Alltop

Alltop répertorie de nombreux articles sur l'entrepreneuriat social à travers le monde.

24.07.2016 Becoming a Software Engineer in the Non-Profit Space in India

In this post I’m going to talk about how I became a software engineer in the non-profit/social change world, and share some advice for…

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21.07.2016 How to Land a $2 Million Social Venture Investment

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Social entrepreneurs are driven by passion. We are people who have bold ideas to solve huge challenges, and have almost singular vision to the execution of our idea. Our products are our babies…”  -Ashley Thomas of Evidence Action

As with most business ventures, when a social entrepreneur’s ideas aren’t backed by a practical plan, they fail during their beginning stages. Evidence Action, a Washington, D.C.- based social enterprise, is the antithesis to this trend. The Dispensers for Safe Water initiative was born in 2006 when a team of inquisitive researchers picked apart a failing social enterprise called WaterGuard, which had scientific proof of its products' health benefits. The organization now serves more than 4.1 million people, and aims to reach 25 million by 2018.

Unsafe drinking water is a pressing problem in global health and development, with about 1 billion people in the developing world lacking access to it. Diarrhea, which is linked to inadequate drinking water and sanitation, kills more children than malaria, AIDS, and measles together.

Additionally, according to the World Health Organization, developing countries with improved drinking water and sanitation grow 3.7 percent annually on average. Many entrepreneurs have tried and failed to solve the problem. In Kenya, Population Services International marketed a chlorine filtration system called WaterGuard. WaterGuard’s products were both cheap and scientifically proven to diminish diarrhea — but only 10 percent of people with access used them.

After Harvard and Berkeley researchers, with the help of Innovations for Poverty Action, found a solution to WaterGuard's community engagement problem, Population Services International gave Evidence Action the go to develop the Dispensers for Safe Water project. For the amount of money and energy being put into the marketing and implementation, WaterGuard, among many other similar initiatives, weren't making the kind of impact the developing world needed. 

Today, with a $2 million investment from the $45 million Innovative Investment Alliance, Dispensers for Safe Water is currently rapidly expanding throughout Uganda, using WaterGuard’s filtration method. But its model is very different. Centered on innovative financing and adaptable, sustained, consumer-based implementation, this model was created for staying power.

After decades of conflict, only 21 percent of the population in Uganda has access to safe drinking water. In 2013, Dispensers for Safe Water officially put its method to practice in Kenya and, later, in Malawi. From there, it developed a reputation in the social enterprise community for efficiency, effectiveness and innovation. This eventually attracted investors that made the expansion into Uganda — where it is desperately needed — possible. But the project had plenty of growing pains before it earned the $2 million investment.

The Innovation Investment Alliance

The Innovation Investment Alliance, comprised of Mercy Corps, the USAID, and the Skoll Foundation, made an important decision when it invested in the project — social innovation is still a new idea in the humanitarian sector.

Mercy Corps, known for expertise in impact measurement, joined the alliance in 2012 to compliment the USAID's scaling expertise and the Skoll Foundation's expertise in "investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs," says Mercy Corps.

The alliance only invests in the most promising social entrepreneurs. Evidence Action's meticulous planning gave it an edge over the competition.

Providing Evidence of the Model’s Effectiveness

The Dispensers for Safe Water team believed that chlorine filters must be accessible, free, and located directly at the community’s water source in order to continually engage community members. The team’s ideas presented a seemingly simple solution to WaterGuard’s issues, but it took diligent planning.

First, Evidence Action publicized findings on the effectiveness of chlorine, using proven science and the pressing problem of diarrheal disease as leverage for introducing their innovative idea for how to make people actually use chlorine filtration.

The project team then publicized the results of extensive WaterGuard research. The findings stressed that the Kenyans with free chlorine dispensers at the site of the community’s water source used the method the most. 

The team created a model to install dispensers — according to requests — directly at the community’s water source. The water source is fitted with a valve that delivers a small, consistent amount of chlorine. With the right amount of chlorine, community members can fill their an empty buckets or jerricans with safe water. The service is free.

The work didn’t slow down after the plan was formulated. The team had to convince potential investors that its “baby” could fend for itself.

An Innovative Business Model

Money is the essential nutrient for any entrepreneur’s idea. Evidence Action manages its money in versatile, outside-the-box ways. The team doesn’t only market itself to potential donors through its water filtration method; it also boasts its business model as a promising foundation for the project’s continued success. The team proves its commitment to economic self-sufficiency and sustainability with evidence of profit generation and cost-effective production.

The researchers found that dispensers are the most cost-effective water filitration method. Additionally, Dispensers for Safe Water also sells carbon credits. After the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol commodified and created carbon emission goals for individual nations, projects in developing countries can gain credits that can be sold for profit.

The project earns carbon credits because using chlorine as a filter, rather than using firewood to boil water, reduces carbon emissions.

 

Image by Evidence Action

“There is no other organization that has this dual focus: Determine rigorously and scientifically evaluated interventions with proven impact that we turn into highly scalable programs with operations and business models that are able to touch millions of people,” says Katrin Verclas, Evidence Action’s director of Global Communications and Advocacy.

Sustainable, Adaptive Implementation

This project empowers people living in poverty by giving them ultimate control over their resources.

Once the dispensers are set up, an elected community member encourages use of the dispenser, reports any problems, and refills the dispenser with chlorine. Field staff and trained community members are on hand if anything goes wrong with the dispenser.

Evidence Action’s community-based approach ensures investors that their money isn’t wasted on a project that community members won’t use. In order to ensure sustained effectiveness, team members in the field make measurements of the percentage of households using chlorine.

Attracting partners and investors is an integral part of the process, too. Dispensers for Safe Water continues to attract more partners in order to fund its ambitious goals. When two districts in Uganda suffered an outbreak of cholera, Unicef and World Vision Uganda took note of the project’s effectiveness, and marketed the dispensers — at no cost to Evidence Action.

Looking to the Future

With a lot of foresight in their beginning stages, devoted social entrepreneurs can bring lasting change to the world’s most vulnerable communities.

From a laboratory, to a budding idea, to Kenya and Malawi, and finally, expansion into Uganda, Dispensers for Safe Water has hit its stride. And it continues to improve and grow. After only three years in the field with its safe water program, Evidence Action’s scalable, innovative methodology foretells the future of global development, Verclas says.

21.07.2016 But, What Is Content Marketing? 2016 Back to Basics Series

The following post is copyrighted by Return On Now - Austin Internet Marketing Consulting Services

Several months ago, we empaneled a group of communications professionals to tell us where to focus our content marketing time and treasure this year. Then we dove a little deeper into how small/medium businesses and nonprofits could apply all that internet marketing knowledge to their own endeavors. It’s been nagging at me for years now, before and after that post… read more →

The post But, What Is Content Marketing? 2016 Back to Basics Series appeared first on Return On Now.

21.07.2016 SustainAbility is a Media Partner for Sustainable Brands '16 Copenhagen

As the demand for new products, services and business models that deliver purpose and profit continues to soar, brand leaders who are tapping into this shift are thriving in the face of uncertainty. But who are the brands that are succeeding? What will it take for them to consistently outperform within changing 21st century market dynamics? How are they activating systemic-wide change for a sustainable future?

Join nearly 500 global business leaders in over 50 sessions, workshops, plenaries, evening events, and co-create sessions for SB’16 Copenhagen from 26th-28th September 2016, to share ideas and discover how to mobilize your brand to succeed in the new economy. Global brand leaders like Heineken, Unilever, Lego and Novozymes are succeeding by Activating Purpose with sustainability-led innovation to create and scale positive impact. Over the years they have moved beyond the concept of purpose driven brand leadership to actually developing real tools, techniques, methods and models for activating purpose. It’s time to drive your brand into the winners’ circle.

Find detail-rich case studies, practical know-how and specific implementation tips to accelerate your business success. Plus, more importantly, find the partners and solutions providers who can help you along the way. Sustainable Brands is home to the global community of courageous optimists who are reshaping the future of commerce worldwide.

Register today with code NWsaSB16cph for a 15% discount.

SustainAbility is a media partner for Sustainable Brands ’16 Copenhagen.

19.07.2016 Finding Wealth in Waste — A Waste Picker’s Tale

For the past 30 years, Mohammad Kaleel has been in the waste collection business.

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18.07.2016 Syria's Health Crisis: An Old World Disease Returns

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Conflict can ravage all aspects of society — education, health, and the economy, just to name a few. In Syria, which is devastated by years of civil war, a once-controlled infectious disease called Old World cutaneous leishmaniasi, or CL, is spreading rapidly.

The disease, which is carried by sand flies, can cause severe scarring and the only known treatment is chemotherapy. Syria’s poor sanitation and overcrowding in its informal living settlements makes prevention practices nearly impossible. And the country doesn’t have the financial resources available to find a vaccine. Due to the social stigma around scarring caused by the disease, some have attempted self-vaccines, which can be successful, but come with risks of infection.

With many Syrians facing fatal circumstances, CL, which is typically not fatal, is put on the backburner. It’s even classified as a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. Despite this, this health concern has gained very little attention, let alone, funding for accessible diagnostic tests and potential safer treatments.

15.07.2016 South Sudan Aid Worker calls for Donations

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"I've never seen a place that needs as much [help] as South Sudan. I've also not seen a place that openly appreciates it as much as South Sudan."


-Leslie McTyre, program coordinator with the
International Medical Corps.

The ongoing violence between supporters of South Sudan’s president and supporters of its vice president claimed hundreds of lives this week. Since the conflict began in 2013, one in five South Sudanese have been forced to flee their homes

Amongst the turmoil, aid workers persist on the front lines. Leslie McTyre, a program coordinator with the International Medical Corps, called on donors to give generously.

15.07.2016 The Fight Against Poverty Has No Borders — A Pakistani Rang De Intern’s Story

My name is Naimal Sohail, a Pakistani girl currently residing in the UAE. I’m majoring in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language…

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