News

Previous Posts(0)
Archive(388)
October 2017 (2)
September 2017 (13)
August 2017 (6)
July 2017 (6)
June 2017 (11)
May 2017 (12)
April 2017 (6)
March 2017 (12)
February 2017 (15)
January 2017 (12)
December 2016 (9)
November 2016 (9)
October 2016 (10)
September 2016 (6)
August 2016 (11)
July 2016 (5)
June 2016 (8)
May 2016 (12)
April 2016 (7)
March 2016 (19)
February 2016 (14)
January 2016 (14)
December 2015 (10)
November 2015 (11)
October 2015 (11)
September 2015 (20)
August 2015 (4)
July 2015 (6)
June 2015 (13)
May 2015 (12)
April 2015 (14)
March 2015 (18)
February 2015 (21)
January 2015 (12)
December 2014 (7)
November 2014 (10)
Blog Topics(0)
Records 1 to 1 of 1
Okanagan College Professor Starts Social Venture in Uganda
Okanagan College Media Release

David Northcott Africa Oct 2013It was a heart attack that made Okanagan College School of Business professor David Northcott really take stock of his life. “Having open heart surgery 18 months ago has really motivated me to think about where to focus my time and energy,” says the Penticton-based business professor.

Northcott took inspiration from the Entrepreneurship and Development in Emerging Nations course he created in 2008, which teaches students how business solutions can fight extreme poverty in the developing world. In addition to doing class assignments, students also take part in a two-week immersive field trip to Ethiopia. Partnering with Canadian Humanitarian (CH), an NGO based in Medicine Hat, Alta., the students help deliver the not-for-profit’s medical services and education programs, and complete work on their own projects.

As a result of this firsthand exposure to East African poverty, Northcott has been assisting Hope for Orphans and Widows Community Association (HOWCA), CH's NGO partner in Lira, Uganda, with the financial analysis for several social businesses. The initial plan is to establish a piggery and butcher shop. Beginning with 10 sows, the piggery is projected to grow to 100 sows producing 1,000 piglets per year. The mature pigs will supply the needs of the butcher shop. The long-term plan includes establishing a restaurant. “Pork is the meat of choice in Uganda,” says Northcott. “The demand is very high.”

“The current financial analysis suggests we can turn a $10,000 investment into a very profitable business in four years. These profits will fund the programs in Lira, helping 150 children initially and then increasing to 300,” says Northcott.

The money will specifically be used to pay for school fees and supplies, provide clothing and shoes, provide an after-school program that focuses on tutoring, social clubs, and hygiene needs for children living in abject poverty. After graduating from high school, students may enter a scholarship program for college and university so they get training for a professional career.

“The people of Eastern Africa aren’t lazy and they aren’t stupid,” says Northcott. “They just lack capital. I am hoping to provide a solution to that problem.”

Northcott is currently in Ethiopia working on social business projects there, and travels to Uganda Nov. 5. Northcott is funding part of the start-up costs by selling sponsorships to cover the cost of the sows at $160 per pig. The rest of the start-up investment will come from private investors. If you are in interested in sponsoring a pig, contact Professor David Northcott at dnorthcott@okanagan.bc.ca.