The Situation

African People & Wildlife (APW) is a Tanzania-based conservation organization working to ensure a future where humans and wild animals coexist and thrive. Historically, communities around protected areas in Tanzania have not received equitable benefits from wildlife conservation and often have limited roles in the management of their natural resources. APW’s model changes that by establishing long-term relationships with local communities and empowering rural Africans to successfully manage their natural resources while achieving significant ecological and financial benefits. APW is currently applying its model in six critical conservation landscapes across northern Tanzania, having a direct positive impact on more than 16,000 people. APW plans to scale its efforts even farther into surrounding regions in the coming years.

The Roadblock

APW's integrated programming includes a strong focus on sustainable enterprise development via the Women’s Beekeeping Initiative, an initiative empowering more than 1,200 Tanzanian women to develop and grow their own environmentally friendly businesses and to market and sell honey products. In 2016, APW received a $370,000 public grant to fund the initiative, including support for the development of honey processing centers, social enterprise training, and business development over five years. In 2018, as APW began implementation, the public grant was withdrawn due to shifting priorities by the funder.

Open Road’s Response

After receiving a $100,000 charitable grant from ORA and additional support from other donors, the Women’s Beekeeping Initiative is now well on its way to becoming a full-fledged profitable social enterprise. The funding supported the creation of honey processing centers, social enterprise training, value chain development, and greater strategic guidance and business leadership. In addition to strengthening the livelihood of women and their families, the initiative is also helping to protect critical grasslands and corridors for lions, leopards, cheetahs, and other wildlife.

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