entrepreneurs in Africa and the Pacific with social business ideas. Rather than throw money at problems and create a cycle of reliance, Spark visits the countries that need help to identify local entrepreneurs with ideas that will employ others in their communities and combat poverty. Spark then mentors, supports and funds these local Changemakers who have local solutions. 


Aussie travel entrepreneur and adventurer, Chris Ball is on a mission to help Spark secure funding for its next round of Changemakers. In August, Chris will visit the global heartland of entrepreneurship – the US west coast. With an inspiring presentation for some of the world’s most innovative organisations, he will share the story of Spark and the local Changemakers it has enabled.

The message is simple: Entrepreneurs and professionals in the West  must urgently step up to help entrepreneurs in developing countries end poverty.

Chris will cover the 2000kms from Seattle to San Francisco on a bicycle with a daily budget of $3 - the amount half the people in the developing world subsist on. His presentations, supported by US and Australian media, have a consistent message: visit www.seattle2sanfran.com and pledge your support to help end poverty.

The crowdfunding campaign must hit its target of at least $15,000 for this project to go live. Every extra $1000 we raise is another Changemaker enabled. Every $1.03 pledged life changed by one a Spark enabled Changemaker (IRIS global investment impact metric).

Some Of My Previous Work

The stars of this show are Spark's Changemakers. 



Changemakers like Caroline Odera from Kenya. Caroline is an awesome example of what happens when everyday people like you, Spark* and a local Changemaker all work together. With Spark’s mentoring, support and funding, Caroline has created Smokeless Homes, a social business that is putting solar power and clean cookstoves into the homes of Kenyan villagers. With less smoke in their homes and more money in their pockets (they buy less firewood and no kerosene once she sets them up with her technology) the change for people living in extreme poverty is immediate and dramatic. Since becoming a Spark* Changemaker Caroline has gone from helping fifty people in her community, to now providing lighting and cooking stoves for more than 900. In the coming years she has the potential to impact many, many people with her incredible model. This is what locally led change looks like.
Changemakers like John Taka from Papua New Guinea, who along with 3 other star Changemakers in PNG, will recieve support directly because of this campaign. John epitomises what’s possible when local people with local solutions are enabled. With Spark’s mentoring, support and funding, John created a farming co-op that’s put 20 kids through university in his village where only 10% were previously. He has diversified into healthcare and banking services for his local village and even project managed the construction of a road through 17kms of jungle, connecting his village to the highway. John has directly improved the lives of 10,000 Papuan people This is what change looks like.


Chris Ball is Project Leader. An Australian online travel entrepreneur and adventurer, he has visited more than 60 countries. In Asia he founded the adventure travel business AdventureHoney, which supports Spark International. Chris will conduct the speaking tour and is cycling Seattle to San Francisco on $3 a day.

He was inspired by the people he met in some of the poorest parts of the planet.

"From a refugee camp in Palestine to an orphanage for Aids victims in Malawi. From small communities in the Amazon to inspiring locals in remote Thailand - the spirit and drive of these local people to deliver progress and change their circumstances for the better is deeply inspiring. It commands action."

Chris Ball - Project Leader


Spark International is an Australian not-for-profit that identifies, supports/mentors and funds local entrepreneurs in developing countries with social business ideas. 


Spark International was founded by Australian, Aaron and American, Kaitlin Tait. Aaron was on leave from a tour in Iraq as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy when he met Kaitlin who was undertaking development work in Tanzania. Aside from falling for each other and eventually getting married (!) they saw firsthand the inadequacy and wastage of foreign aid that fails to effectively combat poverty.

Aaron Tait - Co-founder, Spark International


Kaitlin Tait - Co-founder, Spark International



How The Funds Will Be Used

$15,000 is the minimum required for Spark International to kick off their next intake of 15 Changemakers in Kenya.

That means Spark* will do a national search for Kenya's best new social entrepreneurs (people impacting less than 100 people in poverty with a cool idea). These 15 Changemakers will go through an intensive entrepreneurship course in Nairobi then access three years of amazing support from the Spark* team (free graphic designers, web teams, business strategists, lawyers, and research assistants) and also access quick rounds of $250 grants that help them grow their ventures.

All of this support is designed to help the Changemakers move from impacting tens of people (i.e. 50 people are drinking clean water) to the point where they are impacting hundreds or thousands (i.e. ten villages with 500 people in each village all have access to clean water).

If we can make this intake happen with this $15,000, based on Spark’s track record with past intakes, we will see 14,575 people living in poverty have their lives dramatically changed.

That’s right. For every $1.03 you give, a Spark* Kenya Changemaker will go onto to change a life. We think that’s a pretty amazing bang for a buck!

*Spark International's poverty alleviation impact measured by the internationaly recognised IRIS global investment impact metric
 

The Challenges

From Project Leader, Chris Ball:
The #1 challenge is overcoming people's apathy to poverty and the disconnect between life in the western world and the billions of people suffering in poverty. It’s the difference between being able to afford the latest iPhone and not being able to afford to eat.
The very fact that half the population of the developing world survive on less than $3 is day is shocking. But are we shocked? Does this alarming fact get our attention and command action?
It's the beautiful people I've met while travelling in some of the poorest parts of the world that inspired my action. Beautiful people suffering intolerable hardship - but with the spirit and will to change. 
The apathy and disconnect between us in the west and those in developing countries motivated me to add the "crazy elements" to this project. Rather than just speak to the US west coast's elite, I needed to stand out. Jumping on a bicycle and riding down the west coast on less than $3 a day is one way to get people's attention!
It's going to be super hard. But hopefully, it will stimulate interest in the project - generate awareness, empathy and ultimately, more money to enable more changemakers who can end extreme poverty.
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on 30th Sep 2014 at 1:59pm. The payment portal is closed now.
A$10 +Dip your toe in the water*Change the lives of 10 people suffering extreme poverty* Give $10 and Chris will write your name on his arm and tweet the photo from the road! *Every $1.03 you pledge for this project in Kenya will change 1 life (As measured by the IRIS global investment impact metric & based on previous Spark programs).
17 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is September 2014
A$30 +Take it up a notch!*Change the lives of 29 people suffering extreme poverty* Seeing your name on some crazy cyclist dude's arm wasn't enough? For you my friend, a personal thank you video from Chris on the road! You can tell Chris what you want (let your imagination run wild) or Chris will let his own imagination run wild. (Think: GoPro movie while riding, phantom McDonalds drive through, headstand on the Golden Gate Bridge... whatever!)
25 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is September 2014
A$65 +Now we're talking!*Change the lives of 63 people suffering extreme poverty* First, you'll get a thank you note from Chris on the back of an American postcard picked up during the ride. (WARNING: weird, distasteful and mildly offensive postcards only!) Oh, and our super awesome sponsor Clif Bar has 2 boxes of North America's #1 energy bar for you. (RRP $68.80) This stuff is the bomb. It tastes like a cycling peloton in your mouth (that's a good thing), 90% organic and filled with energy giving goodness! WOOT!
18 Chosen | 122 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2014
A$125 +Serious Energy!*Change the lives of 121 people suffering extreme poverty* Train or play hard? This is for you. Yes, you'll get an awesomely bad American post card... PLUS: 5 x CLIF SHOT® Energy Gel. Provides quick energy to athletes while racing and training (RRP $14.75) 25 x CLIF SHOT® BLOKS™. The latest nutrition option for endurance athletes. SHOT Bloks come in chewable, 33 carlorie cubes, making it easy to customise and track caloric and electrolyte intake during long outings and races. (RRP $148.75)
3 Chosen | 22 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2014
A$150 +End poverty, get shades!*Change the lives of 110 people suffering extreme poverty* End poverty, get shades. Win/Win... WOOT/WOOT! Option 1: Gloryfy DeJaVu Africa (RRP $220) Stylish, lightweight. Seriously awesome sunnies. http://bit.ly/DeJaVuAfrica Option 2: Gloryfy Phantom Jester (RRP $220) Matt black frame, striking details: metal logos in cyan & magenta. http://bit.ly/PhantomJester Option 3: Gloryfy G2 Pro White (RRP $220) Funky, cool, contrast enhancing lens. Awesome for outdoor sports. http://bit.ly/G2ProWE
12 Chosen | 68 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2014
A$176 +Shades for the athlete!*Change the lives of 110 people suffering extreme poverty* Not only will you change the world for the better, you'll pick up a set of Gloryfy G4 PROs - perfect for cyclists, hikers, golfers & sports enthusiasts. (RRP $220) - Designed for optimum ventilation - Carefully placed rubber on arms ensures perfect staying power - Contrast-enhancing lenses (ideal for low to medium light) - Olive coloured metal logo on arms + matte finish
5 Chosen | 15 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2014
A$500 +Premier Partner*Change the lives of 485 people suffering extreme poverty* As a Premier Partner, your impact on the people of Kenya will be profound. - A personalised thank you video from Chris while on the road. - Framed photo of Spark's class of 2014 with personalised 'Premier Partner' plaque. - Monthly updates for the first 6 months of 2015 on how the group is going and exactly what your impact has been. - Your logo/name registered as a Premier Partner on collateral for the 2014 Kenya intake.
2 Chosen | 18 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2014
A$1000 +Platinum Partner*Change the lives of 971 people suffering extreme poverty* Exclusive sponsorship of 1 Changemaker. - Personal thank you video from Aaron & Kaitlin (Spark founders), project leader Chris & the Changemaker you've enabled. - Framed photo of the 2014 intake & your sponsored Changemaker with personalised plaque. - Monthly updates for first 6 months of 2015 on progress of sponsored Changemaker & class of 2014. - Your logo/name registered as a Platinum Partner on collateral for the 2014 Kenya intake.
3 Chosen | 7 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2014
A$5000 +Super Platinum*Change the lives of 4,854 people suffering extreme poverty* Everything offered at the Platinum Partner level, plus: - Exclusive sponsorship of 5 Changemakers - Joint naming rights of the 2014 Kenya intake (Limited to 3) - Capacity for 2 people to join the Spark team in Nairobi for the December 2014 intake. *At this level, you're a deeply engaged partner. As such, we look forward to exploring opportunities beyond what can be discussed here. Anything is possible.
0 Chosen | 3 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2014