In 2023, we are officially halfway to the deadline for achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But the latest SDG Progress Report shows that “only 15% of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are on track—and some 37% have either seen no movement or regressed below the 2015 baseline.”
The good news is, if we can harness this reality check to double down on our shared commitment to ending poverty and protecting the planet, we can still rescue the SDGs by 2030.
What is giving us this hope? The over 11 million social entrepreneurs operating globally who have proven that a better working model for a sustainable, equitable, and just economy, society, and planet is possible. Below are just a few of the social enterprises from our TRANSFORM Support Hub global network who are leading the way towards achieving the SDGs:
SDG 1: No Poverty
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #1: End poverty in all its forms, everywhere.
Kijani Forestry is a reforestation social enterprise working to break the cycle of climate-induced poverty in Africa. In partnership with local farmers, Kijani employs a nursery hub model that provides training, seedlings, and access to markets to improve the lives and livelihoods of farming communities in Kenya and Uganda.
Kosmotive is an award-winning social enterprise working to end period poverty in Rwanda and throughout Africa. By manufacturing reusable feminine hygiene products and digitally increasing access to menstrual hygiene management information, Kosmotive is investing in girl’s education, women’s health, and society as a whole.
SEFY International is a social enterprise using sustainability and innovation as tools to build resilience for young people. Through various projects, including education, solar, and renewable energy projects implemented in rural areas and refugee camps, SEFY International works towards developing the true potential of underserved youth and, in so doing, transforming their communities, breaking the cycle of poverty, and creating jobs.
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Green For You Food is a Ukrainian social enterprise producing nutritious, ready-to-eat meals which are sterilized and able to be stored for long periods of time, making them ideal for people living in difficult conditions – in war zones, without gas, electricity, water, or the ability to cook. It sources quality fresh ingredients for its meals from local farmers, providing supplementary income and creating jobs for internally displaced persons and other vulnerable groups.
Surplus Indonesia is a social enterprise with an innovative app that enables food retailers or farms to sell their overstock and imperfect products at a significant discount to customers who need it, rather than sending it to a landfill. 13 million tons of food are wasted each year in Indonesia alone, with most being contributed by hotels, restaurants, catering vendors, and supermarkets. With the Surplus Indonesia app, customers can consume their favorite foods at 50% off retail prices, while producers can gain additional income from safe, edible, surplus food that otherwise would have gone to waste.
Sarvaguna Foods and Kitchen is a farm-to-table social enterprise based in Nepal. Its ingredients are sourced from local farmers, which Sarvaguna Foods and Kitchen supports with the tools, techniques, and inputs to adopt regenerative practices. These ingredients are then processed and prepared into healthy and nutrient dense meals for schools, hospitals, and children experiencing food insecurity.
SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Kmet Kenya is an indigenous social enterprise making quality reproductive healthcare and education accessible for underserved communities. By integrating its services into community development activities, Kmet helps commercialize and accelerate the uptake of life-saving maternal health innovations.
Caare is an India-based consumer healthcare technology social enterprise on a mission to solve an issue that we all face: locating quality home care for the people we love. Caare’s innovative mobile app is increasing access to healthcare in rural communities by empowering community health workers to facilitate telemedicine through the app.
Agewatch Africa is a social enterprise working to close the elder care gap in rural Kenya. By training local community members in professional caregiving, Agewatch Africa makes compassionate and affordable home care, day care, and residential care accessible for elders, while at the same time creating paths to employment for those providing the care.
SDG 4: Quality Education
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
It’s Learnable is a social enterprise dedicated to addressing the digital divide in education by developing affordable, user-friendly ed-tech solutions.Through comprehensive training, Its Learnable empowers teachers to build their digital literacy skills and effectively integrate AI powered technology into their classrooms.
Eco Circle International is a youth-led network working to bridge the gap between environmental education and sustainable action. Its international fellowships and education platform highlights diverse perspectives to unpack the intersections of climate change, human rights, economics, and more.
Eskwelabs is a Singapore-based social enterprise making high quality data education both accessible and affordable for workers in emerging Asia. Its cohort-based courses equip students with the data literacy, data analytics, & data science skills they need to land digital jobs, in a warm online atmosphere that combines live sessions, projects, and mentorship.
SDG 5: Gender Equality
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Empower HER Initiative supports women and girls in rural Kenya to become agents of social and economic change through leadership development, scholarship support, entrepreneurship and business skills development, as well as the manufacture and distribution of sanitary pads to keep girls in schools.
SVATANYA is a purpose-led creative crafts social enterprise providing design solutions with a twist. By upskilling underprivileged women in environmentally conscious handcrafts, SVATANYA is creating paths to financial independence while at the same time giving a second life to materials that otherwise would end up in landfills.
Our Voices Against Harassment (OVAH) is a social enterprise on a mission to tackle the prominent issue of sexual abuse and sexual harassment that many girls and young women face in Tanzania. One of the way it accomplishes this is through its animated series, Mwajuma Simama, which serves as a platform to educate Tanzanian society and lead conversations about sexual abuse and sexual harassment. In addition, OVAH provides a web-based system where girls and young women who face sexual harassment from teachers, school staff, and even relatives and neighbors, can report and speak out about these incidents.
SDG 6: Clean Water & Sanitation
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Bhouma Envirotech is a Delhi based social enterprise with a wide range of proven & path breaking technologies to address the challenges of sustainable WaSH (water and sanitation and hygiene). Its solutions are tailored to the realities of space-constrained and off-grid communities, while designed to minimize waste, reduce water usage, and utilize renewable resources.
Aquacycl is a social enterprise on a mission to provide sanitation and water for all. Its innovative technology rapidly treats wastewater and recovers energy as direct electricity, helping corporations and local communities build healthy watersheds while decarbonizing wastewater.
Desolenator is a social enterprise providing an off-grid, affordable, solar-powered water purification solution to customers at the base of the pyramid. Its innovative technology is future-proofing businesses and communities by using 100% solar power to purify any water source – including seawater, brackish and heavy-metal contaminated – into potable water, without consumables like filters or membranes. In remote locations with complex contamination, Desolenator creates the highest quality water at scale, without the price tag.
SDG 7: Affordable & Clean Energy
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Passive Edge Tech is a Singapore and China based green tech enterprise specializing in sustainable energy solutions. Utilizing advanced phase change materials (PCM) and cutting edge technologies, its solutions provide efficient and environmentally friendly alternatives for energy storage and thermal control.
Nufuels is a New Zealand based social enterprise that has developed an innovative, integrated system to turn plastic waste into energy suitable for local cooking, baking, drying and electricity. In doing so, Nufuels is getting waste out of the environment while at the same time giving energy to people who can’t afford it otherwise.
Remote Energy trains and mentors solar energy educators and technicians in underrepresented populations worldwide to bring energy independence, career opportunities and improved quality of life to their communities. Remote Energy actively works to address the severe racial, gender and economic disparities in its industry by working with women’s groups, school groups, rural energy technicians, electricians, farmers, community leaders, health care professionals, teachers, vocational schools, and more in over 25 countries.
SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Femote is a Nigerian social impact startup that hires and trains African women from under-resourced communities to provide business support and outsourcing services such as data annotation for AI, data processing, and affordable virtual and administrative support services for growing businesses. In the process, Femote is helping women and small and growing businesses to create a path to financial security and independence.
Divergent Thinking is a social enterprise that equips individuals with essential skills to build their professional brand and create social movements. Divergent Thinking offers a number of interactive and immersive workshops that aim to develop individual’s skill sets and build confidence within areas like employment, creativity, and communication.
Durian Nigeria is a social enterprise empowering rural communities to be self-sufficient through transforming their local waste and resources into a means of livelihood. To do this, Durian provides women in rural communities with vocational training, adult literacy education, and community agriculture projects which empower them to create change from within and reclaim their unique identity and dignity.
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
Phioneers is a social enterprise working to improve people’s lives through thoughtful architecture. Its mission is to use innovative engineering to provide sustainable infrastructure that solves the social and environmental challenges of Africans living below the poverty line.
Vinnytsia Agri-food Park is a social enterprise supporting the development of local communities in areas like infrastructure, food production, small business, and employment. It is poised to become the future center of a regional cluster for the creation of high value-added innovative food products, creating new jobs for community members and Ukrainian soldiers after their return from combat zones.
Arqlite is a social enterprise that has developed upcycling technologies to transform up-to-now unrecyclable plastics into efficient, low carbon, environmentally friendly materials and solutions. These plastics otherwise would have ended up in dumps, landfills, incinerators or even worse: water courses, polluting our environment for thousands of years. One of its signature products, Arqlite Gravel, is a durable, safe, and eco-friendly alternative to traditional gravel that directly helps reduce plastic pollution while advancing sustainability within the construction industry.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Wom-en is a social enterprise working to reduce inequalities in Colombia through projects related to quality education, gender equality and sustainability. Through comprehensive tools and content resources, Wom-en trains, connects, and supports women and young people to play an active role in advancing the SDGs.
Impertimus Education Investment is a social enterprise working to ensure access to quality education for school-age children in Kenya. Its interest-free secondary school loan product helps low-income families keep their children in school to create equal opportunities for a prosperous future.
Kaaba Microfinance Institution is a financial service provider that strengthens the economic base of low-income groups in Somaliland – specifically women and youth. The purpose is to enable the targeted groups to become self-reliant and serve as agents of change. K-MFI has served over 14,000 clients since it was founded in 1999, making a meaningful dent in the country’s high unemployment rate by creating self-employment opportunities.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Beeodiversity is a consulting enterprise that helps companies and cities to regenerate biodiversity and reduce pollution. Its tech and nature-based solutions monitor biodiversity and agricultural/industrial pollution on-site, and employ bees as drones to collect billions of environmental samples on a large scale.
EOS International is a social enterprise on a mission to make safe drinking water accessible throughout Central America. Its water purification technology is a low-cost, low-maintenance solution that attaches to any rural community’s water tank and inactivates pathogens in water systems by releasing a controlled dosage of chlorine. One system can provide clean water for up to 1,000 community members and requires no energy to use. EOS ensures successful, sustainable impact by also educating beneficiaries on how to use, maintain, and repair their technologies, and offers on-site support as needed.
Plentify enables affordable, reliable and resilient utility systems. Cheap energy storage is key to fixing electricity grids and enabling more renewables. Many of the world’s homes unknowingly have a large battery installed already: the electric water heater. However most are set to inefficiently guzzle energy when the grid is most strained. Plentify connects these batteries to the internet, and applies machine learning to slash utility bills and create virtual power plants which help eliminate blackouts.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption & Production
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Second Life is a Thai social enterprise empowering big companies to create circular plastic supply chains for cleaner oceans. Its approach incentivises ocean waste recovery and recycling, while ensuring transparency and legal compliance of companies’ sustainability investment.
Sprucegel is an India-based social enterprise offering eco-friendly alternatives to single use plastic packaging. Its products are made from plant-based bioplastic materials, making them fully compostable, biodegradable, and low carbon footprint.
Kilang ReRoot is a social impact project launched by a team of local zero waste enthusiasts aiming to understand food consumption & tackle food waste in Brunei. Kilang ReRoot tackles food waste through three pillars of sustainability: environmental (reducing food waste), social (by involving multiple sectors of the Bruneian economy), and economic (creating opportunities for local businesses through food upcycling projects). By focusing on efficient waste management along every part of the food cycle, Kilang ReRoot is able to recover waste that would otherwise have ended up in landfills and transform it into a resource.
SDG 13: Climate Action
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Virenxia is an agri-transformation social enterprise whose AgTech and BioAg solutions make regenerative farming possible at scale. Its digital, tamper-proof, evidence-based frameworks and reporting are driving momentum towards setting up climate-smart, sustainable, and resilient food systems everywhere.
Ekonoke is a social enterprise that combines knowledge and technology to bring sustainable and reliable solutions for climate-resilient agriculture. Specifically, Ekonoke has developed a process to grow climate-resilient hops indoors in a way that safeguards biodiversity, is powered by renewable energy and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional methods.
Biosorra is a climate justice social enterprise working to transform crop waste into crop yield, reducing food insecurity and poverty in the Global South while offsetting CO2 emissions. Using a village-based model, Biosorra employs farmers to produce biofertilizer from locally available waste, generating income for farming communities while at the same time providing a sustainable alternative to traditional fertilizers or slash-and-burn agriculture techniques.
SDG 14: Life Below Water
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Alexa Goodman Consulting is an independent firm that provides services in environmental education, science communication, professional development training, DEI, and team building. Founder Alexa Goodman is a scientist, intersectional environmental activist, and a driving force in managing abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear, also called ‘ghost gear’.
Seabin is an Australian social enterprise dedicated to solving the global problem of ocean plastic pollution and advancing ocean conservation. Its floating trash skimmers can be installed in bodies of water to collect trash, oil, fuel, and detergents. In parallel, its comprehensive research, technology, and educational initiatives are driving behavioral and policy change on a global scale.
Kran is a Chilean social enterprise using nanobubble technology to develop solutions for marine ecosystem protection and efficient water usage. Kran works hand in hand with productive sectors to give back to nature what we have taken away.
SDG 15: Life on Land
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
Meridia is a social enterprise on a mission to protect our forests, soils, and biodiversity by transforming agricultural supply chains. Most smallholder farmers struggle to earn a living income, fueling the cycle of deforestation and biodiversity loss. Meridia’s technology is changing that by offering accurate and reliable field data solutions and services at scale for smallholder supply chains. At the same time, its helping buyers further up the supply chain accelerate the achievement of commitments to full traceability and transparency, living income, and regenerative agriculture.
Quantifying Nature is a multi-collaborative social enterprise in the climate & biodiversity analytics and environmental disclosure space. It is developing the first B2B SaaS platform capable of identifying and quantifying the financial risks of both climate change & biodiversity loss on publicly listed corporations to recommend targeted adaptation interventions for financial hedging & nature-positive outcomes.
ProEarth Systems is a social enterprise working to reduce methane emissions from waste. Pro Earth Systems works with more than 15,000+ households in Pune, India to compost about 8 tons of organic waste daily. Its unique waste collection service links individual household waste to community afforestation programs, creating a circular economy for organic waste that reduces harmful emissions while contributing to soil health and crop yield.
SDG 16: Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Sustify is a social enterprise working to improve the reliability and effectiveness of audits in the Global South through technology. Its low-threshold social compliance eLearning platform is personal, inclusive, and fraud-proof to advance both human rights and employee engagement.
Animedh Charitable Trust (ACT) is an India-based nonprofit that provides social services to vulnerable women and children at the individual, community, and national levels. Its programs address a critical lack of public services in India, particularly for the millions of women experiencing poverty. ACT takes a holistic approach, with programs focusing on life skills development, vocational training, and on basic and higher education.
A Curiae is a non-profit organization that improves outcomes in the criminal justice system by supporting the court, clients, and community organizations through collaboration and problem-solving. The organization works at the intersection of the criminal justice system, public health, and community organization. A Curiae was devised from best practices and the therapeutic approach of collaborative courts.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Here are 3 social enterprises showing us that we can achieve Sustainable Development Goal #17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.
The TRANSFORM Support Hub, launched by MovingWorlds, SAP, TRANSFORM, and Unilever, is a global cross-sector platform that connects social enterprises with corporates, peers, learning content, and a global community of pro bono professionals to deliver market-based solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals.
Impact Hub builds locally rooted and globally connected entrepreneurial communities for impact at scale. Its programs help pioneering impact enterprises scale their solutions, while also establishing large scale cross-sector collaborations to mainstream them at the systems level.
Made with Bravery is the first official online platform with goods from Ukrainian producers delivered to any corner of the world. In partnership with Visa, Ukrposhta, and the Ministry of Digital Transformation, Made with bravery invests all of its profits to support the reconstruction of Ukraine.
Want to be part of the solution? Whether you’re an individual who wants to lend their time and skills to enterprises like these, or you’re a social entrepreneur with an innovative solution of your own, we invite you to join us on the TRANSFORM Support Hub.