Unreasonable GOALS logo

Repurposing capitalism to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals

A Collaboration with the U.S. Department of State

In 2017, we launched the initiative Unreasonable GOALS to rapidly accelerate the world's ability to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

In collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, we're laser focusing on these noteworthy goals by leveraging market forces.

Our program has united governments, multinationals and the most effective entrepreneurial solutions to drive change.

But we need to do more.
Learn More ⇣

The Initiative

As a result of COVID-19, Unreasonable GOALS will bring together entrepreneurs, institutions and investors to champion the world's most compelling market-based, growth-stage ventures that are at the forefront of innovating for a more sustainable future.

This initiative will congregate ventures best positioned to address the challenges of the pandemic across key themes including: economic recovery, jobs creation, and workforce development. This program will provide technical assistance to scale up readiness and response operations in emerging markets and developing countries, helping to mitigate the secondary impacts of COVID-19.

We'll work with entrepreneurs who are already wielding the most effective solutions and focus on “scaling what works.”
See the Impact of GOALS Ventures ⇢
1. No Poverty 2. Zero Hunger 3. Good Health and Well-Being 4. Quality Education 5. Gender Equality 6. Clean Water and Sanitation 7. Affordable and Clean Energy 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure 10. Reduced Inequalities 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action 14. Life Below Water 15. Life on Land 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions 17. Partnerships for the Goals U.S. Department of State/Sustainability Development Goals Logo

Problems We're Solving

Every year, more than $120B is spent in international development assistance, and the system has yet to produce the game-changing results we all know are needed. And now, we must address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through Unreasonable GOALS, we are bringing more problem solvers to the table: entrepreneurs with cutting-edge solutions that can measurably dent the SDGs. Each year, we will bring together 16 scalable solutions, all uniquely positioned to solve one of the goals.

We are seeking Unreasonable Alumni Fellows to participate in this next phase of Unreasonable GOALS.

The program will be a multi-week hybrid experience, consisting of a four-day onsite component plus stimulating virtual engagement. Ventures will participate in a holistic range of sessions aimed at impact through collaboration, including a Global Virtual Investor Summit and signature Braintrusts, topical deep dive discussions and access to key introductions through the Unreasonable GOALS network.

GOALS Alumni are Changing the World, One SDG at a Time

Since our launch, the ventures participating in Unreasonable GOALS have made a real impact on the SDGs and achieved many milestones:

30

Different ventures operating in 180+ countries

$760M

Collectively generated in revenue

14,780

Net new jobs created

14

SDGs were positively impacted by at least one indicator

9

SDGs were impacted more than 2x their baseline

419M

People reached and serviced

LabourNet

Improving worker skills and productivity in the informal sector through its vocational training programs, reskilling over 700,000 people in India.

Gayathri Vasudevan

Executive Chairperson at LabourNet

Rajesh AR

Co-founder & CEO at LabourNet

385k Individuals (7.7x Baseline)

Gained access to technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work, or entrepreneurship.

723k Women (2.3x Baseline)

Have earned steady, decent employment.

413k Individuals (2.48x Baseline)

Now work in improved, safe, secure working environments.

Cambridge Industries

Designing, constructing, and operating extremely cost-competitive and scalable waste-to-energy facilities customized for sub-Saharan Africa.

Samuel Alemayehu

Co-Founder and Global Managing Director at Cambridge Industries

12 Million Communities (3x Baseline)

Engaged in supporting and strengthening their water and sanitation management.

3 Million Individuals (2.4x Baseline)

Gained access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services.

1.35 Million Metric Tons CO2 Equivalent (2.7x Baseline)

In total greenhouse gas emission reduction.

BRCK

Building the tools for connectivity to bring Africans online for free, securing over 250,000 users of its public WiFi platform in just a few months.

Erik Hersman

CEO, Co-Founder at BRCK

Quality Education icon

300k Children (6x Baseline)

Now receive free, equitable, and quality primary or secondary education.

Decent Work icon

500k Young People (2x Baseline)

Have gained access to employment, education, or training.

Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure icon

2 Million Individuals (2x Baseline)

Now have access to information and communications technology and/or the internet.

A Program Focused on Unreasonable Alumni Fellows

We will identify entrepreneurs from our existing Alumni Fellow base and invite them to participate in Unreasonable GOALS. See FAQ for the detailed selection criteria. We then give select investors, mentors and partners the opportunity to help them continue to scale the impact of these ventures.

See all the Unreasonable Ventures ⇢
  • It's an amazing, worthwhile, transformative time together with great Unreasonable Team, mentors, fellow entrepreneurs. And the best thing is, it's really just the beginning!
    Tommy Tjiptadjaja

    Tommy Tjiptadjaja

    Co-Founder & CEO at Greenhope

  • The entrepreneur has to channel abundance amongst a journey of cynicism. What Unreasonable does is surround the entrepreneur intimately not just with optimistic and creative problem solvers, but some of the most influential policy makers, mentors, private sector leaders, and other brilliant entrepreneurs.
    Rebecca Hui

    Rebecca Hui

    CEO at Roots Studio

  • I am deeply appreciative of everything that Unreasonable has done and I FULLY support the program wholeheartedly… there is nothing that I will not give to the community, and you the organizers. LOVE.
    Brendon Brewster

    Brendon Brewster

    CEO at Veerhouse Voda

  • Unreasonable GOALS is an incredible programme, where else can you make billion-dollar connections for your company and more importantly friends for life. Be prepared for the team to exceed even your wildest expectations.
    Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley

    Co-founder & CEO at IN-Code Technologies

  • Unreasonable GOALS was the best program of its kind in which I've ever participated. I feel very proud, blessed, and humbled to part of this extraordinary community.
    Dave Levin

    Dave Levin

    Co-founder & CEO at

Fostering Collaboration with Diverse Mentors

With a community of mentors from the U.S. Department of State and other Partners, we will help guide and grow these growth-stage ventures to maximize their impact on the world.

Ultimately, the reason this program exists is to rapidly accelerate the world's ability to achieve the SDGs by 2030. To this end, we only invite entrepreneurs who demonstrate an unruly dedication to solving a specific Sustainable Development Goal (and occasionally multiple).

See All Unreasonable Mentors »

Recent Press

November 30, 2018

A Free On-Ramp To The Internet In East Africa

Read on Forbes »

July 22, 2017

Unreasonable Group Galvanizes Social Entrepreneurs To Further Sustainable Development Goals

Read on Forbes »

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Unreasonable GOALS?

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Unreasonable GOALS is run by our team at Unreasonable Group, an organization dedicated to driving resources to and breaking down barriers for entrepreneurs solving our most difficult and meaningful problem-sets. 

We launched the initiative Unreasonable GOALS to accelerate the world’s ability to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. We’re working together with the U.S. Department of State, laser focusing on these noteworthy goals by leveraging market forces. Given the impact of COVID-19, we need to do more. So Unreasonable GOALS will bring together entrepreneurs, institutions and investors to champion the world’s most compelling market-based, growth-stage ventures that are at the forefront of innovating for a more sustainable future. This is where the real impact of the initiative comes into play. It’s this collective global network that we believe will have the ability to impact not just millions, but billions of lives. And it is this network that we are looking to arm with the resources and connections to help ensure we achieve the Global Goals by 2030.
We’ll focus on ventures best positioned to address the challenges of the pandemic across key themes including: economic recovery, jobs creation, and workforce development. This program will provide technical assistance to scale up readiness and response operations in emerging markets and developing countries helping to mitigate the secondary impacts of COVID-19 in these countries.

We’ll work with entrepreneurs who are already wielding the most effective solutions and focus on “scaling what works.”

What is different about the GOALS program launched in 2017 and the new program?

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This next phase of Unreasonable GOALS is focused on addressing the fallout from COVID-19 and is open to Unreasonable Alumni Fellows to participate. Through GOALS, we are bringing more problem solvers to the table: highly-profitable entrepreneurs with cutting-edge solutions that can measurably dent the SDGs. Each year, we will bring together 16 highly-scalable entrepreneurial solutions, each uniquely positioned to solve one of the goals.

Our initial program was a two-week in-person event, but the new program will be a hybrid experience spread over multiple weeks. It will be a combination of a four-day onsite component plus virtual, remote engagement. Ventures will have the opportunity to participate in sessions focussed on collaboration, networking, and deep dives around key themes of the program.

Why look to entrepreneurs to solve these issues?

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Entrepreneurs have always envisioned the world as it could be, not as it presently is. Through our research and experience, we have come to believe that entrepreneurs often operate on the edge of new solutions to societal and environmental problems that we formerly thought were unsolvable. The challenge is that while there are brilliant innovators and entrepreneurs (and many of their models are already working at scale in the market), they need investment, mentorship, exposure, and strategic partnerships to achieve global scale.

What makes this different from other “accelerators”?

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Most incubators and accelerators focus on working with idea, seed, and early-stage companies. We don’t think of ourselves as an incubator or an accelerator because we focus on working with growth-stage companies. We identify ventures that are already wielding the most effective solutions to specific global issues. In short, we focus on scaling what works. By working with significantly later stage ventures than an accelerator or incubator, we can identify more avenues for investment, licensing, and partnership between the Fortune 500 companies we work with and the ventures we support.

Why should I join Unreasonable GOALS?

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Bold steps can steer the world back on track towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Unreasonable GOALS is designed to help each of the participating entrepreneurs achieve breakthrough realizations faster. This is achieved by uniting CEOs with a targeted group of serial entrepreneurs, funders, and global experts in a close community to support entrepreneurs in overcoming any obstacles to scale.

“The entrepreneur has to channel abundance amongst a journey of cynicism. What Unreasonable does is surround the entrepreneur intimately not just with optimistic and creative problem solvers, but some of the most influential policy makers, mentors, private sector leaders, and other brilliant entrepreneurs.” - Rebecca Hui, CEO, Roots Studio

When you join the Unreasonable Fellowship, we support you for life. Our programs mark the beginning of an ongoing relationship where we, alongside our partners, look to drive resources to and break down barriers that help scale your impact over time and ultimately, impact millions of people worldwide. Our CEOs gain access to a curated community of more than 1,600 investors, 950 mentors, and some of the world's most powerful institutions. Our goal is to give entrepreneurs a collaborative advantage for life. Our community of entrepreneurs is shaping trillion-dollar industries and uplifting the lives of more than 720 million people. You can be a part of this change and profitably solve pressing global problems.

Beyond basic criteria, what do you look for in the entrepreneurs?

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Focus on SDGs: Each Fellow will be assessed on their company and its focus on one or more SDGs. Ultimately, we will ensure each of the 16 SDGs are represented by one or more ventures. SDG 17 on Partnerships is represented by Unreasonable’s partnership with the U.S. Department of State.


Addressing COVID-19 Impacts: Ventures must have programs, projects, products or services that focus on addressing the second-order economic, security, and stabilization impacts of COVID-19.


Geographic Focus: Unreasonable will source Fellows globally, with a hyperfocus on Economic Support Fund (ESF) countries (traditionally labeled as ‘developing’ countries) supported by U.S. Department of State. Ultimately, we will strive to ensure that each cohort has ventures that are headquartered or incorporated across at least five (5) countries.


Logical Path to Achieving the Impossible: We invite entrepreneurs who challenge our conceptions of what we thought was possible in terms of impact, scale, business models, and growth. Simultaneously, we look for a logical and convincing model to enter the market that matches this unguarded ambition.


Unrelenting Dedication: We invite ventures whose leadership team demonstrates a clear conviction that they will stop at nothing to ensure they put a positive dent on history. We want to be convinced that the problem they are solving is baked into their DNA.


Shared Goals: We will ensure that all the entrepreneurs we align with demonstrate a commitment to the vision of this partnership. We will ensure that they are eager to collaborate on what the future of inclusive work will look like.


Strong Beliefs Held Loosely: Although we are looking for entrepreneurs who are obsessed with creating a more just society, we also want to ensure that we only select entrepreneurs who are willing to admit when they are wrong and who have the humility to be coached and mentored. We select for a mix of confidence and humility.


Diversity: Creating a space for a diverse and inclusive group of entrepreneurs, that is traditionally underrepresented in the global investment community, is imperative. We will prioritize representation of this underrepresented group among our cohort of fellows each year.

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The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented global public health and economic challenges. These are pressing, urgent challenges that governments alone cannot solve. The United States has unmatched and complimentary technical expertise, capacities, and mechanisms across multiple federal agencies and within the U.S. private sector, to meet today's needs. In pursuant of an All-of-America, Build Back Better approach, the Department of

State and the U.S. Agency for International Development launched a COVID-19 Private Sector Engagement & Partnership Response Fund (The Fund). The Fund is supporting programs like Unreasonable GOALS that help prepare for, mitigate and address second order economic, security, stabilization impacts of COVID-19 in developing countries and prevent development backsliding.

We are seeking up to 10 additive partners to join the Unreasonable community and participate in Unreasonable GOALS to collaboratively accelerate the SDGs they are most aligned with. If you are interested in participating and in the process positioning your organization as a leader of innovation and impact, please contact the Unreasonable Global Partnerships team for more information.

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