The Unreasonable Institute Targets Female Entrepreneurs for Fellowships
The Unreasonable Institute is revving up for another summer session to accelerate socially-minded ventures. Every year entrepreneurs compete to become Unreasonable Fellows, in the final round they are featured in the Unreasonable Marketplace online and the first 25 to raise $10,000 (the cost to attend the Institute) win the fellowship.
There’s one difference, however, in the final selection round this year: The leaders at Unreasonable noticed a drop in the number of women applying for fellowship spots, so they’re trying to help undo the imbalance, and have added a special filter in the marketplace that allows you to zero in on just the female applicants. They’ve also made a call to supporters to Tweet or Facebook the following: “Help me #givewings to @BeUnreasonable #women entrepreneurs! http://ow.ly/8VxVF.”
A female entrepreneur proposing a waste-based business that would rethink the economics governing waste management has already made it in; check out the rest during the next few weeks the Unreasonable Marketplace will be up.
Last year’s fellows are still making progress and The New York Times devoted a recent story to the multiplicity of ideas coming out of this now-annual undertaking. So far this year, the staff has filtered through 300 applications from 60 countries and narrowed the pool down to 46 finalists, but the final selection is up to the public.
This year’s finalists are tackling problems from inadequate sanitation infrastructure in developing countries to the lack of access that many rural poor populations have to banking services. There are projects that would establish a system for African migrants to buy and send essential products home, help rural embroiders in China preserve traditional embroidery techniques while boosting income, support cocoa farmers in Mexico or Liberia, grow a business making recycled plastic lumber in Kenya, and many more.
Visit the marketplace to learn about all the entrepreneurs, especially the women, who are in the final running.