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12.04.2010 Press Release

Social Entrepreneur from West Africa to participate in Prestigious Global Fellowship (ASHOKA GLOBALIZER)

By Simon Stumpf
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A new initiative that brings together Social Entrepreneurs with International Business Leaders to globalize social innovations.

LOCATION - Bright Simons from Ghana has been selected as the only Fellow from West Africa to participate at the Ashoka Globalizer, a new initiative that brings together the 25 world's most advanced social entrepreneurs with leading business entrepreneurs at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna on April 18 to help them “globalize” and spread their projects.

Bright Simons has developed a new simple, user-friendly technology - mPedigree - that protects consumers from counterfeit drugs in regions with low literacy and low technical capacity. The native Ghanaian's innovative system allows buyers to verify the authenticity of medicines for free by text-messaging a unique coding found on the product to a universal number. This request is routed to mPedigree's servers and consumers receive a speedy response to authenticate their purchase. This system saves the lives of poor people who are especially vulnerable to insecure drug supply chains, thus building confidence and trust in healthcare systems. Since Bright formally launched mPedigree in Ghana in 2007, after inventing the core of the technology in 2005, his technology has expanded to Nigeria and East Africa. Bright is now ready to expand his model across Africa and globally to South Asia and elsewhere.

Leila Aklahoun, Ashoka Integrator for African programs, said: "We are very proud that Bright Simons has been selected as one of 25 Social Entrepreneurs to participate at the first ever edition of the Ashoka Globalizer."

The Ashoka Globalizer
With its new initiative that will run on a yearly basis, Ashoka will bring Bright Simons and 24 other social entrepreneurs together with leading entrepreneurs from the private sector, to match social innovations with the resources needed to rapidly achieve global scale. The Ashoka Globalizer will start on April 18th, when business entrepreneurs such as Anousheh Ansari, first female private space explorer and co-founder and chairman of Prodea systems, or Johnathan Soros, President of Soros Fund Management, will share their insights into strategies for rapid growth, draw on their own experiences to help the social entrepreneurs ask the right questions, formulate the best strategies and create the proper partnerships. For more information, please visit www.ashokaglobalizer.org.

About Ashoka
Ashoka is the world's leading network of social entrepreneurs – extraordinary changemakers, who find new solutions for social problems; like Muhammad Yunus, who pioneered the microfinance sector. Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, Ashoka supports social entrepreneurs with stipends, professional support, and/or access to its large network of global peers. Ashoka has to date elected and supported more than 2,500 social entrepreneurs in 70 countries. For more information, please visit www.ashoka.org.

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