The Level Market wants to make the procurement of humanitarian aid and development products as easy as shopping on Amazon.
By streamlining the research and pricing process for lifesaving and life-changing humanitarian aid products, The Level Market aims to not only make it easier for organizations to find the right products they need to support their missions, but to also speed up the procurement of these items.
Even as the developed world breathlessly awaits the release of the latest iWhatsit, many of those in the developing world get out of breath just supplying clean water or food for their families, and the harsh reality is that simply having a basic shelter or the bare necessities of life is a daily challenge for many humanitarian aid recipients. And while there is no shortage of organizations and charitable endeavors that aim to alleviate human suffering by trying to deliver items such as tents, lighting, remote power sources, water filters, and clean cook stoves, the research and procurement process can move at glacial speeds.
But a team of committed individuals with experience in the aid sector has come together to create the Amazon of humanitarian aid products, with a focus on making it easier to find and compare quality products and get multiple quotes from suppliers, and to then order them for their programs. The Level Market's mission is "to provide a one-stop-shop for aid and development products," and as of the platform's launch this week, it is off to a great start, with a listing of more than 100 products across 8 categories, with plans to add many more in the near future.
"As aid workers ourselves, we experienced so much frustration when we searched for necessary products following disasters and for development work. We observed the emergence of marketplaces for every other industry, but sadly not for ours. So we left our humanitarian posts to build the next Amazon for aid. Little did we know when we started how enormous the industry really is. So we designed the site for scale, we took into consideration every type of aid buyer and every type of aid product." - The Level Market
This humanitarian e-commerce platform has support from some of the leading organizations working in the aid sector, including Ashoka, Acumen, and the Whole Planet Foundation, and more, and currently has listings from 35 trusted suppliers, including LuminAid, d.light, Envirofit, Del Agua, and more.
"Whole Planet Foundation has recommended TLM to all of our microfinance partners in 70 countries who have an interest in providing these unique products to their borrowers. We know of no other service that offers this selection of products." - Philip Sansone, CEO of Whole Planet Foundation
It's estimated that more than $100 billion is spent each year by aid organizations in response to crisis and refugee situations, natural disasters, and the alleviation of poverty, and The Level Market aims to help these organizations not only speed up the procurement of the appropriate products, but to also help them cut costs by directly comparing products and allowing them to get custom pricing and delivery quotes.
"Marketplaces like have been transformational for almost every industry, yet up to now, the aid world has continued with paper catalogs and mysterious practices. Our team of experts from the nonprofit and manufacturing sectors marched into this complex world of requirements and antiquated systems to streamline the unaccommodating purchasing methods. Our aim is to make buying a water filter for a child in Ethiopia as easy as buying a book on Amazon." - Stephanie Cox, Founder and CEO
Find out more about this 'Amazon of aid products' at The Level Market, and consider passing on the link to those you may know who work in the humanitarian aid sector.