After weeks of preparations, the nine finalists for the second ELLE Impact2 Awards, gathered in Paris for the winners ceremony held on 7th April, at Paris City Hall.
ELLE, together with the Comptoir de l’Innovation, are making it their mission to recognise and support female social entrepeneurship worldwide. Last year this initiative was launched in France alone but for its second year, ELLE Impact2 has widened its search for female entrepeneurs to nine countries (Sweden, Canada, the United States, France, India, Italy, South Africa, Belgium and the UK).
The award aims to boost a woman-led enterprise that has awareness for society and female empowerment at the core of its business model. The criteria for the competition searches for start-ups that have tested their products on their consumers and also have the potential for considerable growth. The business model for each initiative, has to demonstrate guaranteed sustainability and also prove that the product is solving a particular social, societal or environmental issue, either on a national or international scale.
After the finalists delivered their pitch to the jury – made up of thirteen judges including the President Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris – the panel deliberated the values of each candidate before coming to their final decision. The winner’s prize was awarded to Thato Kgathlhanye, the South African finalist and founder of Repurpose School Bags ; a for-profit social enterprise that makes and personally distributes, innovatively designed schoolbags for students at disadvantaged schools in Africa.
The schoolbags have several special features including a solar panel that charges during the day and turns into a lamp at night, so children have the ability to study in dim light. The material the bags are of is created by fusing together recycled carrier bags, making them sustainable for the planet and water resistant, so children don’t have to worry about their books getting damp when it rains. The distribution of the bags relys on donations from ‘Giving Partners’ who are then welcomed to handover the bags, personally at a school that they have been matched to.
The ELLE Impact2 for Women Award remains loyal to the ELLE brand and the commitment that is attached to women in society.
ELLE Italy and Le Comptoir de l’Innovation announce Orange Fiber, as the winner of the ELLE Impact2 Award* in Italy.
Most of us wouldn’t look twice at a piece of orange peel left to waste. Enlarge the scale and think of all the industrial waste from citrus fruits in the world and you might reconsider what happens to that piece of peel. 700,000 tons of citrus products, go to waste each year in Italy alone. Orange Fiber wants to transform this waste into a wearable, sustainable and biodegradeable textile, which also endorses the Italian tradition of high quality materials in fashion.
The idea behind Orange Fiber was first proposed by Adriana Santanocito as the subject of her thesis in 2012. The theory was then put into motion with the help of co-founder, Enrica Arena and after patenting the company together in 2013, the first protypes of the fabric were made. Thanks to extenstive research and entrepenerial support, the optimized samples were released in 2015 and this year sees the official launch of Orange Fiber fabric ; a silk like material which can be coloured and printed just like traditional fabrics. The material will be showcased in collaboration with a high-end fashion brand who puts the same emphasis on sustainable products, made in Italy.
It may be just the beginning for Orange Fiber but the brand certainly has a strong vision for the future, thanks to it’s replicable production method. By 2020, Orange Fiber predicts to produce 400,000 metres of fabric from citrus fruits, by using an environmentally friendly process, which could be used the world over. Meaning that the cost of the product could eventually be lowered, putting the material in competition with more polluting fabrics, such as polyester or cotton. The Orange Fiber brand will above all, be recognised for being based on sustainibility and well-being.
As winners of the Award, Adriana and Enrica will attend the ELLE Impact2 Award’s, final in Paris on the 7th April 2016.
Find out pictures of the event on ELLE Italy’s website: http://www.elle.it/Magazine/Elle-Impact2-for-Women-foto-premiazione
* An award for Female Social Entrepreneurship
On February 26th, was held the final judging for the ELLE Impact2 Awards for South Africa.
The South African panel – consisted of successful women, each amazing in leadership and commitment to social issue – elected Thato Kgatlhanye as the overall winner. Thato is the founder of Rethaka Trading which manufactures Repurpose Schoolbags, solar-powered backpacks, made from recycled plastic. These innovative bags charge on a child’s walk to and from school, later transforming into a light to enable them to finish homework and study at night.
Thato will represent South Africa on April 7th in Paris for final grand prize.
Find out more on the event on: http://www.elle.co.za/elle-impact2-awards/
** ELLE Impact2 for Women : An International Award for Female Social Entrepreneurship
9 editions of ELLE along with the investment firm Le Comptoir de l’Innovation have joined forces to promote women entrepreneurs. Each of the editions will be holding a local competition to award one woman-led business or a business dedicated to female empowerment. The 9 semi-finalists will come to Paris to compete for the final grand prize, the “ELLE Impact2 Award” at the IMPACT2 ceremony on April 7th, 2016.
The award is aimed at encouraging and supporting effectively a :
- woman-led or female-empowerment dedicated entreprise
- viable business model
- social entreprise that is bringing innovative solutions to major social, societal and environmental issues
- social entreprise in launch phase or pre-development stage (in test period having convinced a number of customers, OR the service or product has already been sold but entreprise has growth potential.
The participating ELLE editions (listed below) will lend their support by covering the projects editorially and providing mentoring to the winners :
- South Africa
Here is a ‘Who’s Who’…
Le Comptoir de l’Innovation
One of the leading social investment companies operating in France and the US, promoting and investing in the development of social enterprises worldwide.
Impact2 – through the Comptoir de l’Innovation, the Impact2 Forum is a cycle of international events engaging business leaders, policymakers and financial institutions dedicated to the promotion of social entrepreneurship worldwide. For the last 4 years, the Comptoir de l’Innovation has gathered more than 1500 decision makers from more than 50 countries in City Hall of Paris.