Barclays and Unreasonable’s Impact Squared initiative empowers entrepreneurs who drive positive social change for millions of people around the world

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The initiative receives an honorable mention in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards

Harnessing the power of the Unreasonable community, project teams have been formed across regions and industries to tackle the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic – and the results are transforming lives around the world

LONDON and NEW YORK, June 22, 2022 /CSRwire/ – Today’s biggest sustainability challenges cannot be solved alone. Barclays and Unreasonable created 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.

A total of eight collaborations were identified across a broad spectrum of ventures. These project teams work on initiatives as diverse as promoting an inclusive workforce, improving access to health care and tackling climate change. Grants have been made to support their work and so far their services have impacted lives in 54 countries including the UK, US and India – creating jobs and making important 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 make a significant and positive impact on millions of people around the world.

The power of the unreasonable community was first demonstrated in the Unreasonable Impact COVID-19 initiative, launched at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 – which awarded over 20 grants to companies within the unreasonable community to help fight their efforts to support the pandemic. These companies used their businesses to save millions of pounds of food, distribute hundreds of thousands of units of PPE and make millions of virus test kits.

Inspired by entrepreneurs’ individual innovations, the Impact Squared initiative wanted to go further and make a bigger impact by harnessing the power of the Unreasonable community, which includes over 300 companies.

The projects were carried out in the heart of the communities and include:

The India Rural Access Coalition: Improving Healthcare
Frontier Markets Consulting, Vitargent and EduBridge formed a coalition to build healthcare resilience in rural communities, distribute COVID prevention products and scale up immunization efforts. So far it has reached 4,234 households, trained 17 master trainers and 132 rural entrepreneurs. More than 32,375 people have benefited from his awareness program.

“The inappropriate grant helped speed up the coalition’s efforts. Because of the grant, the field workers and contractors can receive enhanced training with EduBridge. It has helped us work far and deep in our community, strengthening our community relationships and making a lasting impact,” said Ajaita Shah, Founder and CEO of Frontier Markets.

Biolite Energy and Angaza: bringing energy to Africa
This initiative aims to bring clean solar energy to 120,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa and has already delivered 2,200 solar home systems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, giving more than 12,000 people access to energy.

“This funding has enabled our partnership to scale beyond our core products (hardware and PAYG software) to products that will help accelerate our distributors’ pace of scaling and therefore the magnitude of the impact of our work together. We expect to be able to help more than 50,000 people gain first access to energy over the next two to three years,” said Jonathan Cedar, BioLite’s founder and CEO

CEO Unreasonable Mom Campaign: Helping working mothers realize their potential
Three mother-led companies – Kuli Kuli Inc, Sylvatex and Uncommon Cacao – collaborated on a campaign to help working mothers fulfill their potential and urged employers to implement more family-friendly policies. Founders Lisa Curtis, Emily Stone and Virginia Irwin Klausmeier worked with researchers from four universities to survey over 1,000 working mothers and found that one in four doesn’t have time for self-care practices like walking or exercising — and half with fewer than six hours’ sleep.

“The grant has allowed us to gain valuable campaign and media experience and connect with a broader network of mother-owned businesses. We’ve already partnered with parent groups and 29 women-founded brands who donate prizes to the SuperMoms,” said Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli Founder and CEO.

Daniel Epstein, Founder and CEO of Unreasonable Group: “At Unreasonable, we have always focused on shared advantage rather than competitive advantage because we know that working together magnifies results.

The results of our Impact Squared initiative illustrate this idea so beautifully. I’m so proud of how corporations have used their collective power to transform lives around the world. And we are delighted that the initiative has been recognized with Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards in the Pandemic Response category.”

Paul Compton, Global Head of Corporate and Investment Bank and President of Barclays Bank PLC: “Impact Squared is truly unique. It enables pioneering entrepreneurs from around the world to pool their talents, collaborate and share ideas, and respond more quickly to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. We know that the collective potential of these ventures has the power to change the world.”

– ends –

For more information contact:
Seema@unreasonablegroup.com

About Unreasonable Impact, made with Barclays
Unreasonable Impact is an innovative multi-year partnership between Barclays and Unreasonable that supports growth-stage entrepreneurs solving the world’s most pressing problems. It is the world’s first international network focused on expanding entrepreneurial solutions that will help employ thousands 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 over $5 billion in funding, generated over $3.8 billion in revenue and since joining Unreasonable Impact 39,000 new jobs created. Visit www.unreasonableimpact.com for more information.

About Barclays
Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business lines, by different types of customers and clients, and by regions. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments around the world, as well as a premier full-service, global corporate and investment bank, all supported by our services business that provides technology, operations and functional services across the group.

For more information about Barclays, please visit www.home.barclays.

About unreasonable:
Unreasonable builds a community between entrepreneurs, institutions, investors and business leaders and acts as a catalytic platform for entrepreneurs tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges we face today. Part global community and part investment firm, Unreasonable is an international company that supports a fellowship for growth-stage entrepreneurs, routes exclusive dealflows to investors, and partners with institutions to make profits by solving global problems. Unreasonable exists to repurpose capitalism with a firm belief in the power of business to drive lasting and scalable change.

For more information about Unreasonable, visit www.unreasonablegroup.com.

Notes for editors:
The Impact Squared initiative is an extension of Unreasonable Impact, the unique multi-year partnership between Barclays and Unreasonable that is helping growth-stage entrepreneurs in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific solve many of the world’s most pressing problems.

The full report can be found here: https://issuu.com/unreasonablegroup/docs/unreasonable_impact_squared_report_fnl_2_issuu.

grant information
Through the dedicated £1.1m Impact Squared fund, eight collaborations received grants of up to £200,000 per collaboration in August 2021 for their work tackling COVID-related challenges.

Selected startups:
Frontier Markets Consulting, Vitargent and EduBridge
Established India Rural Access Coalition to improve healthcare, COVID testing and vaccine distribution.

Mimica Lab and Sure Chill
Creating a safer and less wasteful end-to-end COVID vaccine management system.

Preserve and Kiverdi
Collaboration to produce biodegradable cutlery from recycled CO2 emissions.

BioLite Inc and Angaza
Providing clean solar energy to homes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mobi Air and MAEKO
Working on technologies to separate diapers from landfills and instead separate the plastics for recycling and turn organic waste into compost.

Kuli Kuli Inc, Sylvatex and Unusual Cocoa
Providing tools, testimonials and media awareness to highlight the challenges faced by mothers returning to the workplace after the pandemic.

Buffalo Grid Ltd and Ubongo
Providing training for families and micro-entrepreneurs and connecting healthcare workers with local communities.

Twelve and LanzaTech
Converting CO2 emissions into key plastics used in medical consumables such as syringes and pipettes.

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About unreasonable:
Unreasonable builds a community between entrepreneurs, institutions, investors and business leaders and acts as a catalytic platform for entrepreneurs tackling some of the world’s most pressing challenges we face today. Part global community and part investment firm, Unreasonable is an international company that supports a fellowship for growth-stage entrepreneurs, routes exclusive dealflows to investors, and partners with institutions to make profits by solving global problems. Unreasonable exists to repurpose capitalism with a firm belief in the power of business to drive lasting and scalable change.

For more information about Unreasonable, visit www.unreasonablegroup.com

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