UNDP and Impact Hub Announce Accelerate2030 Program Finalists

Together, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Impact Hub are pleased to announce the international finalists for the Accelerate2030 programme. Accelerate2030, is an international programme that supports high-impact ventures tackling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Since 2016, the Accelerate2030 programme has been implemented across 24 countries, covering 16 developing countries in this year’s edition.

Selected from over 1100 applications, this year represents a diverse cohort of impact-driven ventures covering numerous SDGs including innovative solutions for rapid and inexpensive diagnostics, bioplastic from olive seeds, and using artificial intelligence in agritech, to name only a few.

“This year’s cohort of Accelerate2030 ventures are developing innovative solutions to important Sustainable Development Goals. It is innovators like these entrepreneurs who set the pace for addressing the world’s most pressing challenges related to the environment, food security, clean water, and many other important challenges manifested by SDGs.” notes Artak Melkonyan, UNDP.

Photo Credit: ImpactHubSanJose

The 10 International Accelerate2030 finalists are:

Unima (Mexico): Biotechnology company that develops rapid and inexpensive diagnostic and disease surveillance systems. The company’s goal is to solve the lack of access to rapid diagnostics for the 3 billion people in developing and resource-poor countries.

Portal Telemedicina (Brazil): Portal Telemedicina’s mission is to enable universal access to quality healthcare, through a platform that provides reliable, fast, and low-cost diagnostics to over 300 cities in Brazil and Africa by allowing doctors to diagnose online empowered by artificial intelligence (AI).

Bio Live (Turkey): Biolive produces 100% natural bioplastic granules made from olive seeds, in order to overcome environmental problems of plastic consumption, and to fulfil the deficiencies in bio/plastic market.

AgroCognitive (Venezuela): An affordable and smart precision farming platform for every farm size and food industry. It is powered by an artificial intelligence (AI) visual recognition engine, analytics models, blockchain, and it is compatible with IoT management devices.

Ekofungi (Serbia): Ekofungi is a mid-sized organic mushroom producer using an innovative circular mushroom-production model that harnesses local cellulose-based wastes (in a 30 km radius), creating mushroom substrate and cultivation mushrooms using unique energy-efficient innovations.

Impact Water (Nigeria): Delivering safe water to developing country institutions (schools and health facilities), via the sale, installation, and maintenance of water purification systems which use established technologies that perform effectively for decades with relatively simple, preventive maintenance.

InvestEd (The Philippines): InvestEd enables institutions and individuals to invest in loans to unbanked college students through an innovative credit scoring tool that predicts repayment and employment.

Sampangan (Indonesia): An innovative waste processing solution using carbonisation technology (heat radiation) to efficiently decompose any kind of solid waste (organic & inorganic) into carbon for organic agriculture and other industries.

Costa Rica Insect Company (Costa Rica): Creating sustainable insect-based solutions, and providing high quality and healthy solutions for malnutrition. In addition CRIC seeks to use of insects to develop biochemical components for unsustainable industries such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, technology or even packaging.

SoluBio (Brazil): SoluBio’s mission is to eliminate the usage of chemicals in agriculture through a technology that enables farmers to produce their own biofungicide, biopesticide and other necessary products in agriculture.

For more information on the ventures, visit https://accelerate2030.net/2019-global-finalists

These ten finalists will join the global Accelerate2030 scaling programme, kicked off by an intensive
week of activities in Geneva from 4-11 of October, benefitting from a set of services and support offered by UNDP, Impact Hub, International Trade Centre, Pfizer, Amazon Web Services, UNAIDS, Boston Consulting Group and other program partners. The Geneva week is part of the Building Bridges Week, connecting key players working in the field of sustainable finance, with the entrepreneurs presenting at the SDG Geneva Finance Summit (SGS Geneva) on October 9th, and the Factory17 event on October 10th.

About Accelerate2030

Accelerate2030 is a multi-stakeholder program, co-initiated by Impact Hub and UNDP, with the mission to scale the impact of entrepreneurial solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme has to-date been implemented in three editions, in 24 developing and emerging economies across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, reaching 2 million people and more than 1500 entrepreneurs, and engaging around 50 partners globally. Within this time, the programme has brought together numerous entrepreneurs, investors, UN agencies, multinational organizations, consultancies, local authorities and other stakeholders around a common mission of addressing the SDGs through entrepreneurial solutions.

This year the program was launched across 16 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Cambodia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Turkey, Serbia, and Armenia.

For more information & interview requests, please contact:

Impact Hub Geneva UNDP Geneva
Ljupka Mitrinovska, Accelerate2030 Sarah Bel
Email: ljupka.mitrinovska@impacthub.ch Email: sarah.bel@undp.org
Tel: +41 76 396 64 13

Learn more about the program at www.accelerate2030.net.
Media kit with photos and visuals available here.

Impact Hub and WWF Join Forces for the Oceans!

JOIN FORCES FOR THE OCEANS: For any of our members and partners addressing themes like climate, energy, food, water, and oceans — some of WWF’s key areas of focus — Impact Hub has a partnership with WWF that aims to bring together innovators from our two networks, identify high potential solutions and provide these with access to WWF’s deep expertise in nature conservation as well as credibility and support in scaling and access to finance.

Impact Hub’s partnership with WWF builds on 8 years of successful collaboration and now enters a new phase. Our ambition is to expand our collaboration to many more countries around the globe, working together on a deep strategic level to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. 

First, we need to have a better sense of the kind of solutions within the wider community. Then we might, for example, provide ventures with best practices from Impact Hubs around the globe, reach out regarding relevant events, WWF projects, joint programs, support offers, among other things to inspire and enable you to move forward with your project.

One dump truck full of plastic waste enters our ocean every minute and by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. As unsettling as these facts are, there are lots of changemakers out there already getting involved and acting for a more sustainable world. If you are one of them, don’t miss the chance to learn from our experience and make a difference. Register now!: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScKtXZYmF-Cnqnz61Txg9GPD7bypXoBtjdNMLll_yOGEUhSBw/viewform

To learn more, go to http://wwf.impacthub.net/about/. If you’re an Impact Hub Houston member and apply to participate, please let us know! >>> houston@impacthub.net

…and if you’d like to become a member and participate in this opportunity, sign up now at https://houston.impacthub.net/membership. We look forward to helping you create the impact you wish to see in the world!

Adidas And Impact Hub To Boost Ventures Inspiring Girls In Sport

  • “She Breaks Barriers” program for ventures removing the barriers faced by girls and young women  in sport
  • Teams have the chance to co-create with adidas and win €15,000
  • Start-ups, non-profits and initiatives can apply until July 7

adidas and Impact Hub today opened applications for the “She Breaks Barriers” program, which will support changemakers that are removing the barriers that stand between girls and sport. Early-stage start-ups, non-profits and other initiatives that operate in Germany and address access, gender stereotype and visibility barriers faced by girls in sport have until July 7 to apply for the three-month program. It aims to inspire and enable girls and young women under the age of 25 — who at this age are at particularly high risk of being systematically shut out of sport.

She Breaks Barriers is a series of adidas initiatives to inspire and enable the next generation of female athletes, creators, and leaders. This program is run in partnership with the social entrepreneurship network Impact Hub — one of the world’s largest communities for positive change — and draws on their expertise to find and boost ventures that remove barriers to sport for girls. We are looking for changemakers who address any relevant barriers, from safety concerns to a lack of opportunity and access to sport or limited visibility of female sports in the news and in the local sports club.

At adidas, we believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives. ‘She Breaks Barriers’ is about inspiring and enabling the next generation of strong, confident leaders. It’s about removing the barriers between women and sport, and providing them with the tools necessary to lift themselves and others up, on and off the pitch”, Luc Van Hoeckel, adidas’ Director of Social Impact.

The selected teams will have the chance to get mentoring and coaching from experienced adidas experts, attend three tailored business clinics, co-create with adidas  & access the global network of both adidas and Impact Hub, and win € 15,000.

“The program is not just about removing challenges that girls and young women encounter on the sports pitch but also about breaking the societal barriers that prevent them from participating in sport: The ventures we are looking for could be anything from initiatives that eliminate gender and sports stereotypes to mobile apps ensuring safe transport for girls to their training”, Gabriela Gandel, Impact Hub’s Global Executive Director.

Any early-stage start-ups, non-profit organizations and initiatives that operate in Germany can apply, as long as they have a unique, innovative and creative approach to removing barriers for girls in sport, a proof of concept, and a sustainable financial, funding or business model.

For more information and to apply, visit the She Breaks Barriers website.

About adidas:

adidas has its roots in Germany but it is a truly global company. Around the world, the company employs over 57,000 people. Employees from about 100 nations are working at the global HQ in Herzogenaurach, Germany – the ‘World of Sports’. Every year, adidas produces over 900 million sports and sports lifestyle products with independent manufacturing partners worldwide.

About Impact Hub:

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,000+ change-driven entrepreneurs in more than 50 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. We build ecosystems to drive collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation around the Global Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, Visits Impact Hub Lusaka

Africa’s social innovation scene is blossoming

Over the last 3 years, the Impact Hub network has experienced a phase of rapid growth across Africa. Now, the network’s membership in the region has grown to include 1,400+ entrepreneurs and changemakers. An internal survey shows that:

  • 93% of members are under the age of 35
  • 31% of members started a new project or venture with someone they met at Impact Hub
  • 64% of members reported double digit revenue growth in 2017
  • Members created 190 new jobs in 2017
  • Members attribute 50% of their success to being part of the Impact Hub community

Is it any surprise that re:publica chose Accra as its first non-European destination this year? Or that German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently visited Impact Hub Accra, and that The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, just visited Lusaka to meet the local entrepreneurs devoted to changing the entrepreneurial ecosystem for this better? Hardly.

The Duke of Sussex meets with local entrepreneurs in Lusaka

As part of the Royal Visit’s recent trip to Zambia, Prince Harry devoted his time to showing support for local innovators, including the co-founder of Impact Hub Lusaka, Brighton Kaoma.

We caught up with Brighton to find out how it went…

Why did The Duke of Sussex come to Lusaka?

The Duke of Sussex  Prince Harry  came to see the work that young Zambians are doing, notably with Impact Hub Lusaka.

With Impact Hub we’re working to provide economic opportunities, especially in regards to employment creation, innovation, and amplifying the voices of young people through activism and community organizing.

How does he plan on supporting this ecosystem?

Prince Harry was particularly interested in how he could shine a light on the work that young Zambians are doing. The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, of which he is the president, is supporting the work of young people in the form of funding, membership and capacity-building for organizations and institutions.

His visit was all about providing a springboard for the work of many young Zambians. It was about providing visibility, about celebrating success stories and assuring young people that he’s going to be there giving direction, leadership and support.

Tell us about the event…

As an alumni of the Queen’s Young Leaders Award, I was invited to be part of an organizing committee for Prince Harry’s visit. We arranged for 200 young people from other African countries to be brought to Lusaka, where we gathered and met Prince Harry.

We joined a panel of speakers who shared their stories and inspired young leaders across the continent to continue changing lives, and I spoke about our plans for Impact Hub Lusaka, which is opening very soon…

Like all of us at Impact Hub, Prince Harry also has a strong belief in ensuring that young people are at the driving seat of development.

What’s the connection between the Commonwealth Trust and Impact Hub?

I took part in a Commonwealth Trust program called Queen’s Young Leaders, established by the British Royal family in 2015. This was set up to identify young people across the Commonwealth who are using their initiative to bring about social transformation. I applied to be part of it, and was fortunate enough to win and receive an award from the Queen at Buckingham Palace, before attending a year-long leadership course at the University of Cambridge.

Social innovation was what allowed me to become a part of this community. I started championing change at a very young age, about 14 years-old, before going on to win this award and co-founding Impact Hub Lusaka.

What does the social innovation scene look like in Lusaka right now?

There’s a huge demand for social innovation resources in Lusaka at the moment. We’re in the process of setting up Impact Hub Lusaka, which will support entrepreneurs and feed this entrepreneurial hunger.

All of this innovation is happening because we have a huge unemployment rate in Zambia. In our country over 60% of the population is comprised of young people and universities are churning out students that don’t meet the current needs of labour market.

So, Impact Hub will endeavour to provide services and programs aimed at meeting the needs of the corporate world, as well as the labour market.

What’s your approach?

We intend on providing leadership and social entrepreneurship programs to help innovators accelerate their businesses from ideation to launch. My focus with Impact Hub is on alleviating youth unemployment in Zambia where there is a huge demographic dividend right now, which we can take advantage of. If we don’t, it might work against us.

Impact Hub Lusaka aims to close that employment gap, so that young people can be their own bosses and have a more conducive place to work from. Where they can be surrounded by a community of similar, like-minded changemakers who share their passions and interests.

Do you think this economic landscape reflects the rest of the continent?

This unemployment rate applies to the whole of Africa right now. Africa at large has a very youthful population, and this also presents itself as an opportunity. It means that the working labour market is going to increase, human resources are going to increase, and human capital is going to increase because of a productive workforce.

But by looking across Africa you also discover that there aren’t enough opportunities to take advantage of that huge productive workforce. Just like any other African country, Zambia is at a stage where it’s due a break. It’s a defining moment to either take advantage of this huge demographic dividend, or allow it to take advantage of us as a generation.

Impact Hub will work towards bridging that gap, and we’ll endeavour to collaborate with different institutions across the world globally who are working towards the same cause.

Do you think this gap is being met with rising levels of innovation?

It is. So many social entrepreneurs and changemakers are building spaces to bring about transformation in different sectors of development.

There’s a huge hunger among young Zambians – just like in other countries on the African continent – to ensure that we use the resources that we have, to take advantage of the opportunities we’re presented with in this generation.

Impact Hub, and The Duke of Sussex, are working to nourish it.


Find out more about Africa’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem here.

Learn more about re:publica Accra from the event’s co-organizers: Impact Hub Accra.

Prince Harry’s support for Impact Hub Lusaka works towards the following SDGs: