INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP RESOURCES
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals that are used to provide a roadmap of the world to be safer, better, more sustainable and inclusive one for all people. They cover a an array of issues such as poverty eradication, education, healthcare and gender equality.
The SDGs as a global framework has been adopted by country members of the United Nations and has been adopted by several donour agencies and impact investors as a framework for assessing impact.
This makes the SDGs a veritable tool for innovators and (social) entrepreneurs in the developing world to map out the relevance of their ideas and innovations in tailoring solutions that delivers on the benefits that relates to the Global Goals and for accessing support from donour agencies and impact investors.
The Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations are as follows:
End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Reduce inequality within and among countries.
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
For more information on each of these goals; their targets and topics, visit the SDG Knowledge Platform.
Innovation is the act of developing something new that creates values. This new thing can be a product, additional feature, extending the utility of an existing product, approach, and process which may have been developed over time. Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of innovations for industry and societal benefit and economic reward.
The success of every innovation is in the value it delivers. It is the value which makes it beneficial to the society, therefore leading to economic rewards. The SDGs provide a globally adopted framework of value propositions that innovations can fit into.
However, each of these goals are too broad for an innovation to cater for on its own. Therefore an innovation should be seen as a contributor to a goal. This can also be assessed by mapping an innovation to the targets and indicators set for each Global Goal.
With the high level of work and investment required to meet the Global Goals, it has also been established that innovation is required to accelerate meeting the 2030 target set by the UN for meeting the SDGs.
Innovators provide solutions to make the world a better place by delivering value to their target market and communities.
With the SDGs built on a globally shared value of making the world a better place, it provides an elaborate list of areas which the value propositions of innovators can contribute to.
The following are are examples of innovations mapped to SDGs:
- OkoFinance, based in Mali, “offers mobile-based index insurance products to smallholder farmers that facilitate access to affordable loans, weather alerts and tips.” This is relevant to SDG 1 on No Poverty to end poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030. because it protects the livelihood of farmers during unfavourable weather and provides them access to financial services. For the alerts and tips it provides farmers throughout the growing season, it also fits into SDG 4 on Quality Education to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
- Flare.Africa provides “software infrastructure and operational support for emergency response teams.” This innovation is relevant to SDG 3 on Good Health & Wellbeing, which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. Another relevant innovation to this SDG is mDoc which provides a platform for 24/7 support to patients with long-term illness by connecting them healthcare practitioners.
To map your ideas and innovation to the SDGS, simply review the 17 SDGs to see which of them can be helped the most by your project. It is not unusual for an innovation to be relevant to several SDGs. However, the lesser it is, the better you can focus and build a simple solution which you can scale up later.
You can access more information on the SDG Knowledge Hub, framework document and template provided in the resource tab.