Chipsafer is a platform that will transform the way farmers care for their livestock. It not only tracks and detects anomalies in cattle behaviour, but does so remotely, autonomously and in real time. Chipsafer then sends all this information directly to the farmer, who can access it on a laptop or phone. This is of vital importance in poorer communities, as livestock are a key source of income. Through ChipSafer technology farmers can not only learn where their animals are and receive warnings if an anomaly is detected, but obtain stats about the animals’ performance, helping them to improve herd production and in turn their profits. ChipSafer also sends out a warning message if the animal passes a specified perimeter or if the device is taken off, in order to prevent the cattle from being stolen.
To make the city's roads safer for women and children, a few social ventures are training women from different backgrounds to take the wheels of taxis and school buses.
The women's wing at industry body Ficci is launching an initiative to bring more women into non-teaching jobs in schools, including as bus drivers, in Bengaluru and other large cities. Maruti Suzuki has committed to train 1,500 women as drivers across 15 chapters of Ficci Ladies Organization, or FLO, for free. The candidates need to have finished high school and be between ages 18 and 35.
Talks are going on with private and public schools in the city to hire more women for new staff," said Rati Dhandhania Mundrey , chairperson of FLO Beng alur u chapter."Depending on the number of schools that will come on board, the number of women who will be trained can be determined."
The women will be ready for employment in six months.
In addition to being a push for women empowerment, such initiatives are becoming crucial in cities where crimes are increasing against women and children, even in schools. Bengaluru is considered relatively safer than cities like Delhi, but instances of abuse are becoming more prevalent here too. In another initiative, women from across Karnataka are being trained to drive taxis by R2R Ventures, a forprofit social enterprise. The taxi venture, known as Womencabs and launched in April, works with a few companies through the week to transport women employees. On weekends, it caters to the public, but only women
Ayesha is the founder and director of Fashion ComPassion, an online fashion retail site set up as an ethical business whose aim is to create positive change through fashion by bringing socially responsible brands to a global audience. Ayesha now partners with 15 such brands.
It all started when at 16 Ayesha flew to Bangladesh, to work for the Grameen Foundation, a cause she was very passionate about. She started interning for the Grameen Check, a project to revive the handloom industry of Bangladesh, a skill that was under threat because of mass production.
While working to develop new patterns that would be marketable to international markets, Ayesha’s fascination grew as she watched the previously disheartened weavers gain confidence, become entrepreneurs and take life into their own hands.
She went on to complete her undergraduate degree in Economics and Politics from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts U.S.A and her Masters in Mass Media and Communications from City University, London.
Jennifer Corriero is the co-founder of TakingITGlobal—one of the world's first social networks—which engages hundreds of thousands of youths around the world to make a difference in their communities. On stage, she looks at the impact of new technologies on classrooms and workplaces. Corriero knows what makes the plugged-in kids of the Net Generation
After six years in the banking/technology industry, Regina Agyare decided to follow her passion and founded her own social start-up called Soronko Solutions, which creates and manages ventures that apply technology to promote social development. Among the projects that Agyare has launched at Soronko include one that introduced deaf girls to technology at the State Deaf School in Ghana – including apps that help promote communication in a society where use of sign language is limited.
Agyare has led Soronko Solutions to develop a number of applications for disabled persons, as well as to promote interest in technology among girls and women.
An architect and a social entrepreneur with a dream to make this world an environment-friendly place, Manisha believes in pioneering change – something that she learnt from her family early on. “My father did a lot of social work, while my mother was the founder of a women’s group,” says this 41-year-old, who imbibed the love for nature from her spiritual teacher.
Luz Restrepo, political refugee from Colombia, helps refugee and asylum seeker women move past language barriers and isolation in their new lives in Australia.
SisterWorks acts as an intermediary, providing refugee and asylum seeker women with support in developing their own micro-businesses. The wares of these businesses are handcrafts, which are crafted at SisterWorks-run sessions, then sold at markets around Victoria. When the “sisters” sell more than a certain benchmark per day, they give 10 per cent to SisterWorks.
Trần Hồng Nhung: "I initially got the idea to work on this paper project back in 2009 after speaking with one of my closest friends from Germany. At first we discussed the possibilities of what we could do with the almost forgotten art of Vietnamese Calligraphy. Together, my friend and I felt a desire to present this beautiful art form to the people of Vietnam and abroad. Along the journey I discovered the amazing qualities of Do paper. Slowly, my dream began to take shape. By the beginning of 2013 the time had come to make my dream a reality. Vietnam is blessed to have many traditional villages making beautiful works of art. Sadly these numbers are beginning to diminish. It is increasingly difficult for these villages to survive under the relentless pressure of industrialisation and technology development. I believe in my heart that the people of Vietnam should embrace our traditions and present it to the world."
This innovator made a kit that frees women in many parts of the world of the threat of infection during childbirth
Having once been one of the “silent victims” with whom she now works: a woman who, as a result of unsanitary birthing conditions and practices, contracted an infection that caused her to suffer for years, Zubaida Bai used her passion and experience in the social development sector to found AYZH, a social enterprise aimed at bringing technology solutions to rural women. Now, after being chosen as a TED India Fellow in 2009, obtaining her MBA, and spending five months in the field investigating birthing hygiene and education, Zubaida has invented an improved version of the clean birth kit. Her kit is produced and distributed by local women and uses attractive packaging to help women understand how and why to use it. Zubaida is currently working to distribute the kit through the country’s system of rural clinics and hospitals. Zubaida’s experiences demonstrate her passion for empowering underserved women and her match with an Ashoka Fellow will enable her to envision a model for widespread social change.
" CASTELLANO was born from a desire to use fashion to reconnect women around the world. To inspire and empower them through unique weaves and patterns made entirely by hand. With this in mind, I have sought some of the most secluded and skilful tribes arround the world - the Wayuu and the Arhuaca. These tribes live in the mountainous areas of Cesar and Magdalena and in the desert state of La Guajira in northern Colombia, and have been sowing and weaving for centuries. I have backpacked under the sun, and found shelter to sleep under the stars, learning from and sharing with these tribes. With their trust and respect my journey has begun. I hope that my journey of self-discovery will also bring you joy as I invite you to open your eyes, your heart and mind to the wonders of these indigenous tribes which are part of our ethnic origins."
Servane Mouazan's insight:
Connect with Daniela Castellanos on twitter: @Castellanoeo
Nikandre Kopcke, is a half-Greek, half-German gender specialist and chef. Nikandre gained her MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation from the LSE’s Gender Institute, and has worked with FoodCycle, social enterprise Rubies in the Rubble, and eco chef Tom Hunt of Forgotten Feast.
She is passionate about the rights of migrants and refugees, and did a stint as a volunteer advocate at the Hackney Migrant Centre.
Mazí Mas is inspired by Maria Maroulis, a Greek woman who lived in the United States for nearly twenty years. An extraordinary cook, her dream was to open her own bakery – but she was prevented from doing so by her husband, who had rigid ideas about what a woman ought and ought not to do. Maria’s warmth, generosity, and stunning food shape the ethos of Mazí Mas, as they do her dinner table. Together, from scratch, with us – "mazí mas".
Mazí Mas is a roaming restaurant that brings exciting, authentic global home cooking to the public, and in so doing creates employment opportunities for aspiring women food entrepreneurs from migrant and refugee communities.
Azza Kamel and her organisation Alwan wa Awtar are working to improve the lives of vulnerable children in Egypt and help them realise their potential.
Alwan wa Awtar aims to target young people in marginalised communities who have little or no access to after-school activities such as performing arts, music and visual art. At the Alwan wa Awtar centre young people are encouraged to explore their creative potential and intellectual abilities in a stimulating non-judgmental environment.
Many of the children supported by Azza and her team have also experienced some form of abuse – physical, psychological or sexual – and so the centre provides them with a safe haven where they can come to terms with some of the things that have happened to them, build their confidence and be surrounded by people they trust and who respect them.
Doris Leung was working as a broadcast journalist in her native Hong Kong when her mother, suffering from brain cancer, began to experience mobility problems. By mid-2007, Doris’ mother was wheelchair bound. ‘As the main caregiver, I experienced the frustration of trying to take her wheelchair to frequent doctor visits.’ When she could not drive her mother, the only option was a taxi, but while some wheelchair-accessible cabs did exist, many were illegally operated without insurance. Doris talked to a group of friends working with Social Ventures Hong Kong, an organisation that invests in social enterprise. ‘They told me they were looking at improving transportation for wheelchair users and I offered to do the research.’ Before Doris knew it, she was leaving her job and setting up Diamond Cab. With funds from Social Ventures – where Doris is now an executive director – and investment of her own, Doris imported five Welcab taxi vans from Japan. Each costs US$51,500, a large outlay for a small social enterprise, and can transport two wheelchairs.
Lamice is an award-winning entrepreneur whose passion and energies have seen her many child-centred businesses thrive for nearly two decades. Her Lebanon-based ventures are all about educating, entertaining and caring for children.
Lamice’s beginnings in entrepreneurship began when she was looking for a suitable nursery for her first born. When she couldn’t find one she and her mother opened Dent De Lait (Milk Teeth) nursery in 1997. Three other companies followed: In 2001 Lamice launched Mazitou, a production house created to encourage young Lebanese talent. They were the producers of Disney’s High School Musical on stage in 2008.
In 2009 she launched Frizzy, described as an edutainment centre for Tweens and Teens, aiming to celebrate and educate all parts of the brain. And a year ago Lamice added My Doll & Me to her portfolio of businesses, a doll retail concept for young girls.
Abi Billinghurst created Abianda in 2011 as a social enterprise designed to tip the balance of power in society in favour of marginalised and disenfranchised people, helping them inform the decisions and policy that affect their lives. Abi has worked for more than 15 years with young people and disadvantaged groups within society, supporting them to have a voice.
Panmela Castro was born and raised in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is the president of Nami Network (Rede Nami), a feminist organization that promotes women's rights through graffiti-art. She travels the world with her art and has been honored with numerous international awards for her work.
"I explore, I create, I dream:artistic experiences about the female body in the urban landscape "
More than a decade ago, Ewa Wojkowska remembers driving at night in complete darkness through a remote town in East Timor. Located in one of the poorest districts of that new country, the town had no electricity and there was a total lack of any nocturnal activity. “When night fell, the population of 60,000 had very little to do,” she told me on a recent visit to her office near Ubud. “That was the situation up until about two years ago. It would be pitch black. In the last two years we have distributed more than 6,000 solar lights in that community.” Now after dark you’ll see lights all over the place with people socializing, women weaving, people reading and children doing their homework
Sarah Hashwani, chairperson of Pakistan’s Hashoo Foundation, on creating projects to help the country’s needy stand on their own feet
Thirty-four-year old Sarah Hashwani is the youngest of five siblings born to business tycoon Sadruddin Hashwani. By the time she was born, there was probably not a trace of the humble beginnings her father — now owner of the prestigious Hashoo Group that has interests in tourism, real estate, pharmaceuticals, IT, and oil and gas — had grown up in. But that hasn’t made her any less empathetic towards the less fortunate.
“I’ve always been inclined to philanthropy since I was a young girl,” says the Islamabad-born expat, who chairs the humanitarian wing of her father’s multimillion-dollar empire, the Hashoo Foundation. Mr Hashwani — whose own story, of going from sleeping in the back of trucks in the cold, snake-infested deserts of Baluchistan to now owning a brand of luxury hotels, among other businesses, is highly inspirational — started the foundation in 1988. Sarah only took over in 2007, but she’d, nonetheless, been involved in various projects in the years leading up to the takeover. What she doesn’t like is calling it philanthropy. “It’s just a central part of practising our faith of Islam,” she believes.
Every year 860,000 Kenyan girls miss over a month of school because they don't have sanitary pads during menstruation. Students either fall behind or find unhygienic solutions. ZanaAfrica raises funds to help stock secondary schools with sanitary napkins, and is in the process of developing a business for sustainably-crafted, locally-manufactured pads.
Doris is deeply involved in the disabled transportation because her mom became the wheelchair user in 2007 due to brain cancer. She found the social injustice with serious lack of legal, safe and convenient point-to-point transportation for wheelchair users in Hong Kong.After working hard for years, Doris finally set up Diamond Cab (HK) Limited with the support of SVhk, taxi license owner, nursing home owners and a group of visionary individuals. She is the CEO managing the daily operation of the cab fleet and developing the business to sustain the company with groundbreaking social innovation.
Doris was awarded Young Social Entrepreneur Award 2011,Capital Leaders of Excellence 2011, Finalist (Asia Pacific) of Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2013 and The Purpose Economy Asia 100 respectively. Diamond Cab is the Highly Commended International Social Enterprise of the Year at UK Social Enterprise Awards 2012 and The Fifth of My Favorite Best Five Social Enterprises in 2013.
Servane Mouazan's insight:
Look up Diamond Cab: Barrier-free taxis for wheelchair users.
Ruth Ibegbuna founded RECLAIM to tackle the UK's low rates of social mobility. RECLAIM is building a new strand of working-class youth leadership with the mission of "being seen, being heard and leading change". Ruth activates the latent talents of young people that are most at risk of being excluded from meaningful life opportunities and equips them with the confidence and skills needed to influence politics, the media, and mindsets locally and nation-wide.
Ruth was named Manchester Peace Activist of the Year 2008 and received the Manchester City Council Women's award for Outstanding Contribution 2009. Ruth was also recently awarded the 2011 Business in the Communities Sieff award for collaboration with business to benefit society.
Ruth was a member of the Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour. The Commission brought forward strategic proposals for sustainable reform of relevant services for children and young people, including the youth justice system. Ruth is also an Ashoka UK Fellow.
Servane met with Karen Lynch, Chief Executive of Belu Water, that sells sustainable mineral water and gives all of its profits to charity via WaterAid. Karen is a spokeperson for the international Social Enterprise competition by Chivas, called @theVenture http://bit.ly/1CV8qvb #wintherightway.
SM Why Water?
Karen Lynch: Because without access to clean water nothing else matters. So we need to solve this issue first. And the water for water model is one that is easy to connect with. An opportunity to help people stop and think, and an opportunity to get the producers in the marketplace to be more responsible.
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