Janette Searle, Climate-X Judge

Janette Searle is the founder of Take My Hands, a not-for-profit that redistributes prosthetic, orthotic and medical equipment to those in need. When it comes to developing businesses and projects, she’s an alchemist. Janette can take things from strategy to implementation in a way that ensures the impact can be measured and scaled.

$8 million of life-changing impact

In 2010, Take My Hands started off as a pilot programme that shipped redundant prosthetic limbs to Lahore, Pakistan. Now, the organisation has sent more than 57,000kg of prosthetics and other equipment to five different countries. It’s all been diverted from landfill and has helped around 110,000 people. In dollars, Take My Hands has created more than $8 million in impact – all for less than $40,000.

“The impact of our work is twofold,” says Janette. “Environmentally, we’re aiming to minimise waste through redistribution and recycling. Socially, we’re looking to improve the lives of people in need by making this equipment accessible.”

“We have also developed an impact measurement tool to measure the value of what we’re sending. This encompasses the extended life an item may have if it’s a reusable item. Take My Hands has sent 117 hospital beds overseas with an extended life of 10 years, so they’ve calculated how many people will use them in that time.”

Serial social entrepreneurship is earned

Janette’s wide career in the creative, health, and not for profit sectors has equipped her to become an impressive serial social entrepreneur. As well as Take My Hands, she’s developed a Collective Impact Initiative that is improving educational success for youth, and removing barriers to education for at-risk and vulnerable young people, in West Auckland. Janette has also built international markets and partnerships for NZ based music artists and managed the inaugural NZ Outsider Art Fair.

As a Climate-X 3 Day Sprint judge, Janette brings a solid understanding of the frameworks and processes required to make ideas, projects and businesses come to life. She knows what makes good ideas successful and that’s what she’ll be looking for.

Janette Searle

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