Jasmine Bee

Jasmine Bee

Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaNew York, United States
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Jasmine Bee is a Tanzanian Social Enterprise that aims to leverage Tanzania's massive organic honey potential, as well as its deeply rooted beekeeping traditions by improving the entire value-chain. We directly engage and support rural poor beekeepers and connect them to international markets.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every rural Tanzanian woman could provide for her family, prevent deforestation, spur the local economny and triple agricultural yeilds
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Despite Tanzania's honey producing and exporting potential, unsophisticated and traditional beekeeping and honey processing practices hinder the ability for small scale farmers to gain access to more lucrative markets because their harvests are too small and are of poor quality. Also, because they are members of the rural poor, they do not have access to financing to upgrade their practices and the cooperatives and unions are under capacitated.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To improve rural beekeeping and honey processing methods as well as greater access to markets we have founded Jasmine Bee. We plan to establish a public-private partnership that provides extension services and trainings. In doing so we will raise the capacity of rural villagers to participate in beekeeping and provide access to micro-financial support the procurement of modern equipment. This out-grower network of rural beekeepers will also be monitored and evaluated with the help of local NGO, governmental and academic partners. There will also be a private venture that will cover the processing, packaging and marketing of bee products from the pilot network and other beekeeping communities through a mobile honey processing facility.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A traditional Beekeeper that either lives on the edge of a Tanzanian forest preserve or within a highly agriculturally cultivated area sucha as the Usambara Mtns. would commit to our 18 month training program administered by our in-the-field beekeeping experts. During the training the beekeeper will learn an apply modern beekeeping practices that focus on improving honey yields, maintaing bee colony health and performing organic beekeeping. Jasmine Bee will provide the equipment (hives, protective clothing, etc.) and soft micro-financial loans to support the expansion of the beekeeper's hives and honey business. Upon harvesting the hon Jasmine Bee will purchase the combs at fair trade prices as well as harvest package and export the honey.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Our pilot will engage at least 200 rural poor beekeepers over two years, and support the livelihoods of up to 1000 other beekeepers who will have access to improved honey processing services. Currently most beekeepers produce ~15kg/year of honey at $0.8 USD to $1.0 USD per kg. Our project will improve their yields to~50kg/year at $1.0 USD to $2.0 USD per kg. The providing of modern beekeeping equipment will allow women to participate in an otherwise male occupation, thus our project will support female economic empowerment. Our project also will support sustainable forestry, for the forage area of the bees will rely on the preservation of the forests. Beekeeping communities are thus motivated to practice sustainable forestry. Bee are also important agricultural pollinators, and recent studies conducted in Tanzania have shown that beekeeping can raise crop yields by up to 300%.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

This project will be made up of an outgrower network of rural beekeepers as well as a honey processing/packaging/exporting enterprise. The project will initially be supported through donor grants and equity investment. After the pilot period the project will expand through continued provisioning of micro finance loans, honey sales revenue and commercial loans.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are a few other donor funded projects as well as private enterprises that are building up rural capacity for beekeeping. They also provide trainings and micro financial loans. Our project and business differs from existing efforts by focusing not only improving yields and supporting rural livelihoods. We do so by leveraging Tanzania's largely pesticide free environment to engage American and European Export markets, and thereby support environmental preservation and female economic empowerment.

Founding Story

Mee Jasmijn Bleijerveld, a Dutch former architect and mother of three moved to Tanzania with her family in 2012. She always had a deep interest in apiculture and was excited to learn of Tanzania indigenous beekeeping tradition. Upon closer examination though, Jasmijn found that the Tanzanian honey sector was not meeting its potential, especially with regard to quality. In her attempts to find out why she met with various stakeholders, including Tanzania's Prime Minister, Hon. Mizengo Pinda, an avid apiculturist, who encouraged her to start this project. Jasmijn then teamed up with a U.S. lawyer, Olujimi Akindele and her old friend, a Dutch project manager, Eline Fransen to improve the Tanzanian honey value chain to benefit the rural poor.
About You
Jasmine Bee
About You
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About Your Project
Organization Name

Jasmine Bee

Organization Country

, NY, New York

Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

While I was in Tanzania I was looking for opportunities to to support rural economic development and environmental preservation through market driven interventions. Through my networking I was introduced to Jasmijn Bleijerveld, a Dutch woman who had moved to Tanzania with her family. She had developed a very strong interest in the Tanzanian apiculture center and had even spoken with the Prime Minister, also an avid beekeeper. As she explained to me the reasons why Tanzania had not reached it potential as an organic honey exporter I realized that this was they perfect intervention. For supporting rural beekeeping promotes poverty alleviation, female economic empowerment, environmental sustainability

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Sustainable Agriculture, Smallholder Farmers, Supply Chain Micro-entrepreneurs.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

Our candidate beekeeping communities already engage in traditional beekeeping or have been beneficiaries of beekeeping interventions. Our consultations and field trips showed that projects fail to self sustain without a whole value chain approach. We visited beekeepers in Tabora, Kisampa, Mayoni and SULEDO and found the following needed improvements, respectively: distribution; training, financial support and certifications; collection and processing services; equipment and access to markets.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

We hope to create at least 4 self-sustaining beekeeping cooperatives, at least one honey processing enterprise and at least 3 collection centers staffed by local community members.

We intend for our intervention to provide for the following: increased export and access to markets of honey produced by the rural poor and greater economic gains to rural beekeepers; increased participation and intensity of beekeeping activity resulting in improved agricultural yields in each of the communities containing a beekeeping group due to increased bee pollination; increased female economic empowerment through the lowering of barriers to female participation in beekeeping through use of modern hive equipment; enhanced environmental conservation and support of biodiversity, for beekeeping will increase local appreciation for the economic value of sustainable forestry and forest preservation.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

We plan to scale our intervention by increasing the number of hives provided to each beekeeper, increasing the size of our beekeeping groups, and expanding access to markets and to more beekeepers through increased bee product collection efforts. Our initial focus is to develop a standardized role out model for developing a beekeeping out grower network then applying it in different beekeeping communities.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

Different aspects of our intervention will be funded and sustained differently. Sustainability will be ensured by using crowd sourced microfinancial loans to support the initial equipment outlays and P.O. financing for honey/beeswax collectors. The processing, packaging and wholesaling will use modified debt financing to allow access more lucrative markets. The initial trainings will be donor supported though.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

I initially came to Tanzania to work at a local renewable energy NGO that promoted the interests of the renewable energy private sector. I parlayed those leanings and experiences into working on with a Tanzanian solar PV installation company expand their services and impact in rural Tanzania by supporting revenue generating activities such as cell phone charging businesses, as well as social impact, electrifying health centers.


Jimi Akindele's picture

How much do you know about the honey you buy? We believe there is a robust market for fair trade organic Tanzanian honey that also supports conservation and female economic empowerment.

Any other ideas about how to further incorporate sustainability into our project would be greatly appreciated.