For International Women’s Day, global online voters selected 10 inspiring start-up enterprises to compete in the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge in May 2013
Global advocacy organization Women Deliver today announced the finalists of the Women Deliver 25, an online competition that features innovative social enterprises that benefit girls and women around the world. More than 13,500 votes were cast online to select ten organizations to receive scholarships to the Women Deliver 2013 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (May 28-30, 2013), where they will participate in the Women Deliver Social Enterprise Challenge.
Women Deliver partnered with Echoing Green, a global nonprofit that provides seed funding and technical assistance to emerging social entrepreneurs, to draw the Women Deliver 25 from the semifinalist pool of the Echoing Green Fellowship Program. Social enterprises included in the Women Deliver 25 are all start-ups, in operation for less than two years, that are positively impacting the lives of girls and women around the world.
“All around the world, inspiring social entrepreneurs and small business owners are taking new and creative approaches to making the world a better a place,” said Jill Sheffield, Women Deliver Founder and President. “On International Women’s Day, it is important to remember that individuals worldwide and organizations, in every sector and of every size, all have a role to play to improve the health, education and welfare of girls and women.”
Of the 25 social enterprises featured, eight are based in Asia, four in sub-Saharan Africa, three in the Middle East and North Africa, two in Europe and North America and one in Latin America and the Caribbean. The remaining seven have a global or multi-country reach. The enterprises benefit girls and women in various ways, from G3Box’s work to convert steel shipping containers into maternity clinics in developing countries to Teen Revolt’s projects to educate teens about the fight against sex trafficking.
“We are honored to be named one of the top 10 social enterprises of the Women Deliver 25 competition,” said Svetha Janumpalli, CEO and Founder of New Incentives, which helps women invest in the health, education, and the betterment of their families. "By participating in the Social Enterprise Challenge, we can show the power and multiplier effect of investing in girls and women, and shine a spotlight on social enterprise as a key model to break the cycle of poverty.”
In Kuala Lumpur, representatives from the 10 winning social enterprises will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges, who will select the winner of the 2013 “Global Solution Award.” 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.
Women Deliver 2013 is expected to be the largest and most influential conference on girls’ and women’s health and empowerment of the decade. It will bring together more than 5,000 global leaders to ensure that these issues remain priorities in the lead-up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target date and in the post-2015 development framework.
Full List of Social Enterprise Challenge Contestants (in alphabetical order):
Black Girls Code
Location: USA and Africa
Global Health Media Project
Location: Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, India, Bangladesh, and Cambodia
Location: United States
Location: Qatar and Middle East North Africa region
VOICE 4 Girls
Location: Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand
Woman to Woman Foundation
About Women Deliver: Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization that brings together voices from around the world to call for improved health and well being for girls and women. Launched in 2007, Women Deliver works globally to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal #5 — to reduce maternal mortality and achieve universal access to reproductive health. Building from the groundbreaking conferences Women Deliver convened in 2007 and 2010, Women Deliver harnesses commitments, partnerships, and networks to help prevent the approximately 350,000 deaths of girls and women from pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes that occur every year. Women Deliver’s message is that maternal health is both a human right and a practical necessity for sustainable development. Invest in women—it pays.
Flickr photograph via Robert Crum.