Ana Escalante

Social Entrepreneurs: Echoing Green’s 2007 Fellows

2008 fellowsSome of my recent blog posts focused on venture capitalism (Wulff Capital, Agora Partnerships). Well, it must be a trend–I just came across Echoing Green.

Echoing Green is an angel investor for entrepreneurs focused on social change. They provide seed funding and support to entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for social change. As an angel investor in the social sector, Echoing Green identifies, funds, and supports emerging leaders around the world and the organizations that they launch. Echoing Green has a two-year fellowship program, in which they identify social entrepreneurs that develop new solutions to social problems.

I read with interest the bios and profiles of the class of Echoing Green fellows for 2007, which was announced last week. This new class includes people from all around the world. Three of the fellows work specifically within the BOP, and these are the ones I want to share here on NextBillion:

Gemma Bulos and Kevin Lee’s project “A Single Drop for SafeWater” in Puerto Princesa City, Philippines is concerning independent community-based water organizations in the Philippines that will promote simple, affordable water treatment technologies and participatory strategies to improve community health. Their project is interesting because it will facilitate access to clean water to the people in the BOP living in the Philippines. The project combines low-cost technology with local community efforts to bring effective water systems to villages across the country. The BioSand Filter, one of ASDSW’s many technologies, is a household water treatment that removes 95 to 100 percent of disease-causing organisms, helping families improve their health and hygiene. They also facilitate community-organized groups called PODS (People Offering Deliverable Services). PODS engages the community in implementing technologies and promoting water education throughout the different villages in the country.

Robert Mutsaers’ project “Green Power” ...creat[es] affordable hydro-electric power systems owned and operated by rural Kenyan communities. His project is based in Kiangurwe, Kenya and it is innovative because he is developing new solutions for rural electrification in Africa. Conventional electricity is very expensive in Kenya and very few homes in rural communities are connected to the national power grid. By creating a cheaper, simpler, and community-driven solution, Green Power will accelerate the rural electrification process in a sustainable manner. In partnership with rural Kenyan farmers, local leaders, engineering companies, and universities, the organization will promote decentralized micro-hydro energy and distribution systems. Additionally, using hydro-power is a clean energy source for the environment. At the moment their immediate goal is to provide electricity to the rural communities on Mount Kenya.

Diane Geng and Sara Lam’s project, “Rural China Education Foundation” focuses on …developing the first long-term teaching fellowship program to improve the quality of education in rural Chinese villages. They work in Shaanxi and Shandong, China. Their project is innovative because they are working to bridge the gap between learning and everyday life for rural Chinese students. They will achieve this by cultivating teachers through fellowships from the Foundation. They will recruit fellows who will care deeply about making education responsive and relevant to the needs and resources in rural children’s lives.

These social entrepreneurs and their organizations are working to address deeply-rooted inequities and the three mentioned above are working within the BOP in order to ensure equal access and help all individuals reach their potential. To learn about the other Echoing Green 2007 fellows click here.

Editors note: I had previously said that Echoing Green was the CSR division of Altlantic Capital, LLC. I was wrong, it is not the CSR division of Atlantic Capital. They are an independent 501(c)(3) with a broad base of funding support that includes General Atlantic, LLC.?