Africa: Women Deliver Announces Social Enterprise Challenge Finalists -10 Innovative Ideas to Improve the Lives of Girls and Women

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DSC_2639PRESS RELEASE

New YorkSocial entrepreneurs from around the world to compete at Women Deliver 2016 Conference this May

Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization, today announced its Social Enterprise Challenge finalists: 10 outstanding entrepreneurs driving innovative approaches to improve the health and wellbeing of girls and women around the world. Each finalist will receive a scholarship to attend the Women Deliver 2016 Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark (16 – 19 May 2016) where they will compete to win the 2016 “Global Solution Award” and a cash prize to implement or scale up their innovation.

“Solving the greatest global challenges will require entrepreneurial spirit, earnest passion, and the understanding that delivering for girls and women translates to delivering for humanity,” said Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver. “Creative minds are already developing the solutions we need to improve the health and wellbeing of girls and women; now is the time to foster them, support them, and help them bring their innovations to scale, inspiring positive change around the world.”

The 2016 Social Enterprise Challenge will be judged by a panel of experts, including Evofem, Inc. and WomanCare Global CEO Saundra Pelletier, Grand Challenges Canada CEO Peter A. Singer, Family Life CEO Jo Cavanagh, and Leadership Development and Executive Coaching Consultant Peter C. Cairo. Women Deliver is partnering with Echoing Green, a global nonprofit that provides seed funding and technical assistance to emerging social entrepreneurs, to select this year’s finalists from Echoing Green’s distinguished Fellowship Program. Of the 10 Social Enterprise Challenge finalists, five are based in Asia, three in sub-Saharan Africa, one in North Africa, and one has operations on several continents. The finalists (in alphabetical order) are:

Acacias for All (Tunisia) aims to combat desertification and to economically empower women in North Africa by introducing sustainable farming techniques and organizing farmers into cooperatives.

Accountability Lab (Liberia, Nepal, Pakistan, United States) empowers and educates citizens to find their voice and tell their stories, and works to make sure those voices are heard and acted upon by governments.

AYZH (India) designs and develops affordable health technologies for women and distributes them through channels capable of reaching even the most remote communities in rural India.

Bempu (India) helps prevent infant deaths and illness and empowers mothers to better manage their newborn’s temperature with a simple and affordable monitoring band.

Biosense (India) has developed an affordable, effective and non-invasive screening and monitoring tool that can help prevent anemia-related maternal and infant deaths in developing countries.

Gardens for Health (Rwanda) equips HIV-positive individuals with the knowledge, resources and support to feed their families through low-cost sustainable agricultural practices.

GreenChar (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) sequesters carbon and reduces deforestation in Kenya by selling clean charcoal briquettes and smokeless cook stoves as alternative household energy solutions.

Kidogo (Kenya) empowers mothers and transforms the trajectory of children living in urban slums by providing high-quality, affordable early childhood care and education.

Koe Koe Tech Co., Ltd. (Myanmar) is revolutionizing the health sector in Myanmar by creating a national data network and training people in computer programming and software development for health.

Medha (India) prepares low-income girls for post-graduate life by providing employability training, leadership mentoring and career services that bridge the gap between the skills demanded by industry and those taught in schools.

The Women Deliver 2016 Conference will be the world’s largest global conference on the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women in a decade. It will bring together more than 5,000 global and local leaders, policymakers, researchers, private sector, and NGO representatives from 150 countries to drive investments and progress for development that matters most for girls and women, with a specific focus on health, rights, education, and economic empowerment.

The Social Enterprise Challenge is one component of a broad focus on innovative tech solutions at the Women Deliver 2016 Conference. In addition to the competition, a special reception-style event, Appy Hour, will spotlight 10 new global health apps that benefit girls and women, and on-site installations from partners will showcase how new technology is changing the face of global development and impacting the health and wellbeing of girls and women around the world.

About Women Deliver: As a leading global advocate for girls’ and women’s health, rights and wellbeing, Women Deliver brings together diverse voices and interests to drive progress, particularly in maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights. It builds capacity, shares solutions, and forges partnerships, together creating coalitions, communication, and action that spark political commitment and investment in girls and women. Women Deliver believes that when the world invests in girls and women, everybody wins.

Media Registration: Online media registration will close on Wednesday, May 11 at 12pm ET. On-site registration will be available at the Conference center. More information is available here.

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Women Deliver Live: Register here to tune into Women Deliver Live – our online hub for downloadable footage of all Conference plenaries, select concurrent sessions, press conferences, and much more.

Media Contacts:

Jessica Malter, Women Deliver, jmalter@womendeliver.org

Guy Bloembergen, Global Health Strategies, gbloembergen@globalhealthstrategies.com