SOURCE: Small Equity Initiative

Small Equity Initiative

October 14, 2010 12:29 ET

Small Equity Initiative to Pilot Private Sector Disaster Reduction Program

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - October 14, 2010) - The Small Equity Initiative and the NewMarket Greenfield Partnership Program today announced a pilot program intended to urge private sector innovation and investment aimed at reducing disaster risk. The first pilot program event will take place in Nairobi, Kenya beginning October 25th.

Philip Verges, founder of the Small Equity Initiative and Director of the NewMarket Greenfield Partnership Program, joined Margareta Wahlström, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, at a press conference yesterday to mark the International Day for Disaster Reduction as she asked governments and the private sector to develop a new cooperative approach to reduce disaster losses.

"Governments, the private sector and donors need to team up to make cities and communities more resilient against disasters," said Madame Wahlström. "We will not be able to achieve our goals without this strong partnership."

According to the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction released last year by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the cost of disaster-related damage rose from $75.5 billion in the 1960s to roughly $1 trillion in the past decade. And costs continue to rise. This year alone, 235 disasters caused an estimated US$81 billion damage which is already the double of total losses in 2009.

"Disaster risk reduction is an obligation for all -- donors, governments and the private sector," said Toni Frisch from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Department. "We cannot wait for more disasters to happen to understand the benefits of disaster risk reduction policies. It is easy to show the damage caused by a disaster but much more difficult to get attention when the damage is invisible."

Noting that Switzerland already invests more than 10% of its international aid in prevention, he added many disasters were less impactful because of these disaster risk reduction investments. This, for example, was the case for a school in Haiti, which did not collapse after the earthquake.

According to the OECD, global humanitarian assistance was $16.9 billion in 2008, with $12.8 billion coming from governments and $4.1 billion from private funding. In 2008, only 0.7% of the humanitarian aid was allocated to prevention. Although, this is an improvement compared to 0.1% in 2001, there is still a long way to go to reach the 10% target for relief and reconstruction aid and the 1% for development aid that were recommended at the last 2009 Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction.

With more natural hazards expected, it is the world's cities that will bear a tremendous burden. When cities do not function, millions of jobs are threatened, economic opportunities are lost and businesses are disrupted.

Small businesses are an important part of the private sector economy and can play a significant role in improving a community's disaster resilience.

"Working with UNISDR is an obvious partnership for all small businesses," said Philip Verges from Small Equity Initiative. "Small business owners and managers are often members of the community where they provide their products and services."

"Small businesses are an important source of disaster risk reduction support. They can build homes, commercial buildings and civil infrastructure, and provide communications as part of an emergency contingency plan," said Verges.

Pilot Program Launch Nairobi, Kenya October 25-29, 2010

The Small Equity Initiative and the NewMarket Greenfield Partnership Program will conduct a trade mission to Nairobi, Kenya October 25 through October 29, 2010 to provide training for local entrepreneurs in East Africa on start-up and early stage financing, sales and marketing strategies. The UNISDR will join the trade mission to pilot an initiative intended to incent the entrepreneurial business community to pursue new enterprise opportunities that contribute to disaster reduction.

The trade mission will be led by Savanna East Africa, Inc., (PINKSHEETS: NVAE) (OTCQB: NVAE) a Greenfield Partner company focused on the growing economies of East Africa . The CEOs of China Crescent Enterprises, Inc. (OTCBB: CCTR) and NewMarket Technology, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: NWMT) (OTCQB: NWMT) and the incoming CEO of NuMobile, Inc.(OTCBB: NUBL) will also join the trade mission delegation. China Crescent and NuMobile are both participants in the Greenfield Partnership Program and already working together with local East African companies on a number of projects that will be featured on the trade mission, including a wireless, real-time utilities metering initiative that is slated for demonstration during the trade mission.

About The Small Equity Initiative
Small Equity Initiative (SEI) is an organization dedicated to education, advocacy and activism to improve the capital markets for both small business entrepreneurs and investors. SEI is based in the U.S. but serves the global small business community.

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