From left to right: Georgette Tan, Senior Vice President, Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard; Trina Liang-Lin, President of the Singapore Committee for UN Women, with Project Inspire Grand Prize winners: Aditya Kulkarni, Founder and Executive Director of CareNx Innovations and Avinash Joshi, Software Development Lead of CareNx Innovations; and Yvette Oh, Executive Vice President, Market Development, Asia Pacific, Mastercard. Photo by Eu-Jin for Singapore Committee for UN Women.

SINGAPORE — 24 November, 2016: Three groups of young social entrepreneurs were awarded at the Project Inspire 2016: 5 Minutes to Change the World Grand Finals at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development in Singapore.

Applicants aged 18 to 35 were asked to submit a sustainable idea to improve the lives of women and girls in Asia Pacific for the chance to win a US$25,000 Grand Prize and a US$10,000 Financial Inclusion Award to implement their projects. Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World, a global social impact challenge aimed at improving the lives of disadvantaged women and girls in Asia Pacific, is co-organised by Singapore Committee for UN Women and Mastercard. The challenge saw 270 entries from across the world, with ten projects emerging as finalists to present their ideas live in Singapore at the Grand Finals.

The winning team, CareNx Innovations, represented by Co-founder and Executive Director, Aditya Kulkarni, took home the Grand Prize of US$25,000 from Mastercard for their project in India.

“We are very grateful for the Singapore Committee for UN Women and Mastercard for giving us an opportunity to present ourselves and our work. This competition was a check to realize that we are working in the right way or an important problem. With this grand prize, we wish to scale our mobile pregnancy care solution to reach out to at least 2000 pregnancies and 20 women health workers in next one year. We have a dream to reach out to two million pregnancies in the next three years and this prize would get us started,” commented Aditya Kulkarni on behalf of CareNx Innovations.

Through CareNx’s CareMother Mobile Pregnancy Care, women healthcare workers will be equipped with a mobile pregnancy kit that enables door-to-door antenatal care services to pregnant women living in rural villages. Their project aims to reduce the high maternity deaths caused by pregnancy complications through early detection and increased health checks.

Project Inspire also presented a Financial Inclusion Award of US$10,000 from Mazars to Village Volunteers represented by Riyanka Ganguly. In addition, Mastercard generously offered to award an additional prize as the judges were impressed by the potential of one of the finalist teams. The new Special Recognition Award of US$5,000 was presented to Laura Harris from The Global Women’s Project.

Last month, Village Volunteers, supporting a project in India, secured the most votes from the public to win the People’s Choice Award through a crowdfunding campaign, courtesy of Crowdfunding Partner Impact Guru. The Village Volunteers’ crowdfunding was backed by 423 supporters, raising a total of US$12,693 in 30 days, guaranteeing their spot as one of the 10 finalists. Knowledge Partner, INSEAD, also awarded three representatives: Aparna Saxena from Colorss Foundation, Theresia Sembiring from A New Vision, and Riyanka Ganguly from Village Volunteers) with full scholarships to INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneurship Programme (ISEP).

Project Inspire’s 10 finalists arrived in Singapore on 21 November for a week-long boot camp, including one-on-one mentoring and workshops led by experts and thought leaders, finally culminating at the Project Inspire Grand Finals, which were held at the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development. Each finalist was given five minutes to pitch their ideas live including members of the public, supporting organisations and a panel of esteemed judges and industry experts.

The annual competition, now in its sixth year, received close to 270 proposals from the region working on women’s and girls’ safety and security.

The competition had three stages beginning with the launch of the sixth edition of Project Inspire on 31 March 2016. Out of the 270 proposals received from 109 countries, 20 made it to the Semi-Finals stage and took part in an international crowdfunding campaign, courtesy of official Crowdfunding Partner, Impact Guru. The winner of this stage was granted the ‘People’s Choice Award’ and was guaranteed a spot in the Grand Finals. Nine other finalists were then selected among the semi-finalists and all ten teams received an all-expenses-paid trip to Singapore for the Grand Finals Week.

Project Inspire is co-organised and co-founded by Singapore Committee for UN Women and Mastercard. Knowledge Partner, INSEAD and Strategic Partner, Bain & Company have been long-term supporters of the initiative. Mazars joins the competition for 2016, in support of women’s empowerment and social entrepreneurship. This year, the initiative also welcomes returning Program Partner, Independent Project Analysis, new Program Partner, Own Your Brilliance, and Crowdfunding Partner, Impact Guru.

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For media inquiries: Cat Cortes,

About Project Inspire

A joint initiative by the Singapore Committee for UN Women and Mastercard, Project Inspire is a social entrepreneurship challenge for youth to pitch their inspired ideas that empower women and girls in Asia Pacific. Up to 20 semi-finalists will be selected to go through a crowdfunding stage, with up to ten finalists winning an all-expenses-paid trip to Singapore in November, 2016 for the Grand Finals. Finalists will also receive exclusive boot-camp, mentoring sessions, and the opportunity to be awarded grants. #ProjInspire

About the Grand Prize Winner

Organisation Name: CareNx Innovations Pvt Ltd
Project Name: Care Mother Pregnancy Care
Project Location: India
About: Through their program, effective antenatal care and better healthcare access to pregnant women living in villages during 0-9 months of pregnancy will be provided by utilising mobile phone technology.

About the Financial Inclusion Award Winner

Organisation Name: Village Volunteers
Project Name: MUKTI
Project Location: India
About: This project runs a biodegradable sanitary pad company which empowers vulnerable women who have lived a life of abuse, either trafficked or born into inter-generational prostitution, by employing them.\

About the Special Recognition Award

Organisation Name: The Global Women’s Project Limited
Project Name: Women Get Mobile
Project Location: Nepal
About: This project provides a skills training program that increases women’s economic security by teaching them to repair mobile phones and supports them to use these new skills to generate an income for themselves and their families.

About Mazars

Mazars is an international, integrated and independent organisation, specialising in audit, accountancy, tax, legal and advisory services.  As of 1st January 2016, Mazars operates throughout the 77 countries that make up its integrated partnership.  We draw on the expertise of 17,000 professionals to assist major international groups, SMEs, private investors and public bodies at every stage of their development. #Mazarsforgood – –

About Impact Guru

Impact Guru offers a complete crowdfunding solution that combines social or donation crowdfunding, rewards crowdfunding for individuals, non-profits, social enterprises, or start-ups for all their fundraising needs – be it small or large. The company was incubated at Harvard Innovation Lab’s Venture Initiation Program in USA in 2014 and PACT at Impact Hub in Singapore in 2015. Impact Guru has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and San Francisco.


About Global Initiatives and Responsible Business Forum
About Global Initiatives, organiser of Responsible Business Forum, Global Initiatives is an international company based in Singapore that promotes sustainable partnership solutions to global challenges through film, media projects and public-private initiative driven events. The Responsible Business Forum (RBF) global event series help drive sustainable industry solutions through public-private partnerships that enhance responsible business growth.#RBFSingapore –