Grameen and Acumen raise Rs 10 Cr credit facility for social impact companies via SDG bonds

Grameen Impact Investments and Acumen announced India’s first sustainable development goals (SDG) bond. The LIFE SDG Bond provides a credit facility of Rs 10 crore to five for-profit social impact enterprises. These organisations – LabourNet, Empower Pragati, Edubridge, iSTAR, and iPRIMED – work towards enabling sustainable livelihoods for youth across India in both rural and urban areas.
https://yourstory.com/2019/06/investment-bonds-social-impact-grameen-acumen-labournet

How Ecopreneurs Alleviate Poverty in Africa

With African populations projected to continually increase over the upcoming decades, waste production and management will equally be an increasing area of concern. Uncollected or improperly managed waste is a public health concern as it causes diseases and environmental degradation from the polluted land and water. Only 40 percent of waste is generally collected by the government in Nigeria, and, of that, only 13 percent is recycled.
https://www.borgenmagazine.com/how-ecopreneurs-alleviate-poverty-in-africa/

How LabourNet is bridging the gap between employers and jobless migrants

Workers are looking for jobs which they don’t get. The market is looking for particular kinds of workers which it does not get.
The two pass each other like ships in the night. Why this yawning gap? This was the thought that struck Gayathri Vasudevan in 2008 when she was working with the International Labour Organisation.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/how-labournet-is-bridging-the-gap-between-employers-and-jobless-migrants-119051800847_1.html

Qwenu’s top companies changing Africa | Wecyclers: disrupting waste recycling in Nigeria

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wecyclers has created a new narrative in Nigeria’s recycling industry. The social enterprise came with a long-needed model for waste collection, enabling it to record massive growth and impact within a very short while.
https://qwenu.com/2019/05/17/qwenus-top-companies-changing-africa-wecyclers-disrupting-waste-recycling-in-nigeria/

Wecyclers Wins €200,000 Prize In Waste Management

Wecyclers, a Lagos-Based waste recycling company founded by Mrs Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola in 2012, has won the 2019 King Baudouin African Development Prize worth €200,000 (N104 million) for its development work in Africa.Herve Lisoir, Coordinator Africa and Developing countries, King Baudouin Foundation, told newsmen on Wednesday that Wecyclers won the prize for its contribution to solving waste management problems not only in Nigeria but Africa.

https://naijabizcom.com/2019/05/02/wecyclers-wins-e200000-prize-in-waste-management/

Unilever gives N18m grant for waste management

The grant-cum-partnership will allow Unilever trade carbon footprints from its operations by helping to prevent the emission of C02 caused by improper disposal of its post-consumer waste products.
https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/unilever-gives-n18m-grant-for-waste-management.html

With a pitch for crowd manufacturing, FranciePants wins Open Works’ EnterpRISE Venture competition

Founded by Francie Wasser, the company is creating 100 percent cotton underwear for females that is actually stylish and cute. But the true innovation comes from the unique manufacturing style, called “crowd manufacturing,” that provides women with access to training and certification so they can make the products in their home for a livable wage.
https://technical.ly/baltimore/2018/11/21/with-a-pitch-for-crowd-manufacturing-franciepants-wins-open-works-enterprise-venture-competition/

John Legend Gives Grants to Ex-Convicts Turned Entrepreneurs

Will Avila employs 15 people full-time, all ex-convicts. Avila pays above minimum wage—an important move in the Washington, DC, area where he operates, as the cost of living is high and a person on a minimum wage might still need additional income—a dangerous temptation for an ex-con.
http://www.fox5dc.com/entertainment/john-legend-helping-support-former-inmates-turned-entrepreneurs-with-their-startup-businesses

WeSpire Adds New Extensions to its Solutions Portfolio, Enhancing Employee Health and Well-Being

WeSpire, the employee engagement measuring/monitoring solutions provider is looking at extensions to its core product offerings.The company’s industry-recognized SaaS platform will now include two new modules – Positive Culture and Wellbeing – helping progressive firms enhance worker well-being, and envision a sustainable organizational value/culture/behavior ecosystem.

https://www.hrtechnologist.com/news/employee-engagement/wespire-adds-new-extensions-to-its-solutions-portfolio-enhancing-employee-health-amp-wellbeing/

LabourNet to promote Tata, Google-backed ‘Internet Sathi’ program in rural India

LabourNet, a Bengaluru-based social enterprise, has been roped in to expand Tata Trust and Google India-backed internet awareness program, ‘Internet Sathi’ in the states of Maharashtra and Haryana, said a top official of the company in Hyderabad on Friday.
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/labournet-to-promote-tata-google-backed-internet-sathi-program-in-rural-india/articleshow/62573096.cms

This Boston startup wants to help your employees meditate

WeSpire is a 20-employee Boston firm that helps large companies run employee engagement programs. Customers pay an annual, per-employee subscription fee to access WeSpire’s library of app-like campaigns, including programs that encourage workers to reduce their carbon footprint or volunteer in the community.
https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2018/01/11/this-boston-startup-wants-to-help-your-employees.html

Koya Leadership Partners Acquires ReWork

Koya and ReWork are aligned in their vision to match mission-driven talent to the world’s most socially innovative organizations. Both companies are driven by the belief that the right person in the right place can change the world. The firms’ leadership team feels strongly that no one should have to choose between making money and making a difference. They also recognize that mission-driven organizations deserve the most talented, committed, and passionate professionals to support their efforts.
https://medium.com/on-meaningful-work/koya-leadership-partners-acquires-rework-293842078eb6

LabourNet CEO: Key to upskilling informal workers is building on existing knowledge

LabourNet works among the youth in urban and rural India, has been in the field for the past 10 years, focussing on RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning), and bridging skill gaps in education and entrepreneurship, especially in medium, small and micro enterprises.
https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/labournet-ceo-key-to-upskilling-informal-workers-is-building-on-existing-knowledge/article9980591.ece

Adult Literacy Startup GogyUp Aims to Help Those Lost in Translation

In the United States, around 36 million adults are reading below a third grade level, and less than a quarter have the resources to boost their literacy skills. A team of educators and techies hope to tackle that issue through GogyUp, an adult literacy platform that helps users learn English while reading everyday documents.

https://www.americaninno.com/minne/twin-cities-startup/adult-literacy-startup-gogyup-aims-to-help-those-lost-in-translation/

BEMOSS®-Plus Demo at the Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC)

The Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) program is a collaborative platform for the development of smart cities and communities, led by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). BEM Controls is partnered with Arlington County Government and the City of Alexandria to demonstrate its groundbreaking Open-Architecture Platform for Internet of Things (IoT) Devices Monitoring and Control within the city and community environment.
https://www.bemcontrols.com/single-post/2016/08/01/Designers-Embrace

Game on: 7 approaches to hack employee engagement

Susan Hunt Stevens, CEO of WeSpire, once set out to rid her home of disposable paper products. To her dismay, she calculated that completing her goal contributed to saving one-third of a tree.
https://www.greenbiz.com/article/game-7-approaches-hack-employee-engagement

Making wealth from recycling

Sometimes she gets truckloads of plastics from collectors. The next step is to get them sorted, packaged and ready to go into the marketplace. This is because there are many companies looking for them. For her, local landfill waste collection is only the beginning of a recycling cycle.
http://thenationonlineng.net/making-wealth-recycling

New Class of 500 Startups Has Been Announced; These 4 are Workforce Related

Labor Voices — Loosely employment related, this startup helps protect big apparel brands by empowering labor in developing countries to police work conditions. With a cell phone, workers can report violations such as poor working conditions and unacceptable salaries. Think of it as Glassdoor for the supply chain.
https://www.laborvoices.com/single-post/2017/09/14/New-Class-of-500-Startups-Has-Been-Announced-These-4-are-Workforce-Related

Confronting the Last Mile Problem in the Developing World

After her first trip to India, she decided to return with a plan to address this problem. As a graduate student at MIT, Rajasingh traveled to India two more times to conduct research through MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) and her thesis focused on the gap between making technologies and getting them to Indian villages. A tip from her thesis reader, Media Lab lecturer Joost Bonsen, connected her to a Harvard student that was cross-registered in one of his classes, Jackie Stenson who shared her passion and they came up with the idea for their company over lunch at Mass. Avenue’s Flour Bakery.
https://alum.mit.edu/slice/confronting-last-mile-problem-developing-world

Amazons turning waste to wealth

On her return to Lagos, she confronted a city with a major waste management crisis, producing 10,000 tonnes of refuse daily, much of which clog the city streets and leaches chemicals into the soil and groundwater.
http://thenationonlineng.net/amazons-turning-waste-wealth/

Tech Female Spotlight: Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola; CEO Wecyclers

The idea for Wecyclers was developed while I was in the US as a student at the MIT Sloan School of Management, following a five-year career as a corporate software engineer at IBM. I was assigned to a study project to help people at the bottom of the pyramid (people living on less than $2 a day), i decided to work on waste with focus on its uses, collection and processing.
http://smileandmobile.com/2015/10/29/tech-female-spotlight-bilikiss-adebiyi-abiola-ceo-wecyclers/

MEET THE DISRUPTOR

Wash Cycle, which has been around for six years, puts its own spin—pun incredibly intended—on industrial washing. They supply some of the standard laundering fair, including linens, sheets, towels, custodial supplies, floor mats, and clean clothes in bulk for universities and hospitals. They commit to the environmental bit, using all-natural detergents and high-efficiency laundry machines. But it’s the trip that the laundry takes that really sets it apart: Wash Cycle’s wares are carted around via bicycle to their local facilities. The company currently has campuses open in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and currently employs roughly 50, just about 40 of whom are stationed in Philly.
https://thephiladelphiacitizen.org/wash-cycle-laundry-gabriel-mandujano/

Occmundial Acquires Assured Labor’s Service in Mexico

Assured Labor, Latin America’s leader in digital low-wage recruitment, announced today that the company has sold its service in Mexico – EmpleoListo – to OCCMundial.
https://lavca.org/2016/08/30/occmundial-acquires-assured-labors-service-mexico-empleolisto

Wash Cycle Laundry — Up Close And Personal

Wash Cycle Laundry is proving that bikes are commercially-scalable alternatives to trucks for intra-metropolitan freight. Over 3 million pounds of cargo are hauled across Philadelphia and Washington DC since the company began in 2010.
http://untoursfoundation.org/2016/03/wash-cycle-laundry-up-close-and-personal/

20 Global Startups That Are Changing The World

The goal of Nigeria’s only recycling venture is two-fold: to provide value for trash for low-income households, and to raise awareness about the importance of recycling. The latter includes not just the environmental benefits but goes to social welfare, too, in terms of pollution and disease reduction. Wecyclers builds and manages a fleet of low-cost cargo bikes to transport the incentive-based household recyclables to collection hubs. The materials are sorted and then sold to Nigerian recyclers. “Beyond the empowerment of people through efficient use of waste,” writes Wecyclers founder and CEO Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, “we have also found out there is an increasing need for recycling on a larger scale in Nigeria. Nigeria can be said to be at a virgin state in recycling, as very little has been done compared to the volumes of recyclable materials generated and the progress made by other developing states. To this end, we have a resolve to push the recycling agenda in Nigeria.”
https://www.currencyfair.com/blog/20-startups-changing-the-world/

Selling solar to keep Tanzania connected

Solar PV has already begun to take off in East Africa, with companies such as M-Kopa and Juabar providing solar panels to hundreds of thousands of homes since the start of last year, while solar kiosks are springing up across the region to enable customers to charge their mobile phones.
http://www.designindaba.com/articles/creative-work/selling-solar-keep-tanzania-connected

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Yellow Leaf Hammocks exists to empower the Hill tribe members in Thailand to rise out of poverty by creating stable, culturally sustainable, high wage weaving jobs. “We’ve grown to create work for more than 200 weavers so far and we have a waiting list of more people hoping to become weavers!” says co-founder Rachel Connors. “Perhaps most importantly, all of our weavers’ children can afford to attend school instead of working in the fields, [thereby] breaking the cycle of poverty with education [and] new opportunities for the next generation.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Back to the Roots was founded in 2009 by then college seniors Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora after they discovered how to grow gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. Since then, Back to the Roots has evolved from urban mushroom farming to a thriving business on a mission to “undoing food” and reconnecting families to it through fun, delicious and sustainable “ready to grow” and “ready to eat” products. Back to the Roots products are now available in 14,000 retail locations including Target, Costco, Whole Foods, The Home Depot, Safeway, and several other retailers worldwide.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Toilets for People sells affordable and sustainable composting toilets, sanitation consulting services, and training in local capacity building to charity organizations serving communities living in the developing world where conventional sanitation solutions like pit latrines and flush toilets fail. Recently, the company successfully installed and is monitoring the usage of toilets in a Peruvian urban slum called Belen. The slum has a population of 70,000, and many of its inhabitants live in houses on stilts 20 feet in the air to avoid the Amazon River flood waters. Because of this, there are few hygienic toilets, and it’s one of the most challenging locals in the world to install proper sanitation.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Soupergirl serves fresh, homemade soup made with ingredients from small local farms. It serves sustainable soup for delivery or pickup and operates a storefront location in DC. “We’re proud of growing extensively over the past several years while staying true to our core values — cooking healthy, delicious, responsibly sourced food,” says owner Sara Polon. “We still have excellent relationships with a growing network of small, sustainable farms and we’re proud to support them and help them grow. It has not been easy, but it is well worth it.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

The long term objective of Sanergy is to build and scale viable sanitation infrastructure in the slums of Nairobi. The model involves four parts: (i) building a network of low-cost sanitation centers in slums, (ii) distributing them through franchising to local entrepreneurs, (iii) collecting the waste produced, and (iv) processing it into electricity and fertilizer. At each step, the model creates jobs and opportunity while simultaneously addressing serious social needs. “As of June 2015, we have a network of over 700 toilets run by 342 Fresh Life operators,” says communications manager Medora Brown. “Our network is used almost 30,000 times a day, and we remove more than seven metric tons of waste from the community every day. In total, we have removed and safely treated over 5,440 metric tons of waste. In the process, we have created over 725 high-quality jobs in an area where there is 40% unemployment.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/