DLG Naturals BW (Pty)(Ltd),
co-founded, launched, and overseen by Alexander Lahti and Brianna McClurg in Botswana, developed and maintains a country-wide wild-harvesting network. It then produces natural cosmetic oils from botanicals sourced through that system. The results are threefold:
- Creating jobs where they are otherwise rare, especially for women
- Developing a vast rural harvesting network, offering countless tangential opportunities
- Demonstrating profits are possible, even when specifically fighting poverty
DLG’s Vision: Create a Middle Class
Botswana ranks 6th in the world for wealth disparity
, falling just behind Haiti. DLG’s vision focuses on the missing middle class in a poverty-ridden nation. Our unprecedented harvest networking in remote areas provides rural income and diversifies the economy, which helps ameliorate the anticipated catastrophic economic collapse when Botswana’s diamonds are depleted
DLG Naturals BW is approaching the end of its highly successful pilot year. We project that DLG will create over 1000 new, sustainable, wild-harvesting jobs each year through 2019. If successful, we will directly provide seasonal jobs to .2% of the population outside the capital by 2020.
Good business practices are the foundation of this company and sustainability is the frame:
Do well to do good: Why Profits Are Important
- Economic Stability: This beautiful country has countless marketable natural resources, yet minimal access to them on an industrial scale. Our vision is to create that accessibility and stimulate an entirely new industry.
- Social responsibility: Most harvesters are women, giving them more economic freedom in the household as they earn income.
- Business Sustainability: Botswana has a disheartening history for wild-harvesting. Far too frequently, entrepreneurs offer the rural poor wild-harvesting jobs only to never return. We have pledged to avoid such a fate, forging expense-reducing systems, maintaining internal controls, and employing exceptional training.
- Environmental Sustainability: Our 2016-2017 production focus is on oil from marula, a plant we in part chose for its prolific nature. After assessing environmental sustainability thoroughly, we know that DLG's maximum production rates will require harvesting less than 5% of annual marula fruit in Botswana. Moving forward, we will examine utilizing carbon credits to fund a marula tree planting program to counter potential unforeseen damages.
When a first-mover can demonstrate financial opportunity, others will follow. DLG’s nonprofit-mission, for-profit model is challenging, but we look to inspire engagement beyond social entrepreneurs in the fight against poverty.
This country-wide system offers easy access to rural areas for other social enterprises that distribute goods to the poor (think Gavin Armstrong’s Lucky Iron Fish
). Using DLG’s distribution network to move poverty-alleviating goods like water filters greatly eases the cost of delivery. As DLG intends to exceed international requirements for the wild-harvesting industry, we look to partner with like-minded organizations combating poverty.
* Though official estimations are close to 20%, unofficial estimations run much higher, especially in areas we target.
** Individuals who start or significantly grow a business directly through working with DLG Naturals BW