How do we achieve equality for women by 2030?
Despite global advances toward gender equality, women around the world continue to face discriminatory legislation, unequal pay, a lack of access to healthcare, education, and business opportunities, and some are unable to participate in financial and other household decisions. At this rate, closing the global gender gap will take another 286 years (UN Women, 2022).
Despite these challenges, women play a critical role in driving economic growth and providing livelihoods for their communities, families, and society in general, through women- owned or operated business. In fact, ensuring equal opportunities for women will create an estimated $160 trillion in wealth from better use of their skills, experiences and ideas (World Bank, 2018). In fact, studies have found that women-owned startups deliver twice as much per dollar invested as those founded by men ( BCG and MassChallenge). For every dollar of funding in 2018, these startups generated 78 cents, doubling the return of male-founded startups. Nonetheless, female founders received just 2% of all venture capital dollars in the US in 2021, the lowest since 2016.
AB InBev and its flagship open innovation platform, the 100+ Accelerator, aim to continue to support and promote women in business in conjunction with One Young World since women’s economic empowerment is critical to attaining women’s rights, gender equality, and promoting sustainability. According to the United Nations, investing in women’s entrepreneurship is an investment in transformation.
The Lead2030 Challenge for SDG 5 is proudly supported by AB InBev and 100+ Accelerator. The Challenge seeks to identify and promote female-founded businesses that are addressing the most critical sustainability issues we face, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as the creation of a more inclusive world.
*In 2018, AB InBev launched its signature open-innovation program, the 100+ Sustainability Accelerator. The program was created to source, validate and scale sustainable technology, products, and services to significantly contribute to the UN SDGs and fuel the green transition of global business.In 2021, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, and Unilever joined with AB InBev to launch a reimagined 100+ Accelerator: a program run jointly by multiple Fortune 500 companies that allow industries to work together to harness the scale, speed, and transformation necessary to propel sustainable innovation.
The challenge welcomes solutions from innovative women-founded companies that provide solutions to or solves any of the following:
Circular Economy: How do we create a fully circular global economy where waste is eliminated, resources continually circulated and nature regenerated? We are looking for entrepreneurs that are addressing:
Recycling, Reuse and Returnability of packaging
New packaging material alternatives & innovations
Solutions for Materials Tracking & Tracing
New forms for packaging
Water Stewardship: Help us create and implement sustainable practices to improve our water efficiency, our watershed health and build a more water secure world. We are looking for entrepreneurs that are addressing:
- Water Monitoring and Analysis
- Watershed Conservation and Stewardship
- Water Savings and Treatment in Manufacturing and Supply Chain
Regenerative Agriculture: Let’s help farmers transition to regenerative practices and produce high yielding, high quality crops by leveraging nature-based solutions as well as science, technology and financing. We are looking for entrepreneurs that are addressing:
- Farmer Training, Engagement & Support
- Crop Quality & Productivity
- Other / New Innovations Testing & Analysis
Climate action: Help us reduce our carbon footprint to net zero and lead the way on the production and use of renewable energy. We are looking for entrepreneurs that are addressing:
- Reducing Energy Consumption and Monitoring
- Renewable & Alternative Energy Solutions
- Carbon Reduction, Capture & Removal
- Business Case & Financial Analyses
- Green Logistics
- New Cooling Technologies
Inclusive growth: Help us implement innovative solutions for societal equity, workplace inclusion, economic prosperity and long-term environmental health. We are looking for entrepreneurs that are addressing:
- Diversification of Suppliers Base
- Workplace Wellbeing
- Inclusive Workforce Access
- Inclusive and Transparent Advertising Supply Chains
- Responsible Drinking
- Road Safety
Biodiversity: Help us protect, renew and grow the biodiversity of all ecosystems. We are looking for entrepreneurs that are addressing:
- Design, Implementation, and Monitoring of Nature-Based Solutions
- Supply and Value Chain Traceability
- Plant Based Food Genetic Diversity
- Waste and Biodiversity Loss
Health and Wellness: Help us find solutions to promote health and wellbeing in our communities as we work to build better, more equitable and thriving societies. We are looking for entrepreneurs that are addressing:
- Mental Health and Self-esteem for employees or communities
- Hygiene and Personal Care
- Smart Consumption of Alcohol and Moderation
Aligned: Evidently aligned with the SDG5 challenge. See ‘About’.
Youth-led: Founded by a person aged 18 – 30.
Women-founded: Led and founded by at least one woman founder.
Focused: Well-structured time horizon, identified key stakeholders and beneficiaries, and proposed outcomes that are reasonable and well thought out.
Market ready: Product/service already in market or ready to go to market.
Impactful: Solutions must have a positive social impact, for example generating employment, or developing skills.
Measurable: Impacts of solutions must have been adequately measured and/or be measurable.
Financially viable: Must be able to achieve efficiency and to survive independently through the resources they generate and/or the investments and donations they attract.
Scalable: Potential to perform as well or better after expanding in scope or size and/or being transported to other regions.
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