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Social Business of the Year: Loowatt

Virginia Gardiner
Virginia Gardiner, posted on 24.10.12

When I attended ClearlySo's SBC12 event a couple of weeks ago, the Social Business of the Year Award was the last thing on my mind. I had wanted to learn from the day's talks and meet people who might be interested in working with my social enterprise, Loowatt. And I'd wanted the opportunity to do a 45-second pitch, because it's a great way to quickly share information about what I'm working on, so that if participants were interested in toilets and energy, they'd know I'm a kindred spirit.

I've done a lot of short pitches - we've  benefited  from practice through the business support at InnovationRCA - and I like the simple challenge of only being able to get a couple of points across. The 5-minute presentation during the final was enjoyable as well because they gave us an hour to prepare, and the judge and audience questions helped me fill out the parts I'd missed.

Being selected among so many important projects, and then preparing alongside the other two finalists, Pippa Palmer from Sunny Money and Jaydeep Korde from ValueForm, was an honor. Pippa and Jaydeep are passionate people doing fantastic work that could have global impact, and I was lucky to get to know them a bit more.

We haven't yet allocated all our prize money, but a portion of it may go to decorating and branding our new toilet, energy and fertilizer production facilities in Madagascar, with help from a local artist.

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Virginia Gardiner - Founder and CEO of Loowatt - was awarded our Social Business of the Year Award at this year's conference. Loowatt is  a waterless toilet which captures human waste and converts it to energy and fertiliser, bringing potentially huge benefits in health and sustainability, as well as income, to poor rural areas.


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