SWFF Program & Innovator News
June 4, 2018
Teaching the Next Generation to Bloom and Grow

Students at Sekwati Primary are eager to plant, water and care for their garden.

Reel Gardening has been making waves for years with their patented biodegradable seed tape, which makes vegetable gardening easy and accessible even with limited space and water. Now this South African company is reaching out to schools across the country with a new product that aims to teach children about where their food comes from.

The Learn and Grow Kit is an inexpensive and fun tool that helps students plant a small vegetable garden and teachers connect gardening to lessons in the classroom. It includes everything a class needs - seed tape, watering tools, a container, and even a workbook with lesson plans, worksheets and more. "The garden is a tool for what they are teaching," says Claire Reid, Reel Gardening's CEO and founder. "It's not an extracurricular activity; it's an outdoor classroom."

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  • USAID supports waste-to-energy innovations . Through innovation grants and tailored acceleration support, USAID is working with a number of projects, including Green Heat , Sanivation , and Sanergy , that are exploring models for turning human waste into usable energy. Primarily located in East Africa, these projects convert liquid and solid waste into either biogas or solid fuel briquettes that can be used for home cooking. Learn  more .
  • SWFF to attend Stockholm World Water Week 2018. SWFF innovators responded to SIWI's call for abstracts for the 2018 conference theme "Water, ecosystems and human development." The event will take place in August, drawing over 3,000 participants from 135 countries. SWFF will bring a delegation of current innovators, graduates, founding partners, USAID staff, and the TA Facility/Kaizen team. This annual meeting will feature the popular "Unconference" for innovator peer-to-peer exchanges.
  • The Do's and Don'ts of scaling in West Africa. Ignitia's founder, Liisa Smits shared her story of four barriers to scaling their business in Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso: language, culture, competition and time.
  • Saving flood water to get through the droughts. BBC featured a story on Naireeta Services , whose Bhungroo product helps small landholding farmers throughout India withstand and weather droughts. The story features co-founders Trupti Jain and Biplab Khetan Paul, and is a part of the BBC's series "Taking the Temperature", which focuses on the battle against climate change and the people and ideas making a difference.
  • USAID is seeking applications from qualified U.S. colleges and universities to fund a program entitled Feed the Future Innovation Lab on Food Safety. This Innovation Lab will design, lead and implement food safety research and capacity building aimed at addressing opportunities and challenges in the field, and will additionally explore topics such as the role of food safety in inclusive economic growth, nutrition sensitive agriculture and approaches, gender-sensitive and youth inclusive development, and resilience. Closing date for applications is June 22. Learn more . 
  • The SOCAP Social Entrepreneur Scholarship Program is now accepting applicants for scholarships to attend SOCAP18 in San Francisco, California. Scholarships cover accommodations, a full conference pass, access to a pre-conference program for entrepreneurs, and dedicated mentorship from social-impact leaders. The deadline for international applicants is June 1, 2018. For U.S. applicants, the deadline is June 30, 2018. Apply.
  • What conversations would you like to stimulate at SOCAP18? What movements or actions would you catalyze within the impact space if given the opportunity? If you are looking for an opportunity to speak at SOCAP18, you can share your best programming ideas with the conference team and the entire SOCAP community via  SOCAP Open. Ideas due by June 15.
  • The 2018 Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition YES! Research Grant Competition invites young PhD and post-doc researchers from any background and nationality to submit a research project to improve the sustainability of the food system. Country case studies, intersections of food sustainability and environmental sustainability, and identification of best practices are strongly encouraged. The award is a 20,000€ research grant applied to a one-year investigation. Completed proposals must be submitted online through the BCFN website by June 14, 2018.
  • Wondering whether results-based financing is right for your social enterprise? Check out Financing for Scaled Impact, a new report created by Scaling Pathways, a partnership which shares the lessons, insights, and analysis from transformative social enterprises in scaling their impact. Read the report.
  • Applications are now open for the Chobani Incubator Food Tech Residency program. The program helps emerging natural food and beverage product companies grow, and aims to solve challenges all along the food and agriculture value chain: from waste reduction to food safety to supply chain traceability and more. To apply please visit here. Learn more about the Food Tech Residency program here and visit the FAQ page for additional information.
  • The 2018 Roddenberry Prize is recognizing unexpected, overlooked, and unheralded solutions to climate change. This year's $1million prize is focused on food waste, plant-rich diets, girls' education, and women's rights. Nominate a great organization or register to apply by July 12.
  • Why is failure so important to innovation and success? Why are we constantly being told to embrace failure rather than run away from it? Tamara Kleinberg's blog explores the deeper, more emotional reason failure is important to each of us, personally and professionally. Read more .
  • A growing body of research is emerging that deepens our understanding of the underlying factors and processes that can inhibit or enable gender-responsive climate services. Learn more.
1001 Words

Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies' empowerment program helps women in India start their own businesses as agricultural distributors, including teaching them how to treat seeds to inoculate the resulting plants from drought and heat waves.