Building an Elephant Aware Economy
There is an emerging Elephant Aware Economy in communities around the Okavango Delta that is generating benefits coming back to communities who share space and resources with elephants.
Sustainable SMME Opportunities
The Ecoexist Trust has been supporting elephant-themed start-ups and existing SMMEs to encourage sustainable business development among communities living with elephants to increase benefits, offset costs and promote coexistence.
We build an Elephant Aware Economy
Ecoexist is supporting elephant-themed enterprise development among communities living around the Okavango Delta, Botswana through a range of supporting services, including capacity building, resource inputs, linking to markets and partnership facilitation.
An Elephant Aware Economy supports elephant-themed start-ups and existing SMMEs to successfully establish, manage and market sustainable, non-consumptive products, activities and services that are tied to a life with elephants, thereby realising benefit opportunities in a life with elephants and promoting coexistence.
Assist Start upsWe identify opportunities, assist entrepreneurs and groups or co-operatives fine tune their vision and walk them through the steps required to establish their enterprise.
Business Plan DevelopmentCritical to any start-up ins the development of a solid business plan, which provides the blueprint that will ensure business success. We engage experts to assist start-ups develop these business plans.
Capacity build and skills developmentWe provide opportunities and expertise to build capacity and skills development among SMMEs, in management, financial, marketing and governance.
GovernanceGovernance capacity is essential, particularly among syndicates or cooperatives and we facilitate governance training, constitutions and partnership agreements that help ensure good governance and partnership practice.
Joint Venture PartnershipsA quick and less capital-intensive way to enter value chains and access existing markets in through the creation of partnerships with existing, larger corporates that want to assist and see mutual benefit in partnering with community start-ups. We facilitate such joint venture partnership, guiding the partners on the partner terms and conditions that will be outlined in signed agreements.
Connecting to markets.Many businesses in rural communities find it extremely difficult to connect to markets, in order to make their businesses viable. This is an essential component of support we carry out: developing new value chains, establishing new and linking to existing supply chains, and helping to negotiate entry and pricing in the marketplace.
Establishing standards and quality.We engage expertise to help establish product quality and standards adherence, which are monitored in order to ensure consistency and confidence in the marketplace.
The certification program aims to promote sustainable farming practices that will reduce the risk of human-elephant conflict and the loss of life and property. the program will also promote the conservation of elephants and their habitat through the use of elephant-friendly farming practices.More About
What is being Elephant Aware?
We would define Elephant Aware as being conscious of the value and importance of elephants in the landscape and in contributing to sustained economic opportunity at local and national levels, while also being aware of the risks and challenges of living with them, and participating in efforts to mitigate risks and find solutions to these challenges, in order to better coexist with them.
An Ecotourism enterprise based in Eretsha Village offering Elephant Aware cultural tours. Activities include mokoro rides, learning about Conservation Agriculture techniques, experiencing traditional dancing, donkey cart rides, visiting a local blacksmith and storytelling with the village elders.