Meet The Newest Social Innovators: Echoing Green Announces Its 2011 Fellows [VIDEO]
An Echoing Green Fellowship is worth its weight in gold to emerging social entrepreneurs, providing not only two years of seed funding, technical support and mentoring, but the gravitas of being included in a group that counts Wendy Kopp of Teach for America, Alan Khazei of City Year, SKS Microfinance’s Vikram Akula, and The Global Fund for Children’s Maya Ajmera as alumni.
Echoing Green announced its newest class of Fellows today — twenty two social innovators focused on tackling some of the world’s most urgent problems. From education, to human rights, to health care, to the environment, the Echoing Green 2011 Fellows represent a total of fifteen new, non-profit, for profit and hybrid organizations.
“Echoing Green’s 2011 Fellows are an inspiring group of pragmatic visionaries who, rather than accept the world as it is, see what it can be,” said Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green (and one time Fellow herself).
This year’s group was chosen from a pool of 2,854 applicants from over 100 countries and includes such diverse projects as:
- the Awethu Project, which elevates entrepreneurs in under-resourced communities in South Africa
- Carbon Lighthouse, which has built a one stop shop for companies to eliminate their carbon footprint
- Sanergy, which is focused on solving Kenya’s sanitation crisis
- Measures for Justice, which seeks to improve the U.S. justice system
What’s been notable over the past two years is that many of the fellows have made income-generating activities a key element of their businesses. Another trend: At least seven of this year’s Fellows are launching for-profit ventures.
A key issue this year, too, is tackling the ever-growing achievement gap. Several of this year’s Fellows are taking non-traditional approaches, such as Reach Incorporated’s unique tutoring program which hires struggling high school students to tutor younger children, or Equal Opportunity Schools, which is trying to narrow the gap by working with principals in the most underserved communities in the U.S.
Echoing Green has invested more than $29 million in over 500 fellows in its 25-year history.
As Dave Hodgson, Managing Director of General Atlantic and Chairman of Echoing Green’s Board of Directors said, “Name the need — hunger, housing, fighting disease, connecting citizens who care, doing greater good with technologies — and you will find Echoing Green Fellows at work on creating solutions all over the world.”
Take a look at this video to get a taste of what these social innovators are doing:
Check out Care2′s coverage of some of this year’s winners:
And stay tuned as we bring you the stories of the rest of the 2011 Fellows in the coming weeks.
Photo collage of the 2011 Fellows courtesy of Echoing Green