In 2014 Maarten Goethals – co-founder of EIGHT – discovered that micro-finance as a tool was only successful in 5% of the cases to generate more and better entrepreneurship, crucial for local economic development. He started to look in existing research and stumbled upon the instrument of temporary unconditional cash transfers. These so called UCTs seemed to generate very positive effects on local economic development. At that day the NGO-community in Belgium was not at all keen to test such an approach.
In 2015 Maarten met Steven Janssens – co-founder of EIGHT – who pitched the idea to give a basic income to a village in Africa, film it and make a documentary about it. Since NGO’s weren’t willing to collaborate on that, they started their own non-profit, found allies such as Françoise Chombar and in 2017 they started giving the 150 inhabitants of Busibi, Uganda a monthly unconditional cash transfer for 2 years.
In 2019 the first results were published by the Institute of Development Policy (IOB). More recently in 2020 EIGHT is starting with the third village in Uganda and the first village in the DR Congo with funding partners such as Proximus and Umicore. In September 2020 the documentary Crazy Money will go in Belgian première at Docville, Leuven.
In this talk Maarten will elaborate on the need to change the mainstream discourse in development cooperation. He will touch the topic of impact funding from the perspective of an activist who wants to achieve a systemic transformation and the challenges that go with that ambition. After the talk you will have a clear insight in the strengths and challenges of the business model of EIGHT. Maarten will invite you to challenge him and discuss the next steps.
PRICE? 5 € to pay in cash at the entrance
WHEN? Monday, the 7th of September, from 6.30 to 8 pm.
WHERE? Jozef II-straat 20, 1000 Brussels
CONFIRM YOUR ATTENDANCE by sending an e-mail to – firstname.lastname@example.org (space is limited)