Saving Lives by Battling Counterfeit Products

Ashoka Fellow Bright Simons Wins the 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurs

Congratulations to Ashoka Fellow Bright Simons, founder of MPedigree Goldkeys, and Selorm Branttie, MPedigree's global strategy manager, for winning the 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship! mPedigree fights drug and agricultural seed counterfeiting with a product identification marker that consumers use to determine authenticity immediately with a mobile phone.

Bright Simons

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2008

Counterfeit drugs kill an estimated one million people every year, while counterfeit agricultural inputs hinder productivity and keep smallholder farmers in poverty. To combat the counterfeiting market, 2019 Skoll Awardee MPedigree Goldkeys developed a unique product identification marker to help consumers determine authenticity by simply scratching off the label and evaluating a code within seconds using a mobile phone camera or text message.

mPedigree has helped 100 million people in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East authenticate nearly 2 billion products to date. Its vision: a marketplace powered by verification and trust.

The Skoll Awards distinguish transformative leaders whose organizations disrupt the status quo, drive sustainable large-scale change, and are poised to create even greater impact.

“These brave entrepreneurs are on the frontlines of solving the world’s most pressing problems,” said Jeff Skoll, Founder and Chairman of the Skoll Foundation. “Each social entrepreneur may have a distinct approach, but they all share a relentless pursuit of impact and the desire to create a more just world.”

“These leaders have demonstrated how to spark transformative change to improve health, protect vulnerable individuals, and provide new opportunities for young people,” said Richard Fahey, Interim President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. “We are thrilled to welcome these passionate problem solvers into the Skoll community.”