Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group

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AIDG Founder Wins Echoing Green Fellowship
Friday, 16 June 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

AIDG Founder named one of the year’s best emerging social entrepreneurs by Echoing Green.

Peter Haas, founder of AIDG, has been awarded $60,000 seed capital to continue work promoting affordable and environmentally friendly infrastructure solutions in Latin America.

Weston, Mass - June 16, 2006 – Peter Haas, the CEO of the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG) was named one of the best emerging social entrepreneurs for 2006 by the global non-profit organization Echoing Green for his innovative plan to promote the use of clean technologies in developing countries. As a winner of the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship, Haas will receive $60,000 of seed capital as well as strategic counsel, leadership training and technical guidance over the next 2 years to develop and expand AIDG.

“In a world where roughly 2 billion people lack access to electricity, clean cooking fuel, and adequate drinking water, the development of basic infrastructure is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty,” said Haas. Unfortunately, a surprising number of NGO-financed infrastructure projects fail long-term due to inadequate maintenance. AIDG addresses this issue through a unique combination of business incubation, education, training and outreach. The organization empowers local workers to form micro-manufacturing facilities that use locally available materials to produce, sell, install and repair village and home scale solutions for energy production, clean water access and sanitation. 

“This market-based solution ensures that infrastructure improvements are supported by sustainable, local businesses, guaranteeing their success long-term,” Haas continued.

During its first year, AIDG helped its first incubated business XelaTeco (Quetzaltenango, Guatemala) win a contract for a 40-home micro-hydroelectric system funded by the United Nations Development Program. Plans for expansion into Haiti and the Dominican Republic are currently under way. 

  AIDG is one of 12 organizations to receive the 2006 Echoing Green Fellowship out of an applicant pool of 950 individuals from 75 different countries. Echoing Green’s Fellowship recipients are committed to using smart business principles to right seemingly intractable social wrongs. The rigorous six-month selection process included the submission of detailed start-up plans and a series of in-person interviews before panels of veteran business and nonprofit leaders in New York City. Judges evaluated applicants’ leadership and entrepreneurial skills, creativity and the potential of their ideas to deliver long-term social change. 

For more information on the AIDG, go to www.aidg.org , email info@aidg.org, or call 1-800-401-3860.

 
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