NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CommonBond, a leading tech-enabled lender and first company in finance to have a "1-for-1" social mission, today announced Saumya, Co-Founder of Kheyti, as the winner of the 2016 CommonBond Social Impact Award. The award honors the nation's top social entrepreneur, who uses business to drive social good.
CommonBond awarded $10,000 to Saumya, Co-Founder of Kheyti, which builds low-cost greenhouses for small farmers in India to increase the yield and predictability of their produce. Kheyti accomplishes this through its "Greenhouse-in-a-Box", an affordable, 2,500-square-foot greenhouse. The product also comes with tech-enabled production advisory services to help small farmers in India grow seven times more food while using 90% less water.
In addition to the $10,000 award, Saumya and her team at Kheyti will receive mentorship from CommonBond CEO and Co-Founder David Klein and other members of CommonBond's executive team.
"This award means a lot to us, especially at this stage of taking the 'Greenhouse-in-a-Box' to more farmers," Saumya said. "We are going to use the money to further develop the greenhouses and build technology partnerships that will make our solution much more affordable for small farmers across India. Kheyti has created a 'one-size-fits-all' box that is scalable and has the potential to bring deep and lasting change to the lives of 500 million small farmers."
Now in its third year, the CommonBond Social Impact Award was celebrated on May 5th at CommonBond's SoHo, New York City headquarters, where three social entrepreneurs pitched their ventures before a panel of distinguished judges. The finalists had been selected among nine semifinalists that were chosen from a pool of more than 100 applicants. More than 4,000 people nationwide voted to determine the three finalists, and CommonBond brought the finalists to New York for the evening's festivities.
In addition to Saumya, the other two finalists included:
- Manal Kahi, CEO and Co-Founder of Eat Offbeat, a startup that delivers authentic ethnic meals that are prepared and delivered by refugees in New York City.
- Blesson John, Co-Founder of Nyweza, a company that aims to make unregulated public passenger transportation safer in Uganda.
The finalists presented their business models and their potential long-term impact to a panel of four judges who included:
- David Klein, CEO and Co-Founder of CommonBond;
- Michael Dougherty, CEO of Pencils of Promise;
- Jalak Jobanputra, Founding Partner of FuturePerfect Ventures; and
- Tiffany Pham, CEO and Founder of Mogul
"At CommonBond, we believe that business can and should be a positive force for change," said David Klein, CEO and Co-Founder of CommonBond. "The CommonBond Social Impact Award is meant to empower and encourage the long-term success of social entrepreneurs, who use for-profit principles to drive positive social value."
Klein added, "This year, we were blown away by the quality of the finalists. We are thrilled to recognize Kheyti and look forward to watching these special entrepreneurs deliver tremendous social value through their companies."
CommonBond is a leading tech-enabled consumer lender that currently focuses on funding and refinancing student loans. The company combines proprietary technology, sophisticated underwriting, friendly customer service and a commitment to social good to deliver a superior borrowing experience. The company saves its members an average of more than $14,500 over the life of the loan. CommonBond is the first company to bring the "one-for-one" social model to finance: for every loan funded on its platform, CommonBond funds the education of a student in need, through a partnership with Pencils of Promise. For more information, visit http://www.commonbond.co.
Kheyti is a social enterprise that designs, adapts and implements low-cost farming solutions that help smallholder farmers in India increase the yield and predictability of their produce. The company accomplishes this through its "Greenhouse-in-a-Box", an affordable greenhouse bundled with end-to-end services to help smallholders grow seven times more food while using 90% less water. For more information, please visit www.kheyti.com.