Fifth Catalyst tenant revealed

Today we introduce our next Catalyst Centre tenant for the 2016 programme. We are pleased to welcome Adam Boxer and Bradley Heslop who have created Wessex Social Ventures (WSV). 

WSV’s goal is to equip people living on under $3 per day to help themselves, stimulate their local economies and provide the vital employment needed to eradicate some of the world’s key social issues.

After winning the prestigious Enactus World Cup in 2015, Bradley and Adam decided to commit to their company full time and the model is already being rolled out successfully through three carefully constructed micro-enterprises. These are:

  • Petal produces affordable, reusable sanitary towels, made and sold by local women. Alongside making and selling, the women deliver free education on menstruation to other women (and men where possible) to spread knowledge and erase social stigmas. The venture empowers women, improves hygiene and allows women to regain their confidence.

petal-entrepreneurs

  • Roots provides clean, safe toilet facilities to entire communities. These toilets convert human waste into 100% natural fertiliser, which is then sold to local farmers at a lower price than alternatives. The revenue incentivises the entrepreneurs to maintain this community service and enables more toilets to be built. Roots toilets encourage school attendance and promote a healthy, odour free, learning environment.

roots-school-toilet-2

  • Right Light tackles the dangerous use of kerosene, by distributing solar lamps to communities through a rental scheme. In order to make the lamps accessible to the poorest in the community, they are price matched allowing them to be rented out at an average of 50% the price of kerosene. The health benefits are enormous, and the bright, flicker free light, allows students to study at night and businesses to stay open longer.

right-light-entrepreneur-benta

All these enterprises run on a micro-enterprise model and are designed to be owned and managed by people in their communities. Each enterprise addresses a range of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and all three have a particular focus on: good health, quality education, gender equality and absence of poverty.

Bradley said: “WSV is a new social business accelerator aiming to revolutionise the way aid is provided. We firmly believe in trade not aid, and we therefore ensure that there is an exchange of value at every step in our portfolio of business models.”

Catalyst judges were impressed at how WSV, working with NGOs over the past three years, had already impacted over 25,000 people, and were keen to explore how this could be scaled quickly. Keep an eye on this blog to see how they get on.