$100,000 Winner of Entrepreneurial Innovation Award Named by Aspen Institute

November 3, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Aprile Age
McNulty Foundation
acage@mcnultyfound.org / 917.478.3841

Caitlin Colegrove
The Aspen Institute
caitlin.colegrove@aspeninstitute.org/ 202.736.2919

$100,000 Winner of Entrepreneurial Innovation Award Named by Aspen Institute
Réjane Woodroffe and the Bulungula Incubator win 2014 McNulty Prize 

New York, NY November 3, 2014 — The Aspen Institute and Institute Trustee Anne Welsh McNulty today announced Réjane Woodroffe and the Bulungula Incubator (BI) as the recipient of the seventh annual John P. McNulty Prize. The $100,000 prize recognizes the spirit of innovation and excellence of private sector leaders who use entrepreneurial methods to address important global social issues. Réjane and BI are being honored for their pioneering work on rural development in South Africa. 

Learn more about the McNulty Prize at http://www.mcnultyprize.org/#laureates 

“One thing the McNulty Prize looks for are imaginative solutions to pressing problems that can be replicated elsewhere. Many terrific projects approach a single issue across a broad field, but the Bulungula Incubator’s mission is comprehensive,” said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a member of the McNulty Prize jury. “By finding a way to enact lasting change in this region, the BI is a beacon for rural communities struggling with similar issues. Most importantly, these communities have ownership over the improvements they make, creating a virtuous cycle of civic involvement and improvement of quality of life.” 

Bulungula Incubator’s Rural Development Work
The Bulungula Incubator currently works in four remote villages with a total population of 6,000 people, located in the former Transkei region of South Africa, an area declared a separate homeland under Apartheid. The region has been neglected by the central government of South Africa and deprived of development and basic infrastructure. Ninety-six percent of the people live on less than $6 a day, most adults are illiterate, only 10% have a high school education, and roads and electricity are rare. Now together with the BI, the community members are leading their own progress.

Réjane Woodroffe left her career as an economist and investment manager to co-found the Bulungula Incubator, which has built a replicable, bottom-up model that places marginalized rural communities on secure footing. The BI, in full partnership with community members, has created a world-class preschool education system, mobilized community members to provide basic health care, and employment and created infrastructure and awareness to ensure access to clean water, among other significant achievements. The BI’s successes are carefully documented and the model is poised to be replicated throughout rural South Africa and beyond.

“The vision of the Bulungula Incubator is to be a catalyst in the creation of vibrant and sustainable rural communities,” said Woodroffe, “we do this by partnering with our community government, NGOs and other innovative thinkers to find synergies between the traditional rural African lifestyle and culture, and external technologies and innovation.”

The Bulungula Incubator model is unique in that the community members it serves are also the core implementers of its comprehensive programs. These include preschool and early education resources for all children; access to health care including prenatal nutrition, childbirth assistance, comprehensive HIV testing, antiretroviral drugs; and infrastructure improvements such as clean water sources, and road and school construction. 

Details on the 2014 Prize
The John P. McNulty Prize is given annually to honor the visionary work of a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network to address a societal challenge through their Fellowship project. An international panel of judges including Madeleine Albright, African diplomat Olara Otunnu, and international development expert Brizio Biondi-Morra, selected the 2014 winner. 

Woodroffe, an Africa Leadership Initiative, South Africa Fellow and her leadership project the Bulungula Incubator were one of five laureates selected this year. The other 2014 Laureates include John Crowley and Global Genes in the US, Maryam Uwais and the Isa Wali Empowerment Initiative in Nigeria, Lana Abu-Hijleh and the Youth Local Councils in Palestine, and Arturo Sagrera and Proyecto País in El Salvador. Each of the other laureate receives $10,000.

The 2014 Winner and Laureates will be honored at the annual McNulty Prize reception in New York City on November 12. To learn more about the Bulungula Incubator, visit bulungulaincubator.org and watch our 30 second video about the project and Réjane Woodroffe here: http://bit.ly/10yPjcy.  Follow @TheMcNultyPrize on Twitter and join the conversation using #McNultyPrize.

About The John P. McNulty Prize
Founded by Anne McNulty in honor of her late husband John, the Prize aims to galvanize efforts to address the foremost social, economic and political challenges of our time by recognizing the very best in high impact leadership. Each year, an international jury that has included Mary Robinson, Bill Gates, Sr., and Sir Richard Branson selects the winner.

The Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector — currently, nearly 2000 “Fellows” from 48 countries — who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy, and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India, China, and the Middle East.


View Comments