One of the most exciting things about my work is the incredibly talented people I get to meet. Up-and-coming entrepreneurs with a never-say-die, get-up-and-go attitude. I'm continually inspired and more than happy to offer my help in any way I can, particularly to those looking to implement FrontlineSMS one way or another in their work. Today, two of these projects have made it through to the next round of a major competition and are looking for your help. I hope you feel equally inspired to show your support - it's only a few mouse clicks away and costs little. What's it all about?
The Unreasonable Institute unites up to 25 high-impact social entrepreneurs from around the world, who attend an intensive 10-week summer institute. There, entrepreneurs incubate their ventures with rigorous skills training and expert mentorship. At the end of the ten weeks, the Institute connects the Fellows with start-up capital and a global network of support. In short, the opportunity provided by the Institute will make a significant contribution to the growth of these early-stage initiatives.
Finalist #1: FrontlineSMS:Credit
FrontlineSMS:Credit, run by Ben Lyon, is one of the finalists. FrontlineSMS:Credit aims to make every formal financial service available to the entrepreneurial poor in 160 characters or less. By meshing the functionality of FrontlineSMS with local mobile payment systems, implementing institutions will be able to provide a full range of customizable services, from savings and credit to insurance and payroll. Ben is currently in Sierra Leone testing his system, and signing up local organisations for early pilots. Visit Ben's page on the competition website and support his pioneering work!
Finalist #2: Light Up Malawi
Light Up Malawi - run byRaina Kumra - is a venture which aims to bring 100% alternative energy to Malawi through policy reform and the creation of a sanctioned pilot program for all manufacturers of solar, biomass, and wind energy products. In a sign that collaboration is alive and well even among competition finalists, one of the key systems they plan to deploy is FrontlineSMS:Credit, which will be used to assist with the setting up of rural distribution programs, and allow for the creation of finance systems for village entrepreneus. Please show your support for Raina's work by visiting her competition page here.
Both projects need pledges of just $10 from 650 individuals. The first 25 projects from the 37 finalists to raise $6,500 will secure their place on the summer program. Please take a moment to show your support. You pledge now and pay later, and it only takes a minute. Thank you!
(You can read more about how the Unreasonable Marketplace works here).