empowering people. Network

Network for social entrepreneurs in development collaboration

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Training and coaching help social entrepreneurs develop their organizations.
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By exchanging knowledge and expertise, social entrepreneurs get help in putting their technology to use.
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Social entrepreneurs become members by taking part successfully in the empowering people. Award.
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In 2013, OneDollarGlasses won the epA. The glasses can be made locally with a specially-developed bending machine.
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Another winner is the BioGas Backpack by (B)energy, which makes safe transport of clean biogas possible.
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Winner Café Compadre also works with clean energy: coffee farmers can now roast their beans with solar energy.
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TakaTaka Solutions takes care of basic services such as garbage collection and recycling in parts of Nairobi.
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The Siemens Stiftung’s empowering people. Network connects around 50 organizations from around the world: start-ups and smaller businesses using straightforward technology to improve basic services for people in developing regions while creating employment and economic prosperity. We make their innovations available for as many people as possible while providing support in organizational development, growth, and financial independence.

Working area:

Social Entrepreneurship


International as well as Argentina, Bangladesh, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, Uganda

Technology helps – this idea led to the creation of the empowering people. Network in 2013. In developing and emerging countries in particular, appropriate technological solutions adapted to existing conditions have the potential for positive social, environmental, and economic change. We also know that good ideas alone are not enough. Only a well-established organization can turn an idea into long-term change. With the empowering people. Network, we support inventors and entrepreneurs in using their social enterprises and technology to provide people in developing regions with products and services that last.

What makes the empowering people. Network special?​

  • All solutions have gone through quality control: The technologies and the entrepreneurial approach of all member organizations have been evaluated by an independent expert committee based on defined criteria and categorized as promising.
  • The network emphasizes each organization’s development potential: A number of continuing education opportunities are available within the Network, in addition to access to cooperation partners and financing options.
  • Collaboration encourages knowledge and technology transfer across continents and sectors: Members come from nearly 100 countries and are active in very diverse sectors of development cooperation.

The cooperation of engaged partners boosts the impact of an international network. For years, Siemens Stiftung has worked with renowned, internationally-active organizations such as MIT D-Lab, adelphi, Intellecap or Engineering for Change on the empowering people. Network, collaborating on opportunities for social entrepreneurs and sharing knowledge, networks, and communication channels.

We are working on a number of specific collaborative projects with individual organizations from the empowering people. Network:

Our help has enabled Nilus, which focuses on food security, to roll out its business model to Mexico and Puerto Rico.
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Due to Covid-19, SOLshare had to adapt their business model and now support e-rickshaw drivers.
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The support provided by Sesi Technologies enables farmers in Ghana to reduce post-harvest losses and grow food that is safe to eat.
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WASHKing builds environmentally friendly, organic “Mamaakiban” toilets.
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TakaTaka Solutions works in the waste management sector. In a project that we are currently supporting, it is recycling personal protective equipment (PPE), which is being generated due to the COVID-19 pandemic in particular.
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EOS International works in ultra-remote parts of Nicaragua and Honduras, where it provides clean drinking water.
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MPACC MakaPads Ltd. makes menstrual hygiene and other sanitary products from papyrus.
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How effective is the empowering people. Network? Can the network really help organizations use their technology to improve basic services in developing and emerging countries? In 2017, the Center for Evaluation (CEval GmbH) conducted an independent assessment of the network. In addition to online surveys and detailed case studies, CEval conducted expert interviews and focus group discussions with network stakeholders, representatives from similar networks, and people from member organizations. The analysis adhered to the OCED’s DAC criteria.

CEval evaluation proves impact

The results: success in the network is dependent on people – the founders and managers at the member organizations, their teams, and those at the Siemens Stiftung running the network. Those surveyed noted that personal, long-term support as well as the opportunities for exchange and cooperation among the innovators were particularly effective. Offline training options received high marks, which is why they will be intensified in the future. Themes requested by members will be integrated as far as possible.

The Solutions Database shows the social entrepreneurial innovations of all members of the empowering people. Network. The eight categories cover crucial areas of basic supply. They are linked to the Sustainable Development Goals and focus on areas that are relevant for reduction of poverty and improvement of life on a sustainable basis.

Projektmanager Siemens Stiftung
Sabine Baumeister

+49 172  859 84 27

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