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Best social entrepreneurs 2013 (world).

by Yesoda BhargavaDecember 19, 2013

 

Social entrepreneurship is the current hottest trend among the ilk of entrepreneurs. It is a novel amalgamation of business and concern about the social issues that affect humanity and universe writ large. In a nutshell, it is basically an endeavor which primarily focuses on addressing a particular problem faced by a community and strives to devise ways by which it can be overcome on a sustainable basis. This way, it brightens the lives of many people, provides them with new avenues of development and can be rightfuly called as an apt way to invest the knowledge for the welfare of mankind. The year 2013 witnessed a huge number and variety of social entrepreneurship ventures in the caludron of business. Let’s have a look at the people behind these ideas:

  Mois Cherem Arana, Enova, Mexico

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I saw an opportunity to harness technology in educating low income Mexicans

In Mexico, 69% of the population does not have access to computer or the internet, severely limiting opportunities in education. Mois Cherem is the man behind bringing technology-based learning to the poorest urban Mexicans. To fill educational gaps, his company, Enova, designs, builds and operates small, cost-effective educational centers called the RIA. The RIA targets populations in marginalized neighborhoods in a country where only 23% of people had access to computers and/or the internet in 2007. There e-learning courses are available to children and adults and teach a wide range of subjects and skills. Since May 2009, the RIA has opened 42 locations and graduated 14,000+ students from its courses. They have also created an NGO intermediary, the foundation ProAcceso which assists in selecting and training teachers and developing course content.

 Frederick K.W. Day, Buffalo Bicycle Company, USA

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Frederick (F.K.) Day is a longtime Chicago businessman, entrepreneur and humanitarian. In 1987, Day along with his brother, Stan, and friends founded the leading bicycle component supplier, SRAM Corporation. Rural Africans experience challenges of daily survival: limited water, food and fuel, as well as inadequate access to education and healthcare. With transportation, access to these elements can be greatly enhanced. Compared to walking, bicycle transport quintuples carrying capacity and quadruples travel distance while saving time. The Buffalo Bicycle is a robust, purpose-built bicycle designed specifically for African terrain and load requirements, and more than 45,000 have been sold to individuals and organizations. Another 70,000 bicycles have been granted.

 Gopi Gopalakrishnan, World Health Partners (WHP), India

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Gopi Gopalakrishnan is the founder and CEO of WHP, WHP works to address the lack of basic health services for neglected rural communities that comprise 75% of the developing world. The WHP model builds on the existing and often informal networks of village health practitioners, linking them and their patients with qualified urban doctors via telemedicine platforms. This has resulted in tens of thousands of quality medical consultations every year in which rural patients save an average of USD $6 per health episode.

 Njideka U.Harry, Youth for Technology Foundation(YTF), Nigeria

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YTF was founded over a decade ago by U.Harry while working in the Corporate Strategy group at Microsoft. Since 2001, YTF has worked in regions of Africa plaqued by poverty and pervasive unemployment, especially among youth and women. YTF Academy provides beneficiaries with life skills and resources to join the economic mainstream. Since inception, 40% of YTF Academy graduates have been employed by local companies in YTF’s partner network. YTF Academy has impacted the lives of over 1.5 million youth in Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroo, South Africa and Kenya, and most recently, Colombia.

Bedriye Hulya, B-fit, Turkey

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“I saw an opportunity to enable Turkish women to empower themselves”

B-Fit uses a unique model that combines access to sports and entrepreneurship as vehicles to promote gender equality, education, entrepreneurship and empowerment of women and girls in Turkey. B-fit launched in 2006 when Bedriye, a female entrepreneur struggling to exist in Turkey’s male dominated business world, came up with the idea for b-fit and leveragefd resources of five women entrepreneurs from various fields- including public relations, psychology and fitness-to make her idea of a women-only sports and health centre a reality. B-fit provides affordable gym membership to women and uses the gym as a platform for workshops and educational services. B-fit gyms are staffed entirely by women and are run by female franchisees. Today more then 150,000 women have B-fit gym memberships in 200 gyms across the country.

 Jonathan Hursh, INCLUDED, People’s Republic of China

Jonathan Hursh Bio Photo (2013)

INCLUDED, formerly known as Compassion for Migrant Children(CMC) is a non-profit organization which works to see the maturing of inclusive cities for migrant slums. It works to ensure that migrants are integrated into cities by promoting partnerships across sectors, brokering access to better services, and providing opportunities for advancement. On the macro level, they work on architecting a web of thought and practice globally on the migrant slum issue. On the micro level, they and their affiliate partners build dozens of community centers in migrant slums that provide better access to education, employment, social services and information for the migrants.

 Kurt Holle, Rainforest Expeditions, Peru

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Kurt Holle is a conservation and ecotourism entrepreneur. He founded Rainforest Expeditions in Peru in the 1990s, offering trips to the Amazon. Amazon deforestation is responsible for 18% of the world’s carbon emissions and represents an enormous threat to millions of species. With experience in designing, implementing, managing and marketing operations, Holle works with local communities, ensuring sustainable business practices and forest conservation.

 Janet Longmore, Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), Canada

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Janet Longmore founded DOT in 2002 when she saw the opportunity to fill an important gap in social and economic development. Youth unemployment has become a global crisis. DOT’s youth-led model creates onfident local role models who train and coach their out-of-school, out-of-work peers and community memebers to become productive technology users taking charge of their personal development and livelihood. DOT serves as a bridge in the school-to-work, street-to-work transition, providing youth people with motivation and market-relevant skills to find jobs and start businesses. DOT works with youth, women and marginalized communities in the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

 Jane Chen and Rahul Panicker, Embrace Innovations, USA

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Embrace is a non profit organization founded at Stanford University’s Institute of Design in 2008, when a group of graduate students were challenged to help families in the poorest regions of the world by designing an intervention for neonatal hypothermia. Over 20 million premature and low birth weight babies are born globally each year. Four million babies die withing the first 28 days of their life, with more than a quarter of these deaths occurring in India alone. Embrace has developed a low cost portable infant warmer to provide thermal regulation to premature and low birth weight babies. The warmer works without constant supply of electricity, making it suitable for rural areas in developing countries. Embrace has impacted over 3000 babies in India since its launch and is working with partners to help millions of vulnerable babies around the world. Its vision is to develop a line of disruptive healthcare technologies for developing countries.

 Tom Szaky, TerraCycle Inc., USA

Tom-Szaky-Profile

He is behind starting TerraCycle, a company that makes consumer products from waster. Globally, an estimated 22.7 trillion pieces of consumer waste are discarded a year, threatening the global health of our green spaces and waterways. TerraCycle is changing the way people view waste by mobilising individuals to collect previously unrecyclable waste, and incentivizing major corporations, like Kraft Foods and L’Oreal, to sponsor the recycling of new waste streams. Through TerraCycle’s system, for every trash item returned, two cents is donated to a school or non-profit of the collector’s choice. TerraCycle operates in 22 countries, and so far 32 million consumers have diverted 2.5 billion units of wastes from landfills and incineration.

 Anshu Gupta, Goonj, India

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Anshu Gupta, started out as a man on a missions collecting unused clothes from well-to-do urban households and distributing them among the poor. Today, his Delhi-based firm Goonj(echo) runs 60 collection centres in addition to clothes, distributes shoes, utensils, bags, books and other essentials to the have-nots in the hinterland. It channels excess resources in urban households to impoverished rural and disaster-prone areas. Goonj collects and delivers 1000 tons of material every year through an extensice network of 500 volunteers and 250 partners across the 21 states of India. Goonj also supports village and slum communities in infrastructure/local development projects.

 Sugianto Tandio, Tirta Marta, Indonesia

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I saw an opportunity to expand my business by adding new innovative technologies

Tirta Marta was established in 1971 as a pioneer in fliexible packaging material. In 2010, Tirta Marta launched two groundbreaking eco-friendly technologies: OXIUM(a natural additive to plastic that ensures rapid degradation) and ECOPLAS(a biodegradable plastic polymer made from tapioca. Through these products, Sugianto hopes to provide a long term answer to the problem of waste accumulation and pollution. Today, over 90% of Indonesian modern markets and convenience stores exclusively stock OXIUM plastic shopping bags.

This is just a part in the litany of extremely brilliant ideas that changed lives of a number of people.

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Yesoda Bhargava
I love writing, its a bliss to me second after badminton. I believe it does not matter for which firm, small or big, we are working, our contribution to it must be big and significant. And I love every work I do.
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