Farm Africa is a charity working in eastern Africa, primarily with smallholder farmers. As its former COO, Natasha led on shifting the culture to ensure the charity could support its growth and deal with the increased complexity of its work. Successful in her efforts, Farm Africa now works with twice the number of people it did six years ago.
Natasha credits the charity’s growth to bold decisions and the integration of private sector thinking into the third sector world. In 2015, she led on a deal that saw 16% of a social enterprise business owned by Farm Africa sold to a social impact investor, “This type of deal is extremely innovative for the charity sector and is something we should be looking to do more of”, she says.
Farm Africa approaches operations in varied ways. During her tenure, Natasha worked with two major brew chains to bring smallholder farmers into their supply chain. Not only does this make good business sense by reducing the length of the supply chain, “it also helps provide better livelihoods for people in some of the poorest countries in Africa.”
She thinks that business is an ideal candidate to play a more positive role, “Businesses have immense resources to transform society for good”. “Business is often far ahead of government in their understanding of both the environmental risks and the value add in addressing their own environmental impact now rather than waiting for legislation to come into force.”