It’s the smaller stories of solidarity that are getting us through!
These have been difficult times for our portfolio companies. They are working hard to protect those they employ and serve. In India, Waste Ventures recycle plastic and improve the lives of waste pickers. As they are dependent on revenues from previous months to meet their expenses, the abrupt pause to their activities has made their ability to pay their workforce much more difficult.
However, the waste picker communities they work with are facing an even graver challenge of survival where they are struggling to meet 3 meals a day. To ease their plight, Waste Ventures partnered with residents and donors from across the world to provide a meal per day for their waste pickers until the lockdown is lifted on May 7th. Over 200 waste pickers are benefiting from this initiative in multiple regions of Hyderabad.
Waste pickers are often migrant workers and with the lockdown measures many returned to their villages, those left are keeping the city clean. As migrants, they fall through the cracks of govt. benefit schemes which means Waste Ventures’ intervention is even more vital. They are even working to distribute sustenance groceries to help an additional 100 waste pickers last for next 20 days. The team led by Venu and Sahithi are flooded with calls of gratitude from families who are no longer going to sleep hungry.
Waste Ventures India has established a formalized market for waste streams which averts waste from landfill and creates higher incomes for the waste pickers, with standardized prices with upfront payments.
This month we have completed the second program week of our third accelerator cycle in São Paulo focusing on customer development and impact. We were particularly excited to expand to an entirely new continent and increasing our global exposure by including more diversity in stops.
We spoke to Molly Burke co-founder of Cycle Connect, our latest investment in our Ugandan Fund. Cycle Connect provides rural smallholder farmers with the necessary tools to propel them out of poverty.