In the spirit of Social Impact
Updated: Apr 7
The MyEO Engage’s Social Impact Business Awards were created to showcase the best of EO members’ efforts around the world. Earlier this year, we awarded our inaugural SIBA winners, with a global overall winner, two hall of fame awardees, and two notable commendations. Each company has continued to make strides towards their corner of the world better, and we want you to know more about our past five winners.
HelpUsGreen of EO Uttar Paradash
Our inaugural SIBA overall winner is business that blends social and environmental change with innovative enterprise. HelpUsGreen stood out as one of the businesses in EO that found a way to improve not only the livelihood of some that would be deemed second class citizens in India, but also found purposeful and profitable work for them.
Looking to the Ganges River, founder Ankit Agarwal sought to begin cleaning the river, and restoring her natural ecological balance. The river’s ecosystem is all out of sorts, due mostly to the chemical-laced flower offerings from temples along the Ganga, specifically in Ankit’s home in Kanpur City in Uttar Pradash. The products are sold under the brand PHOOL.Co making use of their patented processes, offering upcycled incense cones and sticks as well as vermicompost.
HelpUsGreen’s success has been made possible through the support of Tata Trusts’ Social Alpha programme and IIT Kanpur. This is helping the company grow their efforts, as they continue to change not only the Gagna, but also the lives of those who rely on the river. For an indepth look at HelpUsGreen’s efforts, you can read their feature on our website
IndiVillage of EO Bangalore
Our Hall of Fame award winners were recognized for their monumental success as well-established organizations. With their track record of successful and sustainable larger-scale impact, IndiVillage leads by example for anyone looking to make the world a better place.
Over the years, IndiVillage has given rural villages the opportunities to evolve. By providing the infrastructure and resources for these often overlooked communities, IndiVillage has allowed hundreds of dependents, a majority of whom are women, to profit through tech service industries. The company goes well beyond just providing gainful employment within their communities through their reinvestment strategy. Indivillage also supports these communities in the form of free education, school meals, and clean drinking water. In this manner, the IndiVillage model is incredibly scalable, and can be adapted to any of the thousand villages across India.
Under the leadership of founder & managing director Ravi Machani, IndiVillage continues to grow. His efforts have not gone unrecognized, with Ravi winning the 2019 Global Citizen of the Year for his efforts. In his own words at the awarding ceremony, Ravi says that “entrepreneurs are well positioned to be change-makers and we are proud to have several members who go above and beyond to create a positive impact”. With IndiVillage, he is investing back into communities, allowing them to lift themselves up, and empower multiple generations in these rural areas.
You can read all about their work in one of our previous articles from earlier this year.
AISECT of EO Bhopal
AISECT is another Hall of Fame awardee out of South Asia that works much like IndiVillage in that they work outside of the bigger cities of India. AISECT, otherwise known as the All India Society for Electronics & Computer Technology, is one of the widest reaching social enterprises across the country. With an emphasis on bringing their brand of technical skills education, AISECT has a strong presence in states not known for having strong learning institutions.
AISECT originally began as a program to teach underprivileged people in Bhopal how to use basic IT technology in 1985. Today, AISECTs operations include five fully accredited universities, and thousands of common services centers across the country that teach anyone who wants to learn. AISECTs schools however are not limited to purely technical learning.
Later this November, The Tagore International Literature & Arts Festival, organized by the Tagore International Centre for Arts and Culture, will be held in the Bhopal-based Rabindranath Tagore University, as well as in the other AISECT affiliated universities. The festival, also called Vishwa Rang, is the first world-class literary and arts festival of its kind in India. During the festival, Hindi art and literature will be at the forefront, with other Indian languages rounding out the festival. Over five hundred artists and authors, from over thirty countries are expected to participate over the week long celebration. This kind of interdisciplinary learning is what makes AISECT one of the progressive, but holistic educational enterprises in the world.
Southern Energy EO Raleigh Durham
When you think of North Carolina, solar energy isn’t automatically at the top of your mind. Southern Energy out of Raleigh however is changing all of that. Founded in 2001, the company has made it their mission to create impact that benefits both people and the planet. Their indomitable spirit amidst challenges in the ever-changing renewable energy business are one of the reasons why Southern Energy was commended in the 2019 SIBA.
Southern Energy, helmed by founders Bob and Maria Kingery, has seen their fair share of challenges over the years in an industry that has the power to change the world, quite literally. Between rapid technical innovation and fluctuating government policies, with so many more challenges in between, the company has thrived. Their rollercoaster of a journey however has seen them transform their home of North Carolina into one of the largest producers of renewable energy in the country, despite the odds.
Earlier this October, Maria Kingery received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association(NCSEA), an acknowledgement of her work to help this sustainable energy dream become reality. Her vision and ambition for a future filled with clean energy has guided her company to create change on both a local, and global level.
If you want to know more about Maria’s and her teams’ efforts in North Carolina, MyEO Engage’s feature on their company is a good place to start. You can read all about how they changed the solar game over the years on our website.
Orphan Helpers of EO South Virginia
It is often acknowledged that young people are invaluable, especially when it comes to affecting real change in the world. Not every corner of the world however sees the youth the same way. One organization, working in Central America with their EO roots in South Virginia, is working to ensure that orphans and institutionalized young people get the chance to become the best versions of themselves. Orphan Helpers is a multi-denominational Christian organization that, through faith based action, is dedicated to supporting the many needs of the youth in El Salvador and Honduras. Company founders Greg and Libby Garrett’s compassion is what inspired Orphan Helpers to do their part in transforming the lives of abandoned young people. Government institutions in the countries where Orphan Helpers operates in are not adequately equipped to deal with the volume of young people that come through their systems. Coupled with that is the multi-layered challenge that comes with gangs, drugs, and the sense of hopelessness that you can imagine these institutions face. By partnering with detention centers, church groups, rotary partners, vocational trainers, educational specialists and mentors across the two countries, it seems that Orphan Helpers has found a way for these young people to succeed in life after institutionalization. The model of regular visits from U.S.-based partners, while empowering local institutions to manage most of the organization’s efforts has proved to be life changing for hundreds of students in their Success Academies.
To learn more about how Orphan Helpers are doing their part in making young people’s lives better through faith-based education and empowerment, you can read about it on our website
If you think your company is impacting social change, join us as we search for the 2020 SIBA winner. You may now submit your entries through our official form to be one of the 6 winners from around the world! For more information, you may read up on the details on how to join, prizes, and all things SIBA on our website.
We hope to receive your entries before 31 December 2019!