We are delighted to be part of delivering the fantastic F-LANE Accelerator, Europe's first accelerator with a focus on early-stage social impact start-ups that utilise technology to empower women worldwide. From a shortlist of 455 social enterprises from 84 countries, the jury whittled it down to a list of just 10 social enterprises that we believe have the potential to change the female empowerment space in 2020. When you read the list, we think you’ll understand why!
The accelerator programme will kick-off on 7th September with a five-week programme which includes personalised support, mentorship, training, networking and access to an impact investor network.
Hive Online is a financial trust platform bringing financial inclusion to micro and small businesses who wouldn’t normally have access to capital. The platform offers social entrepreneurs an alternative to the exorbitant prices of local lenders by boosting their access to credit to grow their businesses. They’ve already reached 5,000 people, and they’re just getting started!
Their web app uses blockchain to store financial information and creates a fact-based reputation for small businesses which serves as a credit rating proxy for formal lenders.
Bidhaa Sasa is a last-mile distribution and finance company that offers household goods to rural families in Western Kenya. They not only offer solar lamps, clean cooking stoves and water tanks but also provide access to financing for them. Their products improve the quality of life of rural families by replacing poor quality energy sources such as kerosene and wood.
They offer credit based on group liability-backed payment plans while also using women’s networks to promote the products.
Zoora is a platform for accessing digital recording keeping and education in finance and accounting enterprise development, smart agriculture, climate change and gender dynamics.
As well as access to training, their digital data management system allows the women to manage their savings, and farm records to become more efficient and increase productivity. The business has trained over 10,000 entrepreneurs in gender, finance and business skills development in the West Nile region
Proyecto Moms aims to empower women to return to their careers, develop their skills, lead companies and achieve economic independence.
Their platform connects women with companies to identify the best talent for each position with the help of a matching engine. They sell different services including recruitment, female talent retention and implementing flexibility in the workplace.
Mobility is a big challenge for women in Pakistan who often face harassment on public transport and taxis. SheKab provides a safe and efficient carpool service to help women travel safely.
Their app targets urban, upper-middle-class women who pay a monthly subscription to be connected to a driver. All drivers are trained and interviewed to ensure safety and provide a twice a day pick-up and drop-off service.
Autsera enables children with special needs to better integrate and communicate, relieving a lot of stress and difficulty for themselves and their families.
The business offers VR, 3D and 2D based social communication training for autistic children. They combine evidence-based social communication teaching, with a gaming environment, on a mobile platform, to provide an effective, affordable and accessible training tool.
Brazil is ranked the 5th worst country in the world in terms of gender violence. Urgent solutions and cultural change are needed. Step in - Mete a Colher - a technology startup that aims to combat violence against women.
‘Tina’, their web service, is designed for the employees of large companies to find guidance and professional support if they experience any kind of violence at home. HR departments are able to collect data on the welfare of their employees while increasing the stability of employees in the company.
In Africa, 1 in 4 girls give birth before turning 18. Lack of information about contraception and menstrual health is a real issue. Lulu Lab works to transform early childhood education through engaging, educational games on taboo topics such as reproductive health and sexual rights.
They provide digital educational games as a service to international organisations and NGOs who deploy them for their beneficiaries.
Akojo Market promotes emerging African brands and provide their artisans work opportunities and a dignified income.
The online Akojo Market eCommerce platform provides exposure and the team offer guidance on scaling a business, how to ship internationally, ethics and compliance guidance. Access to the UK market allows designers and artisans (mostly women) to earn a fair wage for their work and to support their families and relatives. Brands in the Akojo value chain experience a 50% increase in their revenues.
Nabta combines digital and in-person healthcare to improve the lives of women with non-communicable diseases (NCD). Empowering women to effectively manage their own health. Their first care pathway supports women in preventing, identifying and managing Polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder responsible for 70% of female fertility issues. Nabta does so through a combination of its digital health platform, wearables, and points of care for testing.
Nabta enables women to get access to care in an affordable and confidential manner which is important in the MENA countries due to a culture of shame on infertility. They have so far reached over 18 million women in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia their health awareness campaigns.
We’ll be sharing the stories of the social entrepreneurs over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for them!
Running accelerators is one of the key ways we work with corporations to create social impact. To find out more about our Corporate Innovations work, check out our page.
We are always looking to support our social business initiatives across the globe. The most recent example has been the support of the International Investment Fund (IIF) at the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business. The IIF is a student-led investment fund led by MBA students at UM-Ross, aiming to support early-stage social businesses in emerging economies. Starting its journey
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Yunus Social Business’s ‘Social Business Accelerators’ help corporates connect to exciting social entrepreneurs and engage their employees in unique mentoring experiences for social change.