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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Rising Solutions - Winner of the Great Companies Global Business Award - 2023

Business Name: Rising Solutions

Name: Michelle Risinger

Location: Washington, District of Columbia

Establishment (Year): 2021

Category / Industry: 𝐁𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐒𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠

Sub Category / Sub Industry: Business Advisor

Number of employees: 1-10 employees

LinkedIn URL: LinkedIn

Company Detail:

Rising Solutions is a boutique, small, woman-owned, woman-powered business launched in 2021 that provides innovation strategy, design thinking, and executive facilitation services to projects and clients with a social impact focus. In their short two and half years they have doubled the revenue year upon year and have grown to a global team of 12. They thrive in the realm of sense-making, ambiguity, and testing assumptions, guiding clients through a discovery process unique to their specific opportunity. Rising Solutions has worked globally with clients such as The Rainforest Alliance, The Research Triangle Institute (RTI) The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the International Rescue Committee.

Specialization Product/Services:

Rising Solutions offers innovation strategy, design thinking, and executive facilitation services to projects and clients with a social impact focus. Additionally, they have developed custom tools, assessments, and signature courses for workplaces looking to promote innovation processes.

Unique Value Proposition:

Their innovation consulting services are guided by their values of humility, curiosity, and empathy. They are driven by a mission to transform workplaces to stimulate creativity, realize innovation, and cultivate flourishing cultures of thriving performers. With over 20 years of experience in social innovation, they are on a mission to bring more experimentation, creativity, and iterative methods to the social sector in order to unlock the new ideas needed to transform their global challenges with poverty. They believe if more social sector companies and organizations embrace agile, iterative approaches, they will unlock new depths of creativity and innovation to solve the world’s most pressing social issues.

Rising Solutions was launched in 2021 by award-winning social innovator and design thinker, Michelle Risinger. Rising Solutions is a flourishing international consultancy that has doubled its revenue year upon year. Their current Net Promoter Score is 100% and 85% of their clients believe that their work had a positive impact on their company culture. Rising Solutions has developed proprietary innovation courses and assessment tools taken by nonprofits, government, management consultants, healthcare professionals, and creative professionals around the world. Within the last year alone they presented to audiences at Devex World hosted in Washington, DC, the EXPLORE Creativity Conference in Sarasota, Florida, and the Inventures Innovation Conference in Calgary, Canada.

A customer’s review:

Best Service, Understands my needs, Most innovative products/services

Community / Society Service:

Rising Solutions is a social innovation strategy firm focused on social impact and as such, every project we take has a social return for society. From climate change to women’s empowerment, from childhood education to maternal health, our portfolio of global projects uses human-centered design to tackle the intractable systemic complexities and to leave the world a little bit more just and equitable than they found it. They also hold a place in our portfolio for one truly grassroots change client who simply pays what they can afford. For example, They worked with Roots Africa, their mission is to support young people by connecting African students to agricultural experts who provide voluntary technical assistance to local farming communities in Africa. Additionally, there are two main projects we work on with tremendous opportunity for impact that they are excited to showcase: Nature's Bank. Client: The Rainforest Alliance In 2020, they partnered with the Rainforest Alliance on a transformational innovation concept to launch a carbon offset bank that would allow the returns of the offset sale to go directly to the smallholder farmers who most needed the financing. The Rainforest Alliance has over four million smallholder farmers in its extensive global network with over six million hectares of farmland currently certified against their sustainability standards. In order to leverage this tremendous footprint, they created a platform concept called Nature’s Bank, whereby smallholder farmers already in the Rainforest Alliance certification network could produce and sell their credits on Nature’s Bank on the supply side. On the demand side, companies could purchase trusted carbon credits to meet their commitments to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which defines and promotes best practices in emissions reductions and net-zero targets in line with climate science. These supply and demand elements meet on a curated marketplace that enables a direct relationship between projects and credit buyers, offering highly credible carbon credits that contribute to biodiversity, water retention, and community improvements. By 2030, Nature’s Bank will direct one billion dollars annually to farmers and forest communities to protect and restore ecosystems. With the expected price of $50 per ton CO2e, Nature's Bank will protect and restore an area roughly the size of Rwanda. In the spring of 2022, after a year of market testing the concept, we began piloting Nature’s Bank with smallholder farmers at multiple locations across Guatemala and have secured multiple corporate launch clients. The HCDExchange. Client: John Snow International The HCDExchange is a global knowledge hub and community engagement platform for organizations and practitioners who use Human-Centered Design in Global Health projects. It was initially funded by the Gates Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation as a traditional grant-funded project. They began working with the HCDExchange in the spring of 2022 to help them pivot their value proposition from a grant-based project to a hybrid business model with a focus on local ownership.

After over a year of market research, customer validation, co-design, testing, and prototyping, they presented a new sustainable value proposition. It focuses on increasing the employability of young designers in Africa by matching them with design jobs on global health projects. This both offers livelihood skills and job opportunities to young African-based designers, and drives the demand for human-centered design in global health projects, leading to more customer-centered solutions. This value proposition has been so compelling to investors interested in employability for young people in Africa that the project went on to receive $975,000 in launch grants within 6 months, and the new business model is set to launch in the fall of 2023.



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