Explore GEN family of websites, social media experiences, blogs and more.

Unleashing ideas.
Strengthening startups.

Back to search results
    Date submitted
  • 30-Mar-2018

Access Diamonds


We aim to go beyond product and service quality and set the highest standards in sustainable economic development in less developed nations by providing access, not aid. Africa is being drained of resources by the rest of the world and it is losing far more each year than it gains. Africa alone loses $192 billion each year to the rest of the world. Whilst rich countries often talk about the aid their countries give to Africa, this is, in fact, less than $30 billion each year. This why our mission is to provide access to capital and global markets, rather than the debilitating aid that often crushes industry, economies and the very hearts and souls of local communities.

Beta Project- Kono, Sierra Leone

Our model is to provide capital, tools and the training necessary for landowners to properly mine and help shelter their lands, so it can’t get bought out by mega-corporation by creating a Coop called Kono Coop.

Through the Kono Coop, we secure land rights through licensing without taking control of their lands and provide capital for equipment to mine cut and finish diamonds. Instead of taking advantage of them like other mining companies, we then provide landowners with an online platform where their diamonds are sold. A 40% of retail price goes to the landowner, and 20% goes to the KONO COOP where 10% is invested in infrastructure (roads, power, water), and the other 10% is invested in meso-fund account that gives loans or investments to local entrepreneurs from $5K-$50K that is desperately needed across the Africa continent to stimulate economic growth through entrepreneurship.

Finally, been rooted as a socially conscious company, we’re committed to change, not only increasing the standard of living for landowners but we aim to grow subsistence food after mining the lands.

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

We divide the market into "Future Grooms," "Suburban Husbands," and "Young Working Women." Men will be our priority target because according to our research, "surprise factor" is still what makes the engagement ring market flourish in the U.S. Engagement rings are considered an essential investment in any marriage proposal in the U.S.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

For Consumers: Affordable Conflict-free Diamonds: creating a market for social good in the diamond industry Landowners: Contribute and give access not aid to help improve landowners mined, cut and sell their diamonds to global market.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Fas Lebbie the founder is from Sierra Leone is the grandson of 2 chiefs from the Kono region and his name is literally 'little chief' so he has unique access to thousands of private acres of mining land, government officials, mining experts, security and more. The number one spot in Africa and the world is soccer. The most famous structure for soccer is 4-4-2. We believe in that same philosophy when it comes to revenue share. 40% of retail price goes to the landowner, 40% goes to the platform and 20% goes to the Kono Coop where 10% is invested in infrastructure (roads, power, water), and the other 10% is invested in meso-fund account that gives loans or investments from $5K-$50K that is desperately needed across the continent to stimulate economic growth through entrepreneurship.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

We will start our beta test in Kono district, Sierra Leone West Africa. We have direct access to little over 100 acres and hope to employ and train over 100-300 locals. The Kono District was chosen because of one of the founders Fas Lebbie a senior at the University of Utah who is from there Kono district in Sierra Leone who has personally been affected by a civil war until he moved to America with his family. The Kono region is considered to be one of the world’s most abundant source of diamonds in the world. I also have Advisory Board Members to help ensure the success and security: Brenner Adams Adjunct Instructor, Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy. Brenner has worked with some of the biggest or coolest brands in the world like Xbox, burton, DC shoes and Cannondale and was crucial in their success. Brad Williams who is the director of the Entrepreneurship program at the U and has proven business development on large scale in the company like the Skullcandy and stance Courtney McBeth is the Executive Director of the Sorensen Impact Center here at the U and has years of global experience from the Hinkley Institute. Matthew Wride is the COO of DecisionWise and former head of Kirton McConkie south, as a lawyer and business strategy leader Matt is very interested in helping us succeed. Brigham Daniels is the professor of Environmental Law at BYU who has lead many successful impact tour with students to Africa to assist in many ways.