What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)
Access to technology, Access to education/training, Access to economic opportunity.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Since 2006, GG has led our Academy for Conscious Change in Rwanda, an 18-month hands-on social venture incubator to help marginalized women launch their own micro-NGOs. One of our ventures in rural Rwanda is a team of 19 women, only 7 of whom are literate. Their issue was women who were being forced to trade sex for water delivery because they were blind, pregnant, disabled or too weak to collect it themselves from a valley 3 miles downhill. The team built a clean water venture to serve 100 households, ensuring free water for vulnerable women. After 4 years, they have expanded to 3 new sites and now serve an estimated 6000 people, sustainably. To date, our 300 graduates are operating 21 organizations. This year we will expand to Northern Uganda, train 85 women and girls and launch another 5-15 ventures. In the last 3 years, we have received requests from 200 women’s groups in 45 countries seeking to participate in our programs. The eAcademy is our solution to serving this demand.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
We are now piloting the program with 10 teams in 10 countries. After launching the eAcademy publically this fall, our goal is to build a user base of 75 teams across 45 countries in year 1. Given our work in Rwanda, we anticipate each venture initiated will benefit an average 500-1000 others, collectively impacting between 37,500 –75,000 women and girls. In year 2, we will aim to expand the user base to 200 groups and focus on building partnerships for support services and improved accessibility and new languages. We will also populate our idea bank so that we can mine for data, track best practices and monitor social idea spread. In year 3 we will aim to double our user base through marketing efforts and word of mouth to 500 users, with ventures serving at least 250,000 women and girls.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Based on our field research and pilot users, the two greatest barriers to the use of our eAcademy for Conscious Change are difficulties in accessing the Internet and language. Though most users have mobile phones, they are not Internet-enabled devices. Accessing the Internet requires an often unsafe journey to visit an internet café, where transportation, Internet usage and printing costs are expensive. Slow speed and old computers also challenge users. Further, our current platform requires an understanding of English. We will address these challenges by (a) forging local partnerships that remove financial barriers to access, (b) designing a simple application to be used on smart-phones with mobile access when hardware is affordable and (c) seeking grants for new language versions.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
In 6 months after public launch, we will have 35 user groups utilizing the eAcademy; 50% will have completed their venture plan
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
In 12 months after public launch, we will have 75 user groups, and 50 will have completed their plans for implementation.