Blog Post #10 Mia W

Design Grants

The USAID Development Innovation Ventures Stage 1 Proof of Concept grant is a good grant for us to apply to because its open for applications at any time and awards up to $200,000 for up to 3 years for testing a creative solution to a global development challenge. Our proposal would focus on our current research and projections of how much money the mushroom farm could make and how many people it can offer jobs to along with plans for scaling up.

EPA P3 Program which stands for People, Prosperity and the Planet promotes teams of college students to better the planet and future for doing research in topics related to their P3 goals, including sustainable healthy communities, which relates to our project. We would first be applying for Phase 1 of the grant which is a one year grant of $25,000 to test, research, and develop innovative scientific projects or engineering designs that promote development, and serves as a proof of concept for research ideas. Completing Phase 1 would allow us to apply for the Phase 2 grant which is 100,000 to further the project from Phase 1. Our funding proposal would emphasize the sustainability of growing mushrooms and how it will create a healthier community by creating jobs along with delivering a nutritious product. Though we applied to it before and were rejected, we would hone in on what we’ve accomplished and relate it to sustainable healthy communities more.

Dissemination Grants

The USAID Development Innovation Ventures Stage 3 Scaling would be for the scaling of our mushroom production factories. It provides between $1,500,000 to $5,000,000 for up to 3 years. With success, this grant fits the goals of our venture to spread its success. For applying, we would use data from the success of the single mushroom production factory in Sierra Leone for the proof of concept and scalability as well as demand to show success possibilities with scaling with the grant.

The Laidlaw Scaling Impact grants range from $25,000 to $100,000 a year for up to 3 years. They support youth projects that impact communities and that overall better the lives of young people and community driven. With our venture hoping to better the youth unemployment rate in Sierra Leone, that is what we would be targeting in the application. The application is a 2 step process that starts with an Expression of Interest. With proof of concept with one factory, we will show the need and anticipated success with scaling which would also give more job opportunities to the unemployed youth. 

Blog #8 Mia W


1.  It was interesting how he differentiated between a mission statement and a mantra with the importance of keeping it short and memorable. As well as having different mantras for different groups of people like customer versus workers. When starting a mushroom business in Sierra Leone we should have two memorable mantras for the workers and for the customers.

2. His 10/20/30 rule is cool and speaks to his other point on having a short mantra to get information across. It is a big problem with losing people’s attention when trying to get a point across and having 10 slides, a 20 minute presentation and having the smallest font of 30 pt makes a lot of sense and like something that I would actually pay attention to. We need to make sure we know our content and have lots of visuals to keep our presentation interesting.

3. Guy’s graph of ability to produce a unique product or service versus the use to customer is interesting because it simply illustrates where to be successful and where people fail and how. We aim to be in the top right corner with high ability to produce a unique product with high use to the customers.

4. Next, his word choice of hiring infected people stuck with me because it really tells to the type of people to hire. Not just passionate but infected with the passion. Infected also suggests that it can rub off onto other people which is a vital aspect. We need to be infected like that to hope to infect others.

5. Lastly, his point of not letting “bozos” bring you down is very important. And his use of the word “bozo” also made it more memorable because it set it aside from the normal phrase of “don’t let people bring you down.” If we believe that we are going to fail because people tell us we are then we are doomed already. His point of being aware of the dangerous bozos, the smart people, bringing you down was also important. We’ve already had a professor tell us that growing mushrooms in Sierra Leone isn’t going to happen but we need to problem solve to make it happen.