The Unreasonable Institute announced the top 27 social enterprises to make it to the Institute in Boulder, Colorado. The Unreasonable Institute is an 8-week program providing networks, education, and funding for social enterprises that seek to touch the lives of at least 1 million people. Each finalist organization must raise $8,000 through crowdfunding to earn its admission into the program.
Teju Ravilochan, one of the Unreasonable co-founders, said this year, the institute “upped the ante” for its applicants. “We required them to have full-time teams, prototypes or pilots, and ideally at least $1 in revenue,” Teju wrote in an email to NextBillion. “And the caliber of applicants was truly world-class, with most applicants having market validation for their work and extensive interaction with their customers. Because their quality was so high, we had to consult experts, review applications four times, and debate for hours over which candidates to advance to the Finalist round. And from there, they dazzled us, raising in over $260,000 in 36 days from nearly 4,000 supporters in 60 countries. The candidates that successfully raised $8,000 have proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that they deserve seats at the Unreasonable Institute.”
However, the real work lies farther down the line; the entrepreneurs privy to an Unreasonable education will later face a much less predictable set of obstacles as they continue to try to fill formidable voids at the BoP. At least they will be armed with an education, perhaps funding, and most importantly, the support of tens of thousands of supporters who believe they can do it.
The 27 Top Social Enterprises:
Environment/Energy: First Power One Earth Designs Eco Fuel Africa Limited Cycle Chalao Worms 4 Change One Degree Solar Green Channel EGG-energy CalSolAgua YoReciclo NICE International Use Solar, Save Lives ONergy Social Challenges: Afroes Transformational Games Terra Shift BLISS WorldHaus ARUNIUM Access to finance and markets: Solidarium Prosperitas Microfinanzas InVenture Arohona Dairy Pvt. Ltd. CARMa Venutre Services Nutrition and Agriculture: Malo Traders LLC Water: DayOne Response, Inc Wello Health: BioSense Technologies
Cause Integration Perspective: The leaders of the above social enterprises all demonstrated their proficiency in galvanizing the support of their fans and followers by raising $8,000 in order to earn the tuition for the institute. Now these social entrepreneurs prepare for an institute that will educate them, provide access to powerful social change networks, and open them up to funding opportunities that can help these enterprises reach scale and impact the lives of hopefully a million people or more.
Finalists emerged from multiple sectors of the impact economy, with myriad energy enterprises and socially-oriented organizations in addition to finance enterprises and companies dealing with the health of individuals living in the BoP, or bottom of the economic pyramid. The Unreasonable Institute is a testament to the ongoing success of the social enterprise and impact economy movement, which has shown remarkable growth in recent years and only shows signs of maturing and growing further. Our society and economy benefits from the success of organizations such as these and the leaders that run them.
CauseCast – by Causecast Editor