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Can Your Small Business Idea Help a Third World Country?

Tuesday, January 06, 2015
most successful business ideas
When it comes to identifying some of the most successful business ideas available, opening a cafe or coffee van is often described as one of the best opportunities. After all, coffee shops have a 7% growth rate worldwide, making them one of the fastest growing industries. Moreover, IBS research estimates that the Australian coffee business alone is worth about $5 billion in revenue. However, did you know that coffee shops also help support communities in third world countries? Thanks to several programs and initiatives, such as a coffee cooperative in Costa Rica, the coffee industry may not only be one of the most successful business ideas, but also one of the most charitable.

The village of Biolley, a rural community located in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica, offers few opportunities for its residents. This problem has raged for years, with many of the area's men and boys choosing to relocate to the capital, San Jose, or the United States to find work. In response, the women of Biolley created a women-only coffee cooperative to help support themselves and their family. Started in 1997, their project, called the Association of Organized Women of Biolley, became one of the first women-run coffee businesses in Costa Rica.

Initially, the women struggled with finding sufficient land, earning the support of the town's men, and even roasting the beans. Over time, however, they were able to buy their own mill and start purchasing beans of the Arabica variety, the world's most popular type of coffee, from local farmers. Their first high quality batch was sold to illycaffe, an Italian company that now buys 80% of their raw milled beans. These sales have made the program one of the most successful business ideas to come from the community, allowing the women to provide a livelihood for local families, as well as education and healthcare for the community: recently, Biolley has been able to build both a school and a medical clinic, thanks to their coffee production.

Today, many communities in third world countries have realized that the coffee industry offers plenty of new small business opportunities for their residents, allowing them to provide a better present and future for their children. However, these communities cannot implement these strategies without the help of coffee importers and coffee shops around the world that buy their products. If you're looking for ideas for a successful business that allows you to give back, consider starting a coffee shop or opening a coffee franchise: you never know how much you will be able to help.

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