IE Africa Center Social Innovators Retreat: “African Solutions. Global Impact”

Author: Conchita Galdón, Director of Social Innovation Center@IE Social Innovation

The first edition of IE’s Africa Social Innovation Retreat is ending but the energy and drive of all participants have stuck with us. The IE Africa Social Innovators Retreat is a collaboration between IE’s Africa Center and IE’s Center or Social Innovation and Sustainability. It is designed to create a unique knowledge generation and sharing intellectual retreat for Africa’s most cutting-edge social innovators who are looking to find new tools and partners with which to scale their work. The focus of the program was on co-creating lean and sustainable ideas and tools that will allow the participants to scale their innovations.

Starting with a one-week retreat in Segovia, program participants also acted as academic leaders of each block, serving as both pupil and professor. The first week focused on New Technologies, Scaling Up; Humanistic Knowledge and Social Innovation. The one-week retreat was followed by eight weeks of blended follow up in which participants implemented their new ideas, with the support of their coaches.

The amazing social innovators that we were privileged to host at IE are:

Adereni Abiodun, Nigeria, HelpMum: Their mission is to help provide health information using the power of mobile technology and affordable Clean Birth kits to pregnant women and newborn babies that keep them healthy and safe in ALL communities including underserved and deprived communities.

Rekik Bekele, Ethiopia, Run Africa: Run Africa is an Ethiopian athletics and tourism company which connects running enthusiasts interested in Ethiopia’s rich history and culture with running and professional athletics.

Mene Blessing, Nigeria, UNFIRE: With 80% of smallholder farmers in Africa living on an income of less than $2 a day, meeting the high cost of food for poultry and livestock is often a challenge. UNFIRE provides farmers with a novel alternative – feed which costs 60% less than regular options, enabling farmers to increase their output and their incomes by as much as 80%.

Arinze Ndubisi Eze, Nigeria, AMIntegrated Aerial: AMIntegrated has a spray boom extension accessory for agriculture drone applications reducing excessive use/waste that lead to the degradation of the environment along with the over-exposure of (mostly) farmers to the synthetic compounds that cause occupational poisoning.

David Gonhasa, Uganda, RoundbobRoundbob: David seeks to help African’s growing middleclass find and afford travel by solving 2 key problems. Access to relevant travel information and negating the cost challenge of Travel Roundbob operates as Travel & experience marketplace focused at the African market. We provide a comparison tool giving the power of information and choice to the customer and eventually a strong buying channel allowing them to buy local.

Joseph Nkandu, Uganda, NUCAFE: National Union of Coffee agribusinesses and farm Enterprises (NUCAFE) is an umbrella National coffee farmers’ organization founded in 2003 as a successor of the Uganda Coffee Farmer’s Association (UCFA). NUCAFE has grown and evolved as a vibrant private sector led farmer organization formed to serve and position farmers well in the liberalized coffee value chain in Uganda.

Olusola Owonikoko, Nigeria, Project Enable: Disability-friendly Digital Hubs to promote the access of persons with disabilities and their caregivers to ICT skills and opportunities. Project Enable Africa is a digital inclusion project that promotes the access of persons with disabilities and their caregivers to information and communication technologies (ICTs) skills and opportunities.

Amina Rashad, Egypt, Glow: A healthy food oriented company co-founded by health coach Amina Rashad and a group of experts in the food business, sales and customer service, marketing and branding, and information technology. Glows believes in serving healthy food options to their clients that taste delicious and make them feel good and healthy.

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