All communities face social and environmental challenges. The Foundation supports scalable, community-based solutions to complex challenges to further build resilience within local communities.

Creative Solutions to Environmental Issues



The Inventa Comunidad program challenged entrepreneurs to create and prototype solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges in Tierra Amarilla and Caldera. The Foundation is working closely with Chrysalis, an entrepreneurial and business incubator at the Universidad de Valparaiso in Chile, to launch and prototype the innovations, and CORFO -the regional economic development agency- to help the entrepreneurs launch viable businesses. Staff from Lundin Mining’s Candelaria operations have volunteered their expertise and time to mentor entrepreneurs. Five entrepreneurs were selected to launch and prototype innovations that address pressing issues facing the Atacama Region, the driest desert in the world. 

YAKKA: Water collection system

Yakka is a system of collecting and storing water from mist and dew on the slopes of hills and releasing the water for agricultural purposes. Still in the non-commercial prototype stage, the product is significantly more efficient than traditional collecting systems. It can generate up to 28,000 litres of water each day. 

 Alejandro Abarcia proudly displays his prototype to solve water issues in the Atacama Region of Chile.

Alejandro Abarcia proudly displays his prototype to solve water issues in the Atacama Region of Chile.

Yakka is born as a result of the water crisis that affects the Atacama Region and the problems that this generates for many people who do not have access to drinking water. Fog is one of the natural resources that has less impact on the environment and is also free.
— Alejandro Abarcia, Yakka’s founder

Water storage and filtration system

Four volunteers in camps providing shelter for those in need wanted to improve living conditions for camp residents, especially the lack of clean water. The team designed a water filtration and storage system that provides those in camps with access to a safe and reliable water supply delivered through the municipality. The team hopes to scale up the system to contribute to solutions to regional water issues plaguing the whole Atacama Region.

We are meeting a need in the region through designing an efficient prototype that’s environmentally friendly. We believe it will be an alternative that will generate high impact and will bring great benefits to the users and clients of this project.
— Mario Valladares Cortes, Diego Cortes Flores, Andres Spataris Jaiña and Mauricio Galvez Veliz, founders

Sustainable solutions to mine tailings

Gonzalo Campusano is an artisanal miner who founded Ecoadoquines, which creates paving stones produced from mining tailings, with the aim of reducing pollutants and contributing to the recovery of community spaces. After the tailings are tested, Ecoadoquines encloses them with cement and lime to produce the stones. Gonzalo hopes to build a factory to streamline production. 

The idea is that the small-scale miners could be self-sustaining. The stones are used in public spaces. The whole community has benefited from the project.
— Gonzalo Campusano, artisanal miner and Ecoadoquines founder

Recybatt: Recycling batteries and raising awareness

Recybatt, founded by Daniela Vergara, is a social enterprise that recovers dry battery metals through a low-cost and environmentally friendly recycling plant. The entrepreneur is in talks with battery manufacturing companies. Daniela has a vision to provide vulnerable people with meaningful employment opportunities and raise awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship.

It is the children who answer the call to create an environmental culture; they are the main focus of our project. We want to make a difference in the management of waste in a sustainable way.
— Daniela Vergara, Recybatt founder

Organic composting 

In Chile, 60% of organic waste goes into the garbage, which is a lost opportunity to generate rich soil for the farmers in the region. In Caldera, which has a cold desert climate, the Comunidad Ecoturística Bahía Inglesa agency created an initiative to promote food security in the community through creating a community garden and advancing the recycling of organic waste. The desert is the driest non-polar desert in the world and does not provide good soil for farming. Around 200 people living in Caldera, as well as a number of students and teachers, benefited from the initiative.

Supporting Refugee Entrepreneurs in Scandinavia



boost refugee program

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In 2015 alone, over 200,000 refugees entered Norway and Sweden, stretching the capacity of existing agencies. In 2016, the Foundation supported the launch of two local incubators, each offering an innovative approach to promoting jobs for refugees to help them integrate into their new countries. The target impact is to accelerate the rate of employment for refugees and to develop new delivery model for integration support to newcomers.

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Social innovation

The Foundation partnered with SoCentral, the leading Norwegian social innovation hub, and the City of Oslo to launch BOOST REFUGEE, an incubator program for social enterprises offering employment and integration support to refugees. The City of Oslo and other municipalities consider BOOST a best practice and are interested in scaling the BOOST model. 

 International Sandwich Brothers hires unaccompanied young male refugees offering valuable paid work experience. 

International Sandwich Brothers hires unaccompanied young male refugees offering valuable paid work experience. 

By participating in BOOST we have acquired new knowledge about financial strategies and business strategies. We also learned to grow on a personal level as leaders and social entrepreneurs through valuable coaching and training programs.
— International Sandwich Brothers


Norway has benefited from decades of oil and gas development. More recently, with the downturn in oil and gas industry, there is a growing momentum to promote entrepreneurship and alternative sectors for employment. The Foundation has partnered with Kunnskapsparken ( KUPA) a regional business incubator operating in Northern Norway to launch the Arctic Accelerator (AA)in Harstad. AA issupporting entrepreneurs under the age of 30 to launch promising business ideas in the areas of environmental sustainability and sustainable use of Arctic resources. Launched in August 2016, AA received 18 applications from which 5 high potential businesses will be selected to receive in-depth business incubation support from KUPA. The target impact is to create sustainable businesses, and generate employment in Northern Norway.

C/O Business

In 2015, Sweden took in over 160,000 refugees, the majority of whom are fleeing the Syrian conflict. This influx inevitably strains existing services creating challenges for smooth integration.  On average, it takes those granted asylum 7 years to gain employment, which negatively impacts their ability to join Swedish society.

The Foundation partnered with Impact Invest Scandinavia and Innovation Skåne -the regional innovation agency- to launch C/O Business in Malmö, Sweden. C/O Business is a business incubator that helps refugee entrepreneurs with the goal of improving integration and job creation. This initiative was launched in September 2016 in Lund, and received over 60 applications. Fifteen businesses have been selected and have already completed the first round of business training with support from Innovation Skåne. The target impact of C/O Business is to support the launch and growth of the new enterprises as a means to support integration and create employment opportunities for others within the refugee community.

Putting down roots

Kotada Yonus founded Öresundspuls, an online and print media company that targets the Arab speaking community in Sweden. He came to Sweden as a Syrian refugee from Palestine and became a Swedish citizen in January, 2017. It’s the first time he has held citizenship of any country. Since joining the C/O Business program, Öresundspuls’s monthly revenues have quadrupled.

 Kotada Yonus (centre) with the Öresundspuls team during the Malmö Arab Film Festival.

Kotada Yonus (centre) with the Öresundspuls team during the Malmö Arab Film Festival.

We are in a stronger position and are more aware of Swedish market opportunities and way of business.
— Kotada Yonus, Öresundspuls founder