Press

BB2C Featured in Christian Science Monitor repost, In Rural Cambodia, Water Pumps Help Farmers Help Themselves (CSMonitor.com as reposted from dowser.org, May 2011)

Paula Shirk Named One of ‘Brooklyn’s Extraordinary Women’ by Kings County District Attorney (brooklynda.org, March 2010)

BB2C Donates Soccer Equipment (New York Daily News, December 2007 & January 2008)

BB2C’s Founder Paula Shirk: a “Mainstream Medici” is featured in an article by Joan Oleck and Laura Collins-Hughes appearing in the November/December 2007 edition of “Contribute New York.”

Kim, BB2C’s program manager, is co – featured in a blog written by Jana Svedova co-founder of Synergy Social Ventures.

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Later that week I met Kim, a Cambodian woman who is the local project manager for Brooklyn Bridge to Cambodia. BB2C imports tredle pumps that enable small-scale farmers to water their fields efficiently and grow high cash crops during the dry season. On the way to visit farmers using these pumps, Kim chatted to us in great English and gave us insights into life in Cambodia. She also told us about her work with BB2C, laughing as she explained that often when she first comes to a village they call her “the cheating NGO”. This is because she goes to villages to explain the value of buying a product that will enable farmers to increase their income, not to bring free snacks and give things away.

Kim explained how her family’s farming background helped her to understand the value of the pumps, and why she felt selling them rather then giving them away would ensure the pumps got to the farmers that would value and use them most. When we arrived at the farm, I watched her chatting easily with the farmers, checking on the pumps, jumping in to remove a mouse stuck in a pump and wading knee deep into a swamp to clean a hose. The naturally charismatic “salesperson” that she is, she already had other farmers waiting for her to find out how they could get a pump.

On the two hour drive back to Phnom Penh, which is bumpy and uncomfortable enough in a car, I though about Kim doing this drive on a motorcycle with coils of hose in front and behind her pulling the pump behind the motorcycle. Undeterred by lack of resources such as a truck, she just gets things done.

It is this kind of enthusiasm, resourcefulness, critical thinking, passion and ability to overcome countless obstacles that we look for in entrepreneurs. More than good ideas, good entrepreneurs are hard to find. When investing resources into early stage ventures, we are really betting on the entrepreneur. I’d say these two young people are pretty good bets.

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