The initiative receives an honorable mention at Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards
Drawing on the power of the Unreasonable community, project teams have been formed in different regions and sectors to address the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic, and the results are changing lives around the world
Logo of unreasonable impact
London/New York, June 22, 2022: Today’s biggest sustainability challenges cannot be solved alone. Barclays e Unreasonable launched the Impact Squared initiative to encourage entrepreneurs to identify and then implement new partnerships within the Unreasonable community and collaborate on solutions to address systemic issues exacerbated by COVID-19.
In total, eight collaborations were identified across a wide range of initiatives. These project teams are working on initiatives as diverse as promoting an inclusive workforce, improving access to healthcare, and tackling climate change. Grants have been provided to support their work and so far their services have impacted the lives of 54 countries including the UK, USA and India, creating jobs and providing vital improvements in areas such as healthcare, solar energy and recyclable materials. Each grant provided by Impact Squared has enabled companies to overcome the ongoing impact of COVID on their businesses and have a significant and positive impact on millions of people around the world.
The power of the Unreasonable community first shone in the Unreasonable Impact COVID-19 initiative launched at the start of the pandemic in 2020, where over 20 grants were awarded to companies within the Unreasonable community to support their efforts in dealing with the pandemic. These companies used their businesses to save millions of pounds of food, distribute hundreds of thousands of units of PPE, and produce millions of virus test kits.
Inspired by entrepreneurs’ individual innovations, the Impact Squared initiative set out to go further and catalyze greater impact by tapping into the power of the Unreasonable community of over 300 companies.
The projects have been implemented in the heart of the communities and include:
The India Rural Access Coalition: Improving Healthcare
Frontier Markets Consulting, Vitargent and EduBridge have formed a coalition to build health resilience in rural communities by distributing COVID prevention products and scaling up the vaccination effort. So far it has been able to reach 4,234 families, training 17 master trainers and 132 rural entrepreneurs. More than 32,375 people have benefited from its outreach program.
“The unreasonable subsidy helped accelerate coalition efforts. Thanks to the grant, field workers and entrepreneurs can get advanced training with EduBridge. It has helped us broaden and deepen our community outreach, strengthening our community relationships and creating long-standing impact,” said Ajaita Shah, founder and CEO, Frontier Markets.
Biolite Energy and Angaza: bringing energy to Africa
This initiative aims to bring clean solar energy to 120,000 people across sub-Saharan Africa and has already supplied 2,200 home solar systems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, helping more than 12,000 people access energy.
“This grant has enabled our partnership to expand beyond our core products (PAYG hardware and software) into products that will help accelerate the pace at which our distributors scale and thus the scale of impact of our collective work. We expect to be able to help more than 50,000 people get their first access to energy in the next two to three years, » said Jonathan Cedar, founder and CEO of BioLite
Unreasonable CEO Mom Campaign: Helping Working Mothers Reach Their Potential
Three « mom-led » companies – Kuli Kuli Inc, Sylvatex and Uncommon Cacao – have partnered on a campaign to help working mothers reach their potential and urge employers to adopt more family-friendly policies. Founders Lisa Curtis, Emily Stone and Virginia Irwin Klausmeier worked with researchers from four universities to survey more than 1,000 working mothers and found that one in four didn’t have time for self-care practices like walking or exercising, and half survived on less than six hours’ sleep.
“The grant has enabled us to gain valuable campaign and media experience, as well as connect us with a wider network of mother-owned businesses. We have already formed partnerships with parenting groups and 29 women-founded brands that are donating Supermom awards,” said Lisa Curtis, founder and CEO of Kuli Kuli.
Daniel Epstein, founder and CEO, Unreasonable Group: “At Unreasonable, we have always focused on collaborative advantage over competitive advantage because we know results are magnified by working together.
The results of our Impact Squared initiative illustrate this idea perfectly. I’m so proud of how companies have used their collective power to change lives around the world. And we are delighted that the initiative has been recognized by Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards in the Pandemic Response category. »
Paul Compton, Global Head of the Corporate and Investment Bank and Chairman of Barclays Bank PLC: “Impact Squared is truly unique. It is enabling pioneering entrepreneurs from around the world to focus their talents, collaborate and share ideas with one another, and respond faster to address the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. We know that the collective potential of these initiatives has the power to change the world. »
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About Unreasonable Impact, created with Barclays
Unreasonable Impact is an innovative multi-year partnership between Barclays and Unreasonable to support growth-stage entrepreneurs who are solving the world’s most pressing problems. It is the world’s first international network focused on scaling up business solutions that will help employ thousands of people around the world in the emerging green economy. To date, the more than 200 companies that make up the global cohort operate in more than 180 countries, have raised more than $5 billion in funding, generated more than $3.8 billion in revenue, and created 39,000 new jobs since they joined Unreasonable Impact. For more information please visit www.unreasonableimpact.com.
Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diverse by business, by different types of clients and customers, and by geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations worldwide as well as a top-tier, full-service global corporate and investment banking all supported by our services company providing technology, operations and functional services across the Group .
For more information about Barclays, please visit www.home.barclays.
By building a community among entrepreneurs, institutions, investors and business leaders, Unreasonable serves as a catalytic platform for entrepreneurs to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges facing us today. Part global community and part investment firm, Unreasonable is a global firm that supports a Fellowship for growth-stage entrepreneurs, channels unique business flows to investors, and partners with institutions to discover profits in solving global problems. There is no reason to repurpose capitalism, with a firm belief in the power of business to drive lasting and scalable change.
For more information on Unreasonable, please visit www.unreasonablegroup.com.
Notes for editors:
The Impact Squared initiative is an extension of Unreasonable impactthe unique multi-year partnership between Barclays and Unreasonable that supports growth-stage entrepreneurs in the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region in solving many of the world’s most pressing problems.
The full report is available here: https://issuu.com/unreasonablegroup/docs/unreasonable_impact_squared_report_fnl_2_issuu.
Through the dedicated £1.1m Impact Squared fund, eight collaborations were awarded grants of up to £200,000 per collaboration in August 2021, for their work tackling COVID-related challenges.
Advice on frontier markets, Vitargent and EduBridge
Form India Rural Access Coalition to improve healthcare, COVID testing and vaccine distribution.
Mimic Lab and Sure Chill
Building a safer and less costly end-to-end COVID vaccine management system.
Keep and Kiverdi
Working together to produce biodegradable cutlery made with recycled CO2 emissions.
BioLite Inc and Angaza
Providing clean solar energy for homes in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mobi Air and MAEKO
Work on technologies to divert diapers from landfills and instead separate plastics for recycling and convert organic waste into compost.
Kuli Kuli Inc, Sylvatex and Uncommon Cacao
Provide tools, testimonials and media outreach to highlight the challenges facing mothers returning to work after the pandemic.
BuffaloGrid Ltd and Ubongo
Provide training for families and micro-entrepreneurs and connect health professionals with local communities.
Twelve and LanzaTech
Transform CO2 emissions in major plastics used in medical supplies such as syringes and pipettes.