Alumni News

Alumni List (By Country)

Company Category Countries of Operation Description Arqlite Environment Argentina / USA Arqlite recycles what nobody else can – transforming complex plastic polymers into high efficiency materials for the construction industry. …

MCN Logo

Research: Leadership Team Attributes

Overview | Team | Plan | Reviewers | Program Highlights Mixed-gender teams were at least twice as likely to be successful as all-male teams and all-female teams in all success …

MCN Logo

Research: Reviewer Accuracy

Overview | Team | Plan | Reviewers | Program Highlights Individuals with CEO experience (56% of the whole set) were 25% under-represented in the most accurate set. Individuals with professional …

MCN Logo

Research: Business Plan Attributes

Overview | Team | Plan | Reviewers | Program Highlights Business plans with an excellent assessment of their market are three times as likely to be in the highest revenue …

MCN Logo

MCN Update: 20 June 2020

We’re looking to mentor social entrepreneurs who don’t want to be told what to do. Starting or growing a for-profit social enterprise? Apply by July 13th. We don’t have your …

MCN Logo

MCN Update: 21 May 2020

We’re wrapping up our spring cohort, and this is what we are hearing from our entrepreneurs:“Getting feedback from so many different kinds of expertise is huge. It felt very smooth …

MCN Logo

MCN Update: 30 March 2020

Transitions and Resilience Greetings and Salutations. I hope you are well and safe. In the past few months, the Mentor Capital Network (formerly known as the William James Foundation) has …

MCN Logo

MCN Update: 21 October 2019

Network, Works, Wonders Dear Ian,  Two of my peers, who run well know social impact accelerators, recently told me that they think the MCN runs the best program in the …

Peer to Peer Call: Working with unpaid Champions

The topic of this call is for those of us who run for-profit businesses, but have partners who are not employees, but who are champions of the work we do because we are mission-driven businesses. And what are your best practices in that, because it’s both similar and different from the traditional employer-employee relationship.

MCN Logo

MCN Update: 17 July 2019

The Network Works An international development funder recently told me she liked for-profit social enterprises, because while traditional service providers did good work, if you stopped giving them money, they …

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

12 Startups to watch in Kenya in 2019

Kopo Kopo offers a software-as-a-service that enables the 30 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets to accept, process, and manage mobile money payments (e.g.SafaricomM-Pesa,AirtelMoney).

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.

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.

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.

10 startups chosen for NAB-backed fintech accelerator program

The final 10 startups chosen for the program include ZigWay, a mobile app that lets low income families access small loans of under $200 quickly and cheaply, and Emotics, a regtech company using facial recognition to measure user engagement with online compliance training.