In India, recycling depends upon informal waste pickers who scour through waste, pick out recyclable materials and sell them to recyclers. However, their livelihoods are precarious, with irregular and unfair wages—the equivalent of just €1 per day. At the same time, only 29% of waste ends up being recycled.
Social-business entrepreneur Roshan Miranda saw an opportunity to address the environmental challenges of waste recycling while also improving the livelihoods of waste pickers. He co-founded Waste Ventures India, a social business that works with waste pickers to boost their income and India’s recycling efforts.
In Hyderabad, Waste Ventures has created a formal market for recyclables, helping more than 1,300 waste pickers increase their income by up to 25%. And in the last year alone, it has collected more than 674 tons of waste and prevented 2,397 tons of CO2 emissions.
Our partnership with Yunus Social Business supports entrepreneurs like Roshan to grow businesses that offer social benefits to people living in poverty and create 100,000 jobs in India and Kenya.
Since 2018, Yunus Social Business has provided Waste Ventures with financing and support to scale its revenues and impact. Roshan and his team not only received loan funding to cover their upfront payroll but have also gained a close partnership to help them strengthen and expand their business. This has enabled them to reach profitability while doubling the number of waste pickers they work with.
COVID-19 has threatened the survival of many small businesses in India. But thanks to ongoing support from Yunus Social Business during the pandemic, Waste Ventures was able to provide free meals for waste pickers out of a job, while adapting its business model to respond to the situation. Roshan said: “During COVID-19, we have realised that we are not alone at all.”
As 2020 draws to a close, we will continue to work together to support social businesses that achieve the highest social and environmental returns.
With much talk of a “new normal,” social businesses offer a compelling example of how business can be a force for good.
This post was co-authored together with the IKEA Foundation and originally posted on the IKEA Foundation website.
Earlier this year we took a group of philanthropists and partners to visit some of the social businesses in our portfolio in Uganda including Godson Commodities, Impact Water & Tugende. We also visited Kenya to see some of our pipeline companies.
How should we give? Along with the issue of how much, questioning the model into which we donate our money is becoming more and more pertinent in the modern age. As we seek to optimise the way we spend and invest our money, it’s not surprising that we are also looking to optimise the way we give. There is a scarcity in the philanthropic capital available - so it’s important that it is spent well.
Yunus Social Busines (YSB) and its sister organisation Zero Poverty Ventures are cooperating with Global Social Impact (GSI) and the Open Value Foundation, founded by María Ángeles, to bring expansion funding to high potential Social Businesses in East Africa.
Yunus Social Business (YSB) and Upaya Social Ventures (Upaya) today announced the launch of their 2022 Accelerator Programme to help small and growing businesses (SGBs) in India scale and create jobs to lift people out of extreme poverty.
Building a network requires processes, structure and lots of alignment. But in order for the network to truly work, it requires trust and deep-felt human connection around a common purpose. For over 10 years, YSB has built a strong network and every year we are learning more about the effects of communities and networks. This allows us to address social problems in bold new ways.
This week, we’re proud to announce the newest cohort of our MAN Impact Accelerator. 8 high impact social business startups revolutionizing the mobility and logistics sector were selected from a pool of over 300 applications for its third cohort.