Alleviating Poverty through Profit with the Development of Enterprise and Enterprise through Development

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Alleviating Poverty through Profit with the Development of Enterprise and Enterprise through Development
Posted to: Community - General by Joseph Louis Feigelson (10), Mon, 08 Aug 2005 06:23:33 PDT

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Let us make it our goal is to identify and discuss and implement sustainable business models that address the needs of South Africa’s and ultimately of the world's poorest citizens. Let us link the pursuit of profit with the goal of economic development and create a new lens through which traditional business and development models can be viewed. Through this lens, we explore the rise from poverty for those customers currently underserved by markets worldwide.
This concept emerges from addressing and finding solutions for the priority problem which is poverty alleviation and developing the concept of “Alleviating Poverty Through Profit”:
The goal is to create a new platform for the discussion, implementation and development through enterprise of best practices, new research, and on-the-ground activities related to business engagement with low-income communities, and private sector-led developments. We encourage feedback from development professionals, business leaders, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, policy makers, academics, activists, and practitioners and to participate in contributing in a positive ways to solving problems that ultimately affect all of us.
The Problem
Simply stated the problem is poverty and a desired result of a solution would be the alleviation of poverty and at best the eradication thereof.
The Solution
The solution lies within an integrated multi-dimensional approach. The concept of poverty alleviation is indeed a broad concept so let us address, discuss and implement best practice ideas that address immediate concerns and form part of a solution for the rise out of poverty.
In practice then, the priority problem is housing or the lack thereof and we can all agree that there could be a possible solution, so let us discuss housing as the first topic.
The next priority problem can be addressed under “Nutrition.” Nutrition encompasses and addresses health especially in relation to the HIV/AIDS and immunity. Nutrition also addresses education as it is imperative for learners to have adequate nutrition. Nutrition also addresses food security issues.
What if there was a vegetable that would grow in any climate, would rival meat in nutritive value, would mature in 3 to 5 days, could be planted any day of the year, would require neither soil nor sunshine, would rival tomatoes in Vitamin C, would be free of waste in preparation and could be cooked with little fuel or solar energy? Is there such a thing? There certainly is!
You will see that solutions to these two priority problems contribute in part to alleviating poverty while providing employment and entrepreneurial opportunities as well as housing and food.
A major cause of poverty in South Africa and this is probably true for most developing and third world countries, is the lack of opportunity for earning income in rural areas. This results in a migration from rural areas to urban areas, the proliferation of squatter camps and the demand for urban housing. A solution lies in the provision of an agricultural crop than can be grown as a cash subsistence crop, thus supporting a rural economy. Is there such a crop? There certainly is and this will be revealed towards the end of this document.
The Opportunity
We have a window of opportunity in South Africa of sustainable development through the government’s housing subsidy program. There are not many governments that provide housing subsidies for poorer citizens and this subsidy arises as a measure against previous injustices and may not always be available. We therefore need to utilize this subsidy as the first “stepping stone” towards the alleviation of poverty.
Perhaps the “Housing Crisis” is more an economical crisis with millions of families who simply cannot afford a “normal” house, no matter how cheaply a builder tries to build it. I will demonstrate that through the provision of housing, this could indeed go a long way towards solving the ‘economic crisis.”
So what if we could use the latest space-age materials and technologies and combine them with “cutting edge” designs that incorporate energy saving features? What if these structures provide many advantages over current deliveries such as price, aesthetics etc. Would these not result in long term savings for the homeowners in service charges? Through education and information on passive solar design and options regarding home orientation and window placements, clients would realise more savings and a more comfortable home.
What if we could develop such a top-structure? Would we want to plug the holes left by failed projects where the infrastructure is inadequate and overpriced and the plots are too small for future expansion?
What if we were to develop a world’s first modern African village that any one of us would be proud to live in? Is this possible?
A stock of affordable housing is essential to a vibrant and competitive town, city or country. Stable and affordable housing is also central to reducing poverty because it provides a foundation from which families can more easily find and keep jobs, attend to the health and education of their children, and move toward self-sufficiency.


A world’s first: delivery of Sustainable, Smart Modern African, Digital Eco-village (SMADEV) • Modern deliverables for the 21st Century (Solar, photovoltaic and waterless applications) • Job creation and entrepreneurial opportunities • Poverty Alleviation • Enterprise through development and development through enterprise
Developers, Real Estate Companies Local municipalities and especially the public are looking for new exciting innovative alternative development initiatives that work. This concept provides an opportunity for Business Leaders to exercise their Corporate Social Responsibility budget, to brand their name in a positive way and leave a lasting legacy.
In a nutshell
n’Kozi Homes is the brainchild of inventor, patent holder and eco-preneur, Joseph Feigelson. n’Kozi therefore has propriety technology that provides an integrated solution for the number one demand product in Africa, namely energy efficient housing.
In short, the technology and system uses conventional SABS and Agrément approved building materials and solar innovations. This allows the provision of comfortable and more than adequate shelter for a multitude of uses. This product, composed of interlocking equilateral triangles, provides more volume over a larger surface area using less material than any other system while providing the strongest structure known to man. The equilateral triangles are made from 45 pieces of identical material. (What could be simpler?) The triangles are then assembled in a side by side manner to form a framework shaped as a truncated Icosahedron or gyroelongated pentagonal pyramid.
The structure and design is completely scalable and can be built in large dimensions without requiring intermediate support. The introductory model can be viewed as 2 separate modules, which can be mixed and matched in various combinations. This makes for infinite design possibilities and expansion possibilities.
The National Technical Director of the NHBRC (National Housing Bureau and Registration Council), Fred Wagenaar remarked that the n’Kozi concept was the most innovative concept he had seen in the last 32 years that he had been evaluating innovative housing
Joseph Feigelson was nominated and accepted in two categories for The Tech Museum Awards in the Economic Development and Health categories. The Awards honors individuals and organizations that are creatively applying technology to benefit humanity.
It is apparent that the history has been failure in mass delivery of housing. It is also apparent that we are failing miserably at present in the delivery of mass housing. If we keep doing things in the same way and expect different results, this is insane.
(Perhaps we can take a lesson from history and Henry Ford. When Henry Ford wanted to start mass manufacturing the going earning rate was $1 per day. He decided to pay his workers $2.50 per day so they could afford to purchase his cars and Henry Ford almost single handedly created the American middle class!) We could pay workers double and then some providing they purchase n’Kozi houses and continue to build and earn income?
The n’Kozi concept offers positive workable alternative solutions to the challenges faced by the existing type of housing developments and those that are currently practiced by developers.
The delivery of these homes will create skills transfer leading to job creation and entrepreneurial opportunities resulting in poverty alleviation.
It is important that you consider the n’Kozi structures for a number of reasons:
These include:
• The importance of increasing the range of housing opportunities available to the demands of the growing populace.
• An innovative, energy efficient, cost-effective and affordable housing and delivery mechanism.
• Aesthetically pleasing and mildly reminiscent of traditional African structures. • Turn-key solutions (Project linked) • Solar innovations • ICT (Information and Communication Technology) infrastructure. Through development of the ICT infrastructure and using ICT for social benefit, a domino effect can be achieved that will create and improve access to markets. It would expand the use of, or improve digital hardware and software, lower the cost of and widen the reach of digital connectivity while providing skills transfer to improve and broaden the digital technology and life skills base. ICT is therefore an integral part of the arsenal against poverty. The development of a Smart Sustainable Modern African Digital Eco-Village (SMADEV) will serve as a: • Blueprint for a Model Village development that can be rolled out in all Provinces as well as other countries, especially on the African continent. • Cultural, Tourist, Health and Eco-Villages would serve as a tourist venues and highlights. Tourist accommodations can be offered within the scope of the developments. Revenue streams for SMADEV would be obtained through tourism, sales of agricultural produce, handicrafts, arts and entertainment and cultural foods.
The benefits of a n’Kozi structure:
• Affordable • Fire resistant • Weather proof • Unique African style • Premanufactured and easily transportable • Cool in summer, warm in winter (Insulated) • Scalable, Spacious (Multitude of uses, eg classrooms, clinics, etc) • 5-10 days to build • Eco- friendly light weight building materials • Portable – simple disassembly and reassembly • Free lights for life (Optional) • Free hot water for life (Optional) • Waterless Toilets (Optional) • Modern African Style • Thatched roofing (Optional) • Cultural painted exterior (Optional) • Available in kit form • Agrément and SABS • NHBRC
Vision A development for a targeted community (defined in any way except racially) that provides amenities for living comfortably, affordably and in harmony with nature through indoor and community organic gardens and permaculture (edible) landscapes. The focal point would be a community centre with a laundry facility, meeting and recreational facilities with outdoor park/picnic facilities. Other optional community facilities could include a crèche, a frail care centre, swimming pool, gymnasium, jacuzzi, etc This would be surrounded by clusters of n’Kozi homes that are 33 m2 to 99m2 houses depending on the community. The community would also have an ICT centre with computer facilities for email, Internet and residents may order groceries online that would be delivered to the community centre thus saving transport and hassles. One would also be able to purchase cellular technology and airtime. Philosophy
Our philosophy is an evolving discourse between people and their environment, technology, structures, space, and the meaning thereof. If Design is the building of a cultural ideal, then the poetic integration of technology into real spaces, for real people is an appropriate goal for our times. We cannot solve 20th century problems with 20th century thinking, we need new and innovative approaches that clearly distinguish between providing solutions or contributing to problems. Almost all evidence points to the fact that any community with sub-standard housing is also a community with poor health, a high incidence of infectious diseases, high crime rate, low family stability and low moral standards. Under such conditions, attempts at improving health, education and social responsibility are destined to fail. The reverse is also true insofar that an improvement in housing conditions leads to a spontaneous attempt at improving living conditions with quite a pronounced “knock-on” effect. We all realize that it is no longer feasible to waste precious fresh water for sewage and we need to develop without waterborne sewage by using waterless toilets that save fresh water and costly infrastructure.
The framework of our housing system is currently made from timber but can also be manufactured from mild steel. The exterior and interior cladding are really academic and standard approved building materials can be used.
The maturation of the SA Pine industry over the past decade, has made timber a suitable, renewable, sustainable, cost effective and SABS approved construction material, thereby facilitating n’Kozi Homes timber framed structures to make an impact in the entire housing market. Our technology is unique, has a patent, and has no competition with similar design or concept. We have completed the design and development and construction of our first five products and prototypes; IKOZI 1, allowing us to offer a larger, better and less expensive structure compared to the standard structures that are prevalent in the government subsidized low-cost housing sector.
n’Kozi Homes currently offers an entry level model of 33 square meters (“IKOZI 1”) and up to 44 square meters with an optional internal mezzanine addition. The structure has a timber framework (SA Pine), and is clad with extruded rigid polystyrene (flame retardant and non-toxic - Isoboard), and the exterior is coated with adhesive cement (Cemcrete or Skimplast). Isoboard , Cemcrete and Skimplast are Agrément approved building materials and make the EIFS (Exterior Insulated & Finishing System). (All components are standard approved building materials) The IKOZI 1 has a 3.7 x 3 meter addition that accommodates the front entry door, toilet, shower bathroom door and window and kitchen sink in cabinet. The main ground floor area is undivided providing versatility but is designed to accommodate double bed and pedestals, 2 clothes cupboards, lounge suite, and entertainment centre. (See architectural plans and renditions on the website)
n’Kozi Homes entry level model consists of 2 modules that can be mixed and matched in various arrangements. The first module upon which our patent is based consists of 15 equilateral triangles with each length being 3.7 meters and provides 22 square meters. The 3.7 meters is the minimum length that allows our structure to be considered furniture-friendly as determined by CAD, (Computer Aided Design). The addition to the structure provides an additional 11 square meters bringing the total floor space without the mezzanine to 33 square meters. The add-on can be accommodated on 5 sides of the IKOZI module. The original IKOZI can be accommodated on four sides of the addition. For example if a client wanted a 44 square meter structure, this could be accomplished by adding two 11 meter modules to the IKOZI and then it is called IKOZI 2. A 55 meter structure would have 3 modules added and would be called IKOZI 3 and so forth up to IKOZI 5.
Our patented system does not require a system of hubs or connectors for the apexes, only basic woodworking functions. The necessary woodworking functions required to produce an n’Kozi structure are:
1.) Surfacing Wood needs to be sized so that all the pieces required producing the framework are uniform in size. This is normally accomplished with a Thickness Planer or a Moulder.
2.) Ripping,
If a Moulder is not used, the wood pieces would need to be rip-sawn longitudinally to obtain the correct profile. This is best accomplished using a Table Saw or Band Saw.
3.) Cross-cutting Compound bevel mitred cuts are required on the ends of the structural members. This is best accomplished with a Radial Arm Saw.
Initial production requirements can utilize basic stationary woodworking tools and can be locally manufactured in most woodworking facilities across the country, wherever the timber, tools and are available.
Prices: Our prices are based on individual units and have not made allowances for economies of scale
• DIY kits from R10,000 • Erected shells from R1000 per m2 • Turnkey with options from R2000 per m2
Basic introductory model of 33 m2 shell includes 4 windows, interior/exterior door and waterproofing.)
A turnkey 33 square meter structure including a passive solar hot water system and photovoltaic solar panel for 5 electric light system, kitchenette and toilet sink and shower and waterless toilet from R2000 per m2
A 5 person crew can build a shell in 5 days and turnkey in about 10 days, or approximately 30 per year and with 10 crews operating this would provide 300 “units” per year, which would be a sustainable and profitable while impacting the housing situation.
Our proposed housing system meets or exceeds NBR/NHBRC Technical Requirements, has a high speed erection and can provide lockable space for materials on the first day of construction and can be fully completed within a few days. Our structure meets with the design criteria by providing combinations of 22 and 11 m2, has the minimum requirements with separate shower, bath, and toilet and sink unit. The 66 m2 unit will have additional third bedroom. All our products are locally manufactured and produced in South Africa.
For additional information please contact Joseph Feigelson at n’Kozi Homes at 021 552-7660 or 082 820-9646 And/or visit
Joseph Feigelson - Director n’Kozi Developments (Pty) Ltd
“Wanted - A live vegetable that will grow in any climate, rival meat in nutritional value (and tomatoes in Vitamin C), matures in 3 to 5 days, requires neither soil nor sunshine, has no waste and can be eaten raw” Dr.Clive McCay of Cornell University composed this perplexing ad.
It is really only in the past thirty years that "westerners" have become interested in sprouts and sprouting. During World War II considerable interest in sprouts was sparked in the United States by an article written by Dr. Clive M. McKay, Professor of Nutrition at Cornell University. Dr. McKay led off with this dramatic announcement: "Wanted! A vegetable that will grow in any climate, will rival meat in nutritive value, will mature in 3 to 5 days, may be planted any day of the year, will require neither soil nor sunshine, will rival tomatoes in Vitamin C, will be free of waste in preparation and can be cooked with little fuel and as quickly as a ... chop."
Dr. McKay was talking about soybean sprouts. He and a team of nutritionists had spent years researching the amazing properties of sprouted soybeans. They and other researchers at the universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Yale and McGill have found that sprouts retain the B-complex vitamins present in the original seed, and show a big jump in Vitamin A and an almost unbelievable amount of Vitamin C over that present in unsprouted seeds. The figures are impressive: an average 300 percent increase in Vitamin A and a 500 to 600 percent increase in Vitamin C. In addition, in the sprouting process starches are converted to simple sugars, thus making sprouts easily digested.
Extensive research proved beyond a doubt that sprouts are the food of the future. The Chinese nobles, 5000 years ago were consuming sprouts for healing and rejuvenation.
During WW11 when the United States was concerned about a possible meat shortage, the scientific community advised the government that the consumption of germinated seeds (sprouts) was the best and the cheapest alternative to proteins in meat. According to medical experts and nutritional researchers, sprouts come as close to being a "perfect food" as anything available. The nutritional content of sprouts is many times greater than the original food value of the seeds and beans from which they sprout. •Pound for pound, a salad made from a variety of sprouts, compared with the traditional lettuce salad, would cost less than half as much yet provide five times as much protein, six times as much Vitamin C and seven times as much of the B Complex Vitamins. Whole dried peas have no Vitamin C, yet when sprouted for 48 hours, provide more Vitamin C (ounce per ounce) than fresh oranges. Sprouts save food preparation time since they require no cleaning, peeling or chopping, and can be cooked (if desired) in a mere fraction of the time required for most foods. Sprouts have the highest concentration of nutrition per calorie of any food. • Broccoli sprouts carry potent anti-cancer agents.
Sprouts are actually freshly germinated edible seeds such as beans, grains and nuts. • As a 'living' food, Sprouts continue to grow vitamins after being harvested. • Captain James Cook had his sailors eat sprouts, limes and lemons for their Vitamin C content to aid in curing scurvy. • Sprouts contain an abundance of highly active anti-oxidants that prevent DNA destruction and protect us from the ongoing effects of aging. • The most powerful enzyme-rich foods are sprouted seeds, grains and legumes. Sprouting increases their enzyme content as much as 43 times more than non-sprouted foods. The enzymes in Sprouts help our body digest the nutrients in our food and boost the life-giving activity in our body. Although the use of sprouts as a food source for man is as old as mans' use of seeds, it is only in recent times that science has begun to unravel the chemistry of a sprouting seed, and its potential significance in both human and animal nutrition. Although a dry seed is characterized by a remarkably low metabolic rate, just moistening of the seed can trigger tremendous and complex changes which consist of three main types: the breakdown of certain materials in the seed (i.e., breakdown of complex fats, starch conversion into simple sugars, breakdown of protein into amino acids), the transport of materials from one part of the seed to another, and the synthesis of new materials from the breakdown products formed. The only substances normally taken up by the germinating seeds are water and oxygen. Sprouts are known for their high enzyme activity never to be surpassed at later stages of maturity. The importance of enzymes in ones diet has been emphasized by a number of researchers. According to Tom Spies, M.D. (reported by Garfield G. Duncan in Diseases of Metabolism), "the respiration and growth of cells involve the synthesis of complex substances from simpler chemical compounds, By means of substances called enzymes, the cells are able to perform these functions without increased temperature and pressure. Enzymes are catalysts produced by living cells from combinations of organic substances, including the vitamins. These enzymes retain activity even when separated from the living cell." Sprouts are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, chlorophyll and protein. They are low calorie and contain little or no fat. The fat they do contain is the healthy fat that your body needs. As some of the most nutritious foods that exist, they are great in salads, on sandwiches, added to soups, stir fried with vegetables or oven roasted. Enjoy these nutrient-packed delicacies as a snack all by themselves or added as a garnish to a main dish. Eat them raw or cooked. Of course, as with all food, the nutritional value is greater when they are eaten raw, but eating them cooked is better than not eating them at all.
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