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SPRING launches new round of support for businesses transforming the lives of girls in South Asia

SPRING is Palladium’s accelerator working with growth-oriented businesses on innovations that can transform the lives of poor and vulnerable girls aged 10-19 living across East Africa and South Asia. We work with world-class experts to support these businesses to create innovations with purpose and commercial potential.

What’s it all about?
SPRING is transformational and visionary. The business accelerator – funded by DFID, USAID, and Nike Foundation, with additional strategic support from Girl Effect - transforms the lives of adolescent girls by creating sustainable markets for life-enhancing products and services. These products and services help girls keep safe, learn, earn, and save without harm. SPRING operates in nine-month blocks with cohorts of up to 20 enterprises. The first cohort included businesses from Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya and ended in March 2016.

"There is no other project in the world that is revaluing girls in the business picture...there's nothing else like it". Suzanne Biegel, Investment Director

Entrepreneurs share their learnings after a session at the SPRING Boot Camp in Nairobi National Park

Cohort 2 now open!
The second round of applications has recently opened for innovative entrepreneurs and businesses in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Cohort 2 invites applicants to share a little bit about their business, team, commitment to girls and what they think Human-Centred Design can do for their venture.

Successful applicants receive nine months of world-class technical expertise, including Human-Centred Design boot camps, investment-readiness support and mentorship. This support is delivered via SPRING’s team of partners and experts. In return, businesses commit to finding innovative ways to reach adolescent girls with products and services that meet their needs; determined, formed and tested by girls themselves.

The video below features the first cohort of businesses from across East Africa explaining the transformational power of using Human-Centred Design to create commercially sustainable innovations that can improve the lives of adolescent girls.

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Girls…the right and smart investment
When girls have the freedom to learn, earn, and save without harm, their health and wellbeing increases, they become empowered to make their own decisions and take control of their own lives.

Investing in girls is the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do. When girls have opportunities, whole families become stronger both economically and socially, student numbers increase, agricultural productivity goes up, while rates of child marriage, teen pregnancy, and HIV/AIDS go down.

Right now, products and services are rarely designed for, marketed to, or distributed to the majority of the world’s adolescent girls — they are an underserved market. Girls have enormous potential. Well-designed products or services can give a girl the space and security she needs to learn, the time she needs to work, and the ability to launch a business of her own.

For some, the 250 million adolescent girls living in poverty worldwide don’t make an obvious consumer base for profitable companies.

But girls who have an opportunity to reach their full potential make vibrant local economies possible. They’re motivated, responsible, eager for change and willing to spend what money they have when presented with well-designed products that help them keep safe, earn, learn, and save. By positioning their products and services correctly and forging the right public-private partnerships, businesses can tap into this underserved market, unleashing a world of good (and good business) in the process.

 

About SPRING
SPRING transforms the lives of adolescent girls by creating sustainable markets for life-enhancing products and services. These products and services help girls keep safe, learn, earn, and save without harm. The SPRING Accelerator identifies ventures with products that can improve the lives of girls and provides leading expertise in business growth, investment-readiness, design, innovation, and marketing to help drive their business models forward.

By 2019 SPRING aims to reach 200,000 girls in 8 countries. We believe the impact of the successful entrepreneurs and the investment they stimulate will lead to a broader shift in markets that enable girls and their communities to end the cycle of poverty.