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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.