Meet the 2020 awardees

Mavis Nduchwa profile photo

World region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Mavis Nduchwa
Founder and CEO, Kalahari Honey

Nduchwa is the founder and CEO of Kalahari Honey, a social enterprise in Botswana whose mission is to fight hunger and poverty as well as build sustainable communities. Founded in 2015 Kalahari Honey uses beekeeping as a tool to mitigate human and wildlife (elephant) conflict by training and supplying rural farmers with beehives.

Botswana is home to the world’s largest elephant population, every year farmers lose their lives and their crops due to elephants. Kalahari Honey works to solve the problem of human–wildlife conflict by using beehives as living fences to keep elephants away from farms. These living fences prevent damage by elephants, which means that farmers no longer have to shoot any that come near their farms.

Kalahari Honey trains and supplies farmers with beehives, and then buy back the honey from them. This business creates employment and income for farmers, contributes to better yields for farmers as crops are not destroyed by elephants, and contributes to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Kalahari Honey processes, packages, and supplies to the market, both local and international with desert raw honey and mead (honey wine). They currently have a network of more than 500 women farmers and counting.

Prior to transitioning to agriculture, Mavis worked in various safari camps and hotels in the hospitality sector including the world-renowned award winning Mombo Camp in the Okavango Delta Botswana. With over 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and agriculture, Mavis’s focus is now on “organic symbiosis” and building sustainable communities.

Mavis Nduchwa is the recipient of the Woman Owned Business Of the Year 2019 Botswana (Grant Thornton), Most Outstanding African Entrepreneur Award 2018 (Tony Elumelu Foundation), Botswana Innovation Award 2019 (Desert Honey Wine), Lioness Of Africa 2015, BBC Food Chain Judge- 2019, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) 2016, Top 100 Meaningful Businesses 2020.

Nduchwa’s business supports the following SDGs:
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 15: Life on Land

Alison Price profile photo

World region: Asia-Pacific

Alison Price
Founder and Managing Director, SoilCyclers

When SoilCyclers, founder and managing director Alison Price first set up her new business in 2009, she had never owned a pair of steel cap boots, and the last time she wore fluoro orange was as a kid in the ‘80s. Now, almost 12 years later, Alison has transformed her business into one of the largest full-scale soil recycling operations in Australia, recycling up to half a million cubic meters of soil each year across 50 different sites. As a strong, female leader working across three out of the four most male-dominated industries in Australia, Alison prides herself on her ability to think differently. Her innovative recycling methods help her clients and the environment by reducing waste and minimizing the amount that ends up in landfill, reducing the number of trucks on local roads, and reducing the use of virgin resources.

Alison holds a Bachelor of Business from Queensland University of Technology, and worked as a knowledge management specialist for an information management consultancy prior to starting her business. Since 2009, she has been campaigning to make positive changes to traditional practices in the construction, waste and mining industries through her mobile soil amelioration and remediation service, SoilCyclers. By transforming onsite waste into reusable materials, SoilCyclers can reduce the use of virgin resources and offer significant savings to their clients.

Alison’s recognitions and awards include the: 2013 Australian Business Awards ‘Best Eco Product’; 2013 National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Queensland/Northern Territory Achievement as a Businesswoman (Small Business) Award; 2014 NAWIC Queensland/Northern Territory Crystal Vision Award for Achievement in Construction (Civil Works); 2014 Civenex-Q Winner for ‘Best Green Site’; 2015 Civil Contractors Federation Earth Awards Finalist for ‘Earthmover and Civil Contractor Environmental Choice’; 2019 APC ‘Woman of Waste’ Award; and now more recently, the 2020 Asia Pacific Awardee for the WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Challenge. Alison is a former Director and Vice Chair of the National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC), a Director of Austmine and a Board Member for the Waste Recycling Industry Association of Queensland (WRIQ).

Price’s business supports the following SDGs:
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
SDG 13: Climate Action

Sarah El Battouty profile photo

World region: Greater Middle East and North Africa

Sarah El Battouty
Founder, ECOnsult

Sarah El Battouty is a global award-winning architect with 18 years experience in the field of green and environmental buildings and sustainable development. Sarah is the founder of one of Egypt’s most unique environmental design, training and strategy companies, ECOnsult, which has achieved the highest number of energy-saving certified projects in Egypt by an Egyptian consultant. Her design work spans from Egypt to Italy and China focusing on partnering with the private sector and government on implementing green projects with social impact. She is also an entrepreneur that founded another unique start-up in Egypt that specializes in transforming scrap waste into luxury high-end sustainable furniture, MuBun Sustainable Furniture, which is currently exporting. In 2014 Sarah was appointed as a senior Advisor to the Egyptian President focusing on sustainable community development. Sarah received her BA in architecture from the University of Cambridge, UK and has received a Master’s degree in sustainable development and project management from SOAS, UK and a Professional degree in climate policy and environment.

Sarah has worked on several projects with the presidency that have been adopted by the government including introducing energy and water saving awareness programs into the media and education system as well the creation of a youth leadership program to empower youths to participate in the political process. Her focus has been Egypt’s environmental policy, which culminated in the successful ratification of Egypt signing the Paris Climate Agreement and embarking on a nationwide program for energy saving and water scarcity awareness. Sarah represents Egypt as an official in a variety of lectures and summits focusing on climate, housing and national security. She is now working to make environmental awareness and resource and natural heritage preservation entre the Egyptian curriculum with the Ministry of Education. Her focus is to raise awareness on resource management and environmental economics to create sustainable communities for Egypt’s growing population as well as regional climate challenges linking them to education and magnifying the interlinkages. Sarah has also been recognized as a national expert and leader in 2018 for her service to this field by the government, for training the intelligence and military as well as assisting in training programs for government on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sarah is one of the only woman to have worked in remote regions on construction sites while also being one of a handful of women founders of a technology company in Egypt. She works with local labor to exchange knowledge and promote inclusiveness in every project. In 2015 her company decided to have equal pay for both men and women as well as having 50% of her company run by women and a 100% women-led Board. Sarah is a strong believer of leadership for women for better societies, however she always promotes letting the work speak for itself.

El Battouty’s business supports the following SDGs:
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13: Climate Action

Danielle Sharaf profile photo

World region: Greater Middle East and North Africa

Danielle Sharaf
Founder, Switch

Danielle Sharaf is the founder of Switch, a mobile value-added services (VAS) company based in Pakistan that produces content rich SMS, IVR and digital services for mobile users in low literate developing markets. Through a mission of ‘Mobile for Change’ these services primarily use text messaging and audio calls to reach out to over 17 million cell phone users enabling them to make smarter life decisions.

The company’s initiatives are bringing health solutions to the underserved, bridging the knowledge gap from farmers to students, bringing employment opportunities to job seekers and empowering women across all socio-economic strata through cellular technology. Their most recent endeavour includes Zoya – a free health-and-wellness app for girls in Pakistan that tackles difficult conversations around female healthcare in an effort to destigmatise it.

A strong advocate of mobile technology and its potential for social change, Danielle was previously part of Pakistan’s first start up unicorn – ROZEE.PK where she spearheaded all business development and expansion for 4 years, making it a household name. She also worked briefly with Dell Pakistan as a marketing consultant.

An electrical engineer by education and a rebel by vocation, Danielle remains the only female C-Level executive in Pakistan’s VAS industry and has received accolades like Women of Wonder Award 2018, WECON Tech Entrepreneur of the year 2019, spoken at international conferences and prestigious platforms like TEDexLahore, World Bank Human Development Summit and worked with tech gurus across the world. She was also selected to be a Fortune 500 Most Powerful Women Mentee in 2017 and is now paying it forward as an advisor and mentor to upcoming entrepreneurs in Pakistan and beyond. She is currently on the Board of Association of Startups – Gran Canaria, Spain advising them on bilateral entrepreneurial exchanges and joint ventures between the two countries.

Sharaf’s business supports the following SDGs:
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Valrie Grant profile photo

World region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Valrie Grant
Founder, GeoTechVision

Valrie Grant is the founder of GeoTechVision, as a young professional in 2008. Through her management the company became one of the major players in the Caribbean geomatic and geospatial services industry.

Through GeoTechVision Valrie is helping government and corporate entities develop data driven geospatial solutions to address organizational challenges and meet corporate goals. GeoTechVision contributes to the greater advancement of geospatial technologies on the world stage collaborating with many governmental bodies and private companies.

Valrie is often the lone Caribbean voice and one of few women in geospatial boards and committees at the international level. Valrie has received several recognitions and awards including NCB, “Women in Business” Award for 2013, The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014, The University of Technology Trailblazer award in 2015, The Commonwealth Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015 and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Young Business Executive Award (2016). The JCC and Leadercast Kingston, Leader Worth Following Award, 2018.

Valrie has always been very determined, outspoken, and a high achiever which made her the point of bullying during her earlier years at primary school. Coming from a family that puts a huge emphasis on education, she was always encouraged to pursue her passions for science and entrepreneurship driving her to continuously achieve higher accolades for herself and in all her endeavors. Valrie’s expertise has since transcended beyond her own community to several countries within the Caribbean, Latin America and numerous other international communities. She has over 20 years of experience and serves on several national, regional and international boards and committees such as the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC) and as co-chair of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM): Americas Private Sector Network.

Her academic background includes: a BSc. degree in geology from the University of West Indies, an MSc. In geographic information systems (GIS) and environment from the Manchester Metropolitan University, and studies in entrepreneurship. Valrie is a certified GIS professional and an accredited Women’s Innovator Network Caribbean (WINC) Infodev/ WorldBank AP Facilitator for the Caribbean. Notwithstanding an extremely busy schedule, Valrie is currently authoring a book and reading for an MBA.

Valrie believes in ‘living a great story’ and endeavors to live her best life every day. She prioritizes family, spirituality and living a healthy lifestyle. She is passionate about Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship and relishes every opportunity to mentor women entrepreneurs and young people. This dovetails with her desire to contribute to a culture of entrepreneurship and to do all she can in contributing to an ecosystem of high growth, vibrant, sustainable businesses that aids the development of the Caribbean’s economy.

Grant’s business supports the following SDGs:
SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 5: Gender Equality
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Bessie Schwarz profile photo

World region: Europe, North America and other

Bessie Schwarz
Co-Founder, Cloud to Street
United States of America

Bessie Schwarz is the co-founder of Cloud to Street, the leading platform for monitoring, mapping, and analyzing floods and flood risk around the world for the most climate vulnerable communities and governments. She is an expert in designing and implementing products for low and middle income countries and communities, as well as in human-centered design for empirically based disaster response tools. Her technical training is in geospatial analytics and social psychology, with a focus on risk and climate change communication.

Bessie serves as the senior strategy advisor to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, where she founded a consulting practice to support campaigns with climate communication research and models. She has an MS from Yale University and a BA in philosophy and environmental science and technology from Carleton College, and is an Echoing Green Fellow, Draper Richard Kaplan Entrepreneur and Miller Center Scholar.

Bessie is a community organizer by training and at heart. She has worked with communities vulnerable to climate change across the US and led national campaigns on climate and energy policy.

Schwarz’s business supports the following SDGs:
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 13: Climate Action

Meet the 2020 finalists

Business RegionNameBusiness NameCountry of Business Registration
Sub-Saharan AfricaMavis NduchwaChabana Farms T/A Kalahari HoneyBotswana
Sub-Saharan AfricaStella SiganaAlternative Waste TechnologiesKenya
Sub-Saharan AfricaGhislaine Tessa KetchaMillenium ImmobilierCameroon
Sub-Saharan AfricaAffiong WilliamsReelFruitNigeria
Sub-Saharan AfricaAtti WorkuSeeds of AfricaEthiopia
Asia PacificRadhika ChaudharyDeeya Panel Products Private LimitedIndia
Asia PacificSasibai KimisEarth Heir Partners Sdn BhdMalaysia
Asia PacificLi Jen Leereach52 Pte LtdSingapore
Asia PacificAlison PriceSoilCyclers Pty LtdAustralia
Asia PacificBrianne WestEthiqueNew Zealand
Europe, North America and otherIoana BauerEliberareRomania
Europe, North America and otherInna BravermanEco Wave Power LtdIsrael
Europe, North America and otherAhu Buyukkusoglu SerterArya Women Investment PlatformTurkey
Europe, North America and otherKatharina Paoli BrunatNudgdSweden
Europe, North America and otherBessie SchwarzCloud to StreetUnited States
Latin America and the CaribbeanVicky ColbertFundación Escuela NuevaColumbia
Latin America and the CaribbeanAna Cecilia FloresWebee CorporationUnited States of America (operating in Argentina)
Latin America and the CaribbeanValrie GrantGeoTechVisionJamaica
Latin America and the CaribbeanSilvina MoschiniSheWorks!United States of American (operating in Argentina)
Latin America and the CaribbeanAndrea de la PiedraAequalesPeru
Greater MENAMayyada Abu JaberWorld of LettersJordan
Greater MENASaana AzzamMENA Women SpeakersUnited Arab Emirates
Greater MENASarah El BattoutyECOnsultEgypt
Greater MENARana El ChemaitellyThe Little EngineerLebanon
Greater MENADanielle SharafSwitchPakistan