In December 2022, the Global Inclusive Growth Partnership, a collaboration between the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and the Aspen Institute, selected the Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellows for the 2022 recipients of the Global Inclusive Growth Spark Grants. The five recipients were announced at the Global Inclusive Growth Summit in Washington, DC on April 13, 2023.
The Grant awarded $100,000 in total to five organizations from around the world who are leading critical initiatives to reimagine more inclusive economic futures for all. Congratulations to the following Fellows and their teams for advancing sustainable and equitable economic growth and financial inclusion.
- SERES: Guatemala & El Salvador | Corrina Grace, Central America Leadership Initiative
- DigDeep: United States | George McGraw, Civil Society Fellowship: A Partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute
- Enterprising Ventures of Color: United States | Lillian Singh, Civil Society Fellowship: A Partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute
- The Convention on Business Integrity Ltd: Nigeria | Olusoji Apampa, Africa Leadership Initiative – West Africa
- Impulse NGO Network: India | Hasina Kharbhih, Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship
These five organizations are building powerful solutions that advance long-term economic inclusion and reimagine broken systems and structures. Their work tackles issues fundamental to inclusive growth, including increasing access to clean water, more capital for nonprofits led by people of color, sustainable tourism that supports the livelihoods of the local population, decreasing unsafe migration, and decreasing corruption at international ports.
Each organization offers creative, new models to advance sustainable and equitable growth, and are at a critical stage poised for large-scale impact in the future. Read more about the Global Inclusive Growth Spark Grants recipients below, and join us in celebrating their efforts and leadership.
SERES | Guatemala & El Salvador
Corrina Grace, founder of SERES, is addressing environmentally sustainable tourism while providing long-term livelihoods to the local population, particularly women. Economic freedom is key to women’s empowerment yet women around the world often face significant barriers to achieving financial freedom including disproportionate access to capital, limited access to education, and socio-cultural barriers. Tourism — if developed inclusively and sustainably — offers great potential for bringing much-needed income and investment into traditionally marginalized communities.
Casa Maya — a place-based social enterprise that promotes environmentally sustainable and culturally regenerative tourism — offers high-quality sustainable and authentic homestay experiences with indigenous families in hard-to-reach destinations. It works with young indigenous women to prepare them and their homes to access the peer-to-peer tourism market, partnering with local stakeholders to help young women build capacity and prepare themselves and their homes to be market-ready. The enterprise also provides support services to help these women overcome the technical and technological barriers that restrict their interaction with more traditional online booking platforms.
DigDeep | United States
George McGraw, founder and CEO of DigDeep, is transforming lives and livelihoods for residents of the Navajo Nation by bringing clean, hot and cold running water to their homes for the first time. Over 2.2 million people in the U.S. lack access to running water or basic plumbing.
On the Navajo Nation, those living without this basic necessity make up approximately 30% of all residents; in fact, people living on the Navajo Nation are 67 times more likely than other Americans to live without a safe, working tap or toilet at home. To date, the Navajo Water Project has brought clean, running water to over 600 homes across the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, Utah and Arizona.
Enterprising Ventures of Color | United States
Lillian Singh, founder of Enterprising Ventures of Color, works to strengthen nonprofit executives of color as they develop catalyst programmatic and policy solutions to disrupt systems of inequalities despite contending with the racial organizational capacity gap, racial leadership gap, and racial funding gaps. The organizations empowers nonprofit executives of color through a collaborative growth process of knowledge development and power building.
The organization also collaborates with philanthropy to launch enterprise capital funds—flexible, multi-year funding invested in the organization’s net assets—as a primary source of funding to build financial strength and resiliency, while working to build bridges for greater impact to create racial wealth equity.
The Convention on Business Integrity Ltd | Nigeria
Olusoji Apampa, of The Convention on Business Integrity Ltd, seeks to address challenges faced by businesses in Nigeria that are required to work with agents who are unaccountable and unregulated – entities that are often abusing their powers and responsibilities – a problem particularly pervasive in Nigeria’s seaports.
Through collective action and collaboration with the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network, and agencies of the Government of Nigeria, The Convention on Business Integrity has evolved a framework built on compliance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and protected by grievance reporting and data collection to curb unlawful behavior.
As a result of this collective initiative, demands for large un-receipted cash payments by port officials have dropped from 266 cases in 2019 to 128 in 2020 and 80 in 2021, while so far in 2022 there have been less than 50. Now that costs and timelines are more predictable, vessel captains who avoided the Gulf of Guinea out of fear, now visit Nigerian Ports with ease.
Impulse NGO Network | India
Hasina Kharbhih, founder of Impulse NGO Network, is leading a multi-sector approach to fight human trafficking through a prevention strategy to end unsafe migration. Impulse NGO Network has a 35-year track record providing humanitarian assistance to displaced persons in Myanmar.
Now, with the collaboration of the Impulse Social Enterprises, a hybrid social impact business in Shillong Meghalaya, India and working in South East Asia, the organizations are working together to address climate refugees, unsafe migration, and human trafficking – all with a focus on livelihood for migrants. To date, Impulse NGO Network has assisted about 73,000 people.
About the Global Inclusive Growth Partnership
Launched in October 2019 with an inaugural summit, the Global Inclusive Growth Partnership (GIGP) combines the expertise and networks of both the Aspen Institute and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth to address systemic issues across a range of topics including financial security, the future of workers and portable benefits, growing micro and small businesses, and commercially-sustainable social impact. Through research, synthesis, and convenings, GIGP aims to catalyze new partnerships and shine a spotlight on innovative, data-driven, and scalable solutions to build a more inclusive and resilient economy for all.
About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
The Center for Inclusive Growth is the philanthropic and thought leadership arm of Mastercard. It serves to advance equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. In pursuit of this mission, the Center leverages Mastercard’s core assets and competencies – including data insights, expertise and technology, while administering the Mastercard Impact Fund – a pool of philanthropic capital – to produce independent research, scale global programs and empower a community of thinkers, leaders and doers on the front lines of inclusive growth. For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the Center on Twitter @CNTR4growth and subscribe to its newsletter.
About the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN)
The Aspen Global Leadership Network develops authentic, high-integrity leaders committed to proactively confronting societal challenges, individually and collectively, in order to create a more just, free, and equitable society. The network has fostered a worldwide community of more than 3,200 high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector in more than 60 countries. Because of their demonstrated accomplishments and abilities, they have been selected to join one of 14 geographic or sector-specific AGLN Fellowships around the world. The AGLN is committed to moving these leaders from “success to significance” by spurring them to take action on some of the world’s most pressing problems. For more information, visit agln.aspeninstitute.org.