2024 Kirby Prize Finalists

Five incredible social enterprises stood out from a pool of over 200 applicants in this year’s selection process for the F.M. Kirby Prize for Scaling Impact.  We are thrilled to announce these five finalists, whose work spans across several continents, impact areas, and business models – and who are all working tirelessly to achieve meaningful impact at scale.

No Means No Worldwide collaborates with local partners across 10 African countries to bring an evidence-based sexual violence prevention intervention to youth living in communities with a high burden of sexual violence. The ten-hour curriculum, adapted by local partners for local context, has contributed to compelling outcomes for is participants, including a 47% decrease in overall incidence of rape among female participants and 79% of male participants who then witnessed physically or sexually assaultive behavior reporting that they successfully intervened to stop it.

Read more about why we are excited about No Means No Worldwide in this Finalist Spotlight post.

Semilla Nueva is committed to addressing malnutrition in the more than one billion people worldwide whose diets consist primarily of maize. Leveraging existing infrastructure and stakeholders, Semilla Nueva works to align incentives among seed companies, smallholder farmers, consumers, and governments so that biofortified (and high-yield, climate resilient) seeds are planted by smallholder farmers and the resulting biofortified maize reduces the zinc, iron, and protein deficits in its consumers.

Read more about why we are excited about Semilla Nueva in this Finalist Spotlight post.

SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) has worked in Haiti over the past 14 years to address the most basic sanitation – and related safety and human dignity – rights for the country’s most vulnerable urban communities.

Read more about why we are excited about SOIL in this Finalist Spotlight post.

The Somo Project provides a holistic system of support to low-income entrepreneurs in East Africa to strengthen their businesses, help them access financing, and provide a broader community of mentorship and tools to sustain operations. Over the past seven years, Somo has trained nearly 7,000 entrepreneurs, helped 500 businesses access financing, and contributed to the creation of over 13,000 jobs through its entrepreneurs’ businesses. Through a train-the-trainer model, piloted in Tanzania, Somo expects to dramatically scale its reach over the next several years.

Read more about why we are excited about Somo Project in this Finalist Spotlight post.

Urban Alchemy, a U.S.-based employment social enterprise, recognizes the unique assets that formerly incarcerated individuals can bring to drive positive change in communities grappling with poverty, mental illness, homelessness, and addiction. Urban Alchemy recruits and trains formerly incarcerated individuals to serve as practitioners in executing government, business, and community contracts related to safety, housing, and cleanliness initiatives.  Urban Alchemy is currently operating in several cities, with a vision to scale nationally, and has demonstrated compelling impact on recidivism rates among its staff (<2% vs. national average of >40%) in addition to the positive impact on the communities it serves.   

Read more about why we are excited about Urban Alchemy in this Finalist Spotlight post.

We continue to be inspired by the impact and ambitions of these unique enterprises. Stay tuned for our announcement of the Kirby Impact Prize winner in May 2024.