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December 2012

Ennovent announces the winners of the WWF Switzerland Tropical Forest Challenge

Dougg Jimenez's picture

Ennovent logoEnnovent and WWF Switzerland announced the winners of their Tropical Forest Challenge this past Monday. The winners came from two categories: company and startup. Launched in May 2012, the WWF Switzerland Tropical Forest Challenge is a global initiative managed by Ennovent on behalf of WWF Switzerland to discover the best for-profit enterprises from around the world that have a positive impact on the conservation of tropical forest biodiversity.

The winners are endorsed by WWF Switzerland as best solution providers and are awarded global visibility, networking and capacity building opportunities from the challenge partners such as, Good Company, Sustainatopia and Thomson Reuters Foundations’. These Challenge rewards are important as many early-stage entrepreneurs face resource gaps – such as networks and training – that inhibit their ability to scale high potential ventures.

Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities & Challenges in MENA: Presentations from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine

Kirsten Spainhower's picture

In September 2012 and as part of its Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) series, the Development Marketplace (DM) team hosted a discussion entitled Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities & Challenges in MENA: Presentations from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine where we invited Synergos Social Innovators to share their experiences from the region.

Much like the kinds of social enterprises the DM hopes to support in Egypt, Synergos also supports social innovators in the region to fulfill unmet needs for the poor and marginalized. Synergos is a non-profit that mobilizes resources and bridges social and economic divides to reduce poverty and increase equity around the world.

The Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) program was launched in 2008 with leadership and funding from the US Agency for International Development. AWSI supports nearly 40 civil society leaders serving poor and marginalized communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and the United Arab Emirates. Social innovators are pioneers of change in their communities and offer original approaches, methods, and solutions to address social and economic problems.

For more information on the event you can access the full report here.

Egypt DM launch and roadshow!

Ehaab Abdou's picture

After several months of planning and consultations with our partners, which started in May 2011, the Egypt Development Marketplace (DM) was launched on November 8, 2012. As part of the outreach strategy, the Egypt DM team organized a series of information sessions in four of Upper Egypt’s major cities; Asyut, Qena, Aswan and Minya. The sessions were co-organized and co-hosted with Egypt DM partners International Labor Organization, Social Fund for Development, Sawiris Foundation, and others. The sessions were attended by approximately 400 leaders from agricultural cooperatives, NGOs and small companies. In addition to the usual warm welcome and generous hospitality, typical of Egyptians, here are some reflections based on what we heard from the participants:

Found the technology..but do you have insights for its social adoption?

Parvathi Menon's picture
This research was done as a part of the Alchemix Blog Series: Dispatches from the Field

We are, therefore we invent. Technology represents one of the most fundamental applications of human intelligence. Given the gift of conscious thought, human beings are constantly striving to improve, enhance and evolve their lives. Defined as the application of scientific knowledge for specific purposes, technology is the engineered end result of the conscious human thought, harnessing the potential in nature for the purposes of our convenience. Little surprise then that it is at the crux of some of mankind’s greatest achievements through time, providing solutions to many challenges, whether it is the need to land a rover on Mars, light a bulb over a surgeon’s operating table or deliver clean drinking water to massively populated urban centers.

Yet, as we achieve complex technology accomplishments, more than a billion people continue to be disenfranchised, with no direct access to economy, science or development. The critical need is for innovators and entrepreneurs who can work with existing technology and build new ideas from them, to create a range of inexpensive, accessible and effective solutions that can be adopted at large scale. In this edition of Dispatches from the Field, we looked at the work of a host of entrepreneurs who are working at the grass roots, applying technology in ways that directly impact local under served communities.

كيف يمكن للتمويل الأصغر المساهمة فى التنمية الشاملة بالمنطقة؟

Ehaab Abdou's picture

This is the Arabic version of this blog: "How can microfinance support inclusive growth in MENA?" Ranya Abdel-Baki

حتى الأسابيع القليلة الماضية شغلت رانيا عبد الباقي منصب المدير التنفيذي لـ شبكة سنابل ، وهي شبكة التمويل الأصغر للبلدان العربية. بناءا على تجربتها فى قيادة سنابل على مدى السنوات العديدة الماضية، تحدثت رانيا إلى مشروع سوق التنمية الخاص بالبنك الدولي حول حالة التمويل الأصغر في المنطقة. كما تشرح فى هذا الحديث أيضا لماذا يعتبر الكثيرين مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر من ضمن النماذج التنموية القليلة التى تتميز بالقدرة على تحقيق الاستدامة المالية في المنطقة والعالم.

جيل ريتشموند: هل يمكن أن نتحدث عن تأثيرات الربيع العربي على مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر في المنطقة، إن وجدت، وتأثيره المباشر على عملائك؟

رانيا عبد الباقي: عقدنا ورشة عمل ناجحة في نوفمبر الماضي حيث اجتمع الممارسون من تونس ومصر واليمن وسوريا وتبادلوا تجاربهم والدروس المستفادة والتحديات المستقبلية. وبطبيعة الحال، آثار الأزمة تختلف من بلد إلى آخر، وأيضا داخل كل بلد، تتباين الآثار في بعض الأحيان بين مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر استنادا إلى مواقعها الجغرافية (ولا سيما فيما يتعلق بمصر).

لقد توصلنا إلى بعض الاكتشافات المثيرة للاهتمام على أساس ورشة العمل التي عقدناها.  وبالرغم من اعتقاد البعض أن مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر تركز فقط على استمراريتها، لكنها فى واقع الأمر فى كثير من الأحيان تضع احتياجات عملائها قبل احتياجاتها المؤسسية.  لقد شاهدنا
إندا في تونس، على سبيل المثال، تقدم الدعم ليس فقط لعملائها، بل أيضا للاجئين من ليبيا.  وفي مصر، قامت مؤسسة التمويل الأصغر بتنظيم معارض للعملاء خلال الثورة لمساعدتهم في تسويق وبيع منتجاتهم خلال هذه الأوقات العصيبة. واستمر برنامج أبين وهو من مؤسسات التمويل الأصغر الأكثر تضررا في اليمن في تقديم القروض وجمعها حتى في ظل الظروف التي أجبرت معظم الموظفين والعملاء على الفرار من محافظة أبين.