Alumni News

TOGO: Soleva launches ‘Cizo’ project for rural electrification

It is within this context that Soleva is entering the solar kit market. The company is part of the Paygo Ventures consortium, formed by Wawa Energy Solutions and Aphelion Energy, two companies based in the United States and Ivory Coast respectively. Soleva’s activities were launched in Vogan, located in the Maritime Region in southern Togo, in the presence of the Togolese authorities.
https://www.afrik21.africa/en/togo-soleva-launches-cizo-project-for-rural-electrification/

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

2019 ‘Best Lantern for Backpacking’ Helps Protect Survivors of Disaster and Conflict

The partnership between LuminAID and ShelterBox gives light and hope to people displaced around the world. The features that make LuminAID’s products popular among backpackers also make them an essential aid item delivered by international disaster relief organization, ShelterBox.
https://www.prweb.com/releases/2019_best_lantern_for_backpacking_helps_protect_survivors_of_disaster_and_conflict/prweb16345297.htm

Multi-tasking electric stove sparked in Cedar Valley

A new Cedar Valley-based company is hoping to bring sustainable, safe access to electricity to those who need it most. The company, Terraoak, has created a patented smokeless cookstove that is able to convert heat energy into electricity and output it through a USB outlet.
https://clayandmilk.com/2019/05/29/multi-tasking-electric-stove-sparked-in-cedar-valley/

Sustainable packaging: Five solutions Dell has introduced

Chakr Innovation pitched the idea to Dell, resulting in the tech company now using the ink on 1.5 million Dell packaging boxes across India each year. At the time of launch, Dell estimated that the process would help clean the same amount of air breathed annually by about 110,000 people.
https://www.packaging-gateway.com/features/dell-sustainable-packaging/

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 Ecopreneurs Alleviate Poverty in Africa

At just 16 years old, YELI founder Andrew Mupuya recognized a need in the Ugandan market for paper bags. The Ugandan government had recently discussed banning plastic bags to alleviate plastic pollution that results in environmental degradation. Starting Yeli with just $14 in 2008, Mupuya now employs more than 50 locals at his growing business.

https://www.borgenmagazine.com/how-ecopreneurs-alleviate-poverty-in-africa/

Solaris Introduces Biolite SolarHome 620 to Tanzania

Solaris Tanzania is proud and excited to announce its new partnership with BioLite, involving the addition of the BioLite SolarHome 620 to our Solar Home Systems (SHS) product line – tailored especially for the last mile market. The partnership builds on the existing partnership between BioLite and PaygOps, which integrates our industry leading software with the BioLite SolarHome 620 hardware.
https://www.solaris.co.tz/post/solaris-biolite-partnership

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/

Zero waste fashion: Q&A with US brand Tonlé

Meet Tonlé, the San Francisco-based womenswear brand made entirely from surplus fabric discarded by apparel manufacturers in Cambodia. The brand’s motto is “every thread matters”: the scraps they cannot transform into new clothing are cut into strips and individually hand sewn into “yarn” for new clothes. The scraps left after that are mixed with recycled office paper and sticky rice to make tags. Working in this fashion leaves 2-3 percent waste, compared to an average of 40 percent in a typical factory, the company claims on its website. Packaging is made from recycled paper and cardboard — except when wholesalers or warehouses specifically demand a plastic wrap.
https://fashionunited.uk/news/business/zero-waste-fashion-q-a-with-tonle/2019051743229

A fantastic use for plastic in Tanzania

Not so. The company’s founders, Evanna Lyons and Alexis Cronin, wanted to make furniture they would buy themselves. “That was our whole aim all along,” says Lyons, a psychotherapist from Meath who also works in the local hospital. “It had to be impossible to tell it from any other furniture. And nobody believes it until you sit on it.”
https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/a-fantastic-use-for-plastic-in-tanzania-1.2646906

The Katerva Awards

Founded in 2009 by Meg Wirth—who now serves as chief strategy officer—and Allyson Cote—who stepped down last year from her COO post—Maternova participated in Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s first accelerator program, taking the leap from idea to action after it was “percolating for a long time,” according to Veenam.
https://www.golocalprov.com/business/ri-tech-and-innovation-report-the-katerva-awards

Women veterans encouraged to hone their business savvy

Aesop Technologies of Norfolk specializes in next-generation solar-powered technology. Its current focus is called Aesop Nucleus, a miniature solar concentration system meant replace portable power generators and, eventually, commercial solar panels.
https://www.dailypress.com/news/military/dp-nws-women-veterans-summit-20190515-story.html

ABB’s MGS100 microgrid solution enables self-reliance for 65 Indian villages

ABB, a pioneering technology leader, is writing the future of safer, smarter and more sustainable energy for 65 villages in India. Working in collaboration with Husk Power Systems to develop clean energy microgrids, the companies are using renewable energy to reduce household energy costs by up to 40 percent and improve productivity in 85 percent of factories and small businesses.
https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=240725

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/

Wells-Goodfellow Vacant Parcels to Receive $1 Million in Rainscaping, Helping MSD  Meet its Pledge to Reduce Stormwater Pollution

The installations will collect and manage about 2.4 million gallons of rainfall each year from a 6.9 acre area, slowing rainwater down and increasing infiltration to improve Mississippi River water quality. This project represents MSD and implementation partner Greenprint Partners’ push for equitable distribution of funds and high-impact rainscaping projects in underinvested areas.
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b1490f731d4dfc24eb042a8/t/5ccb16e2ffd51600010bbb9e/1556813538578/Press+Release_+Vacant+Parcels+to+Receive+%241+Million+in+Rainscaping+Improvements.pdf

5 Women-Owned Companies Revolutionizing the Zero-Waste Movement

“Living in North America you can easily separate yourself; you don’t see landfills or trash being burned. You don’t see waste in the ocean,” Rachel Faller, founder of Tonlé, tells Teen Vogue. “In Cambodia, you see the influx of trash from the way corporations design and manufacture products.”
https://www.teenvogue.com/story/zero-waste-movement-women-owned-brands

How 2 GWU alums are making meals cheaper for students — and bringing local restaurants business

Now they’re positioning their online marketplace to grow, to attack the food waste problem and help students who struggle to regularly afford meals. They recently got a shot in the arm from the New Venture Competition at GW, a pitch contest for resident startups to secure funding. And Last Call cleaned up.
https://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2019/04/24/how-2-gwu-alums-are-making-meals-cheaper-for.html

Big Win at SXSW by Sproutel, Slater and More

“I’m so very proud of our team for both awards, and they represent very different achievements,” said Aaron Horowitz, co-founder and CEO. “For me, the People’s Choice Award means a lot because it was chosen by all of the attendees. I was blown away by so many of the companies and products I saw at SXSW so this award, in particular, was a great honor.”
https://www.golocalprov.com/business/ri-tech-and-innovation-report-big-win-at-sxsw-by-sproutel-slater-and-more

TerViva’s $20 million financing tops recent funding news in Oakland

TerViva BioEnergy makes low-cost, tree-based feedstock for the biodiesel market at 10 percent the cost of corn-based ethanol. It restores productivity to idle agricultural land while generating clean energy, supporting local food production and restoring environmental health. Its non-GMO tree crop can be grown with little or no irrigation and produces oilseeds that are processed into oil for biofuel, plant protein for animal feed or biogas and biomass for baseload electricity generation.
https://abc7news.com/business/tervivas-$20-million-financing-tops-recent-funding-news-in-oakland/5258996/

These 5 New Startups Are Turning Heads And Changing Minds

Another household necessity that no one wants to talk about are sanitary pads. Periods are pretty much taboo conversation in most cultures, but Saathi Pads are hoping to change the “yucky” into the “yes!”. Saathi Pads are made from banana fiber, so they’re fully compostable and biodegradable. They also are free from bleaches and perfumes so you can easily say bye bye to that nasty pad rash.
https://feminisminindia.com/2019/04/17/these-5-new-startups-are-turning-heads-and-changing-minds/

Biosense: Low-cost medical diagnostic devices, for rural doctors

While volunteering in rural India 10 years ago with several NGOs, Abhishek Sen, a doctor, saw a large number of people suffering from non-communicable diseases but few ways to diagnose them. “There were several families suffering from serious non-communicable diseases. The male would be hypertensive, the female would be anaemic and the kids would be underweight,” recounts Sen, who along with Yogesh Patil, a classmate from TN Medical College and BYL Nair Charitable Hospital, Mumbai, and a doctor, decided to come up with technology to deal with the problem.
http://www.forbesindia.com/article/innovation-factories/biosense-lowcost-medical-diagnostic-devices-for-rural-doctors/53083/1

Affordable water disinfecting nano-silver paper filters

Folia Water has also just received a $400k contract from Unilever Global Innovation to prove the consumer sales recipe in partnership with the Unilever Bangladesh PureIt team.
https://makingprosperity.com/solutions-details/affordable-water-disinfecting-nano-silver-paper-filters

Smog-busters: Dell uses ink made from pollution

Dell “discovered” Chakr during its 2018 Innovation Olympics competition. Explains Oliver Campbell, Dell Technologies Director of Worldwide Procurement & Packaging, Dell is constantly on the lookout for small companies with innovative new sustainable packaging technologies that it can nurture and support through its supply chain expertise.
https://www.greenerpackage.com/adhesives_coating_inks/smog-busters_dell_uses_ink_made_pollution

Customers Applaud 9mobile’s Iska Weather Service

Customer-focused telecommunications company, 9mobile, has said that its Iska Weather (forecast) service launched recently in partnership with weather forecasting portal, Ignitia, has gained impressive traction among the target users over the short period since its introduction.
https://businesspost.ng/2019/04/10/customers-applaud-9mobiles-iska-weather-service/

Heard About The ‘Smart Kiosk’ That Is Empowering Disabled Women & Improving Lives In Rwanda?

Electricity was unavailable, or perhaps epileptic at best, in parts of Burundi, and his folks lived in an area that was particularly notorious for week-long blackouts. Thus, the locals had to make long trips to neighboring communities that were not as badly hit. And such journeys were not always fruitful – there were days that culminated in futility.
https://weetracker.com/2019/04/03/rwandan-entrepreneur-henri-nyakarundi/