Four years ago, fuseproject began an ambitious program with our partners at USAID, DFID, and Nike Foundation, to design an entirely new approach to development: The result is SPRING, a revolutionary accelerator that supports businesses poised for exponential commercial growth and transformational social impact. SPRING works with local entrepreneurs in emerging markets to design products, services, brands, and business models that address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The criteria? That what they offer will make a positive impact on the lives of underserved adolescent girls living in marginalized communities.
The businesses we work with comprise a broad spectrum of offerings and industries, but each have the fundamental goal of addressing issues related to a lack of access. Healthcare, energy, education, infrastructure, agriculture, safety and security are among the many sectors that SPRING businesses work in, and our support is as versatile as our entrepreneurs. Led by fuseproject’s Business Innovation team, SPRING offers strategic guidance, business model design, visual identity and brand design, digital product design, go-to-market program planning, technical assistance, investment support, and grant funding to ensure that our entrepreneurs are equipped to go from idea to implementation. Our approach is human-centered, applying the principles of design to build businesses that are as commercially successful as they are socially impactful.
Our team, in collaboration with global mentors, local experts, and a broad network of ambassadors, have now worked with 76 businesses in nine countries in East Africa and South Asia in order to maximize their ability to scale and accomplish complete transformations. Slated to reach 200,000 girls living in poverty through their products and services, SPRING businesses are on pace to reach four million by the end of the program in 2020, helping the program receive an A++ rating from DFID. The stories of these businesses’ successes and transformations are truly inspiring and the entrepreneurs that fuseproject has worked with are a testament to the powerful impact that creativity, innovation, and design can have. Over the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing their innovative solutions and the tangible, positive impact they continue to make in helping girls reach their full potential, change and improve their lives, and by extension, their communities as a whole.