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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – Why Everyone Should Participate & How To Get Started

Written by: Janina Peter, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

The Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the SDGs, are a set of 17 goals established by the United Nations in 2015 to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. These goals have become increasingly relevant in recent years as more and more people become aware of the need for sustainable living and responsible business practices. It is crucial for nonprofits, companies, and every individual to participate in trying to reach these goals, and here’s why.

colorful cartoon image in the city

First, let's take a look at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They are:

  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

Each of these goals is crucial to creating a sustainable world, and every individual has a role to play in achieving them.


Let's take a look at Bridging Gaps, my non-profit founded in 2022. I started the organization after seeing how difficult it was for individuals and small businesses in the Global South to access the capital they need to grow and create jobs. Bridging Gaps provides entrepreneurship training and small loans to these businesses, allowing them to expand and create new opportunities for themselves and their communities.


Through Bridging Gaps, we have been able to contribute to several of the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 1 (No Poverty), Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities). By providing access to capital, local businesses are able to create jobs and improve their local economies, lifting people out of poverty and reducing inequality.


Every company or individual can play a part in making the world a more sustainable place. Here are concrete actions that you can take to help achieve some of the SDGs through Bridging Gaps:


No Poverty: Support any Bridging Gaps project to provide microloans to small businesses in the Global South.


Zero Hunger: Support local farmers and buy organic, locally-sourced food to reduce the carbon footprint of food transportation. Otto James Darious is a South Sudanese refugee looking to fight hunger and malnutrition by opening his own food business, the "Zero Hunger Healthy Society." You can support Otto and other entrepreneurs from his community through Bridging Gaps.


Quality Education: Support a Bridging Gaps Entrepreneurship Training, or spread the word about our existing educational projects, such as Anthony’s print and bookshop with educational materials for his community, which he opened with the help of a microloan.


Gender Equality: Support our trainings in Brazil which are particularly promoting women’s empowerment and advocating for equal representation of women in leadership positions.


Decent Work and Economic Growth: Buy products from our local businesses if you are in the area or volunteer to support our Bridging Gaps entrepreneurs in starting their online businesses. We make sure to support local businesses that prioritize social and environmental impact.


Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: It is our vision to leverage innovation and technology to accelerate Bridging Gaps. Do you have expertise in blockchain or FinTech? Reach out to us and join the team.


Reduced Inequalities: Support non-profits that work to reduce inequality and discrimination.


Partnerships for the Goals: We work with a number of partners across countries and sectors. From engaged individuals over local non-profits to global companies, we invite everyone to join our cause and get involved.


So many more: We support local projects focused on any of the 17 SDGs, so stay tuned and learn more on our website!


Follow me on LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Janina Peter, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Janina is a leader in food systems transformation, using innovation and tech for good. With Bridging Gaps, she is reinventing microloans and empowering underserved communities globally. Using her background in development economics and international studies, Janina has worked for the World Food Programme’s fundraising and advocacy app ShareTheMeal, Thought For Food and its Food Systems Game Changers Lab, and the United Nations Food Systems Summit, among others. Her mission: Creating healthier food systems to achieve zero hunger and zero poverty through innovation.

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