2008 Innovation Award Winners
The 2nd annual SVN Innovation Awards were held at SVN's Fall 2008 Conference in La Jolla, California, from October 23 - 26th. Innovation Award Winners were honored during a ceremony highlighting their groundbreaking achievements in sustainable business, design and product development as we set our eyes on the next generation of social ventures.
CleanFish, based in San Francisco, California, is working to lead the global market to sustainable seafood production. CleanFish works with artisan fishing communities around the world to help bring their sustainably harvested fish to a global marketplace, providing economic opportunities to these fishermen while raising consumer demand for sustainable sources of fish. Core CleanFish services include a product communications program that differentiates sustainable and non-sustainable seafood products through presentations of those products at restaurants and retailers across the United States.
In the United States, buildings account for a greater percentage of carbon emissions than transportation and consume the most energy of any sector. Based in Oakland, California, Michelle Kaufmann Designs' mission is to make sustainably designed homes accessible and affordable, thus making it easier for more people to live green. To achieve the goal, they mass produce thoughtfully designed homes using prefabricated modular building technology. Each home incorporates five EcoPrinciples: smart design, eco materials, energy efficiency, water conservation, and healthy environment.
MicroCredit Enterprises, founded in 2005 and based in Davis, California, is a pioneering private sector program that leverages private capital to provide small business loans to poor entrepreneurs in developing countries. The primary focus of MicroCredit Enterprises is sustainable economic development for families living in extreme poverty ($1 per day or less). MicroCredit Enterprises gives special consideration to microfinance programs that increase the number of poor clients served. It also operates comprehensive social service programs, such as women’s empowerment, health education and business training.
Jonathan recently founded iOnPoverty to connect an intergenerational network of social justice advocates through personal exposure.
Partners for the Common Good (PCG), based in Washington, DC, was founded to create the first wholesale loan participation network to serve the needs of low-income communities. By providing access to capital to borrowers often shut out of the economic mainstream, they create business opportunities for low-income people and communities. PCG's borrowers build and renovate affordable housing, revitalize neighborhoods, build healthy communities and facilitate entrepreneurship.
Revolution Food, based in Alameda, California, believes that all students, particularly those in underserved communities with little access to healthy food, should have healthy, fresh meals on a daily basis at school. They offer a daily meal service in schools throughout California, featuring meals that have no high fructose corn syrup or trans fats and contain only the highest-quality organic ingredients that meet Whole Foods Market's stringent quality standards, which include rbST-free dairy products, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Root Capital, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a nonprofit social investment fund that provides $25,000-$750,000 loans to rural enterprises providing meaningful employment and social services to disadvantaged groups. Because most grassroots businesses lack the technical expertise to manage capital from commercial institutions, Root Capital also developed a financial training program to strengthen participants' abilities to manage rapid business growth driven by the increasing demand for their sustainable natural products.