We believe that many of the world's poorest communities are prevented from engaging effectively in trade and building their prosperity by fundamental gaps in the market or breakdowns in value chains.

TechforTrade works at the interface of technology, trade and entrepreneurship. We support concepts that use the latest thinking in technology and apply it to a trading challenge.   Working with local entrepreneurs, we turn these concepts into sustainable social businesses that improve the livelihoods of the poor.

Bringing fresh thinking to some of the world’s oldest problems.


Open Book Trading

Reinventing the role of the middleman in agricultural value chains in East Africa

Years of mistrust have tarnished the reputation of middlemen, preventing farmers from reaching markets and getting a fair price for their produce.  Open Book Trading’s online platform opens up the value chain, bringing transparency and rebuilding trust.  Our innovative finance model provides credit to previously unbanked micro, small and medium-sized agri-enterprises – the engines of economic growth in developing countries.

Open Book Trading is validating its business model, and aims to scale from next year, and to be working with over 40 000 smallholder farmers within five years.

Improving prices to smallholder farmers by over 10%

3D Printing for Development

3D printing could do for distribution what the Internet has done for information

For millions of the world’s poorest people, obtaining basic staple items that we take for granted is simply impossible.  Most developing countries have little local product development or manufacturing capability, while poor infrastructure drives up the cost of imported goods, putting them out of reach.

If a product can be conceived, it can be designed and sent down the wires to a 3D printer anywhere in the world.

Our vision is to release the power of 3D printing by creating a network of sustainable Digital Blacksmith businesses, combining the ethical creation and sale of 3D printing supplies (printers and filament), skills training and, of course, manufacture of goods most needed by their local communities.


Improving the lives of 1 million people within the next 5 years


TechforTrade is building the 3D Printing for Development ecosystem to support this disruptive innovation

These are a couple of our achievements:


The world’s only fully open source 3D printer built in Africa, constructed from e-waste, 3D printed components and parts easily available in developing countries.


A process for manufacturing 3D printer filament from locally sourced waste plastic, using our low cost, open source 'Thunderhead' extruder, designed by TechforTrade.

If you are a social investor and you would like to find out more about how you can help us grow the Digital Blacksmith venture, please contact

To find out more, please contact us at, Telephone +44 (0)20 3096 7724

UK registered charity No.1137802

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