Casabe al arte from Montería Córdoba in the category of Artistic, cultural and sporting practices; Nebulón of Bogotá DC in the Environment category; KitSmile of Bogotá DC in the Technology and Communications category; Get up and go Colombia from Popayán, Cauca, in the Culture of Peace and Human Rights category; The La Fontaine School in Cali, Valle del Cauca, in the Education and Frutichar category of El Charco, Nariño, in the Entrepreneurship and Job Creation category, were the six initiatives that received recognition for the best entrepreneurship and social innovation initiatives in Colombia in the great recognition ceremony RECON that was held in Armando Records in the city of Bogotá.
“We have recognized the six best initiatives of social entrepreneurship in the country, which show us that Colombians in their daily lives and in their territories do incredible things to build a better future with opportunities for development” said Andrés Santamaría, director of RECON.
Santamaría assured that for him all the participants are winners and that the initiatives that did not win and those that were not among the preselected and finalists will be taken into account for other strengthening projects in which RECON works, “One of the purposes of the call, beyond rewarding the best, was to identify social entrepreneurship initiatives across the country that work from different fronts to be able to involve them in other projects that we hope to implement, and they remain active in our platform that gives the possibility of receiving donations through collective funding , “he said.
The contest started on October 1, 2017 and closed on January 31, 2018, 881 initiatives were approved that met the participation requirements, of those 60, 10 were pre- selected by category, who participated for more than two weeks in a public voting process that allowed choosing as finalists the three initiatives with the highest voting by category, for a total of 18 finalists. After that stage, the finalists were analyzed by a qualification jury, made up of RECON’s allies, who defined the six winning initiatives.
Within the ceremony, an honorable mention was made to the three initiatives that received the most votes from Colombians, in recognition of the work done to make their projects visible and to get the support of Colombians to be finalists. The mention was given to the Panadería Nuevos Horizonte of Bucaramanga, Santander, which received the highest number of votes with 16,230 votes. In second place Chocolates Montes de María, from San Jacinto Bolívar, which obtained 13,657 votes and in third place Malabareando las Calles of Pereira, Risaralda with 10,071 votes.
Here are the six winning initiatives:
Category artistic, cultural and sports practices, Casabe al arte: From Montería, Córdoba, they produce works of art with the yucca starch that is usually discarded, to reuse this waste that is polluting and provide the possibility for students to work with inexpensive materials.
Category Culture of Peace and Human Rights, Get up and go Colombia: From Popayán, Cauca, it promotes tourism in regions affected by the armed conflict through activities and projects with bilingual university students, young victims of the armed conflict, young people belonging to the LGBTI community and ex-combatants of armed groups.
Education category, La Fontaine School: From Cali, Valle del Cauca, it shortens the knowledge and opportunities gap with a proposal of education with emphasis on bilingualism, with personalized classes, pedagogical outings, use of technology and all the characteristics of a quality school at low cost.
Category of Entrepreneurship, Frutichar SAS: From El Charco, Nariño, it is a company that purchases, processes and commercializes exotic fruits from local farmers, which produces pulp and other fruit products in order to create new opportunities for rural and industrial employment in an area where armed conflict and illicit crops have been taking place for decades.
Category Environment, Nebulon: From Bogotá, it is a technological and modular three- dimensional mist trap system for easy installation in optimal locations where fog can be captured and water obtained later, improving the quality of life of the population affected by water shortages.
Category Technology and Communications, KitSmile: From Bogota, we designed the first home rehabilitation kit for children with cerebral palsy which has an invention patent that is unique in the world. We take these kits to rural areas of Colombia creating an opportunity for rehabilitation in families
The following persons participated in the recognition ceremony: The Swedish Ambassador to Colombia, Tommy Stromberg; the country director of the United Nations Development Program-UNDP-, Pablo Ruiz; the director of the United States Agency for International Development -USAID-, Larry Sacks; the director of El Tiempo, Roberto Pombo; the Presidential Adviser for Human Rights, Paula Gaviria; the well-known defender of women’s rights, the journalist and sub-editor of El Tiempo, Jineth Bedoya; Head of Environmental Government, Sustainability and Social Responsibility of Grupo Éxito, Mariana Villamizar; the Secretary of Economic Development of the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, Juan Miguel Durán; the secretary of Peace and Coexistence of Cali, Rocío Gutiérrez Cely; the director of the Vive Bailando Foundation, Clemencia Vargas; the renowned actresses Marcela Carvajal and Alejandra Azcarate, the co-founder of RECON, Camilo Fonseca and the director and co-founder of RECON Andrés Santamaría.