2017-2018 Social Sector Franchise Accelerator Protégés

Protégé Companies

Apps and Girls 

With the mission of providing young women with equal economic and social opportunity, Apps and Girls is small social enterprise dedicated to providing coding training, entrepreneurship coaching, and mentorship to school-age girls in Tanzania. Through coding clubs within their own schools, young Tanzanian girls get to learn app development, web programming, game development, and robotics—technology skills that are traditionally offered in a male-centric setting. Apps and Girls provides the knowledge, tools, and self-esteem needed for young women to become competitive in the fast-moving technology sector. By combining current transferrable skills with coaching, internships, events, and incubators, Apps and Girls provides a unique offering to help young women grow into successful technology entrepreneurs. Learn more...

Wessex Social Enterprises

Wessex is currently running three social enterprises that address issues for those living on less than $2/day: Petal, educating communities and providing women with sanitary napkins; Roots, building hygienic toilet facilities that turn waste into fertilizer; and Right Light, which rents solar lamps to communities without adequate infrastructure. Their business-in-a-box approach deploys these offerings through a microfranchise model, creating entrepreneurship opportunities for communities and individuals. Wessex’s “Million Million Million” plan seeks to provide 1 million school children with safe, hygienic toilets, 1 million girls with affordable, hygienic sanitary towels, and 1 million people with access to affordable, safe lighting in five years. By collaborating with entities in the private, public, and social sector, Wessex Social Enterprises aids in international development by empowering impoverished people to meet their own needs in sustainable ways. Learn more...

Livelihood Basix

Livelihood Basix provides solutions for smallholder farmers, women, and youth living in sub-Saharan Africa by addressing issues of agriculture development, financial inclusion, and vocational skills. Basix provides a suite of programs that assist the poor, including deploying technological improvements to agricultural problems, coordinating networks for greater bargaining/purchasing power, increasing access to credit, reducing financial transaction costs, and providing skills-based training for employability. Through these programs, Basix helps to modernize production, decrease costs, and increase yields for farmers in Tanzania. By applying technological solutions and training, struggling farmers are empowered to build their livelihood in sustainable ways. Learn more...

Supply Hope /Mercado Fresco

Supply Hope, a non-profit organizations works through Mercado Fresco and network of more than eighty micro-franchises that increases access to nutritious, affordable, high-quality food while empowering women through the creation of in-home grocery stores in Nicaragua. Supply Hope coordinates sourcing and distribution, and provides business acumen, customer service, and food handling training to help break the cycle of poverty. With a lack of quality nutritious and inexpensive food options, Mercado Fresco brings a needed offering to the low-income communities in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua. Simultaneously, mothers and grandmothers are provided the opportunity to gain a financial independence while still caring for their families, by running the Mercado Fresco grocery stores out of their homes. Learn more...

Pollinate Energy

Pollinate Energy  brings highly affordable, quality products such as cook stoves, solar lamps, fans, and water filters to the urban slums of India through a micro-franchise model. Pollinate uses door-to-door salespeople, or “Pollinators” to increase access to needed products, knowledge, social justice, and financial opportunity. Products are intended to drastically improve the lives of the poorest people in India, and are offered at radically affordable prices and with available short-term repayment plans. Pollinators benefit from intensive training and support, gain transferrable skills, and achieve financial independence with opportunities to advance within the organization. Learn more...

Protégé Biographies

Image of CarolyneCarolyne Ekyarisiima – Tanzania
Apps and Girls

Contact: ekyarisiimac@gmail.com
Website: www.appsandgirls.com

As founder of Apps and Girls, Carolyne began teaching coding to school-age girls out of her living room in 2013. Already this endeavor has grown to 21 “coding clubs”, where girls are empowered by harnessing the power of technology, entrepreneurship, and mentorship.

Carolyne, a Mandela Washington Fellow, holds a Bachelors in Computer Science and a Masters in Information Systems, and has worked as a lecturer at Kampala International University. A driven and passionate woman, Carolyne is dedicated to bridging the gender gap and creating opportunities for young women to become technological entrepreneurs. Carolyne is a Tigo and Reach for Change Digital Changemaker, and was awarded a certificate of achievement in 2014 for her great efforts in improving children’s lives through innovation & digital technology at the Hackathon Prototype Change 2014 in Sweden. Carolyne is a mentor and judge at First Global Robotics competition 2017 and serves as a mentor at the Africa Entrepreneurship Award. 

Image of SanjaySanjay Behuria—Ithaca, NY
Livelihood BASIX

Contact: behuria.sanjay@gmail.com
Website: http://www.livelihoodbasix.org

Sanjay Behuria is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Livelihood BASIX Inc., applying his years of experience in executive positions for the international banking sector to helping improve the lives of underserved people and communities across the world.

Sanjay is a successful consultant and business coach, and Senior Professional Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprises, Johnson School of Management, Cornell University. 

Image of BethBeth Meadows—Chicago, Illinois
Mercado Fresco

Contact: bmeadows@supplyhope.org
Website: http://www.supplyhope.org/mercado-fresco/

As a child, Beth ran multi-location lemonade stand operations, and today, she puts her knowledge of scalable and successful business to work by creating Mercado Fresco, a microfranchise network that increases access to healthy food and provides economic opportunity for women and families in Nicaragua.

Beth is a proven entrepreneur, having started and sold many businesses across 25 years. Her most successful endeavors include a renowned travel agency franchise that she sold to American Express. However, she has taken to heart the fact that the opportunities granted her are not shared in the developing world—and believes that in many cases, an intervention is needed to break the cycle of poverty. As Founder and CEO of Mercado Fresco, Beth helps to provide be that intervention for families in Nicaragua, applying her lifetime of marketing, sales, and distribution knowledge to help women set up and run their own businesses.

Image of MadhaviMadhavi Kulkarni – Bangalore, India
Pollinate Energy

Contact: madhavi.k@pollinateenergy.org
Website: pollinateenergy.org

Madhavi Kulkarni studied a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science, but quickly pivoted to Human Resources through her first job out of college. Over her career of 7+ years, Madhavi has worked in Accenture, a US based communications firm Brocade, a health startup Pixel, and now social enterprise Pollinate Energy. Throughout her career she has held various roles across the HR portfolio ranging from staff development, engagement, training, recruitment and importantly – making people happy. Her background in computer sciences has led her to develop a uniquely analytical approach to improving employee satisfaction in an organization, and she prides herself on proving, through data, that her initiatives have great impact across teams.

Madhavi has always been intrigued by culture in the workplace, and is passionate about improving culture, systems and operations to ensure that her employees are motivated and excited by their work. She believes that employees are the backbone of an organization. The happier they are, the better they perform, and the more impact the organization can have. Her role at Pollinate Energy empowers her to do this, to the end goal of delivering more life-changing products (like solar lanterns) to families living in poverty across India.

In Madhavi’s current role, she has also been tasked with helping Pollinate scale its operation through further franchising across India. With this project comes the ultimate challenge – ensuring that an organization of 50 can grow efficiently to an organization of 200 and more. Madhavi is thrilled to be a part of the UNH franchising program, to learn how best to scale Pollinate’s impact through its people as it grows.

Image of AdamAdam Boxer – London, United Kingdom
Wessex Social Ventures

Contact: adam.boxer@wessexsocialventures.com
Website: http://wessexsocialventures.com/

Adam, from London, UK, has a passion for frugal innovation, innovation that changes lives.

While studying at the University of Southampton, Adam spent most of his time developing projects in India and East Africa. Solutions to grassroots challenges like sanitation and roofing; working with the likes of IIMA, India’s top management University. This work led Adam to found a social business incubator at the University. One of his creations, JuaMaji, may be the first sustainable solution to the global water crisis, already recognized by Unilever among others.

When Adam graduated with a 1st class Masters in Aerospace Engineering, he turned his back on the corporate and engineering routes, co-founding Wessex Social Ventures C.I.C. (WSV), an impact accelerator and social franchisor.  With WSV’s  Million, Million, Million Plan; to set up micro-franchises that will provide 1 million women and girls with reusable sanitary towels, 1 million school children with improved toilets and 1 million people with sustainable lighting, in 5 years. Adam, alongside his co-founder Bradley Heslop, is starting to revolutionize the way aid is provided.

Adam is also the Founder of the Royal Society of Arts’ International Development Network; leading debates, fostering ideas and facilitating collaboration by hundreds of fellows.

Adam by himself offers an unnerving talent to tackle almost any problem and the passion and work ethic to make it happen. But, combine him with his co-founder Bradley and you have a something truly special, a perfectly balanced partnership that is truly to be reckoned with!