Antananarivo May 29, 2013. GRET and the four other shareholders (Taf, I&P, Sidi and Apem), jointly held the official launch of the social enterprise Nutri’zaza today in Antananarivo. While 50% of Malagasy children suffer from chronic malnutrition (according to the latest demographic and health survey in Madagascar IV in 2008-2009), creating Nutri’zaza has helped perpetuate GRET’s activities and commitments started since 2002 to fight against child malnutrition in Madagascar (see Nutrimad Project). With FIND support, GRET has developed an innovative model of governance to ensure the success of the social company in the long term.
Through the Nutrimad project, Gret has been developing since 2002 a complementary food , known as the Koba Aina, suitable to the needs of children aged 6 to 24 months. As a product affordable to the poor populations (Bottom of the Pyramid), the Koba Aina is distributed through a innovative network, the Hotelin-jazakely (restaurants for babies). With 15 million square meals distributed since its inception, the system has demonstrated its usefulness and viability. The creation of Nutri’zaza will perpetuate the activities and expand the network from 40 to 100 Hotelin-jazakely within three years. Today, 25,000 children aged 6 to 24 months benefit from Nutri’zaza’s activities, and they will be 193,000 in 2016.
Business orientation involves the pursuit of profit. However, in the case of Nutri’zaza, this may be a risk for the affordability of the service to poor populations; hence the social entrepreneurship model chosen. GRET’s President, Pierre Jacquemot said, “The challenge is toto combine the efficiency of the economic approach with the fairness of the social approach, while addressing the challenge of sustainability.” “The search for a governance model ensuring a long-term social mandate implies innovation that we seek to support, through FIND, the Innovation for Development Fund.”
“Nutri’zaza is a hotbed of innovation, as confirms Mieja Vola Rakotonarivo, its Executive Director, both with respect to the mechanism used to make good quality infant flour available for poor populations, and regarding its governance model.” NUTRI’ZAZA, though being a limited company with management autonomy and related obligations, meets the criteria of a social enterprise. This means that its business plan is tailored to fulfil its social mandate, as long as it complies with ethical criteria and ploughs back all its profits in the development of its activities. To secure its social mandate, several safeguards have been implemented, including a shareholders’ agreement and binding statutes, a charter, the creation of an ethics and social monitoring committee gathering historical Nutrimad partners, namely the municipalities hosting the “hotely”, and the definition of indicators to measure the social impact. The AFD support in the early years will help push for economic balance in the best conditions. To replicate the Nutri’zaza experience and contribute to the debates on social entrepreneurship, the Nutri’zaza White Book gathered the commitments of the company’s directors and management.