December 2023 Social Impact News Roundup: Moving From Words to Action

Alexandra Nemeth

Senior Manager, Content Marketing & Storytelling at MovingWorlds

Community-Inspired, Employee-Driven Impact

When employees are empowered to support inspiring social good organizations actively making their communities a better place, the result is a triple-win. A great example of what this looks like in practice is the new Volunteer Sprint program from F5, and we recently had the pleasure of sitting down with a member of F5’s Global Good team to learn more about her experience both designing and participating in the new program. She shared, “This is the first volunteer experience where I can confidently share that my actions with a nonprofit will have a long-term effect and where I challenged myself enough to grow with the project…I definitely finished this program with increased confidence in my capacity and ability to have a positive impact in the world.” Read the full story of her experience here!

Investing in Climate Resilience

Another climate summit has come and gone, with disappointing results. While the final COP28 agreement is noteworthy for finally acknowledging that countries need to “transition away” from fossil fuels, it is also riddled with loopholes and lacks clear goals and fixed timelines. Still, progress is being made on other fronts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and boost climate resilience. Mercy Corps Ventures, for example, is investing in the future of climate resilient food systems through enterprises like Aquarech which are revolutionizing the African aquaculture sector. Similarly, Swiss Capacity Building Facility is investing in making green technologies and adaptation solutions more affordable while bolstering the demand and supply for both.

Inclusive Finance for Improved Livelihoods

Decent work and economic growth go hand-in-hand. But for small retailers across emerging markets, the high cost of goods and poor access to financing present major barriers to increased family income and improved livelihoods. A new DeFi lending pilot from our partners at Mercy Corps Ventures tested the use of “buy-now-pay-later” products for informal vendors in Kenya, and found that 78% saw business expansion as a result of increased purchasing power. Similarly, the new ‘Lifting Up Communities by Empowering Women’ Report from our partners at TRANSFORM found that access to quality credit and savings schemes helped women manage day-to-day market and supply issues which were largely outside their and their enterprises’ control, and to dream and plan for their and their families’ futures.

Social Impact Job Openings

Upcoming Events & New Programs

  • January 8: Deadline to apply to Youth STEM Changemakers: Entrepreneurs for Impact, a 10 week programme for ambitious 16-24 year olds in Scotland who want to build STEM-based entrepreneurial projects for a just and sustainable future.
  • January 9: Join Social Enterprise Alliance for a free webinar, “Understanding Diverse Funding Avenues for Social Entrepreneurs.” Register here.
  • January 11: Mark your calendars for 4pm GMT / 8am PST to join the TRANSFORM Support Hub for a strategic planning exercise to kick off the new year. Learn more and register here. 
  • January 12: Deadline to submit a proposal for the Microsoft Generative AI for Accessibility program.
  • January 15: Deadline to apply for the Ford Fund Fellowship, open to early-stage entrepreneurs from Romania, Germany or the United Kingdom. 
  • January 17: Deadline for young changemakers aged 15 to 17 to apply for the Rise program supported by Schmidt Futures and Rhodes Trust. Learn more and apply here.
  • January 20: Deadline to apply for the One Million Leaders Africa (OMLA) Fellowship Program
  • January 25: Mark your calendars for 4pm GMT / 8am PST to join the TRANSFORM Support Hub for “A Day in the Life of a Social Entrepreneur,” where you will hear three social entrepreneurs share their journey of building their venture. Learn more and register here. 
  • January 30: Deadline to apply for the HyperNest DeFi Accelerator Program, open to decentralized finance startups that are innovating in the realm of financial transactions.
  • January 31: Deadline to submit a proposal to Grand Challenge: Accelerating Catalyzing Solutions for Climate Change’s Impact on Agriculture in India, open to Indian-led enterprises with scientifically proven interventions for sustainable agriculture.
  • January 31: Deadline to apply for the Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) Programme, open to enterprises with innovative Productive Uses of Renewable Energy (PURE) business models in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • February 1: Deadline to apply for the Google for Startups Accelerator: Women Founders, open to women-led technology startups within the U.S. and Canada.
  • February 15: Deadline to apply for Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s globally recognized accelerator program kicking off in June 2024. See if you qualify and apply here.
  • February 29: Deadline to apply to the Larta Institute Venture Fellows program, open to innovators with solutions that help communities become more resilient in response to the impacts of climate change.
  • February 6-10: Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair (IHGF) will be taking place in Noida, Delhi, and will showcase over 3000+ manufacturers in home, lifestyle and fashion (including our partners at I was a Sari!) Learn more here.
  • March 29: Deadline to apply to the Net Impact Circular Plastics Challenge, open to innovators with industry-shifting ideas to keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment.

Congratulations to….

  • Bold Reuse for being featured by Portland Business Journal as one of 13 Startups to Watch in 2024!
  • Caare on the launch of its telemedicine clinic in Kerala, marking a significant leap forward in its mission to bridge the healthcare divide and provide affordable, accessible, and quality healthcare to underserved communities!
  • elli for being awarded the Ārohia Seed Grant from Callaghan Innovation!
  • Haqdarshak for partnering with Mastercard to launch the Yojana Card, which makes it easy and transparent for Indians to discover and access welfare programs they are eligible for!
  • I was a Sari on earning its SEWF Verified Social Enterprise certification, becoming a member of Good Market, and earning a “Good” rating from Good Measures!
  • Kenya Connect on its recent collaboration with a skills-based volunteer from F5 to tell the story of its impactful work through digital media! 
  • Let’s Build for Humanity for being one of 6 WASH social businesses chosen to participate in Reckitt’s Fight for Access Accelerator Nigeria!
  • Omugwo on launching its Certified Postpartum Doula (CPD) Training program!
  • Platô Cultural (Brazil) for partnering with The Necessary Space (Scotland) to launch the TNS TV immersive education project, which helps students develop digital literacy skills while they explore local solutions to global challenges framed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals!
  • Platô Cultural on the launch of Arctic Lighthouse, an AR game about climate change that connects young changemakers from all over the world for a sustainable future!
  • SIB Impact on launching the Sustainable Innovation Business (SIB) Game, a tool that helps organizations tackle socio-environmental problems by applying the SDGs to real business scenarios!
  • Social Enterprise NL on its introduction of a free online course, “Influencing Mainstream Business,” developed with Catalyst2030 and Social Change Innovators. Learn more and access it here
  • Uthabiti Africa on its participation in the annual ‘Feeding Hope’ initiative with Agulu lounge to bring joy and nourishment to underserved individuals living near Ngong Road, Kenya! 

A Final Bit of Inspiration

“In this challenging time, I find solace in hard-edged hope. Hope that does not rely on wishful thinking, but is active, rooted in compassion, resilience, and commitment. It’s a deep belief that inspires the collaboration and innovation needed to build a better future.”

Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen