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5 Innovative Social Entrepreneurs Working in Community Development

SOCAP Global August 2, 2021

SOCAP21 Virtual Scholarship Entrepreneur Winners Are Removing Barriers to Improve Lives Arounds the World

Every year, SOCAP grants scholarships to social entrepreneurs from all over the globe. This year’s entrepreneurs represent incredible solutions to pressing social, cultural, and environmental problems. Check out the full list of winners here. SOCAP21 virtual scholarship entrepreneur winners in community development are seeking to remove barriers that impact the daily lives of individuals and communities. 

Below, hear from five entrepreneurs from around the world who are making an impact in community development — and join us at SOCAP21, alongside all of our social entrepreneurs who are bringing the most innovative solutions around the globe to scale.

Bonocle Inc.

What is your company solving for? 

Bonocle is the first ever braille entertainment platform bringing exciting experiences to the blind community that was never before available digitally.

What is inspiring you now? 

The potential to help blind and visually impaired individuals with challenges and obstacles that they have to navigate around on a daily basis to get basic access to education and digital content.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Keep pushing social entrepreneurship and try to bring awareness to the stigma that social entrepreneurship is not profitable.

FarmerStory

What is your company solving for? 

We work with communities (Farmers, Artisans, Tribal SHG’s & small enterprises) from across India and provide them with fair and transparent market access (domestic and international). On the market side, we drive sustainable consumption in institutions, such as corporations, schools, and hotels, and connect their supply requirements with such communities. Our work has generated multiple economic and environmental impacts over the past three years.

What is inspiring you now? 

Connecting communities from across India to larger market opportunities—both domestic and global—in a fair and transparent manner.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Driving sustainable consumption in institutions and families by connecting them with socially and environmentally impacting communities. 

Guide to Indigenous DC

What is your company solving for? 

In 2018, the First Nations Development Institute released a report indicating that invisibility remains one of the largest barriers to racial and social equity for Native communities, with the majority of non-Native Americans reporting not knowing a single Indigenous person. The Guide to Indigenous DC deploys mapping technology and application development to confront this national myth of invisibility. By highlighting sites of importance to Native peoples within, and contributions to, Washington DC, the Guide to Indigenous DC showcases the empowering stories of how this prominent city is a place of tribal gathering, presence, and advocacy with a long, rich history. 

What is inspiring you now? 

Indigenous issues.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Incorporate Indigenous voices.

Kit Switch 

What is your company solving for? 

Kit Switch designs and sells a kit of interior building components for housing developers to convert vacant commercial buildings into affordable apartments. We make building retrofits more accessible, more affordable and faster, reduce embodied carbon, and divert landfill waste, all while contributing towards an equitable recovery from the recession.

What is inspiring you now? 

The social impact and the disruption it would bring to the industry.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Be bold and take action. If not, someone else might do it but not for the impact!

Traipse PBC & My Local Token

What is your company solving for? 

Traipse PBC provides innovative tools to local tourism, economic development, and cultural organizations in U.S. communities to help them support locally owned businesses and preserve historic business districts, and in turn gives both locals and visitors the means to explore Place. These tools include the app Traipse, which hosts gamified walking tours that promote independent and legacy merchants, and a scalable, digital community currency ecosystem in development with one of our local partners.

What is inspiring you now? 

I am inspired by the many innovative ways local governments and organizations are trying to help their citizens and small businesses recover from the pandemic, especially those that are achieving a new focus on equity and circular economies.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?My request to the SOCAP community is to follow and potentially contribute posts to our new Medium publication, Local Unlimited, which focuses on local economic development. And additionally, consider investing in the My Local Token digital community currency project.

Social Entrepreneurship / Sustainable Development
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