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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

Discovery Education Teams Up With LG Electronics USA To Launch ‘Discover Your Happy’ Program That Combats Youth Stress With Science-Based Happiness Curriculum

– Celebrating the International Day of Happiness, ‘Discover Your Happy’ Virtual Field Trip to Expose Students and Educators to the Science Behind Happiness –

Press Release – Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, March 15, 2018) – In celebration of the International Day of Happiness, LG Electronics USA has teamed up with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, to launch Discover Your Happy – an exciting new program designed equip students nationwide with the skills for sustainable happiness. Studies assert that two out of three American teens are stressed and lack the tools needed to manage anxiety. On March 20, 2018, the International Day of Happiness, LG and Discovery Education will host a unique Discover Your Happy Virtual Field Trip at 1:00 p.m. ET to address this critical issue.

“Discovery Education is excited to partner with LG to help teach students that happiness is more than just a positive mood, it is an emotion and state of being that can be achieved through the practice of fostering mindfulness and contentment,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Research has shown that happy children do better in school and ‘Discover Your Happy’ invites them to explore immersive experiences that equip them with the skills necessary to lead healthy, successful and impactful lives.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death for adolescents age 12-17 in the United States. Research from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America shows that one in four children are affected by anxiety disorders; these youth are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences and engage in substance abuse. Happy people are healthier, live longer, earn more money, and do better in school and life.

Discovery Education’s Discover Your Happy program, designed to teach students that happiness is a learnable skill, is an extension of LG’s Life’s Good: Experience Happiness corporate social responsibility initiative. Discover Your Happy highlights six skills that sustain one’s ability to recognize that life’s good: mindfulness, human connection, positive outlook, purpose, generosity and gratitude. The goal is to create awareness that happiness is more than a fleeting feeling, that sustainable happiness is achievable, and that there are a set of skills that can be taught, learned and practiced to help anyone in their journey toward happiness.

The International Day of Happiness is a global celebration to recognize happiness as a fundamental human goal that lays the foundation for the well-being of people worldwide. The Discover Your Happy Virtual Field Trip, premiering on March 20, will enlighten students and educators across the country as experts from The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, Inner Explorer and Project Happiness demonstrate how happiness impacts our physiology and psychology.

Accessible standards-aligned materials found on the Discover Your Happy website will help students identify actionable ways to start their journey toward sustainable happiness. The immersive experience will also inspire and encourage them to bring happiness to their communities.

“Many of us are focused on happiness as a momentary feeling, but our goal is to spread the message that sustainable happiness is what matters – though it takes effort to achieve,” said Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D, science director at the Greater Good Science Center. “LG’s dedication to this important mission will help empower our youth to unlock their potential by learning the fundamental, science-backed skills of sustainable happiness.”

Research shows that happy kids do better in school. Happy learners remember information better and happiness positively impacts grades. LG’s Life’s Good: Experience Happiness initiative, Discover Your Happy introduces skills and practices aimed at achieving sustainable happiness. These classroom tools are aligned with curriculum standards and are designed to provide engaging, hands-on activities for students to identify actionable ways to start their journey toward sustainable happiness and bring happiness to their communities through six sustainable happiness skills.

LG Experience Happiness | Discover Your Happy program elements include:

Classroom Activities — Providing standards-aligned, grades 9-12 classroom resources, curriculum will incorporate the six sustainable happiness skills and will frame curriculum around the science behind happiness.

Family Activities — Offering parents, families and communities helpful tools to teach their children to experience happiness.

“Helping my students identify actionable ways to thrive, by teaching them the science behind happiness, provides them with prosocial advantages at home, at school and in their communities,” said Brandon Wislocki, fifth grade teacher, Irvine (Calif.) Unified School District. “Providing them with an awareness that happiness is more than a fleeting feeling, that sustainable happiness is achievable, and that there are a set of skills that can be taught, learned, and practiced to help them in their journey toward happiness, centers their concentration and helps them to alleviate stress.”

These resources are available at and will become available through Discovery Education Streaming. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit Stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.

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ImpactAssets Drops Investment Minimums and Fees on Private Debt and Equity Impact Investment Options, Adds New Funds

Industry’s lowest investment minimums open “deep” impact investing to a new tier of donors who are using philanthropic dollars to generate social, environmental and financial returns.

Press Release – BETHESDA, Md., March 15 – ImpactAssets today slashed investment minimums on its private debt and equity investment options to $10,000 and flattened administrative fees to 0.40%. Effective March 1, 2018, the changes are designed to break down the barriers to deep impact investing for donors within the ImpactAssets Giving Fund, its donor advised fund.

“Unquestionably, interest in impact investing has mushroomed, but investors remain daunted by significant financial hurdles, including investment minimums that can be as high as $250,000 to $1 million,” said Sally Boulter, Senior Engagement Officer at ImpactAssets. “We believe flat fees and lower minimums will lead to greater engagement with financial advisors and individuals who want to ‘toe-dip’ into impact investing.”

“There’s a real hunger among many investors—partly driven by the current political environment—to tap investment strategies that address critical systemic problems,” Boulter added. “Our clients look for deep, meaningful impact combined with appropriate financial returns.”

In addition to dropping fees and minimums, ImpactAssets added two new private debt funds to it growing roster of investment solutions that open access to impact investments in ecoforestry, climate change solutions, sustainable food and agriculture, underserved small business owners, the growing middle class in emerging markets and more.

The new funds include:

  • Ecotrust Forests III (EFIII), a long-term investment vehicle targeting commercial forestland in the western U.S. that have unique social and environmental attributes. The goal of the fund is to diversify investment in properties across regions, hold periods, timber and income streams. EFIII identifies and monetizes conservation, cultural and environmental assets to generate value for investors and society. The main driver of value is timber as well as various conservation finance tools including easements and carbon finance. Through its first and second funds, Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM) has honed its investment strategy to focus on property acquisitions where a competitive advantage exists.
  • Community Investment Management (CIM), an institutional impact investment firm providing strategic debt capital to scale and demonstrate responsible innovation in lending to small businesses and underserved borrowers in the United States. CIM seeks to deliver positive social impact and attractive risk-adjusted returns with low volatility by investing in a diversified short-duration portfolio of marketplace loans originated by financial technology companies. Since 2014, CIM has provided more than $350 million of debt financing to 5,000 U.S. small businesses in 50 states, diversified across an array of industries including information technology, professional services, and retail trade. Across its portfolio, CIM funds 2-3 times more woman, minority, and veteran-owned businesses than banks and financial institutions.

“Our partnership with ImpactAssets is enabling a new wave of smaller-scale investors to channel their money into impact,” said Bettina von Hagen, Managing Director & CEO at EFM. “By investing philanthropic dollars into deep impact investment, the incredible ImpactAssets community is finding ways to expand the power and positive impact generated by their charitable giving.”

“We applaud ImpactAssets in broadening access to institutional impact investment funds for a greater number of investors by lowering their minimums and fees,” added CIM Managing Partner Michael Hokenson.

The EFM and CIM funds are available individually or through the turn-key ImpactAssets Impact Portfolios. They join a growing list of the world’s most innovative impact investing managers, including EcoEnterprises Fund, Iroquois Valley Farms, MicroVest and Sarona, and they are among a long history of high quality private debt and equity funds that have been offered by ImpactAssets. Through this suite of funds, donors have been able to construct their own ‘fund of funds’ portfolios that are customized to their interests, don’t have an extra layer of management and offer lower expenses.

“With the addition of these new funds, we are building a comprehensive suite of deep impact investing options of experienced managers with solid track records” said Sandra Osborne, Director of Investments, ImpactAssets. “Our donors are driving this innovation and helping us to propel impact forward.”

About ImpactAssets

ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments delivering financial, social and environmental returns. ImpactAssets’ donor advised fund (“The Giving Fund”) and field-building initiatives enable philanthropists, other asset owners and their wealth advisors to advance social or environmental change through investment. The Giving Fund currently has $424M in total assets.

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Wahed, The First Digital Halal-Focused Ethical Investing Platform, Launches Mobile App

Easy-To-Use App Available for iOS and Android

Press Release – New York City, NY – March 14, 2018Wahed Invest LLC (“Wahed”), the first digital halal-focused ethical investing platform, today launched mobile apps for iOS and Android, enabling people to invest ethically wherever they are located. Using Wahed’s mobile app, individuals can get an optimized and diversified halal portfolio, open an account, securely link their bank accounts to their investment portfolios, quickly access their funds, deposit money into accounts and monitor the performance of their portfolios, all from their smartphone.

The apps can be download at

Users of the app are prompted with a variety of questions that enable Wahed to find investment portfolios that best meet their risk tolerance, financial preferences and economic objectives and needs.

“The interest we’ve seen from existing and potential clients about our web platform has been amazing, and are thrilled to expand our capabilities for new and existing clients,” said Junaid Wahedna, CEO, Wahed Invest. “People gain financial insights at all times and in all locations, and want to act on them immediately today’s mobile world. Wahed is pleased to offer new and existing clients the opportunity to invest in their futures in increasingly convenient and opportunistic ways through an app that further revolutionizes the halal investing industry.”

Wahed’s easy-to-use digital investing platform is the first automated Halal-focused system that is overseen by an Ethical Review Board, preventing concerned investors from investing in companies that do not agree with their values (e.g., companies involved in any aspect of the liquor, firearms, gambling and tobacco industries). The platform also screens investments that generate profit from interest and those that do not comply with certain debt ratios.

About Wahed

Wahed is a technology driven company democratizing Islamic finance by increasing investment accessibility. Wahed’s investment portfolios are approved by an Ethical Review Board, enabling concerned investor to feel confident that their investments are halal. Please see for more information about Wahed.

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Top Harvard Business Professor Outlines Ground-Breaking Roadmap For Big Business To Address Inequality And Poverty

  • Dr Robert S. Kaplan – famous for developing the Balanced scorecard – warned inequality was on the rise in the US, UK and developing nations
  • Speaking at the Palladium Positive Impact summit in London, Kaplan said “too many people have been left behind despite two centuries of market-based global capitalism that have made us healthier, wealthier and freer”
  • He set out a roadmap for companies to move beyond traditional philanthropy and CSR to Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value

Press Release – London – March 14, 2018: Leading Harvard business academic Dr Robert S. Kaplan has warned major corporates to be bolder with their strategies for social and economic impact or risk a further rise in inequality and poverty across the world – and a decline in their profitability.

“Too many people have been left behind despite two centuries of market-based global capitalism that have made us healthier, wealthier and freer,” the Harvard Business School professor told more than 200 business leaders during a keynote speech at the annual Palladium Positive Impact summit in London.

Dr Kaplan, famous for developing the Balanced Scorecard performance framework, said the share of people living in extreme poverty has declined, but despite enormous increases in income and wealth, many have been left behind.

He set out Palladium’s roadmap for companies to move beyond traditional philanthropy and CSR to Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. He set out four critical steps to generate economic and social value at scale:

  1. Be Bold – Companies have tried to upgrade traditional CSR programmes, but all too often they have limited impact and very rarely produce transformational change.
  2. Think Collaboration – Companies need to partner with a ‘catalyst organisation’ to engage actors from multiple sectors to generate economic and social value.
  3. Unlock Capital – Investment funds favour safe projects. One solution is to find capital from organisations that already have a mission to create inclusive growth ecosystems
  4. Align and Govern – Building an ecosystem is not for the fainthearted. Shared metrics provide accountability and the foundation for governing this ecosystem.

“Inequality is on the rise in the US, UK and developing nations,” he added. “We’ve seen persistent inequality lead to the undermining of democratic institutions and capitalism, more broadly. Examples can be found in Argentina, Greece, the UK and perhaps most prominently, the US.

“Businesses have ranged in their responses to the emerging challenges: from operating under ‘business as usual’ to championing the role of the innovator to allow them to survive and proposer in the world’s changing environment.

“We posit that companies need to move beyond traditional philanthropy and even corporate social responsibility to Positive Impact—the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value.

“It’s not a simple strategy. We have to create new linkages between people and suppliers, local communities and companies.”

Kim Bredhauer, Chief Executive of global impact firm Palladium, said: “Our roadmap is ambitious but ultimately could be transformative in the way corporates engage with communities while still making a profit. Larry Fink’s (CEO of BlackRock) recent challenge to businesses to contribute to society or put at risk their long-term profitability is a timely call to action.

“We need to grasp the nettle now. For big business to add real social and economic value, they need to work through the four measurable steps or potentially lose their license to operate. Ultimately, Positive Impact is not only about doing good, it’s about doing well commercially. To do that, however, needs ambition, focus, and total commitment to the new strategy.”

The Summit was attended by senior representatives of some of the world’s leading companies such as Mars, Bayer, Barclays and MBC Group.

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World Environment Center Launches “Power to Grow: The Innovation Challenge Fueled by La Red de Innovación e Impacto,” a U.S. Department of State Program to Support Micro-Enterprises in Central America.

Press Release – March 12, 2018 – The U.S. Department of State, World Environment Center (WEC), Le Groupe-conseil baastel Itée (Baastel), and RioSlum Studio are proud to announce the opening of applications for “Power to Grow: The Innovation Challenge Fueled by La Red de Innovación e Impacto” (Power to Grow). Power to Grow is a search to discover and reward organizations that are empowering micro-enterprises in Central America.

Up to 95% of companies in Central America are Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The success of these companies and the prosperity of communities are inextricably linked. However, many struggle to grow and remain competitive in the global marketplace.

Power to Grow selects innovative candidates to join forces with La Red member organizations towards:

  • Accelerating innovation and job creation opportunities for Central American micro-enterprises in the agriculture, agro-industry, and textiles sectors;
  • Building capacity of micro-enterprises to expand to new regional and international markets, with a focus on the U.S. market; and,
  • Generating economic prosperity across Central America.

Awardees will each receive a comprehensive support package, up to $43,000 to promote their solution, and partnership with a current member organization of La Red de Innovación e Impacto. Working together, the awardee and La Red member will leverage shared experience and knowledge, benefit from cross-sector collaboration, and forge a coalition to empower micro-enterprises.

The following La Red members and projects have been selected from current La Red member organizations to partner with the new Innovation Challenge applicants:

  1. Cleaner Production Center of Nicaragua (CPmL-N): to bring prosperity for small farmers and agroindustrial microenterprises in Nicaragua through sustainable practices and strengthening for new markets.
  2. Lutheran World Relief (LWR): Mobile Cocoa: Regional Cocoa Flavor Map.
  3. Centro Nacional De Producción Más Limpia De Panamá (Cnp+L)/ ConeP: to increase productivity and efficiency and provide market access for dairy micro-producers within supply chains.
  4. Travolution: first Central American community-based tourism encounter.
  5. Vista Volcanes: training program on organic agriculture for the “4 pinos” cooperative suppliers.
  6. Wakami/Comunidades de la Tierra: to open opportunities for microenterprises in the Central America region through the export of textile products.

Micro-enterprises can power growth and prosperity across the region. Visit to learn more and apply.

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Nonprofit Research Lab Records 1000th Online Fundraising Experiment

NextAfter logs 1000th experiment to help online fundraisers learn what works to grow revenue.

Press Release – Frisco, TX, March 13, 2018 – NextAfter, a research lab and consultancy working to help nonprofit organizations grow their online fundraising, has reached 1000 experiments in their ever-growing library of online fundraising research.

While much of the nonprofit fundraising world lags behind their for-profit counterparts in the area of optimization and innovation, this volume of research outlining what works – as well as what doesn’t work – to raise more money online can help organizations take steps forward towards real growth.

“Most fundraisers rely on best practices to grow their fundraising. But if we’ve learned anything from 1000 experiments, it’s that best practices don’t cut it anymore,” said Tim Kachuriak, the Chief Innovation & Optimization Officer for NextAfter. “They may be a starting place to build from, but it’s incredibly rare that a best practice strategy is actually the best performing.”

The 1000th online fundraising experiment was conducted with Boys Town, an organization working to change how the world cares for children, families, and communities by helping those suffering from abuse, addiction, abandonment and violence to reach their potential.

In this experiment, Boys Town wanted to increase traffic to an email sign-up page via Facebook advertising. The original ad used copy that was focused on organizational goals. But the treatment ad altered the copy to emphasize the value of the offer to the end-user.

The user-focused ad saw a 27.7% increase in clicks to the landing page. While this number is great for Boys Town, it’s also further validation of one of NextAfter’s central hypotheses about online fundraising: people give to people.

This experiment, and all 1000 online fundraising experiments, can be found in NextAfter’s public online research library. While their research library was originally built just for their own use, today it has grown to showcase the optimization work of 52 nonprofit organizations.

“When we first started the research library, I don’t think we really understood how big it would become” said Kevin Peters, Chief Technology Officer for NextAfter. “It has been amazing to see it grow, to hear from so many different nonprofits about the ideas they’ve pulled from the experiments, and to see how it has positively impacted their fundraising efforts.”

You can read the full details of the 1000th experiment as well as the most significant learnings from the full volume of experiments at

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Discovery Education And Nutrients For Life Foundation Host Exclusive Virtual Field Trip At Texas A&M To Connect STEM Concepts To Curriculum And Real-World Agricultural Careers

– LIVE Virtual Field Trip from Texas A&M Offers Middle School Students Nationwide a Deeper Understanding of The Science Behind Sports Turf Management –

Press Release – Silver Spring, Maryland (Monday, March 12, 2018) – The Nutrients for Life Foundation, an educational non-profit that educates students and the public about the vital role soil nutrients play in growing our world, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, will host a LIVE Virtual Field Trip for students nationwide from Texas A&M on March 15, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The LIVE event, “Play Ball: The Science Behind Sports Turf Management,” will engage middle school students with an exclusive look at the scientific practices and innovative technologies used in sports turf management, showing the important role soil science plays in the world of sports.

“We are excited to partner with Discovery Education to provide innovative resources to 21st century learners that expand their understanding of the valuable role soil plays in developing our growing world,” said Nutrients for Life Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. “Sports start from the ground up with healthy soil, and we are proud to expose the next generation of scientists to exciting career paths in agronomics and soil science.”

Hosted live from College Station, Texas, this Virtual Field Trip is part of the Nutrients for Life Foundation and Discovery Education’s “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil” multi-year education initiative. Designed to give middle school students a deeper understanding of the important role science and soil nutrients play in agriculture, “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil” explores core science connections between soil nutrients, plants and crops.

During this live event, Nick McKenna, Assistant Field Manager of Texas A&M University, will share how he utilizes soil science and critical thinking skills in turf management. From soil chemistry to fertilizer production, McKenna and his team will provide students with an in-depth look into how Texas A&M sports fields are maintained and kept safe the university’s athletes. “Play Ball: The Science Behind Sports Turf Management,” will help students make connections between the STEM concepts they are learning in the classroom and real-world careers in today’s agricultural industry. Participants across the country may register at

“Discovery Education is proud to continue a longstanding partnership with the Nutrients for Life Foundation to seed the curiosity of young learners, while encouraging them to explore and grow,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Connecting STEM concepts to real-world careers through an immersive experience like the ‘Play Ball’ Virtual Field Trip is transformative and empowers educators to reach their students through curriculum in breakthrough ways.”

To support educators beyond the Virtual Field Trip, “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil” also provides middle school students, educators and families with a suite of comprehensive digital resources that uncover a deeper understanding of the role soil science plays in everyday life and the importance of soil nutrients in agriculture. These resources include dynamic interactive lesson plans, digital explorations, bilingual family activities and a ranging collection of agricultural career profiles.

“Highlighting the real-world application of science and technology in classroom instruction is my passion and integrating this Virtual Field Trip will provide my students the unique opportunity to explore STEM concepts in the context of real-world careers,” said Patti Grammens, science teacher at Lakeside Middle School, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia. “Offering my students a pathway to explore Texas A&M college, the science behind sports turf management, and an immersive educational experience helps me to connect exciting and enriching concepts to everyday life.”

For more information on “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil,” visit and stay connected with Discovery Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd and @Nutrients4Life.

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Tech For Good Impact Awards 2018 Winners Unveiled

Second annual DigitalAgenda Impact Awards, sponsored by Nominet Trust, celebrates the best of UK tech for good

Press Release – March 9, 2018. DigitalAgenda today announces the 14 winners of the 2018 Impact Awards – celebrating tech-for-good innovations that improve people’s lives and the world around us — following an exclusive unveiling in front of an audience of 300 tech-for-good innovators, investors, policymakers and academics at a ceremony at the Oval Space, in the heart of the east London tech business cluster.

The Impact Awards are sponsored by Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading social tech funder, in association with Berenberg, one of Europe’s longest-established private banks. Now in their second year, the awards are open to any business, government or non-profit using digital products or services for positive social or environmental benefit.

Julian Blake, DigitalAgenda director commented: “We set up the Impact Awards as a celebration of technology being used for impact not just profit, and we’ve been blown away by the quality of the 253 entries we received this year, from right across the UK. Digital technology can help us address the serious challenges that the world faces today – and it can help deliver change fast and at scale – whether in education, health, or the need for more sustainable living. Today’s Impact Awards winners are pioneering examples of what is possible and we’re delighted to be able to reward their fantastic achievements.”

Vicki Hearn, director of awards headline sponsor Nominet Trust, said: “Today we celebrate the very best in social tech innovation in the UK. I’d like to congratulate the winners and all the organisations shortlisted for their many achievements. For 10 years, Nominet Trust has been at the forefront of funding the growth of socially motivated tech. The Impact awards demonstrates the potential of what we can all achieve together.”



  • Education – covering technologies that are transforming teaching and learning, in schools, universities or online. Sponsored by Barclays
    • Winner: Digital Theatre+ – the world’s leading educational platform for English and the performing arts, providing over three million students, within 1,150 schools, colleges and universities, across 65 countries, with access to 800+ performances and educational resources. @DigitalTheatre
      • Finalists: Learn My Way – learning platform built by Good Things Foundation to make getting online easy. YouTeachMe – enabling education professionals to create and use quality videos in their teaching.
  • Employment & skills – celebrating technology that is changing ways into work, and work itself, as well as initiatives to improve people’s digital skills and access to tech talent. Sponsored by BCS
    • Winner: Koru Kids – startup providing childcare solutions to working parents. It helps parents ‘nanny share’, introducing families through an online marketplace then taking care of all the paperwork like contracts, payroll, taxes, pension and payments via its platform. @korukids
      • Finalists: Code Your Future – supporting and empowering asylum seekers and refugees to become software developers. WhiteHat – matching non-graduate talent with apprenticeship opportunities
  • Health – recognising technologies that enhance healthcare knowledge and treatment, as well as helping people to lead healthier lives. Sponsored by Reason Digital
    • Winner: SH:24 – an online sexual and reproductive health service. By providing services online for free, SH:24 is able to release capacity and money in the NHS at the same time as providing people with a flexible, accessible service. @sh24_nhs
      • Finalists: In Your Pocket, offering smartphone-enabled accessibility for people who are vision impaired. GoodGym, supporting runners to get fit by doing good.
  • Sharing & communities – recognising digital products and services that help people share resources, or where collaboration enables greater community participation. Sponsored by Sharemrkt/The People Who Share
    • Winner: OLIO – free app tackling the problem of food waste by connecting neighbours with each other, and with local shops and cafes, so that surplus food can be shared, not thrown away. @OLIO_ex
      • Finalists: Age UK – using digital to help scale its Call in Time telephone befriending service. TalkLife: a social network providing support to young people struggling with mental health and the ups and downs of life.


  • Cities – digital initiatives that improve urban places and spaces, making them better places to live, work and play. Sponsored by HereEast
    • Winner: Go Jauntly – free community-based platform helping people discover and share walks near and far. Its philanthropic founders started it in 2017 through their digital product and service design consultancy, Furthermore. @gojauntly
      • Finalists: The Future Fox – working to accelerate the development of smart, sustainable and people-focused cities. TRIK – a mobile and web application built for insurance, engineering and construction enterprise.
  • Climate – helping businesses and government organisations to create more sustainable places. Sponsored by The Planet Mark
    • Winner: Switchee is the first smart thermostat for social housing. It fights fuel poverty and provides landlords with remote data insights that save energy, cut maintenance costs and improve resident well-being. @SwitcheeUK
      • Finalists: Green Lab – London workspace for entrepreneurs and organisations that are designing beautiful solutions to complex food, water and waste problems. Voyage Control – an air traffic control system for trucks, streamlining operations and reducing air pollution and congestion.
  • Smart – initiatives that use connected physical devices both at home and across towns and cities, to make urban and rural living easier, offering greater mobility and enabling people to connect more easily.
    • Winner: Alcove – internet-of-things-powered care technology business pioneering independent living for older and disabled adults. Its assistive technology ecosystem combines sensors, wearables, activity monitoring, alerting, emergency response, a communication aid and carer check-in to replace fixed-line telecare. @youralcove
      • Finalists: Little Riot – makes products that close distances and keep loved ones close. It facilitates human connection where it may not otherwise be possible. SteamaCo – bringing electricity to tens of thousands of previously unconnected consumers in Africa
  • Sustainable living – celebrating technologies that help people to live more sustainably, whether in providing higher-quality, healthier food, sourcing products with better information to hand, or in reducing waste Sponsored by Gone for Good
    • Winner: SafetyNet Technologies develops light-emitting devices to help fishing boats catch the right fish and tackle some of the biggest issues facing the commercial fishing industry. It has developed products that can lower unwanted bycatch by 90% and improve fishing revenues by up to 20%. @SNTechUK
      • Finalists: Alexandra Rose Charity, on a mission to develop the ‘Rosie’ app to create digital vouchers and automate the process of voucher reimbursement to traders. Arc-net – supporting producers and brand owners to provide access to safe and authentic produce through the distributed power of the blockchain.


  • Business transformation – entries from businesses, government agencies and non-profits, working on transformational projects to create more effective and responsive products and services, as well as more productive places to work. Sponsored by Opencast Software
    • Winner: Citizens Advice, founded in 1939, provides free, confidential and independent advice, information and support to anyone who needs it. Every year it helps millions online, over the phone and face-to-face. It has designed a case management system that is easy to use and intuitive. It wanted its Casebook system to more reflect the sort of products its volunteers may use outside of work, and be easy to use without training or specialist skills. @CitizensAdvice
      • Finalists : Apolitical – an online peer-to-peer platform for sharing ideas about public services. Unmind – a B2B mental health platform, providing clinically backed tools and training to create healthier, happier, more human organisations.
  • Financial inclusion – when it comes to impact, money doesn’t just mean business what we do with it, and how much we have, affects all of our lives. This award celebrates technologies that enhance access to financial services. Sponsored by Impact Reporting
    • Winner: LOQBOX aims to fix financial exclusion by enabling everyone to build their credit history, their financial education and their savings. Anyone using the service can build their history with the big credit reference agencies and also learn responsible financial management while they save, for free. @LOQBOX
      • Finalists: AID:Tech – for-profit company with a social mission to address some the world’s largest social issues. SalaryFinance – socially responsible employee benefit that helps people become more financially healthy
  • Investment – recognising the best in impact funding from both public and private sources, and across traditional venture and alternative investment routes like crowdfunding. Sponsored by ClearlySo
    • Winner: Bethnal Green Ventures -an early-stage investor that helps to launch and grow tech ventures with the potential to become hugely successful businesses that positively impact millions of lives. It invests in innovative ideas in health, education, sustainability, democracy and society. It is best known for its 12-week accelerator programme, which provides investment, co-working space and intensive mentoring and support. To date, BGV has supported 95 ventures, investing £1.9m. Ventures report a combined positive impact on 18m lives. @bg_ventures
      • Finalists: Nesta Impact Investments – one of the first fund managers in the UK to launch a dedicated social impact fund. UnLtd – the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world.
  • Social and economic transformation – recognising outward-facing initiatives from business, government and non-profits that look to make a positive impact on the wider world. Sponsored by Us Ai
    • Winner: what3words – an innovative global addressing system that has divided the world into 3m x 3m squares, each with a unique address made from three dictionary words. It’s the simplest way to communicate location and provides everyone and everywhere with an accurate and reliable address. what3words uses an algorithm, and every three-word address is fixed and will never change, meaning that what3words works offline, without a data connection, making it ideal for use in remote locations. Three-word addresses can also be used in 14 languages, with many more launching in 2018. @what3words
      • Finalists: The Federation – an open community of digital businesses and innovators in Manchester, built on ethical values, sponsored by the Co-op Group. Yoti – a free and safe digital identity app, giving everyone a simpler, faster and safer way of proving their identity.
  • People’s choice – in a first for 2018, voting was opened to the public for our Impact Awards people’s choice award. With 2500 votes cast, the result was a close call with just a handful of votes between our top three. Presented by Richard Brass, Berenberg
    • Winner: TalkLife – (11.9% of the vote) – a social network providing support to young people struggling with mental health and the ups and downs of life. It provides an engaging, intuitive peer support platform where users can talk about how they’re feeling and connect to others. Its global platform now supports hundreds of thousands of users. The company is proud of its safeguarding, research partnerships and determination to change the way the world thinks about mental health.
      • Runners up: Go Jauntly (11.3%) – app helping people discover and share walks. Code Your Future (9.5%) – coding school for refugees and other displaced people
  • Individual impact award – a jury award for outstanding contribution by an individual in helping to grow technology for good, through personal giving of time or money. This year celebrating an ‘unsung hero’ of tech for good. Presented by Mike Bracken, Public Digital
    • Winner: Tom Steinberg – founder of mySociety – a non-profit created to build and popularise digital tools giving citizens power over institutions and decision makers. He was its director for 12 years until 2015, running websites like, FixMyStreet and

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Kimberly-Clark, PEMSEA, The Coca-Cola Company and The DOW Chemical Company join Closed Loop Ocean to Reduce Ocean Plastics

Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) is the first intergovernmental organization to formally join the initiative

Press Release – New York — Closed Loop Partners announced today that corporate leaders Kimberly-Clark, The Coca-Cola Company and The Dow Chemical Company and intergovernmental organization PEMSEA are the latest partners to join Closed Loop Ocean, an initiative to develop a new funding mechanism to prevent plastic waste from leaking into the world’s oceans. These leaders join this collaborative initiative in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, Ocean Conservancy, the Trash Free Seas Alliance, 3M, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, the American Chemistry Council and the World Plastics Council.

Closed Loop Ocean, announced at the Our Ocean 2017 conference in Malta, is designed to identify, develop and facilitate investments in waste management and recycling solutions in Southeast Asia, with a focus on improving collection, sorting and recycling markets. Additional information and opportunities to partner available online at

Research indicates that nearly half of the plastic that flows into the ocean every year – an estimated 8 million metric tons – escapes from waste streams in just five rapidly developing economies in Asia. As a result, the initiative focuses on galvanizing investment in waste management and recycling solutions in Southeast Asia and India. Over the coming months, Closed Loop Ocean will narrow its geographic focus, define investment criteria, build its network of partners, and begin to identify potential investments.

According to Rob Kaplan, Managing Director of Closed Loop Partners, “Solving the problem of ocean bound plastics will require significant investment and partnership from brands and supply chain leaders. Partnership with our coalition of companies who have operations in these markets and with PEMSEA, a regional intergovernmental body with local knowledge and experience in SE Asia will help us bring in additional investors, understand the local market and supply chain dynamics and develop an investment strategy that unlocks the key bottlenecks holding back the recycling system in SE Asia and India.”

About Closed Loop Partners

Closed Loop Partners invests in sustainable consumer goods, advanced recycling technologies and the development of the circular economy.

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Aqua-Spark, Pioneer Investment Fund for Sustainable Aquaculture, Announces Investment in Global Accelerator for Aquaculture: Hatch Accelerator 1.0

Together Aqua-Spark and Hatch Can Support Aquaculture Innovation From Startups to Established Companies, From Ideation to Commercialization

Press Release – New York, NY (March 7, 2018)Aqua-Spark, the first investment fund focused exclusively on sustainable aquaculture, today announced its investment in Hatch Accelerator 1.0, the first-ever global accelerator program dedicated to the aquaculture industry. The investment will be used to accelerate a group of eight companies between April and June of 2018.

Aqua-Spark launched in December 2013 with a mission to make the rapidly-growing fish farming sector sustainable. By investing across the value chain in companies, technologies, and practices, they are transforming this exploding industry.

While Aqua-Spark focuses on the growth stage of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Hatch was created with the mission of investing in early stage aquaculture opportunities. It was founded in 2017 by Carsten Krome, Georg Baunach, and Wayne Murphy, with support from Alimentos Ventures, which was created by Carsten Krome. Together, the co-founders realized an opportunity and need to help mature early stage companies and technologies that have the potential to transform the landscape.

With a shared history and similar goals (Krome previously worked for Aqua-Spark), Hatch and Aqua-Spark are creating a complete support system to nurture aquaculture startups from innovative ideas through commercialization. Technology and innovation are just starting to play a role in aquaculture. The right solutions could resolve production issues and make the industry much more efficient. More success among these aquaculture startups means faster growth towards a more sustainable industry.

“Aqua-Spark often encounters great ideas, products, and technologies that could have benefitted from ideation phase support, “ explained Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark. “Further, it is imperative that we develop a way to finance early stage aquaculture ventures, which Hatch is doing. Between Aqua-Spark and Hatch, there is a clear opportunity for a symbiotic partnership that will improve collective deal flow. We can direct smart, early-phase companies to Hatch, and as Hatch actively finds and grows early stage startups, Aqua-Spark can absorb those that have progressed beyond accelerator. It is a holistic win for the aquaculture industry as a whole.”

Hatch is located in Bergen, Norway at the epicenter of the global salmon farming industry. The accelerator comprises an intensive 3-month program that provides top teams with aquaculture expertise from across the world — along with industry and investor connections and the facilities required to fast track product development.

“We see Aqua-Spark’s investment in Hatch as the beginning of a long-lasting partnership built on a mutual desire to accelerate innovation and growth within the global aquaculture industry,’” said Dr. Carsten Krome, co-founder of Hatch. “Aqua-Spark has an extensive network and hands-on approach that will help propel Hatch, and syncs nicely with the incubator concept . Together, we cover a major part of the financial value chain –improving resources and opportunities for startups from early stage onward.”

About Aqua-Spark

Aqua-Spark is an investment fund with a focus on sustainable aquaculture businesses around the world. The small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in which they invest are working toward the sustainable production of aquatic life, such as fish, shellfish, and plants. Aqua-Spark believes that committing to a long-term vision is the way to realize effective and lasting results.

Since 2015, the fund has invested in 10 complementary SMEs, including:

  • Sogn Aqua (2 investments): A Norwegian fish farm with the potential to change the way red-listed Atlantic Halibut is farmed.
  • Calysta (3 investments): A biotechnology company that is transforming fish feed–making it healthier and more environmentally sound.
  • eFishery (2 investments): A crucial technology for monitoring fish feed with the power to revolutionize commercial aquaculture.
  • Chicoa Fish Farms (2 investments): A fish farm that offers a vertically integrated solution to the freshwater aquaculture industry in Mozambique.
  • Matorka (2 investments): a land-based, geothermal Arctic Char farm in Iceland.
  • Indian Ocean Trepang: An innovative sea cucumber farming operation in Madagascar.
  • Love The Wild: A US-based company that produces sustainable, delicious ready-to-prepare seafood kits.
  • Protix: A highly technological and data driven insect producer.
  • Proteon: a leader in natural, safe, and environmentally sustainable phage-platform technology, an alternative to antibiotics.
  • Cryoocyte: a reproductive technology platform for high precision fish farming.

Thus far, Aqua-Spark has EUR 57 million under management, dedicated to investments in elements of the aquaculture industry that will make fish farming sustainable. The goal of the fund is to grow to EUR 1,5 billion AUM by 2025 – ultimately making sustainability big and profitable enough so it becomes the only way to farm fish.

About Hatch Accelerator 1.0

HATCH is an aquaculture-focused business accelerator launched by Alimentos Ventures, an early-stage aquaculture investment firm. HATCH bridges the gap between innovative ideas and their commercialization by helping startups become investment and market ready, and by catalysing their aquaculture market entry. Our vision is an aquaculture industry capable of growing sustainably to meet global demand. We connect top teams and their ground-breaking aquaculture innovations with expertise and funding in order to reduce the costs and risks inherent to aquaculture growth and development. We provide and foster a global go-to community for entrepreneurs, commercial players, researchers, and investors alike.

HATCH is based in Bergen, Norway, together with its local partners, Bergen Teknologioverføring AS (BTO) and the Seafood Innovation Cluster. It runs a cohort of 8 companies from April until June 2018, and will run another cohort in Cork, Ireland in Q3/Q4 2018 and expand its program to South East Asia in 2019.

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