“Despite current ads and slogans, the world doesn’t change one person at a time. It changes as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what’s possible.” – Margaret Wheatley, Using Emergence to Take Social Innovation to Scale, 2006
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a global framework across all sectors to implement smart, innovative, and sustainable solutions for the planet and its inhabitants.
As natural disruptors of the status quo, we believe entrepreneurs can play a major role in bringing forward these unconventional solutions to the world’s increasingly complex and critical challenges.
But to do this, innovators not only need a favorable and enabling ecosystem to thrive, they also need access to specific support and networks in their journey to scale.
How do we get there?
Accelerate2030 provides just this. This global competition grew out of Impact Hub Geneva in 2016, and within 2 years had been carried out across 19 Impact Hubs in developing and emerging economies across the world, with over 50 partners supporting its implementation and over 1 million people reached.
The program’s aim is:
- To further develop the infrastructure needed to foster entrepreneurial and impact-driven ecosystems around the world.
It achieves this by:
- Identifying and supporting participants’ ventures with tested and ready-to-scale solutions that impact on the SDGs.
In a world that is often driven by unsustainable growth, we need to explore models of scaling that are sustainable for the individual, the organization and for the planet as a whole, and so the scaling support we provide is based on these three pillars.
What do Accelerate2030 Finalists do?
The Mexican finalist, HM Energy Mexico, has developed a way to recycle used tyres into biodiesel and carbon black. The U.S. produced 300,000 waste tyres last year alone. Imagine the impact of up-cycling all these tyres!
SALt, our finalist from the Philippines, developed a lantern that works by pure magic: Add a bit of salt water to the lantern and you create light for 8 hours! For a country that mostly uses kerosene lanterns, this has huge potential for off-grid communities. And SALt is now mass-producing a new model of their SALt lantern for national and international distribution.
Off-grid island community in the Philippines using the SALt lamp with SALt Co-Founder Aisa Mijeno (2nd from left, front row). See all of our finalists here.
How do they do it?
Through the Impact Hub network and partners, the program supports the ventures through an in-depth scaling program that includes, to name a few:
- Leadership, resilience, and team coaching
- Tailored scaling consulting
- Impact Measurement
- Investment readiness
- Strategic connections to potential partnerships and networks
The United Nations in turn, gives our ventures unique access to more networks and potential collaborations, as well as the visibility and credibility needed in their journey to scale.
With the United Nations Development Programme as a founding partner, and being based in Geneva, Accelerate2030 gives participating startups unique access to international organizations around the world and has allowed some of our finalists to meet key decision makers in their home countries.
So, what’s next?
Accelerate2030 is today a truly global program, combining the strength of the United Nations ecosystem with Impact Hubs from around the world. Having over 100 Impact Hubs in our global network, Impact Hub is a unique and powerful driver for change.
Thanks to local presence and a common global vision, the network makes it possible for new ideas, innovations and programs to emerge and scale across all regions, enabling the Accelerate2030 program to foster and support entrepreneurial solutions effectively in an truly local context through the participating Impact Hubs.
Daniela Galindo from Hablando Con Julis (Accelerate2030 International Finalist 2017) pitching at the UNDP Social Good Summit Geneva 2017
As an Impact Hub, joining Accelerate2030 is not only an opportunity to connect with local partners, but it is foremost the chance to join a global community of makers using the strength of the network to create global impact, and support inspiring members to grow their impact locally and internationally.
The next edition of Accelerate2030 is coming soon, and we are now actively calling Impact Hubs and partners to be a part of it.
Written by: Jay Burton
Jay is the Communications Coordinator for the Accelerate2030 program, Impact Hub Geneva, and Impact Hub Lausanne. His background is in sustainability management and sustainable international trade, and he worked in the Economics and Trade Branch of UNEP before joining Impact Hub in 2016.