Five Social Enterprises Facilitating More Social Enterpreneurs
We would like to take a minute to recognize some social enterprises that promote economic development by developing human capital around the world! Supporting entrepreneurs and helping them to strengthen their businesses and develop their communities and economies is something PDT endeavours to accomplish, and there are many organizations doing great work in this sector.
Solar Sister creates access to clean energy technology by building a supply chain through women’s rural networks in the most remote communities in rural Africa. It supplies women with an inventory of lamps, business training and marketing support to create their own sustainable businesses. Solar lamps replace kerosene lamps, providing a more sustainable way of decreasing energy poverty. Solar Sister’s work has impacted three countries, facilitated 107 sustainable livelihoods and contributed to 5,990 people having access to solar light.
Founder: Katherine Lucey, former investment banker and chief of operations for Arzu, Inc., a non-profit that empowers women in Afghanistan.
Why we like it: Solar Sister empowers women and brings cleaner, safer and cheaper energy to areas in Africa most in need. Not to mention it helps alleviate poverty: 100 percent of Solar Sister Entrepreneurs can double their household income with their solar business. Solar Sister uses an innovative business model that empowers both its entrepreneurs and their clients.
Jumo is a social network that connects individuals and organizations who want to make the world a better place. Jumo allows people to find, follow and support those working toward solutions on the ground around the world.
Founder: Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and director of online organizing for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.
Why we like it? Besides having an affinity for all things social media, we think providing another forum to promote social entrepreneurship is the cat’s meow.
Indego Africa partners with female artisans in Rwanda to give them access to fair trade business opportunities. Products are sold at high-end retailers across the U.S. and on their website.
Founders: Thomas and Matt Mitro, Father-son duo
Why we like it: Indego Africa pays its partners a fair wage and invests in the future of Rwandan women when it reinvests 100 percent of its profits into training programs in financial management and entrepreneurship, literacy, and computer training.
Kiva uses the internet and a network of microfinance institutions to make microloans to individuals around the world. Essentially it links the everyday donor to an entrepreneur or student in need of capital on the other side of the world.
Founders: Matt Flannery, co-founder and CEO; Jessica Jackley, co-founder and CEO of ProFounder
Why we like it: We love the idea of linking individuals in an approachable and effective way that creates a feeling of self-efficacy and achievement in both parties. Kiva enables businesspeople to realize their potential and support their families, and allows donors to connect with the businesses and stories of the entrepreneurs.
Manchester Bidwell Corporation
Manchester Bidwell Corporation is a jobs training center and community arts program for disadvantaged students and adults in the inner-city of Pittsburgh, PA. The company believes in everyone’s potential and wants to help its students by providing a safe, comfortable place to learn.
Founder: Bill Strickland, former art teacher and MacArthur “genius”
Why we love it: We believe in everyone’s potential, too! Strickland’s focus on mentorship and education is a great way to build a stronger future. The Goi Peace Foundation agrees—awarding Bill Strickland with the 2011 Goi Peace Award for outstanding contribution towards the realization of peace.
Let us know of some other organizations doing great work to empower entrepreneurs!