Voting for Semi-Finalists in the Powering Economic Opportunity Competition is Now Open!
Voting begins today at Changemakers.com to select the ten finalists in the Powering Economic Opportunity: Create a World That Works competition, co-hosted by eBay Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers®.
Launched to find the world’s most innovative market-based solutions that create economic opportunity and generate employment for disadvantaged populations, the competition received a record 873 entries. These outstanding solutions, offering mobile innovations and new finance models to leverage crowd-sourcing and rural energy initiatives, represent 83 countries; more than 500 citizen sector organizations and 200 businesses submitted entries.
The semi-finalists were chosen from a competitive pool, which included 60 Ashoka Fellows and several fellows from Echoing Green, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Draper Richards, Unreasonable Institute, Artemisia, Skoll Foundation, Global Social Business Incubator, and StartUp Chile. Entrants also included winners from the Dell Social Innovation Competition, previous Changemakers competitions, EmprendEcuador, and CondeNast — plus many new entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas!
By far the most popular area of opportunity for entrants was training and placement of potential employees, representing a growing trend in online marketplaces that connect both traditional and rural workers. Emerging technologies are sparking new life for “old crafts” by giving producers greater access to global exchange centers. Other popular initiatives included finance improvements, health and environmental innovations, smartphone and Internet solutions, and women-specific training initiatives.
These Powering Economic Opportunity semi-finalists are a brilliant bunch. It’s up to you to decide which semi-finalists are the most innovative!
You have until August 10, 2011 to cast your vote. The ten solutions that receive the most votes will go on to compete for five cash prizes of US $50,000 to scale their solutions. The five Powering Economic Opportunity winners will be chosen by a panel of international judges and will be announced on September 14, 2011.
The semi-finalists for the competition are:
- The Working World: Bringing Impact Finance to the World's Poor with Greater Deft and Less Debt (Argentina/USA)
- ADEL: Local Economic Development Agency (Brazil)
- Solidarium Fair Trade (Brazil)
- Mobile JobHunt: Helping Blue-Collar Workers to Find Better Jobs (China)
- Using Crowd-Sourcing and Technology to Empower Underprivileged Talent with Fair and Flexible Work Opportunities (China)
- Tiendatek: Mobile Business Tools for Micro-Entrepreneurs (Colombia)
- Janani's IT enabled AgriService Venture (JAS) (India)
- SammaaN Interventions (India)
- Nuru Energy to Empower: Rural Energy Entrepreneurship in India and East Africa (India/East Africa)
- Mobile Micro-Franchising in Indonesia (Indonesia)
- Souktel Mobile Phone Job Information Service (Palestine)
- The Financially Self-Sufficient School Model: Economically Empowering Education for Low-Income Youth> (Paraguay)
- Hot Bread Kitchen: Preserving Traditions, Rising Expectations (USA)
- Nonprofit Innovation through Pay-for-Performance Funding (USA)
- Prison Entrepreneurship Program (USA)
The engineers at eBay have created a new Facebook application that allows people anywhere around the globe to learn about, vote on, like, and share their favorite entries. Give it a try!
Remember, voting is an act of changemaking — be a changemaker today and help create the job markets of tomorrow. Ready, steady, go!