In India, there appeared to be a challenge stumping local entrepreneurs: all attempts to bring the Kokum fruit from villages to nearby cities had failed. Being from a rural community, Shrikrishna wanted to get involved in agriculture and found this problem particularly compelling. He began doing his own research and he quickly discovered that all previous efforts failed because of a greedy middle man. He instantly wanted to create a better solution.
He did not know much about businesses, but he knew that he could use the Internet to try something radically different to promote inclusive economic growth, and level up to SDG 8. He created ConnectFarmer.com, an online marketplace to directly connect people to farmers who grow healthy food in villages. He was not just solving a distribution issue; he saw people getting sick from chemically-modified foods and he wanted to feed a cultural shift to address the scarcity of good food in cities.
He knew he needed to continue learning, to better himself and the new organization, so he searched for an online learning platform to fit his busy schedule. He found Philanthropy University and quickly took 5 courses.
He also began to form friendships with other learners on the platform. Through discussions, he learned that other grassroots social enterprises were also using online marketplaces to make an impact. Discussions helped to better pinpoint problems and understand what he should do. He said that these types of support systems are difficult to access in rural places; online ecosystems like Philanthropy University brought knowledge and resources together.
Shrikrishna says that knowledge is unlimited and always updating. If you learn daily, then you catch up but since you are in a business, you cannot take a lecture or classes everyday in a traditional academic setting – especially if you are searching for more funds to scale up activities like he is. “Philanthropy University saves your time and money,” he says. “You can learn the latest thing and also gain the network, which is very important. That is why I joined Philanthropy University.”