The latest issue of TIME magazine features their annual special report on community service, including their Community Service 2009 list of "Responsibility Pioneers" – companies and organizations (big and small) that are changing the world.
Among the 25 listed are four that are either grantees or fellow philanthropies that the Lemelson Foundation works directly with:
• Living Goods – Living Goods is an Avon-like network of door-to-door Health Promoters who sell essential health products in 20 districts in Uganda at prices affordable to the poor. The model combines the latest and best practices from the worlds of micro-enterprise and public health to create a truly sustainable system for defeating diseases of poverty. The Lemelson Foundation support for Living Goods is helping the organization establish incubator branches in Uganda that will test market inventions in lighting, water purification and cookstoves, and experiment with pricing and bonuses for sales people. Read the TIME article on Living Goods
• Kickstart – Promotes sustainable economic growth and employment in Kenya, Tanzania and Mali by developing technologies – including cheap irrigation pumps – that allow entrepreneurs to establish and run profitable small scale enterprises. In addition, KickStart’s technologies, expertise, and methods are widely applied throughout Africa to support programs in agriculture, shelter, water, sanitation, health, and relief. Grantmaking by the Lemelson Foundation is helping KickStart improving its innovative technology, creating stronger, cheaper, and more easily transportable water pumps designed specifically for the terrain of East Africa. Read the TIME article on Kickstart
• Embrace – Embrace aims to improve the health of low-birth-weight and premature babies in resource-limited settings through a low-cost infant incubator that maintains the babies' temperature for up to four hours. Funding from the Lemelson Foundation grantis being used to help patent, manufacture, field-test, and more fully develop the distribution model in India. Read the TIME article on Embrace
• Ashoka – Ashoka is an non-profit supporting the field of social entreprenuership in over 60 countries, while supporting the work of over 2,000 social entrepreneurs. The Lemelson Foundation has partnered with Ashoka on a number of initiatives, including the Youth Venture "Invent Your World Challenge" and the Ashoka-Lemelson Fellows partnership which seeks to find, support, and celebrate social innovators whose technologies offer fresh, effective approaches to advancing social change. Read the TIME article on Ashoka