Who won the 2012 University of Washington Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition trade show prizes of people’s choice and investors’ choice awards? Take a look at the top solutions to lifing people out of poverty.
Copenhagen Business School’s team of graduate students created low-cost, sustainable silicon cups for women and young girls who menstruate to combat an environmental problem and social stigma in the third world. They have been in the field in Africa and launched their first business model in Kenya, offering a cup that is reusable and affordable to a community of women who lose out on economic and social opportunites due to existing, sub-par menstrual products or no products at all.
Ruby Cup was noted highly for showcasing their actual product during the trade show to demonstrate the effectiveness of this high quality, long lasting and affordable medical grade silicone.
The investors’ award was based on the decisions of all the “mock investors” (faculty, alumni, business professionals) who had the opportunity to hear each and every team’s one-minute “elevator pitch” as well as interact with the teams during the trade show event.
University of Oklahoma’s team combats blindness in China where there is a large backlog of cataract-ridden people awaiting surgery. They offer medical training to provide a much-needed service to people who need it through a multiple-tier approach of training doctors, educating patients and marketing.
The trade show of the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition gives an opportunity for global teams from countries such as Bangladesh and Rwanda to promote their ideas to the University of Washington and greater Seattle business communities. Teams and their business ideas were in the spotlight: impressing judges using posters, prototypes and videos. All the long hours of research, analysis and innovation of the teams were put on display, vetted and tested.
Other social entrepreneurship business ideas
- Team SasaAfrica from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Nairobi and United States International University that strives to empower craftswomen through the use of ecommerce on mobile phones.
- Kyambogo University (Uganda) and Amity University’s (India) Green Fuel Team revealing “green” charcoal made of disposed garbage to counter the health and environmental problems from heavy dependence on charcoal/wood fuel in Uganda.
- India’s Srunja Team, where rescued victims of human trafficking are taught vocational talents of jewelry making and “soft” business skills.
Learn more about the University of Washington Foster School of Business Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition. The 2012 event had record applicants thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation travel grants.