Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer...
Award-winning Social Innovation Projects for Rural India
The winners of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC) were announced in Austin, Texas last month [month, not weekwinners were announced JUNE 13TH], and the top awards were bagged by young social innovators with projects for rural India. The awards are instituted to recognize undergraduate and graduate students who come up with social innovation projects that make an impact on communities around the world.
The grand prize of $50,000 went to Essmart Global, a social enterprise that provides retailers in rural India access to useful products that improve the consumers' quality of life by combining process innovations in sourcing latest technologies and helping them reach rural regions. If Essmart's project achieves scale successfully, it could benefit about 10 million mom-and-pop retail shop owners by empowering them with new technologies and helping them create higher-margin revenue streams.
The second prize of $30,000 was bagged by a unique project called the "Humanure Power Project" (HPP) that aims to improve the power supply situation and sanitation in rural India by building community toilets and harnessing human waste to generate electricity and methane that can be used by communities via 12-V batteries. HPP has been focusing on the villages in the backward rural areas to help build a good sanitation infrastructure and generate power.
The DSIC competition provides aspiring social entrepreneurs with professional training and teaching, and supports them with start-up capital and access to a network of experienced advisors and mentors. Entries to the competition are evaluated on the basis of three key criteria: significance of social impact potential and clarity of innovation; demonstration of a serious possibility of success; and potential benefit from winning DSIC recognition.
The year the competition received about 1,800 entries from 105 countries. The five chosen finalists were invited to Austin, Texas to participate in a "Finalist Weekend" that involved mentoring and networking with important social innovation leaders. Suzi Sosa, DSIC Executive Director and Associate Director, RGK Center at The University of Texas at Austin said: "Through innovation and action, young people are addressing the world's most pressing human issues by turning their passion into real solutions."
Source: The Economic Times
Photo Credit: Netean