climate change

Social Entrepreneur Live, Part 1, Precious Drew, Perk: The Natural Beauty Lab

Perk: The Natural Beauty Lab upcycles fair-trade, used coffee grounds from local coffee shops to create natural skincare products. Precious Drew’s reserved, yet bubbly personality naturally attracts people to her. Yet, she has a bit of a contrarian streak. “I’ve always challenged the norm and enjoyed debates arguing the less-popular opinion, whether I agreed with it or not,” Precious says. “I liked the challenge of being able to fully understand and argue for opinions I don’t exactly agree with.” Precious likes to defy expectations. “I grew up in a household with seven siblings: six older brothers and one younger sister. I never really followed what my brothers did. From a…

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A Bicycle-Based Beekeeping Business, with Kristy Lynn Allen, The Beez Kneez

The Beez Kneez is a Minneapolis-based honey production, education and advocacy organization. When Kristy Lynn Allen was in high school, her family moved to a new school district during the school year. As a result, her grades suffered. She needed a boost to be ready for college. So, she enrolled in a college connection program. While there, she met a teacher who was planning a trip to China. As a 19-year-old, Kristy took out a loan and went to China with her teacher. This wasn’t her last time to travel. She studied in England. She traveled to Mexico and Costa Rica. She traveled across Europe. She lived in Ecuador for…

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134, Verengai Mabika, Development Reality Institute (DRI) | The Climate Change Challenge and Opportunity

Verengai Mabika sees the opportunities created by climate change. Eighty percent of Zimbabwe’s businesses depend on Agriculture. Most agriculture in Zimbabwe is rain-fed. Climate change brings record high temperatures and frequent droughts. When crops fail, so does Zimbabwe’s economy. The droughts, combined with land reform, changed Zimbabwe from a net exporter of agricultural products to an importer of food. There are currently around four million people who need food aid in Zimbabwe. Verengai Mabika has a passion for designing green communities. He was trained as an urban planner with an emphasis on environmental design. In 2009, there was a sharp rise in political violence. Verengai told me, “I was surprised…

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130, Kathleen Colson, The BOMA Project | Poverty Graduation through For-Profit Entrepreneurship

Kathleen Colson is using a poverty graduation process to end extreme poverty in the face of climate change. Over 40% of the African continent is arid land. The people who live in these regions are particularly susceptible to changes in the climate. They depend solely on livestock for their nutrition and livelihood. With climate change, sustained, severe droughts are becoming more common. Kathleen Colson attended St. Lawrence University as a scholarship student. Her scholarship allowed her to participate in the Kenya Semester Program at the University of Nairobi. That experience deeply impacted Kathleen. After graduating, she tried working in the corporate world, but Africa kept calling to her. She returned…

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128, Steph Speirs and Steve Moilanen, Solstice | Solar for All

Solstice provides access to clean, affordable solar energy for those who have been locked out of the solar market. Today’s conversation with Steph Speirs and Steve Moilanen of Solstice is the fifth in a series on clean energy around the world. We spoke with Sam Goldman of d.light, a pioneer in solar energy for the developing world. We also spoke with Allison Archambault of EarthSpark International. They provide pre-pay electricity through a mini-grid in Haiti. We spoke to Harrison Leaf of Steama.co who helps mini-grid operators utilize “the internet of things,” wireless connectivity and a platform, primarily in Africa. We heard from Clementine Chambon, Amit Saraogi of Oorja. They are…

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127, Clementine Chambon, Amit Saraogi, Oorja | Rural Electrification of India Using Waste

Oorja’s biomass and solar-powered micro-grids provide affordable and reliable electricity to off-grid communities in rural India. In India, 450 million people lack access to reliable energy. This has several repercussions including a lack of economic development, poor health outcomes, gender inequity, poor education and more. Without reliable electricity, villagers rely on fossil-fuels such as kerosene and diesel. They spend up to 20% of household income on these dirty sources of power. At the same time, people in rural India produce 200 million tons of crop waste per year. This waste is usually burned in the field, producing greenhouse gasses. Clementine Chambon and Amit Saraogi met in a Climate-KIC workshop in…

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126, Harrison Leaf, Steama.co | Connect Mini-Grids to the Cloud

Mini-Grids are a way to connect more than a billion people to electricity. We’ve grown used to the idea of “the internet of things,” big data, and wireless connectivity. But can these technological breakthroughs be used to improve the lives of some of the poorest people in the world? And, will that technology work in the most rugged and off-grid places on earth? That’s what Steama.co does. On Social Entrepreneur, we’ve been looking at how the people around the world suffer from energy poverty can move up the energy ladder. When people don’t have access to reliable electricity, they use expensive, dirty fuels to power their lives. This hurts their…

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097, Nakul Saran, Rare | Near-Shore Fishers, Fish Forever

Near-shore fishers are the smallholder farmers of the sea. Nakul Saran fell in love with the ocean when he was 10 years-old. After graduating from university with a degree in Ocean Engineering, he joined McKinsey & Company. At the time, McKinsey was establishing a climate change special initiative. Nakul spent more than seven years at McKinsey, splitting time between their economic development practice and their sustainability practice. He spent his time at the intersection of natural resource protection with economic development. Nakul said of his time at McKinsey, “One of the things I learned there was, how do you structure a problem in a clear way.” As Nakul worked on the issue of…

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001, Yoav Lurie, Simple Energy | An Urgency for Impact

For Yoav Lurie, an early experience with life and death created a sense of urgency to make an impact. Today, Yoav is the founder and CEO of Simple Energy. Simple Energy is a software as a service that is taking on climate change by changing how millions of people save energy. Their customers save enough energy on a daily basis to power a small city. In this episode, Yoav describes his startup path from an early sense of justice, through the Techstars accelerator, and several pivots of their business.   Benefit Corporation Podcast Mentioned in this podcast:   Simple Energy: http://simpleenergy.com/ Simple Energy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SimpleEnergy Yoav Lurie on Twitter:…

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001, Yoav Lurie, Simple Energy | An Urgency for Impact