Startup businesses just love to talk about the difference their product is going to make to the world. How many of these actually deliver on their promises, though? Incessantly developing technology provides solutions for what were once problems. For some young businesses, generating social change is their core mission. These companies use innovative processes to reduce poverty, address inequality, protect the environment and improve health and education, among many other things. We have drawn attention to some of the more noteworthy social tech businesses using the cloud to make a positive change below.
The USDA estimates that between 30 and 50 percent of food produced in the US is discarded before it is eaten. At the same time, more people than ever are struggling to find food each day. ZeroPercent provides a cloud-based donation platform which connects restaurants and grocery stores with the non-profits dedicated to feeding the hungry. ZeroPercent completely takes care of all logistics, including pick-up and delivery each day. So far, over 460,000 meals have been provided for hungry people.
In some of the poorest parts of the world, people travel for days to reach the closest medical clinic, not knowing whether the medicine they need will actually be available. ReliefWatch helps by facilitating communication and supply chain management via mobile voice calls. No training is required for people to use the system, and there is no need for the installation of any complex hardware or software.
The service works by calling the clinic, asking workers about their levels of each supply. The worker can then respond by simply inputting the number using their phone’s dial pad, a signal which is digitized before sending it to the cloud, much the same way that a VoIP phone system operates. In-built analytics monitor clinic data in the area, and prompts resupply drops before resources run out.
Mambu is a cloud banking platform which was designed to digitize banking services for everyone, regardless of the size or location of the business. Their core mission is simple; to support populations which have previously been underserved by banks. The simple and affordable system allows small businesses in the developing world to process payments, loans, deposits and more.
Literally translating to “water for all” in Sanskrit, Sarvajal is dedicated to providing more people with access to clean drinking water. Their innovative micro-franchising system provides a network of local water filtration plants and solar-powered dispenser machines; pay-as-you-go ATMs for water.
With a cloud-based management system and enterprise resource planning, Sarvajal is able to affordably provide a consistent and reliable supply of safe water to some of the poorest neighbourhoods in India.
You’ve got to applaud these forward-thinking businesses for taking action to address some of the real issues in the world. It’s hugely inspiring to see how these companies use the power of the cloud, internet and mobile technology to change people’s lives.