Women Deliver 25: Social Enterprises That Deliver for Girls and Women
Every year, in honor of International Women’s Day, Women Deliver highlights the global progress being made for girls and women. This year, voters selected from a list of 25 social enterprises that are changing the lives of girls and women around the world by addressing issues of health, gender equality, education, environmental sustainability, and more. Women Deliver worked in partnership with Echoing Green, a global nonprofit that provides seed funding and technical assistance to emerging social entrepreneurs, to select these 25 social enterprises from the semifinalists of the Echoing Green Fellowship Program.
Voters selected their top 3 social enterprises to win the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge. (Women Deliver ensures regional representation amongst winners.) The top 10 social enterprises will be awarded a full scholarship to attend the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (May 28-30, 2013) and compete in the Social Enterprise Challenge and “Pitch-Off” that will be held at the conference on May 30th. Winners will also be given fast-track access to TrustLaw Connect, a program of the Thomson Reuters Foundation that connects lawyers looking to do pro bono work with social enterprises and NGOS in need of legal assistance.
Top 10 Winners:
Black Girls CODE
Founder: Kimberly Bryant
Country: United States, Africa
Purpose: Black Girls Code’s mission is to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures. Since its inception, Black Girls Code has aimed to increase the computing proficiency of young girls of color to prepare them for upper level STEM curricula in high school. A STEM education can enable girls to study computer science or other STEM subjects at the college or graduate level, and, ultimately, provide them with the necessary skills to work in the technical sector. Black Girls Code targets girls, ages 7 to 17 who are underrepresented minorities in STEM industries (African American, Latina, and Native American).
More info: BlackGirlsCode.com
Founder: Katia Gomez
Purpose: E2E invests in higher education for high school girls to ensure that they can reach their fullest potential, contribute to their communities and lift themselves out of poverty before becoming pregnant. Girls are given leadership training to become confident role models through a unique sponsorship program that creates access to secondary school and provides computer skills and financial literacy workshops. Additionally, E2E provides mentorship opportunities to community members who are interested in developing community service projects.
More info: educate2envision.org; facebook.com/educate2envisioninternational; educate2envision.tumblr.com
Founders: Susanna Young, Gabrielle Palermo, Clay Tyler, Billy Walters
Country: Kenya, eventually global
Purpose: G3Box aims to improve access to maternal health care by providing greater access to clean, well-equipped medical facilities. G3Box converts steel shipping containers into durable, semi-mobile, stand-alone medical and maternity clinics in developing countries. Through this innovation, the enterprise hopes to help millions of women around the world give birth in sanitary and safe conditions.
More info: g3box.org
Global Health Media Project
Founder: Deborah Van Dyke
Purpose: Global Health Media Project is filling the critical need for better health-worker training in low-resource settings around the world by producing a series of videos on midwifery and newborn care. These videos educate practitioners and communities about best practices that can protect and save the lives of pregnant women and their babies. The projectís open-access videos are used worldwide, and distributed at low cost via the Internet and mobile devices.
More info: http://globalhealthmedia.org/
Founder: Svetha Janumpalli
Countries: Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, India, Bangladesh, and Cambodia
Purpose: New Incentives is one of the world’s few conditional cash transfer nonprofits. It provides women living on less than $0.30/day the opportunity to earn an income on the “condition” that they invest in some aspect of their own human capital – health, education, or other family or household needs. By offering women the opportunity to invest in themselves and their families, New Incentives helps prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, enables at-risk adolescent girls to pursue secondary school, and more.
More info: newincentives.org
Founder: Ateba Crocker
Country: United States
Purpose: Each year, an estimated 200,000 American youth, primarily girls, are at risk of being trafficked for sex. Teen Revolt is a hybrid social franchise that educates, engages, and empowers teens to take the lead in the fight against sex trafficking through peer-to-peer education, activism and social entrepreneurship. Teen Revolt aims to harness the leadership potential of American teenagers to inspire activism and raise awareness about sex trafficking.
More info: teenrevolt.org
Founders: Shannon Farhoud, Rana Khaled Al Khatib, Melanie Fridgant, Ashlene Ramadan
Countries: Qatar and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region
Purpose: Torath Production is comprised of four young women who are passionate about sharing stories of communities coming together to overcome obstacles, adapt to revolution and maintain cultural ties in the midst of change. Using their visual eye, Torath aims to teach others about the MENA region – specifically, the untold stories of women facing injustice within their society.
More info: torathproduction.com
VOICE 4 Girls
Founder: Averil Spencer, Allie Gross, Ilana Shushansky
Purpose: VOICE 4 Girls provides English communications and life skills programming to empower marginalized adolescent girls to recognize and act upon their economic, personal, and social value. Through a series of camps run in schools, VOICE helps girls develop confidence and support networks while enhancing their educational and employment opportunities.
More info: voice4girls.org
Founders: Mario Ferro and Mari Sawai
Country: Based in Bangkok, Thailand. Working in all areas in South East Asia, including Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand
Purpose: Wedu hopes to catalyze the next generation of local women leaders by providing innovative financing options for university and lifelong support of mentors. The enterprise creates a positive cycle of development by identifying girls committed to local issues; investing in their education; and mentoring them to lead. These girls can then become the next generation of local leaders, mentors, and financers in their communities.
More info: wedufund.org
Woman To Woman Foundation
Founders: Nargis Shirazi, Dr William Lubega and Amos Zikusooka
Purpose: One in ten schoolgirls in Africa skips classes or drops out of school completely due to their period. Woman to Woman Foundation ensures that rural schoolgirls have access to reusable sanitary pads and panties to enable them stay in school. Woman to Woman Foundation also distributes a “promise bracelet” that the girls can wear to raise awareness and increase education of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Eventually, Woman to Woman Foundation hopes to expand panty pad distribution to schoolgirls' mothers in schools it supports.
More info: facebook.com/womantowomanfoundation; www.woman2womanfoundation.org
Aakar Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
Founders: Jaydeep Mandal and Sombodhi Ghosh
Country: India and Afghanistan (Proposed: Philippines and Kenya)
Purpose: Aakar aims to improve the lives of rural communities by identifying grassroots innovations and providing them a platform to serve as solutions to localized issues. These "rural best practices" present a tremendous opportunity to generate employment opportunities if they are scaled up in a sustainable manner and are complemented by the latest product development technology. For example, Aakar’s village level sanitary napkin production units, for example, are owned and run by women entrepreneurs. They are producing low cost, high quality, biodegradable sanitary pads. Using indigenous raw materials, the produce low cost, high-quality, biodegradable sanitary pads for the community. Through this innovative process, Aakar address issues of health, hygiene, social isolation and school drop-outs while creating jobs.
More info: aakarinnovations.com
Founder: Jonathan Baker
Country: Kenya, expanding to East Africa and the world
Purpose: Develatech's distribution of clean cooking technology will reduce the fatal effects of indoor smoke inhalation that affects 2 million women and girls worldwide. The Develatech stove requires 50% less wood, decreasing the time needed to collect wood in the bush and thus lowering the risk of violence and sexual assault. The stoves will also be sold through women's networks, which can provide women with an alternative source of income.
More info: community.cleancookstoves.org/partners/item/14/565
Founders: Anya Cherneff and Bennett Cohen
Country: Nepal, with plans to expand
Purpose: Empower Generation advances community sustainability and gender equality by starting and supporting women-led renewable energy enterprises. It provides women with the financing, workforce and technical training and support needed to create sustainable businesses in rural Nepal, where many people donít have access to energy or are exposed to long power outages that last up to 18 hours a day. Through Clean Energy Funds started at womenís microfinance groups, Empower Generation provides loans to purchase safe and healthy products for families.
More info: empowergeneration.org
Found in Translation
Founder: Maria Vertkin
Country: United States
Purpose: Found in Translation provides low-income bilingual women with the opportunity to achieve economic security through its Medical Interpreter Certificate job training program. The training is free and includes support, such as on-site childcare, transportation, mentoring, career coaching and job placement. As medical interpreters, graduates enter a field with an estimated 42.2% job opportunity growth by 2020, and a median annual wage of $43,380.
More info: found-in-translation.org
Founders: Sejal Hathi and Tara Roberts
Purpose: girltank is a community hub and crowdfunding platform designed to help female innovators and changemakers grow their social enterprises. It sources the most promising women social enterpreneurs and gives them the tools, training, funding and network to scale their vision. girltank shares their stories with the world through targeted multimedia campaigns, and offers investors an easy way to find and support their projects. In two years, the enterprise has grown to 1,500 girltankers in 105 countries.
More info: girltank.org, facebook.com/girltankorg
Founders: Michael Belinsky, Michael Eddy, Avnish Gungadurdoss
Countries: Colombia, India
Purpose: Instiglio designs Social Impact Bonds, also known as pay-for-success contracts, to create and encourage results-based social services in low- and middle-income countries. Through this innovative approach, governments or donors pay NGOs only for successful outcomes, rather than for activities. For example, Instiglio has designed social impact bonds and results-based programs to keep girls in school in India (funded by DFID) and to reduce pregnancy among 12-15 year-olds in Colombia (funded by a Colombian mayor).
More info: instiglio.org
Founder: Casey Santiago
Country: Currently India, Nepal, Uganda, Burundi, eventually global
Purpose: On Kanguís crowdfunding website, users search profiles of pregnant women and contribute $10 or more so that a specific mother-to-be and her baby receive safe birth services. These women will receive access to basic healthcare services ñ clean, well-lit facilities and caring, skilled staff ñ that can prevent up to 80% of maternal deaths. Kangu deploys these micro-donations directly to vetted frontline healthcare providers for approximately $200 per woman, less than 1% of the usual cost.
More info: kangu.org
Founder: Robin Chaurasiya
Country: India and Nepal
Purpose: Kranti empowers the daughters of sex workers to become agents of social change by teaching them community organizing and leadership skills. These young girls are provided with an environment that encourages open discussions and curiosity, and they are trained to teach sex education classes to other girls. One of the girls who entered the program, 18-year-old Shweta, was so inspired by Krantiís visits to sex workersí unions that she designed and implemented an empowerment program for Nepali girls at-risk for trafficking.
More info: kranti-india.org; india.blogs.nytimes.com; youtube.com/watch
Founder: Bijal Shah
Country: India, United States
Purpose: In India, thousands of women walk door-to-door in major cities, collecting, sorting and attempting to resell used saris. Unfortunately, most of these women earn a living of less than $1 a day doing this laborious trade. lallitara is looking to change that. The enterprise buys secondhand saris from India's sari-pickers and transforms them into one-of-kind products, that it sells online. Through this process, it creates a new marketplace that supports India's vibrant sari-reuse tradition and provides sari-pickers a livable wage.
More info: lallitara.com
Marine Gifts Social Enterprise
Founder: Thi Duyen Hong
Purpose: Marine Gifts is an award-winning social enterprise that works with low-income women in Vietnam to conserve threatened marine and coastal environments. The enterprise aims to protect biodiversity, promote gender equity and alleviate poverty by providing women with alternative employment opportunities that benefit conservation efforts. The Marine Gifts model includes organizing conservation expeditions to coastal environments, selling handicrafts made from by-products of marine areas; and running vocational, life-skills, and conservation trainings for women in Marine Protected Areas.
More info: marinegifts.vn/en; facebook.com/pages/Marine-Gifts-Social-Enterprise/230522017013438
Founder: Frank Richardson
Purpose: OpenTrial harnesses the power of internet exposure and public scrutiny to deter abuse, exploitation and injustice by developing-world police, judges and prosecutors. For example, it works to prevent the rape and sexual exploitation of female suspects by police. OpenTrial strives to end justice sector dysfunction that can lead to devastating results, such as when a raped woman is charged with adultery, fornication, or falsely alleging a crime.
More info: opentrial.org; opentrial.org/unjust-process/item/100-jailing-the-raped-in-pakistan
Founder: Sasha Fisher
Countries: Rwanda and Uganda
Purpose: Spark MicroGrants provides microgrants of between $2,000-$10,000 to low-income, rural communities to design, implement and manage local projects, such as building a school, farm or clinic. Spark facilitates weekly group meetings over the course of five months to support collaborative project planning, which can help women gain greater respect and encourage increased leadership in their community.
More info: sparkmicrogrants.org
Tataowar Coaching & Consulting
Founder: Carolin Zeitler
Purpose: Tataowar coaches and empowers high-potential women in organizations and communities to leverage their potential, take up leadership roles, and make their voices heard on boards and in “C-suites” (a corporation's most senior executives). Coaches encourage women to find their own authentic leadership style and embrace their female perspective. Tataowar promotes gratitude, working together towards a common purpose and breaking down barriers between genders and cultures.
More info: facebook.com/Tataowar; linkedin.com/company/tataowar-coaching-&-consulting?trk=top_nav_home
Founders: Jennifer Tsai and Matthew Edmundson
Country: India, eventually global
Purpose: Iron deficiency is a silent epidemic that disproportionately harms women and girls, including over 40% of all pregnant women. Its effects are devastating: maternal and infant mortality, impaired cognitive and physical development, and lifelong diminished productivity. Violet Health aims to break this destructive cycle through culturally appropriate iron-fortified products, specifically developed with these girls and women in mind.
More info: violethealth.com
Women Innovation Forum Global
Founders: Luzette Jaimes, Lawrence (Kana) Eyre, Iman Bibars (Chair of Board)
Countries: Egypt and the Arab World
Purpose: Women Innovation Forum (WIF) strives to create a safe and enabling environment for women to develop their own approach as business and social entrepreneurs. WIF provides women-friendly systems and services to allow women easy access to skills, funding, networks and other opportunities to develop winning endeavors in the entrepreneurial arena. Ultimately, WIF aims to unleash profound change in society’s paradigms to support a more inclusive society.
More info: womeninnovationforum.org