THE ENTREPRENEURS OF THE SDG FINANCE GENEVA SUMMIT 2019
UNDP, through its annual SDG Finance Geneva Summit (SGSGeneva), strives to identify – through a highly competitive process – 15 to 20 innovative entrepreneurs from emerging markets who have developed at-scale products and services that contribute to solving some of the main economic, social, and environmental challenges of our time while achieving commercial success.
The resulting innovators and start-ups represent top-notch impact-focused entrepreneurs, showcasing some of the best investable ideas and business models to implement the SDGs.
For further details on the selected entrepreneurs and the GSIV & Accelerate2030 identification processes, see below.
The Growth Stage Impact Ventures for SDGs (GSIV)
The GSIV selection process, organized by UNDP, EPFL Tech4Impact, Orange, and SAP, focuses on mature impact ventures in emerging countries with a catalytic potential that can drive both large impact and yield.
The 12 finalists represent innovative solutions for the SDGs across three themes (access to health, energy, and financial services) and 11 developing countries. They have a proven business model, have raised their Series A or have reached break-even of their operations, and can grow and deliver large impact while demonstrating their profitability.
Established in 2011, Frontier Markets aims to broaden rural communities’ access to clean sources of energy using an entrepreneurial model. The company trains and empowers women to sell and service solar power solutions and other appliances to rural communities.
Established in 2010, Ignitia Tropical Weather Forecasting (Ignitia) has developed a state-of-the-art weather forecasting model tailored specifically for predicting tropical weather in West Africa. With 84% accuracy rates, this tool allows farmers to optimise crop production and has a positive impact on their bottom line.
Established in 2010, Sistema.bio makes durable, lowcost biodigesters that convert farm waste to clean energy in partnership with smallholder farmers in eight developing countries (Latin America, East Africa, and Asia) to address the challenges of poverty, food security, and climate change.
Established in 2010, Amartha is the leading fintech peer-to-peer microlending to the unbanked in the region. Fast forward to 2019, over 250,000 grassroots women entrepreneurs are empowered, and Amartha have started tackling an even greater challenge: to alleviate poverty and reduce income inequality by connecting more funds to villages.
Established in 2010, ayzh Health & Livelihood Pvt Ltd. (ayzh) serves the world’s most vulnerable women, girls, and babies by offering women-focused products, addressing Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A).
Established in 2015, Totohealth tackles high maternal and child mortality rates in East Africa, especially in Kenya, by providing advice to mothers in marginalised communities through AI-enhanced mobile innovation.
Ten finalist ventures of the Accelerate2030 program will present their entrepreneurial solutions for the SDGs to investors and key stakeholders working towards the 2030 Agenda at the SDG Finance Geneva Summit 2019.
Accelerate2030, co-initiated by Impact Hub and the UNDP, identifies ventures with tested and scaling-ready solutions supporting the SDGs, provides them with tailored scaling support at national and global levels, and develops the infrastructure needed for innovations to scale their impact.
Accelerate 2030 Finalists
InvestEd enables institutions and individuals to invest in loans to unbanked college students through an innovative credit scoring tool that predicts repayment and employment.
Biolive is a biotechnology company that produces and sells antimicrobial and antioxidant bioplastic granules made from olive seeds. Biolive granules are biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, transparent and 90% more cost effective than existing bioplastics by utilizing waste from olive oil companies.
Sampangan is an innovative waste processing solution using carbonisation technology (heat radiation) to efficiently decompose any kind of solid waste (organic & inorganic) into carbon for organic agriculture and other industries.
Impact Water Nigeria (IW) – formally registered as Global Impact H20 Innovations Ltd. – is a social enterprise dedicated to scaling safe drinking water solutions in Nigeria. IW targets SDG pillar institutions such as schools and, soon, health facilities.
Ekofungi is a mid-sized organic mushroom producer using an innovative circular mushroom-production model. Ekofungi uses and composts local cellulose-based mushroom waste to fertilise soil for vegetable and mushroom cultivation.
Unima is a biotechnology company developing fast and low cost diagnostics and disease surveillance systems. The company’s goal is to solve the problem of lack of access to timely diagnostics for 3 billion people living in the developing world and in low resource settings in developed countries.
Portal Telemedicina’s mission is to enable universal access to quality healthcare, through a platform that provides reliable, fast, and low-cost diagnostics to over 300 cities in Brazil and Africa by allowing doctors to diagnose online, empowered by artificial intelligence (AI).
AgroCognitive is an affordable and smart precision farming platform for every farm size and food industry. It is powered by artificial intelligence (AI), a visual recognition engine, analytics models, blockchain, and compatible with IoT management devices. Their goal is to make agriculture sustainable again and help farmers increase food production, earn more money and reduce environmental impact.
Costa Rica Insect Company (CRIC)
Costa Rica Insect Company (CRIC) creates sustainable insect-based solutions. They make nutritious, insect-based products that fight malnutrition, alongside developing biochemical components for unsustainable industries such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, technology and packaging.
SoluBio’s mission is to eliminate the use of chemicals in agriculture through a technology that enables farmers to produce their own biofungicide and biopesticide. This not only provides positive impacts to the environment and soils, but also reduces costs for farmers.