10 Social Enterprises We’re Backing to Change the Female Empowerment Space in 2020

10 Social Enterprises We’re Backing to Change the Female Empowerment Space in 2020

August 31, 2020

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

Hive Online

LOCATION: SWEDEN, DENMARK, RWANDA

FOUNDED: 2017

WHAT THEY DO

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!

HOW THEY DO IT

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

Bidhaa Sasa team in Vihiga, Kenya.

LOCATION: KENYA

FOUNDED: 2015

WHAT THEY DO

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.

HOW THEY DO IT

They offer credit based on group liability-backed payment plans while also using women’s networks to promote the products.

Zoora

Zoora

LOCATION: UGANDA

FOUNDED: 2019

WHAT THEY DO

Zoora is a platform for accessing digital recording keeping and education in finance and accounting enterprise development, smart agriculture, climate change and gender dynamics.

HOW THEY DO IT

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

LOCATION: CHILE

FOUNDED: 2018

WHAT THEY DO:

Proyecto Moms aims to empower women to return to their careers, develop their skills, lead companies and achieve economic independence.

HOW THEY DO IT:

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.

SheKab

LOCATION: PAKISTAN

FOUNDING DATE: 2015

WHAT THEY DO:

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.

HOW THEY DO IT:

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

Austera

LOCATION: UNITED KINGDOM

FOUNDED: 2019

WHAT THEY DO:

Autsera enables children with special needs to better integrate and communicate, relieving a lot of stress and difficulty for themselves and their families.

HOW THEY DO IT

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.

Mete a Colher

LOCATION: BRAZIL

FOUNDED: 2016

WHAT THEY DO:

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.

HOW THEY DO IT:

‘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.

LuluLab

Lululab

LOCATION: DENMARK

FOUNDED: 2017  

WHAT THEY DO:

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.

HOW THEY DO IT:

They provide digital educational games as a service to international organisations and NGOs who deploy them for their beneficiaries.

Akojo Market

Akojo Market

LOCATION: UNITED KINGDOM/AFRICA

FOUNDED: 2018

WHAT THEY DO:

Akojo Market promotes emerging African brands and provide their artisans work opportunities and a dignified income.

HOW THEY DO IT:

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 Health

Nabta Health

LOCATION: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

FOUNDED DATE: 2017

WHAT THEY DO

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.

HOW THEY DO IT

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.

GET TO KNOW THE ENTREPRENEURS

We’ll be sharing the stories of the social entrepreneurs over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for them!

OUR WORK ON CORPORATE SOCIAL INNOVATION

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.

Closing the gap between business and social impact

Why do we need a social sector? Shouldn’t businesses create economic opportunities and governments ensure a just distribution of these opportunities and set incentives and boundaries such that the environment is protected?

We are delighted to share the Yunus Social Business 2018 Impact Report.

Download the latest report to explore some of our highlights over the last year, including:

It's Giving Tuesday! Give What You Can Today.

Have you heard of Giving Tuesday before? It is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Today we are encouraging you to spare what you can to create a better world - for the future of all of us.

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