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The National Diaspora Collaborative Fund

February 6, 2011

There is a need among expatriates to give back to their home country in a structured and sustainable way. Many of them are embedded in their host country and feel embarrassed when asked about contributing to the development of their area of origin, because they do not know how to do it in an effective way. Giving away money to small local foundations is not effective and sustainable. They need to stay active while helping, to have control on their money and on the projects they invest on.

With the development of internet and the impact investing, I see an opportunity to leverage these tools in order to reach the immigrants and help them contribute in developing their home country in a constructive and sustainable way. A National Diaspora Collaborative Fund both highly motivates and efficiently attracts people who are originally from the concerned country and that knows better about the local issues and the national interests. It leverages the financial support of these enthusiastic communities that are willing to contribute to a fund by nationals to nationals.

If we take the example of  Tunisia, Tunisian expatriates across would be able to contribute to a national diaspora fund through a dedicated website. These contributions will not be “lost”, but will be invested to form a sustainable asset. Only the return on investment will be donated or invested in development and S&ME projects in Tunisia. The website will present selected projects that will be approved or voted by the contributors. It will therefore be a mix of an impact investing fund and social networking that will enable nationals to take control of their financial contributions to their home country.

Of course, there will be a lot to do in order to promote the initiative, raise significant amount of money and fix all the legal details that go with it, but the project will soon be started and I cannot wait to read your comments and expression of interests!

A proposal draft is available here

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Hichem permalink
    November 28, 2010 11:14 pm

    GREAT !! Un schema ne sera pas de refus!

  2. Jeremy permalink
    November 30, 2010 11:45 pm

    Hatem, I sent you a mail …

  3. Darah permalink
    March 30, 2011 2:51 am

    Some feedbacks:
    · Interesting idea. I do believe though that they need to focus on one dimension and do it well–either the social investment fund side, or the donation side. You can keep the idea of not being able to get the principal back, whether forever or for 3 years, but it’s hard to do social investing or donating well so either should cede control back to the participants or stick to one side. http://www.legacyventure.com/ and http://www.acumenfund.org/ are good examples of similar ideas (without the diaspora angle) that have focused well.

    · Do like the idea of energizing focus from the expats; concept basically a pooled donation fund, not clear on what ensures good granting, however.

    · Look at existing models: http://www.giveindia.org/Default.aspx, http://www.conexioncolombia.com/, http://www.helpargentina.org/, http://give2asia.org/. Look to see how these others have done, where they went wrong, and how your idea can solve some of the challenges that others faced.

    · This idea doesn’t seem to be economically feasible as presented; please look into ways to ensure the sustainability of the project and think more about how the business model would work.

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