Promoting partnership Supporting viable innovations Market-led approach to empower and support girls

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend an event organised by SPRING, an accelerator programme supporting viable innovations that can transform the lives of adolescent girls aged 10-19 living in nine different countries, including Nepal.

Given the inequalities and levels of oppression faced by girls across the world, the level of scale that SPRING wants to achieve is necessarily ambitious: 200,000 girls will benefit from existing and new products and services by 2019.

A consortium of leading development agencies has come together to support such ambitious and as well innovative undertaking that promises to offer a new, market-led approach to empower and support girls.

With funding provided by UKAID, USAID, Nike Foundation and the Australian Government‘s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SPRING has the mission of “transforming the lives of adolescent girls by creating sustainable markets for life-enhancing products and services.”

Here you will find an overview of the companies selected by SPRING: they received not only financial investment but also gained a wealth of expertise and technical knowledge. While both types of support are indispensible, the latter can truly make the difference by helping tremendously with scaling up their products and services after successfully completing a testing and prototyping phase.

Jeevan Bikas Samaj (JBS) offers a diversified array of micro financial products targeting the most disadvantaged segments of the population. With support of SPRING, JBS has designed new innovative saving programs for girls that will have their levels of skills and confidence enhanced because their parents are being engaged and persuaded to invest on them.

Kalpavrishka Greater Goods (KGG) is active in Terai and it is creating a network of women entrepreneurs who on their own managing over 200 sales agents in 11 districts selling solar lights. With the support of SPRING, KGG is diversifying its offerings with new products specifically targeting the needs of girls and young women. By training and employing women as sellers, KGG is creating a truly grassroots based network of small entrepreneurs able to offer affordable products targeting the unmet needs of local girls.

Paritran is a social business aiming to train women in self-defence techniques that are so important in minimising the risks of gender violence in the country. Paritran courses are much more than simply learning about self-defence: they directly contribute to strengthen the levels of confidence and mental strengths of girls and young women. Thanks to SPRING, thousands of girls and young women in multiple settings like schools, fitness centres and companies/organisations have found a platform to become stronger physically and mentally.

Rooster Logic is innovating in the way data is collected throughout the country. Few years ago it came out with REMO, an innovative digital collection system that leverages mobile phones’ technologies. As beneficiary of SPRING Accelerator, EMO’s outreach is vastly expanding thanks to the mobilisation of a network of young women that will collect data across the country. The ambition is to be able to set up a localised and yet reliable data collection system to support businesses and not for profit organisations.

R&D Innovations is running a chain of organic farming shops, directly working with local farmers. Now they are setting up model Agro Centres throughout the country by promoting new practices and techniques that will greatly promote better and smarter farming. As result, girls from rural parts of the country who are spending a considerable amount in of their time in the fields will be able to be more productive and give more time to their studies.

Shreenagar Agro Farm is a leading agro business company working with farmers through feed and seed production and other essential key services. It got selected by SPRING to promote the consumption among girls and young adolescents of eggs thanks to its SunauloEggs line that is available in local retailers. Very importantly Shreenagar Agro Farm has launched an awareness campaign encouraging girls to consume more eggs whose nutrient effects are still vastly underappreciated.

SmartPaani is offering since 2011 an innovative portfolio of sustainable water management solutions from wastewater treatment water filtration and very revolutionary a system of rainwater harvesting. Now with SPRING on board, SmartPaani received support to offer more of its products keeping in mind the special needs of girls and for this purpose, it is working specifically work with schools by offering new technologies to drastically improve their learning conditions.

All these companies underwent a very scrupulous selection process carried out by the SPRING team and, they are already out there in the market, working hard to reach scale and more market shares.

You will notice that here we are not talking of start-ups companies. SPRING supports commercial ideas already based on a proven business model.

Luna Shrestha Thakur, the SPRING Country Manager in Nepal, believes that there is a huge potential in developing marketable solutions that can make the difference and improve the living conditions of girls and young women.

The application for the next cohort of organisations will open on October 1. In the meantime, you can get in touch on

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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