The Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) is an international student social business plan competition that challenges university-level students worldwide to use business principles to create sustainable, positive solutions to some of the world’s most challenging issues—poverty, health and development. Semi-finalist student teams from around the globe are invited to Seattle to present their ideas to coaches, mentors and judges and compete to win prizes.
This year, we are proud to announce that 20 teams will be coming to Seattle for GSEC Week, February 24-28, 2014. Teams were selected from a pool of 160 applicants from universities in 37 countries. They are:
Agro-Youth Achievers- Makerere University, Uganda
Agro-Youth Achievers aims to introduce large scale mushroom farming to the Kabale District of Uganda in order to diversify the agricultural economy, generate revenue for farmers, and address issues of malnutrition in Uganda.
AYUDA Food Aid- Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
AYUDA Food Aid is a nutrition-dense ready to eat compressed food bar that is intended for victims of natural disaster in the Philippines. AYUDA is a good source of energy, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients typically lacking in most disaster relief goods such as instant noodles and canned foods.
Bhitti- University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bhitti utilizes sugarcane bagasse, an agricultural by-product, to manufacture environmentally friendly, affordable and sustainable materials for construction. These materials can be used to build sturdier housing options in Bangladesh that may offer protection from natural disasters.
Cottaids- University of Hong Kong, China
Cottaids employs villagers living with AIDS in Henan, China, to produce cotton textiles such as sweaters, jackets and uniforms. Profits are reinvested into “AIDS villages” in China to recruit and train workers and volunteers, improve village hygiene, build educational and medical infrastructure and alleviate poverty in these marginalized areas.
Days for Girls Bridges- University of Washington, USA
Days for Girls Bridges sells affordable menstrual hygiene kits and delivers reproductive health education to women in Uganda through certified health representatives known as WISH (Women’s Income through Sustainable Hygiene) Representatives. WISH Representatives receive training in business skills, reproductive health information, and production of sustainable hygiene kits in order to provide sanitary products and break taboos around female menstruation.
Easy Ramp- Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Easy Ramp is a wheelchair ramp that can be used for entry and exit on buses and other modes of public transportation in Bangladesh, as well as in homes and offices. Easy Ramp allows for easier commuting for those living with disabilities, an obstacle that prevents many people with disabilities from working. This durable ramp is made from jute polymer and metal alloy and is adjustable to standard single and double decker buses as well as buildings.
Fargreen- Colorado State University, USA
Fargreen uses zero waste farming technology to convert rice straw waste into a product that can be used for mushroom farming and the production of bio fertilizers in Vietnam. This model prevents farmers from burning waste and releasing greenhouse gases into the air while also allowing farmers to diversify their crop yields and gain additional income from mushroom farming.
Gas for Tomorrow (G4T)- University of Rwanda, Rwanda
G4T converts waste into biogas for lighting and cooking, while also producing bio-fertilizer that can be used for farming in Rwanda. G4T will reduce deforestation for charcoal production and also reduce dependency on petro fuel throughout Rwanda.
Green World Enterprise- Kyambogo University and Makerere University, Uganda
Green World Enterprise produces briquettes made from waste and cassava flour as an alternative to charcoal in Uganda. By paying households to separate plastics and polythene from the rest of their waste for collection, Green World Enterprises incentivizes behavior changes toward waste disposal and offers an environmentally friendly alternative to charcoal.
In-House Energy and Income Facility for Poor (PAK-Energy Solution)- The Institute of Chartered Accounts of Pakistan and Virtual University of Pakistan, Pakistan
In-House Energy and Income Facility for Poor (PAK- Energy Solution) sells portable and affordable natural gas digesters to households in rural Pakistan that convert livestock waste into energy that can be used for cooking, heating and lighting. The digesters also produce a by-product that can be used as fertilizer, reducing health problems caused by wood burning and chemical fertilizers.
LifeSaver- Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, National University, North South University, and University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
LifeSaver is a fire extinguishing sprinkler system that both extinguishes fires and alerts the nearest fire department of the emergency. The LifeSaver system is offered at a low cost to garment factories in Bangladesh for protection from fires that claim lives in garment factories each year.
Nanoly Bioscience- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, and University of Colorado, USA
Nanoly Bioscience aims to eliminate the need for vaccine refrigeration with a nano-sized polymer that stabilizes vaccines and other temperature sensitive medicines so that vaccines may be safely and effectively delivered at a low cost anywhere in the world.
PowerCane- University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
PowerCane is a biomass gasifier that uses sugarcane bagasse, a waste product of sugar production, to produce electricity in northern Bangladesh where most sugar production in the country occurs. PowerCane seeks to provide electricity to “off the grid” areas where electricity is scarce.
Recoplastic- Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University, USA
Recoplastic is an eco-friendly raw plastic producer that uses recycled waste to produce Eco-Plastic, a raw material for plastic conversion, and Eco-Masterbatch, a plastic chemical additive. Recoplastic aims to improve recycling services in Nigeria as well as to make plastic products more accessible to the poor.
SafeSIPP- Arizona State University, USA
SafeSIPP is an integrated water purification system within a barrel that simultaneously allows for the transport and purification of water. SafeSIPP improves access to clean water in the developing world by addressing transportation, purification and storage issues.
SmartSchool- University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Smart School repairs and reassembles computers in order to ensure computer education for students in Bangladesh. SmartSchool purchases and assembles used computer parts into working computers meant for use in elementary and secondary schools.
Teletest Technologies- University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Teletest Technologies uses a mobile app to deliver educational and curriculum materials that allow for remote learning and tutoring, learning among peers, and improved communication between students, teachers and parents. Teletest Technologies addresses school dropout rates in Bangladesh that result from inadequate preparation by empowering students to engage in distance learning.
Gunawave- University of Washington, USA
Gunawave provides training, infrastructure, and technology-focused jobs to poor women in Mexico through skills training and English instruction.
WaterPurifierTM- University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
WaterPurifierTM is an environmentally friendly, low-cost solar powered water purifier that ensures a supply of safe drinking water throughout the year for people in Bangladesh.
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