18 SOUTH ASIAN BUSINESSES CHOSEN TO CREATE PRODUCT AND SERVICE INNOVATIONS TO TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF GIRLS

18 SOUTH ASIAN BUSINESSES CHOSEN TO CREATE PRODUCT AND SERVICE INNOVATIONS TO TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF GIRLS

18 businesses committed to making sustainable impact for girls from across Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan have been chosen for SPRING Accelerator’s second cohort. It is the accelerator’s first year in South Asia after launching in 2015 across East Africa with 18 entrepreneurs.

This year’s cohort brings together a mix of early, growth and mature-stage businesses whose leadership has made a clear commitment to innovation and girl impact. Each will work with leading Human-Centred Design experts, from San Francisco-based agency fuseproject, to create products or services that enable girls to learn, earn, save and stay safe. SPRING provides up to £50,000 GBP in Prototype Development Funds for each participant to facilitate the implementation of these innovations.

View the full list of the final 18 SPRING Cohort 2 businesses here.

Throughout the course of the cohort participants will research within the ecosystems they operate to understand the challenges girls face, and will then prototype and implement user-centric innovations – both high-and low-tech – to tackle them. Find out more about the nine-month cohort curriculum here.

There is potential in the cohort for solving all four areas the programme addresses for girls: learning, earning, saving and staying safe. These innovative approaches can range from reducing the burden of backbreaking work by making simple tools more available, to sophisticated solutions that match a capacity gap of female rural healthcare workers with trained female doctors.

Participant learnings will be shared within the SPRING programme and beyond to inform the private and public sector about creating positive long-term impact for girls.

Ramona Liberoff, SPRING CEO said: “We are pleased and proud to be announcing our first South Asia cohort for SPRING. The quality and diversity of our participants is testament to a new wave of emerging business leadership throughout the region. All of the companies show tremendous promise and appetite for learning about and innovating to meet the needs of girls, across sectors as varied as nutrition, agriculture, technology, and health. We look forward to bringing these bright teams together to harness the power of Human-Centred Design and innovation, and to learn from each other’s experiences.”

Roo Rogers, Partner at fuseproject said: “The new cohort of SPRING participants in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan is another exciting milestone for our accelerator programme. Each business brings an exceptional combination of creativity, leadership, and passion into the market. By enhancing this capacity with our human-centred approach we will accelerate their potential and continue to establish a new standard for innovation and development.”

 

About SPRING Accelerator
DFID, USAID and Nike Foundation – with strategic support from Girl Effect – have partnered to create the business accelerator SPRING to reach girls with products and services that improve their economic outcomes.  Economic empowerment is fundamental to achieving girls’ basic human rights.

Furthermore, research showing that girls, when economically empowered, have a unique ability to transform lives and help end the cycle of intergenerational poverty. An estimated 250 million adolescent girls live in poverty worldwide, unable to build assets or safely achieve the income needed for a more prosperous life.

SPRING identifies and supports ventures that can bring life-enhancing products and services to this population, providing comprehensive business model development and support – including Human-Centred Design prototyping, grants, investment guidance, global and local mentor matching, and access to a pool of experts and legal expertise – to its participants.

A five-year programme, SPRING’s mission is to enable ventures to, by 2019, reach 200,000 girls in eight countries with products and services that enhance their economic empowerment.

For more information contact Jenny Cusack, SPRING Communications Manager: jenny@springaccelerator.org