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Is Impact Investing A Solution To Global Problems?

Is Impact Investing A Solution To Global Problems?

Is Impact Investing A Solution To Global Problems?

"Some of the world's most intractable social and environmental problems are in need of new solutions. From climate change to resource scarcity to exploding global population growth, the traditional levers of change, including philanthropy and … Continue reading at

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Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) is a global movement and registered Social Enterprise that provides innovative solutions to address various complex problems. It was founded by Marlon Parker in 2008 as an environment for community driven innovation and reconstruction. RLabs creates an environment where people are empowered to make a difference in the lives of others. The RLabs “main hub” is in Athlone, Cape Town but have activity in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa with a goal of reaching all continents by 2014
Its core activities are skills and training, community development, social and disruptive innovation, mobile and internet solutions, social enterprise incubation, impact investing and social franchising.
To impact, empower and reconstruct local and global communities through innovation

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2015

The annual RLabs Grow Leadership Academy Entrepreneurship Bootcamp has always been one of the "hot" topics among many young aspiring entrepreneurs who has attended it. With over 50 project teams that pitched their ideas for a spot at the "Mansion" where the Bootcamp was held, only 8 teams were selected to participate in January 2015 Bootcamp. A total of 18 participants, both male and female, were given the opportunity to refine their ideas, through coaching and entrepreneurship training provided by facilitators as well as by Social Entrepreneur-and- Innovator, Marlon Parker.

In one week the various teams had to keep to a tight schedule. They started their day at 07:30 and ending it as late as 9 in the evening. Every day the teams had to achieve clear outcomes on their start-up ideas. Daily walking check-ins were held to get the youth to appreciate, learn and inspire one another. The Innovation Incubator and Accelerator, also known as InnovIA, has taught RLabs the critical role of "team" in a start-up. The facilitators made sure that a fair amount of the Bootcamp outcomes incorporated teamwork, through various fun and business model canvas activities.

There was a total number 8 of start-up teams that presented their ideas at the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. All the ideas are aimed at addressing tough local and African problems related to Education and Economic opportunity, or the lack thereof. The teams were made aware that the week would be critical for them to further develop their understanding of the problems they wish to tackle. Each idea forms part of a particular market that presents great opportunity for impact and growth. They were also aware of the fact that only 2 teams would eventually be selected as part of the 9 month incubation programme, InnovIA. For some, this created some sort of pressure, but they soon learned that the vision of their Start-Up idea was way more important than attending an incubation programme. After all, it is about purpose and destiny, and the perseverance in pursuing their vision.

Here is a brief description of the ideas that were nurtured and pitched at the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

The names of the groups:

? Drop - Drop aims to address the shortage of fresh drinkable water in rural and peri-urban areas.
? Virtual Employment - Provides work experience for skilled labour in the townships of Cape Town.
? Rubble Recyclers - Re-imagining recycling as a means to provide employment opportunities to young people.
? EduCycle - Using recycling in exchange for school uniforms and stationery.
? KMG Housing - Providing access to alternative housing for those who are homeless.
? Ignite - Helping school children to discover their passions and talents.
? YouthUp - Aims to address the challenge of school dropouts.
? WeGuide - Using technology and legal advice to solve women abuse cases.

At Bootcamp, the teams worked extremely hard on their Business Model Canvas and case studies of very successful technology companies in South Africa. All the ideas were pitched on the final night of Bootcamp.

Winners Announced

Virtual Employment

KMG Housing

Congratulations to all of the teams for their amazing work and we trust that this was only the beginning. Greater things are still to come.


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