Some Examples of Social Impact and Entrepreneurship Projects Relevant to Conference Focus Areas

Telemedicine networks improve healthcare in rural areas


Telemedicine is changing the way patients in rural and remote parts of the world can access medication and improve health. In Kenya, improved telecommunication infrastructure and adoption of mobile phones have enabled the rollout of several initiatives through telemedicine and are currently benefiting many.

Production of low-cost, biodegradable sanitary napkins in the village gives women much needed hygiene support

Jaydeep Mandal

A group of women in Khagra near Berhampur, West Bengal, were busy giving the final touches to an event that was going to mark a new beginning in their lives. It was the day they were starting the production of low-cost, biodegradable sanitary napkins in their village.Once the preparations were over they all eagerly waited for Sombodhi Ghosh and Jaydeep Mandal – founders of Aakar Innovations, a Gujarat-based social enterprise that aims to assist rural communities by promoting grassroots innovations – to arrive with the prized mini sanitary napkin-making machine that was going to enable them to use hygienic pads instead of unsterilized cloth during their menstrual periods.

Providing high quality renewable energy based products, solutions and servicing along with access to affordable finance to ensure democratic and adequate access to energy for all

Boond Solar

BOOND Engineering & Development Pvt. Ltd. is a Social Enterprise founded in 2010 promoting alternative energy in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi NCR and other northern states of India. In our advent, we are trying to reach to remotest and most difficult geographies to not just provide energy access, but also embed solutions to various social issues. By the end of FY 2015 we implemented projects in various sectors with installed capacity of over 1500 KW, impacting more than 100,000 individuals and many small-scale enterprises.

Towards convergence of rural development initiatives -The M-odel Village Scheme (Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana)

Selco Foundation

Energy access has been identified as an integral component in rural development all over the world. Especially for developing countries, this translates into a great opportunity to tackle issues of poverty and climate change simultaneously using decentralized renewable energy (DRE) technologies. These technologies have already proved their mettle in terms of providing basic facilities of lighting, mobile charging and advanced livelihood opportunities. So the inclusion of these technologies becomes inevitable while devising various schemes in rural development. Unfortunately, such  holistic design thinking was absent in many of our earlier schemes and policies where the clear role of DRE technologies was not recognized. SELCO Foundation has been advocating for an integrated approach in these schemes starting with National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) in Karnataka with regular interactions and close engagement with the Karnataka State Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (KSRLPS).

Water for People is an international non-profit working across 9 countries to bring safe water and sanitation to 4 million people.

Water for People

For us, it isn’t just about building wells, installing toilets, and setting up pumps. We’re looking to create long-lasting water and sanitation infrastructure by talking to local community members, governments, and business owners, to find out how they live and what they need to feel healthy, safe, empowered, and successful. We’re designing solutions based on long-term needs and long lives. We don’t want to be around forever, but we want these systems and services to last for generations to come.

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The Alliance has an ambitious 10-year goal to foster the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in 100 million households by 2020.

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership hosted by the UN Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s 100 by ‘20 goal calls for 100 million households to gain access to clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. We are working with a strong network of public, private and non-profit partners to accelerate the production, deployment, and use of clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels in developing countries.

CAWST teaches people how to get safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in their own homes, using simple, affordable technologies.

Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST)

CAWST is a Canadian charity and licensed engineering firm. We address the global need for safe drinking water and sanitation by building local knowledge and skills on household solutions people can implement themselves. We were founded in 2001.  

From 200ft to just 10ft! How IISc turned around the depleting water table

The constantly depleting groundwater table in Bengaluru has been a matter of deep alarm. But within the heart of the City, at Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the story that has unfolded fills one with hope. A tiny two-acre man-made forest developed by a group of researchers has turned into a groundwater reservoir. The forest adjoining the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) has raised the water table to a depth of just 10 feet within the institute. Before the project began, it was 200 feet deep.  

Thinking Outside the Box

ZubaBox is a shipping container converted into a solar-powered internet café or classroom for people in need living in remote areas — including refugee camps. The interior of the box can accommodate up to 11 individuals at a time and gives people in traditionally marginalized communities a sense of inclusion while widening their opportunities.  

How India’s ‘smart villages’ are centralising solar power

City-dwellers tend to take electricity for granted, says Ashok Das, but for the roughly 200 million Indians living off-grid, access to power is a privilege, not a right. Mr Das says that makes them a fertile ground for experimenting with smarter ways of using energy that could help the rural poor leapfrog traditional power networks to a greener, community-led approach. “Changing consumer behaviour in a big city is a major problem,” he says. “It will take decades to build smart cities, but I can get thousands of smart villages done in that time.”  

Sanitation First is a UK based charity providing GroSan toilets in the developing world.

If 90 school buses filled with under five’s were to crash every day, with no survivors, the world would take notice. But this is precisely what happens every single day because of poor water, sanitation and hygiene.” Sanjay Wijesekera, UNICEF.