Over the past 70+ years, CARE has evolved into one of the world's largest humanitarian organizations delivering both aid and lasting change in the most vulnerable communities on the planet. In 2015, the organization worked in 95 countries and reached more than 65 million people.

CARE is using an innovative program called Scale x Design, as a catalyst and platform to multiply impact of groups that innovate to help lift people out of poverty. The organization is providing funding to social entrepreneurship programs. The innovators are pitching a panel of judges -- in a manner similar to Shark Tank -- and each poverty-fighting project will explain why their approaches should be scaled up with the help of CARE's global resources.

They innovators hail from India, Bangladesh, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Ecuador and elsewhere and support female entrepreneurship, job training and fair pay initiatives -- things that give people a hand up rather than a handout. Some of them include:

  • Chomoka (Tanzania)

For the 2 billion adults without a bank account, Chomoka aims to take traditional village savings and loans groups and bring them into the digital age with a user-friendly mobile application. The app provides a pathway to formal financial services by documenting users' credit histories while streamlining and simplifying the transactions of informal savings groups.

  • Inclusive Dairy Value Chains (India)

CARE's Inclusive Dairy Value Chains model enables women to become entrepreneurs in all aspects of the dairy business by designing and developing new credit products, increasing access and control over resources, and building entrepreneurial skills.

  • Community Entrepreneurs for Skilled Health Services (Bangladesh)

For remote communities that lack access to health services, Community Health Entrepreneurs is a unique public-private partnership that trains local women to be both skilled healthcare providers and entrepreneurs. Communities and providers together set prices for services, ensuring a sustainable income for providers and improving health outcomes for the entire community.

  • A Different Cup of Tea (Sri Lanka)

Community Development Forums are mini parliaments where workers and management convene to resolve labor disputes and transform historically marginalized communities into an empowered workforce for Sri Lanka's tea plantations. The model addresses social and economic injustices for workers while increasing productivity and reducing costs for tea companies.

CARE is putting capital towards groups that are using innovation and technological advances, such as mobile apps, to support entrepreneurship and a better standard of living in areas that desperately need help.

From my role as CEO of Biz2Credit, I see how technological innovation and an infusion of capital can fulfill the dreams of small business owners. What CARE is doing on a global basis by using the same principles is quite refreshing and encouraging. Find out more by visiting http://sxdaccelerator.care.org/scale-x-design-from-innovation-to-impact-video/.

Published on: Jan 20, 2017