SPRING Accelerator which works with innovations that can transform the lives of poor and vulnerable girls aged 10-19 living across East Africa and South Asia, has opened applications for cohort 3 of its East Africa program for 2017, selecting its next cohort from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and adding Tanzania and Ethiopia.

The accelerator is on the look-out for established, ambitious businesses across any and all sectors to address market opportunities and unmet needs for adolescent girls through the use of Human-Centred Design.

In our current portfolio, product and service innovations meet some of the following needs:
Saving time or money
Enabling girls to stay in school or learn
Earn, save or invest earnings and assets
Feel safe and secure, improving overall wellbeing
Up to 20 businesses will be selected to join the nine-month cohort, running from May 2017 to January 2018
irls form the most vulnerable and underserved communities in the world. When girls are empowered, when they are able to learn, earn, save and stay safe, when their wellbeing is protected, when they receive the right support, they become agents for change in our communities. Businesses can fulfil the needs of girls by creating products or services that empower or enable girls to flourish. In turn, businesses create new market opportunities that lead to sustainable progress and change for communities.

Previous participants include EarthEnable, providing earthen flooring solutions that are 75% cheaper than concrete equivalents, opening up a high-growth market for home improvement in Rwanda. Dirt floors are breeding grounds for disease and pose a health threat to women and girls who are tasked with cleaning them. Through replacing dirt floors with sealed floors, the company envisages saving girls’ cleaning time and reducing their exposure to pathogens.

Easypaisa, Pakistan’s leading mobile banking service, is addressing a lack of ability for girls to save by developing a savings product branded specifically to girls aged 10-17. Their goal is to open doors for girls through facilitating saving for their futures and improving their aspirations.

Find out more and apply at www.springaccelerator.org.