Job Creation and Energy Savings through a Transition to Modern Off-grid Lighting

Job Creation and Energy Savings through a Transition to Modern Off-grid Lighting

Why are job creation and access to clean energy so important to us here at Business Connect?

 

Protable Solar Generator – 250whrA market transformation from inefficient and polluting fuel-based lighting to solar-LED systems is well underway across the developing world, but the extent of net job creation has not previously been defined. An article written by Evan Mills from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California/Berkeley, Job Creation and Energy Savings through a Transition to Modern Off-grid Lighting, finds that current worldwide employment associated with fuel-based lighting represents approximately 150,000 jobs.

New jobs will accompany the replacement technologies. A survey of major solar-LED lighting companies finds that 38 such jobs are created for each 10,000 people living off-grid for whom stand-alone solar-LED lights are suitable. Applying this metric, the number of new jobs already created from the current uptake of solar-LED lighting has matched that of fuel-based lighting and foreshadows the potential creation of 2 million new jobs to fully serve the 112 million households globally that currently lack electricity access, are unlikely to be connected to the major grid, micro-grids, or are able to afford more extensive solar systems.

A likely greater number of additional jobs and employment income will be indirectly created or preserved via indirect employment, re-spending of energy savings, conservation of foreign exchange, enhanced literacy, and improved working conditions. In contrast, central grid expansion is unlikely to provide any net increase in jobs. The case of solar-LED lighting demonstrates that policymakers have tools to increase the pace of in-country job creation in the context of sustainable development, while minimizing job displacement, and improving the quality of employment. These tools include stimuli for domestic manufacturing or assembly of products; supporting peripheral businesses and services, such as training, recycling, financing, and impact assessment; and removing market barriers that slow the uptake of emerging technologies.

This might be more information than you need to know but it solidifies the reasons why we are focusing on creating employment opportunities in the developing world through our robust distribution network. It is a win-win situation in our eyes, more jobs and more clean resources that will help children that have to now study by a toxic kerosene lantern. Access to solar lighting will allow women to save needless hours spent gathering firewood — and spend those hours on opportunities for themselves and their families.

So what can you do about this? We’re glad you asked! Join our team, sponsor a student or entrepreneur, help us fundraise or make a tax-deductible donation through our partnership with Partners Worldwide. We need you as a Champion today and tomorrow for a better, cleaner world.

#CreatingHope

Global Goal 10: Reduce Inequalities

Global Goal 10: Reduce Inequalities

GGPoster-10ReducedInequalities1As the United Nations Foundation launches the Sustainable Development Goals today to provide the opportunity for a generation for people and the planet, we at Business Connect are clearly focused on Global Goal 10, Reduce Inequalities as we have the opportunity to make an active contribution through our mission, Creating Hope Through Business.

Since the UN began taking note, there’s been a reduction in extreme poverty by half, which means 700 million fewer people living on less than $1.25 per day, and gains in gender equality with more girls enrolled in education and greater political participation of women in the developing world. But data shows that income inequality is on the rise, in developed and developing countries alike. According to the OECD, income inequality is at its highest level for the past half century. The average income of the richest 10% of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10% across the OECD, up from seven times 25 years ago.

And this is a problem for all of us.

Some income inequality is inevitable, even welcome. It helps drive progress and incentives for those who work hard, develop skills and take risks. But high and growing levels of income inequality are a significant threat to stability both within and across countries. The World Economic Forum’s report: Outlook on the Global Agenda 2015ranks deepening income inequality as the most significant trend of 2015. According to those surveyed, inequality is closely related to challenges including “poverty, environmental degradation, persistent unemployment, political instability, violence and conflict”.

What can you do to help?

A $300.00 donation will provide funds to help start a new business opportunity in the developing world. Business Connect is a social enterprise (L3C) committed to providing citizens living in developing countries with affordable and easy access to essential resources, such as water and light, to strengthen education, health and economic growth opportunities within the communities it serves. We now have an international network of distributors in almost 40 countries and we work at the “bottom of the pyramid” to help bring an end to global poverty with the poorest of the poor.  Why there you ask?  Because we believe every citizen has a right to basic, clean and green resources. We are focusing on women and young people with donated funds as they are known to stay within their communities to help provide basic resources needed for their families.

Your donation does not stop there. It is only the beginning as we set out on a relational journey to empower, teach and train new entrepreneurs basic business skills including accounting and impact investing. We promote empowerment to help our representatives grow their business from community to community.  If you would like more information on how you can get involved, contact us today.

#CreatingHope

 

 

UNIDO and Global Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

UNIDO and Global Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

GGPoster-9InnovationInfrastructureTo help us explain Global Goal 9 to you, we want to introduce one of the important, but lesser known, agencies of the United Nations. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is a specialized agency of the UN that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability, and they are determined to take its part in facilitating with the successful implementation of the SDGs or Sustainable Development Goals.

The mandate of the Organization is to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) to achieve shared prosperity and environmental sustainability around the world. The concept of ISID is included in the SDGs, namely Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

UNIDO’s mandate echoes SDG9, but also aligns with many other development goals, including those related to poverty eradication, creating full and productive employment, protecting the environment, achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, etc.

Existing energy infrastructure, based on large-scale power grids, fails more than 1.3 billion people who live without access to a reliable source of energy. Ninety-five percent of these people live in sub-Saharan Africa or developing Asia. Eighty-four percent live in rural areas. At Business Connect, we believe addressing this gap is critical for global development as we seek to deliver life-enhancing “green” products to the poorest people of the world. Without access to energy, people cannot access decent health care, education or communications. Economic development and productivity is hindered and the potential to start up small businesses is reduced. Women, who make up a disproportionate percentage of those living in rural areas, are hit particularly hard.

Both private and public actors should increase investment in research and development to focus on solving the challenges facing the two billion living in a way that guarantees a sustainable future for all. Today’s innovation efforts are skewed. The vast amount of research today addresses the needs of wealthy consumers and producers. For example, only 10 percent of worldwide expenditure on health research is spent on problems that affect 90 percent of the world’s population.

At the Sustainable Development Summit on September 25th, UN Member States will adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals. The SDGs are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN Member States are expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years. The SDGs follow and expand on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were agreed by governments in 2001 and are due to expire at the end of 2015. The SDGs will now finish the job of the MDGs, and ensure that no one is left behind.

#CreatingHopeThroughBusiness

Meet Global Goal 2: No Hunger

Meet Global Goal 2: No Hunger

GGPoster-2NoHunger1

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

 

 

 

A fantastic post written by @GregoryBarrow, the UK spokesman for World Food Programme in London, is featured in Huffington Post today that summarizes why we focus on Global Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

If we attain this goal by 2030, no one will go hungry anywhere in the world. Ending hunger in our lifetime will not be easy, but it is attainable. Creative forces are looking at innovative, new ways to approach distribution methods in the developing world. At Business Connect, we are doing our part to expand our international distribution network to the poorest of the poor. By reaching people in need at the bottom of the pyramid first, a major step out of poverty is by taken while improving people’s lives through access to clean and safe water and other life-enhancing renewable products.

While it is easy to understand the needs of an orphaned child who is fleeing conflict or natural disaster, we still need to broaden our understanding of how to help those who may be living in a country at peace, but whose lives are still blighted by chronic hunger and under-nutrition.”

The sustainable movement in our work is empowering an individual in the community to create a small business selling bottled water or water filtration devices, solar lights or generators, or charging cellphones. We are focusing on women and young people who are eager to have additional income to better their future. Our model is replicable and it works.

No one should go hungry or thirsty. Get involved today.

#CreatingHopeThroughBusiness

 

 

 

 

Might we be on the cusp of ending extreme poverty?

Might we be on the cusp of ending extreme poverty?

The Global Goals

 

“Many people believe poverty to be one of the world’s permanent features. Most find it hard to imagine that poverty could disappear altogether. But one of the most striking aspects of the modern global economy is the remarkable long-term decline in the world’s worst forms of extreme poverty. We might actually be on the cusp of ending it.”

 

 

A post appeared today in my news feed that is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post, “What’s Working: Sustainable Development Goals,” in conjunction with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The proposed set of milestones will be the subject of discussion at the UN General Assembly meeting on Sept. 25-27, 2015 in New York. The goals, which will replace the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), cover 17 key areas of development — including poverty, hunger, health, education, and gender equality, among many others. As part of The Huffington Post’s commitment to solutions-oriented journalism, this What’s Working SDG blog series focuses on one goal every weekday in September. This post addresses Goal 1.

At Business Connect, this is music to our ears. To provide some context, over the past generation the share of humanity living on less than $1.25 per day, the technical benchmark for extreme poverty, has been dropping by roughly one percentage point per year. That rate of progress might seem pretty modest at first, but it translates to a decline from approximately 36 percent of the world living in extreme poverty in 1990 down to less than 12 percent today.

On September 25th 2015, 193 world leaders will commit to 17 Global Goals to achieve 3 extraordinary things in the next 15 years: End extreme poverty. Fight inequality & injustice. Fix climate change.  The Global Goals for Sustainable Development could get these things done. In all countries. For all people. 

Read, be inspired and join the movement to end extreme poverty today. If you want to find out how you can help, contact us today at http://bit.ly/1V7eRFj.

 

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