eBay Foundation Awards $250,000 to the Five “Powering Economic Opportunity” Winners
After six months of evaluation, and a rigorous review by a panel of expert international judges, Ashoka Changemakers is pleased to announce the five winners of the Powering Economic Opportunity competition.
The competition, co-hosted by eBay Foundation and The Opportunity Project, caught the attention of social innovators around the world, and sourced a record-breaking number of solutions — nearly 900 — from 83 countries. All these solutions aim to create economic opportunities and to engage the untapped potential of disadvantaged populations.
“I am inspired to see the breadth of innovative solutions that are creating economic opportunity for the world’s most vulnerable people,” said Diana Wells, president of Ashoka. “We are delighted to have received a record-breaking number of entries, and are honored to support the pattern-changing work of these winning innovators.”
The winners will each receive a cash prize of US $50,000 from eBay to invest to scale-up their ideas.
- Fundación Paraguaya: The Financially Self-Sufficient School Model: Economically Empowering Education for Low-Income Youth, creating a low-cost, high-quality secondary education for Paraguayans.
- Grameen Foundation: Mobile Micro-Franchising in Indonesia, offering both products and services to underprivileged Indonesian citizens.
- Nuru Energy to Empower: Rural Energy Entrepreneurship in India and East Africa, providing affordable, clean, and safe functional lighting to rural households in India and Eastern Africa.
- Solidarium Fair Trade, developing new home and life products to empower women in Brazil.
- Twin Cities RISE!: Nonprofit Innovation through Pay-for-Performance Funding, preparing Twin Cities residents for professional life and long-term economic independence with a skills training program.
“It was an honor to participate as a judge in the competition, and eBay Foundation and eBay are proud to support the winners as they spread the impact of their innovations around the globe,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay Inc. “By advancing social innovations, we can help unlock economic opportunities for people who otherwise would not be able to participate in the global economy.”
John Donahoe was joined by five other judges, including Mauren Conway, executive director of the Economic Opportunities Program at The Aspen Institute; Bibek Debroy, economist and professor at the Centre for Policy Research; Nancy Lee, general manager of the Multilateral Investment Fund; Gayle Lemmon, author and deputy director of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Women and Foreign Policy program; and Vivianne Naigeborin, strategic advisor at Potencia Ventures.
These winning ventures emerged as five of the world’s best market-based innovations, and they were selected for being positively disruptive, creative, sustainable, and for having a huge potential for social impact.
They were helped by impressive partnerships and passionate community members, because the winning solutions were selected through a combination of public voting via a new Facebook application, and evaluation by experts through the Changemakers.com platform.
Ashoka Changemakers congratulates these winners! We’re excited to see how much more they can accomplish.