Tweet: NEWS: @Proj_Inspire announces 20 young social #entrepreneurs as semi-finalists

SINGAPORE, Tuesday, September 8, 2015: Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard are proud to announce 20 young social entrepreneurs as official Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World 2015 semi-finalists.

Celebrating its fifth year, the competition attracted over 430 entries from 65 countries around the world. The 20 semi-finalists represent a broad range of projects from the cultivation of traditional dyes in Indonesia to female health education applications in South Africa.

With this year’s pool of applicants being the highest quality received since the competition’s launch in 2011, Project Inspire welcomed new Partners IPA Global and Mazars to assist with the judging and due diligence processes respectively through the expertise of skills-based volunteers.

Applicants aged 18-35 were asked to submit a sustainable idea using either design or technology as a tool to improve the lives of women and girls in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, for the chance to win a US$25,000 grant to help implement their project in the field.

Members of the public are invited to participate by supporting their favourite semi-finalist on the Project Inspire crowdfunding page courtesy courtesy of offical Crowdfunding Partner, Chuffed. The People’s Choice Award will be awarded to the semi-finalist project that garners the highest number of crowdfunding campaign supporters and will immediately qualify as a finalist, entitling the team the opportunity to pitch their inspired idea for US$25,000 at the Grand Finals in Singapore. Campaigns will be live from Tuesday, 15th September, 2014 until Thursday, October 15th, 2015.

9 Project Inspire Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, 30th September, 2015. The People’s Choice Award Winner will be announced upon conclusion of the crowdfunding campaign on Thursday, October 15th, 2015. Winners are decided by a judging panel and will be announced at the Grand Finals in Singapore on Friday, 13th November, 2015.

This year’s challenge welcomes back long-term and committed partners to women’s empowerment and social entrepreneurship: Knowledge Partner INSEAD: The Business School for the World; Strategic Partner Bain & Company; and, Supporting Partners, Hilton Worldwide and Top3 Media.

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Please support the inaugural Project Inspire crowdfunding campaign by visiting:

For more information on Project Inspire, past winners, Project Inspire alumni and judges, along with full terms and conditions, visit:

Join the conversation on Facebook: /ProjInspire and Twitter: @Proj_Inspire using #ProjInspire

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Singapore Committee for UN Women & MasterCard Present

Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World 2015 Semi-Finalists


Team Representative: Anya Lim

Organisation: Anthill Fabric Gallery

Project Name: Anthill School of Community and Entrepreneurship

Project Location: Philippines

Project Aim: ANTHILL (Alternative Nest and Trading/ Training Hub for Indigenous/ Ingenious Little Livelihood seekers) is a social and a cultural enterprise working to preserve and promote traditional Philippine weaves among the younger generation by applying them in contemporary application to support the sustainable livelihood of partner community enterprises.


Team Representative: Erin McCabe

Organisation: Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation

Project Name: Soloman Islands Cervical Cancer Screening Program

Project Location: Australia / Soloman Islands

Project Aim: ACCF intends to develop and implement a cervical screening and treatment program that will be delivered to 2000 women within two Solomon Islands districts over a 12 month period. The screening program will be delivered to remote areas and communities within these districts, by using innovative mobile colposcopy technology.


Team Representative: Samantha Ngcolomba

Organisation: CSI Boutique

Project Name: Lady Liberty

Project Location: South Africa

Project Aim: Lady Liberty is a mobile legal office that travels to poor communities within South Africa with the view of empowering women using the law as a tool to do so. They leverage off already existing ‘pro bono’ hours from varied lawyers around the country and ensure that women in underprivileged communities receive legal information and basic services enabling them to protect themselves, making them less prone to abuse and allowing them to develop themselves further and become economically independent in their chosen fields.


Team Representative: Lindsay Yeager

Organisation: Dare Women’s Foundation

Project Name: Tanzanian Women: A Source of Their Own Empowerment

Project Location: Tanzania

Project Aim: This project focuses on improving the quality of life of Tanzanian women through the use of entrepreneurship and design to make reusable sanitary pads. Seamstresses and feminine hygiene ambassadors will be provided with sufficient materials to produce and sell approximately 15,600 pads by February 2016, enough for 2,600 women.


Team Representative: Deepak Ashwani

Organisation: Dazin

Project Name: Happy Green Cooperative

Project Location: Bhutan

Project Aim: Dazin is a Bhutanese cooperative that solves the global problem of open cooking fires that globally affects more than 2.5 billion people and causes 4.3 million deaths per year due to its harmful smoke. Dazin’s business model provides households in Bhutan with access to affordable cooking energy in the form of fuel cookies and smokeless stoves. They empower both the women who are trained and employed for our local fuel supply chain, and the local communities who benefit from the health effects of using combined solution of smokeless stoves and fuel.


Team Representative: Caroline Odera

Organisation: EcoFinder Kenya

Project Name: Smokeless Homes Initiative

Project Location: Kenya

Project Aim: EcoFinder Kenya will establish sustainable energy enterprises, which are to be run by local womens groups, in order to enable rural households’ access to clean energy products for their basic needs. They will also undertake capacity building trainings on entrepreneurship and skills development.


Team Representative: Vuyani Christopher Majola

Organisation: Education and Services Solutions

Project Name: Fresh Hope

Project Location: South Africa

Project Aim: EduService will provide women and girls an opportunity to be trained as specialists in various Microsoft Office programs to further their employability or encourage them to open franchised eLearning centres to train other women. Every centre will be regarded as a community empowerment hub, which will be utilized by all to access various resources.


Team Representative: Alia Whitney-Johnson

Organisation: Emerge Lanka Foundation

Project Name: Beads2Business

Project Location: Sri Lanka

Project Aim: Emerge supports Sri Lankan girls, ages 10-18, who have been removed from their homes due to past abuse or the threat of abuse and are courageously testifying in court against their perpetrators. These girls are placed into shelters that typically lack resources, educational opportunities, and access to the outside world. Emerge partners with these shelters to transform them into design-centred entrepreneurship hubs, where girls develop the skills, network, and financial capital needed for self-sufficiency. Jewelry design and creation is used as the cornerstone on which Emerge’s educational programs are built, a hands-on tool that not only supports the girls’ healing but also is also a critical part of Emerge’s financial literacy and business development curriculum.


Team Representative: Abdoul Mazid Diallo

Organisation: LAREEA

Project Name: Rural Girls’ Empowerment in Communication Technology

Project Location: Guinea

Project Aim: This project aims to empower literate girls and young women with technology skills to strengthen local Guinean villages, by establishing Rural Community Technology Centres in the city of Telimele and Mali. These centres will adopt open learning methodologies and facilitate an intensive ‘hands on’ experience by providing ICT courses namely Microsoft Office training, dispensing information technology and providing encouragement for further education.


Team Representative: Ademidum Oluwatoye

Organisation: Lifebuilders

Project Name: Promoting Availability of Portable Water Using Solar Energy Pumps

Project Location: Nigeria

Project Aim: Lifebuilders aims to improve access of rural women and children to portable water within three years through the use of solar powered pumping machines. They plan to carry out advocacy and outreach in two selected rural communities of Osun State, to enlighten them on the essence and importance of portable water and the necessity of its availability. The project will construct three deep wells enhanced with the installation of solar powered pumps and overhead tanks in each of the selected communities.


Team Representative: Praisy Joy

Organisation: MUYARCHI

Project Name: OrphansFamily

Project Location: India

Project Aim: OrphansFamily believes that a sense of belongingness is the blessing Indian orphans are looking for. To fill this void they are building inter-generational social bonding, focusing on mother-daughter relationships between orphan girls and destitute elderly widows. OrphansFamily are creating green living environment, with a focus on permaculture and sustainable food production.


Team Representative: Nadra Pari

Organisation: Save the Environment

Project Name: Women Green Entrepreneurship

Project Location: Pakistan

Project Aim: Save the Environment proposes to setup and sustain the female environmental enterprises in the Miandam valley district of Swat, Pakistan. 11 villages with an estimated 3400 population (1800 women) will be the target households to benefit from this project. 90 households will directly participate as beneficiaries and outreach activists for women’s economic empowerment.


Team Representative: Jos Dirkx

Organisation: She Can / Girls Football SA

Project Name: mGirls

Project Location: South Africa

Project Aim: Girls & Football SA encourages the development of girls through sport, media and education. Their mobile health app, mGirls, provides 60,000 users with free access to health care information. They also conduct workshops combining life skills training and football to empower girls at a grass roots level. By linking participants with strong role models such as the players of the South African national women’s team, they are inspired to build a better future.


Team Representative: Joelyn Soldervilla Biag

Organisation: SPPI

Project Name: Not All Farm Produce Grow on Soil

Project Location: Philippines

Project Aim: This project aims to develop and strengthen the capacities of women seaweed farmers and local consolidators at the barangay (village) level so that they may be able to form a Community of Practice (COP) on seaweeds farming, post-harvest processes, and marketing. This will raise incomes and productivity to above poverty levels of poor fishermen and farmers and their households in coastal communities in Northern Samar, Philippines. They further seek to achieve the goals of caring for the marine and coastal environment and also achieving community and domestic gender equity in the target areas.


Team Representative: Eden Full

Organisation: SunSaluter

Project Name: SunSaluter

Project Location: USA / India

Project Aim: SunSaluter’s goal is to make clean energy affordable and accessible to all. They help local entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses around its innovative solar panel rotator. The SunSaluter is the only solar panel rotating solution designed for the developing world, and uses just gravity and water to increase solar panel output by 30% and produce clean drinking water. SunSaluter is present in 16 countries, with a current focus on India and East Africa.


Team Representative: Fiona McAlpine

Organisation: The Fabric Social

Project Name: The Fabric Social

Project Location: Australia

Project Aim: The Fabric Social is an ethical fashion social enterprise, working with conflict-affected women to end their economic isolation. Their pilot project in Assam works with women silk weavers living in a former rebel village called Lakwa. They generate income and opportunity by selling clothing to the international market, but primarily to Australia where their connections lie. Profits are utilised to pay weavers a fair income for their work and to invest in the community. The Fabric Social develops the business literacy of their weavers through a smartphone app that tracks income, quality control and production.


Team Representative: Adrianna Tan

Organisation: Wobe

Project Name: Wobe’s Project Berdaya

Project Location: Singapore / Indonesia

Project Aim: Wobe aims to build Southeast Asia’s largest distribution and sales network of agents, comprised largely of low income women, to improve access to consumer and financial goods and services for all.


Team Representative: Barbara Birungi

Organisation: Women in Technology Uganda

Project Name: WITU Hub

Project Location: Uganda

Project Aim: WITU’s long-term mission is to support women’s local capacity building and skills development for technology and entrepreneurship in Uganda by offering a collaborative environment for training, mentorship, and knowledge sharing in order to drive economic development in the region. They offer young women from disadvantaged communities quality business and IT training to foster the creation of reliant entrepreneurs and employees.


Team Representative: Adam Miller

Organisation: Yayasan Planet Indonesia

Project Name: Integrating Economic Empowerment into Cultural Preservation

Project Location: Indonesia

Project Aim: This project aims to preserve the rich material culture (handicrafts and art work) of the indigenous women of West Borneo. It will economically empower these women and provide an increased income through the conversion of degraded lands into community gardens managed by women. Yayasan Planet Indonesia will leverage their connections with international buyers and markets, to ensure improved access to the distribution chain for these women.


Team Representative: Saja Elayan Abd Alhameed Shami

Organisation: Yes Theatre

Project Name: Puppets for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

Project Location: Palestine

Project Aim: Yes Theatre’s objective is to contribute to empowering Palestinian women and raising their awareness through the medium of puppet theatre. In order to achieve this goal, a capacity building program was designed for 4 young “female puppetry practitioners” to enhance their capability to run a social enterprise and generate revenue. The core social value provided will be impeded in puppet performances which are based on real improvisations by vulnerable women from different societal backgrounds.”