Our Social Entrepreneurs


Investing in the most innovative entrepreneurs to solve the most urgent social issues since 2012

2021 Fellows Alumni L.E.A.P. Veterans

2021 Fellows


Ankit Agarwal

Founder | Phool

Ankit Agarwal is the Founder of Phool, a social enterprise that has pioneered ‘flowercycling’ technologies to reduce pollution in the Ganges River by upcycling the vast quantities of flower temple-waste in India. Every year, more than 8M metric tons of pesticide-laden temple-flowers are dumped in the Ganges, choking the river & causing severe health issues. At Phool, over 8.4 tons of temple-waste is collected daily and converted into charcoal-free incense and an animal-free alternative to leather. In the process, Phool employs women who were previously scavengers to sort the flower waste and hand roll the popular incense sticks.

Christelle Kwizera

Founder + Managing Director | Water Access Rwanda

Christelle Kwizera is the Founder and Managing Director of Water Access Rwanda, committed to eradicating water scarcity. Since 2014, Water Access Rwanda has provided clean water access to over 132,000 individuals, schools, businesses and farms in Rwanda and across the borders in DRC, Burundi and Uganda. The water sector has been a problem for Sub Saharan Africa for too long, and Christelle sought to create a solution that scales quickly to deliver this basic human right to all. She has been widely recognized for her social enterprise work – a recipient of the Global Citizen Cisco Youth Leadership Award and listed among Vital Voices: 100 Women Using their Power to Empower – to name a few.

Daniela Ancira

Founder + CEO | La Cana

Daniela Ancira is a human rights lawyer and the Founder and CEO of La Cana, a social project that seeks to create job opportunities for women in prison in Mexico. They work with women deprived of freedom, in order to improve their quality of life and to achieve their reintegration into society. La Cana trains women in knitting, sowing and embroidery techniques with a belief that craftwork in prison is not only an accessible workshop to implement, but also a viable alternative to relieve stress for inmates - a calming, comforting and contemplative activity which can help them discover a more constructive and reflective side to themselves. La Cana also offers mental health programs and productive activities in arts, education, culture and sports.

Danya Sherman

Founder + CEO | KnoNap

Danya Sherman is the Founder and CEO of KnoNap, discreet consumer-facing diagnostics that are capable of detecting the presence of illicit drugs in a beverage. Through KnoNap, Danya works to empower college and dating aged individuals against drink spiking. While studying abroad, Danya was personally affected by drink spiking and upon returning to America, she found the pervasiveness of the issue through conversations with peers, friends, and colleagues. Danya was featured as Washington Life’s Technology 25 Innovators and Disruptors, DC Inno’s 25 Under 25 Brightest Young Innovators, Cafe 100 Change-Maker, Impact Award’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year USA Finalist, Toyota’s Mother of Invention, among Washington Life’s Technology Hall of Fame and Forbes 2020 Class of 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.

Derrius Quarles

Co-founder + Co-CEO | BREAUX Capital

Derrius Quarles is the Co-founder and CEO of BREAUX Capital, a Black- owned community and financial services company dedicated to Black Men helping each other improve their financial health. Growing up in foster care on the South Side of Chicago, Derrius was used to hearing the word "no." Derrius was inspired to turn his personal expereinces into a successful business model, investing $500 toward the launch of BREAUX Capital, an online platform and mobile app offering an automated savings tool and social network to connect like-minded Millennials across the country. Derrius is a sought-after public speaker and author of the education bestseller "Million Dollar Scholar: Winning The Scholarship Race." He has been highlighted by CNN, MTV, Huffington Post, TEDx, and Time and has been honored by the White House for his effort in expanding education access.

Emmanuel Trinity

Founder | era92

Emmanuel Trinity is the Founder of era92, a youth creative agency training and employing Uganda's young adults in design, arts and technology. era92 partners with businesses worldwide to amplify their message & increase revenues through digital marketing services such as website development, branding development, SEO, lead capture, email automation, content creation and software development. This work helps the organization develop skills and employ young adults in the slums of Uganda. Growing up in the slums himself, Emmanuel saw first-hand the amount of talented young people that simply lacked the opportunity to cultivate skills. He started era92 to train and employ other disadvantaged youth in creative arts so they can become empowered and lift themselves out of poverty.

Evin Robinson

Co-founder + President | America on Tech

Evin Robinson is the Co-founder and President of America on Tech (AOT), preparing the next generation of tech leaders in order to decrease the economic and racial wealth gap in underestimated communities. Evin knows first-hand the talent pipeline issue is mostly centered around access and opportunity, as opposed to a lack of talent, because he was once the student he now serves. He is the first in his immediate family to graduate college with an undergraduate degree and work in corporate America. Evin has been recognized as an American Express Leadership Fellow, Pahara Institute - NextGen Fellow, Forbes Under 30 Lister, NY City & State Tech Honoree, Black Enterprise Modern Man, Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellow and CUP Fellow.

Jeff Kirschner

Founder + CEO | Litterati

Jeff Kirschner is the Founder and CEO of Litterati, on a mission to eradicate litter and create a zero-waste world. He was walking in the woods with his two kids, when his four-year old daughter noticed someone had thrown a plastic tub of cat litter into a creek. “Daddeeee” she said, “that doesn’t go there.” That moment was the inspiration for Litterati, and the catalyst for what has turned into a global community cleaning the world. Litterati is an app that empowers individuals to make a significant, measurable impact on the environment. Former bartender turned world backpacker turned serial entrepreneur, Jeff has been a TED resident and member of the Marshall Goldsmith 100, and has had work featured in National Geographic, Rolling Stone and CNN.

Jehiel Oliver

CEO | Hello Tractor

Jehiel Oliver is the Founder and CEO of Hello Tractor, an agricultural technology company that connects tractor owners with smallholder farmers in need of tractor services across 13 countries in Africa. Mechanization helps farmers plant 40x faster at one third of the cost, yet tractors often sit idle because there’s no market to serve smallholders. Hello Tractor works like Uber to get tractor services to the farmers. Jehiel has been being recognized by Foreign Policy Magazine as a Top 100 Global Thinker for 2016. He was also appointed under the Obama Administration to serve two years as a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, where he most recently chaired the technology subcommittee.

Sid Pailla

Founder + CEO | Sunny Day Fund

Sid Pailla is the Founder & CEO of Sunny Day Fund, building financial resilience in low and moderate-income workers through employer-sponsored banking services. He has a background in tech, finance, and academia, with a PhD and MBA from the University of Virginia. At his previous startup, Sid enabled 14M South Africans to message with non-profit partners through SMS+ cloud communications technology. Prior to that, he founded a non-profit to bring clean water to his home district in India and two villages in South Africa. Most recently, Sid was a distinguished M&A tech strategy consultant with Accenture.

Soumya Dabriwal

Founder | Project Baala

Soumya Dabriwal is the Founder of Project Baala, tackling the main problems of menstrual hygiene in India: expense of commercial menstrual products, menstrual waste mismanagement and societal myths and taboos. Baala adapts a long-term approach to systematically transform the core problems of menstrual hygiene awareness and product availability across vulnerable and marginalized communities. Born and raised in New Delhi, Soumya begun social volunteering at a pretty early age, since her mother ran an underprivileged school in the slums. In addition to Baala, she has also started two other organizations – one focused on innovation in rural education, and the other aimed at tackling food waste.

Syed Abrar

Founder + CEO | Liber Health

Syed Abrar is the Founder and CEO of Liber Health, solving the problem of patient misidentifications and lack of health data inoperability among health systems. This entire venture is a tribute to his brother who passed away from liver cancer and medical errors. During his treatment, Syed realized how difficult it is to send health records to and from hospitals. A lot of medical errors were made because of misidentifications and lack of health data which unnecessarily risked his life and led to his early demise. After he passed away, Syed made it his mission for patients and families to never suffer the same situation. He is the Outstanding Entrepreneur Awardee at the Netherlands 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and won the most innovative health and wellbeing solution from UAE at the 2020 World Summit Awards.

Alumni


Amanat Anand

Co-Founder | SoaPen

Amanat Anand is the Co-Founder of SoaPen, making handwashing fun and colorful for kids. She was born and raised in New Delhi, India, but has spent the past eight years living in New York City, previously working as a furniture designer. Amanat holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from the Parsons School of Design, and made the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list in 2017.

Anne Rweyora

Managing Director | Smart Havens Africa

Anne K. Rweyora is an industrial designer and a Ugandan who was homeless for 30+ years. She has experienced first-hand how a lack of quality housing compromises people's development potential, and is on a mission to change this narrative in Africa. As managing director at Smart Havens Africa, Anne works to provide low-cost, eco-friendly affordable housing solutions for low income families, putting community needs at the heart of every project.

Claire Witko

Director of Programs | Dog Tag Bakery

Claire Witko is the Director of Programs at Dog Tag Bakery, which acts as a living business school for transitioning veterans with service-connected disabilities, military spouses, and caregivers. She oversees the entire fellowship program, from curriculum development and recruitment through program management and alumni relations. Claire has over a decade of experience working with higher education programming, leadership development training and non-profit management. She has developed programs for The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, working with university boards and institutional leaders; managed international and domestic high school, undergraduate and adult students programs at The George Washington University, the UNCF Special Programs Corporation and American University, Washington College of Law; led The South Africa-Washington International Program (SAWIP), a non-profit that brings together diverse university students from South Africa for leadership development and peace building; and managed fundraising efforts for the National Symphony Orchestra.

Dereck Faulkner

CEO + Founder | Athletes for Vets Foundation

A military brat himself, Dereck L. Faulkner was born on a US military base in West Germany. He is the son of two military officers, his father serving as a Captain and his mother as a 20-year Retired Major. As a professional athlete, Dereck signed as a priority rookie free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2007 NFL draft. Following his rookie season with the Eagles, he spent time with several NFL organizations over the next three seasons, and two seasons in the Canadian Football League. As Founder of The Athletes for Vets Foundation, Dereck recognizes the sacrifices of our military personnel. The military has afforded Dereck’s family many opportunities in education, travel, personal development, and career advancement. Athletes for Vets is an expression of Dereck’s gratitude to the military, and his respect and admiration for the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. His his goal is to unite, support, advocate and help the heroes who defend our nation’s freedom. 

Giffin Daughtridge

CEO + Co-Founder | UrSure Inc.

Giffin Daughtridge is a medical doctor by training and the CEO & Co-Founder of UrSure Inc., a company creating patient-friendly diagnostic tests that measure and improve adherence to medications. He was born in South Carolina and grew up in Utah, Indiana, and North Carolina,  moving to Bogotá, Colombia after college to work on Hepatitis B vaccine access for sex workers. After returning to the U.S. and starting medical school, Giffin continued to make sure medical technology worked for the patients who needed it most.

Justine Abuga

CEO + Founder | ECOBORA

Justine Abuga is an award-winning social entrepreneur as CEO & Founder of ECOBORA, a for-profit social enterprise that provides clean cooking energy to rural marginalized homes in Kenya. He is using his frugal solar kiosk model to distribute green energy solutions and other life changing products to the people who need them most. Justine has five years of experience working with rural groups and is a believer of status quo disruption using innovation, technology and sustainability to uplift families out of energy poverty.

Jenny Anderson

CEO + Co-Founder | Celebrate EDU

Jenny Anderson is passionate about leveling the playing field for people with disabilities. Having a brother with autism influenced her immensely and fostered a desire to disrupt the status quo in the disability community. Jenny created Celebrate EDU, a nonprofit organization, to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to explore entrepreneurship and find their paths to a meaningful life. She is proud to be leading the national conversation to build cross-organizational, entrepreneurial ecosystems for people with disabilities across the United States.

Julio Lavalle

Co-Founder & CEO | MiBolsillo

As Co-Founder and CEO of MiBolsillo, Julio is Passionate about behavioral science, scalable technologies, and finances, Julio seeks to contribute to the monumental task of helping the un/underbanked 1.7B citizens around the world by building the next generation of digital financial services to improve the quality of their lives. Having dedicated the last 10 years to applying user-centered, participatory design and co-design methodologies to build low-cost high-impact solutions in a dozen countries, Julio has led the development of innovative mobile app-based startups that promote access to formal financial services and digital financial identity in Brazil, Peru, Guatemala and Mexico. Julio is also an MIT's D-Lab's Scale Up's Fellow where he focuses on bringing together academia and on-the-field work to gain insights for informed product development and public policy advice.

Kaveto Tjatjara

CEO + Co-Founder | Worldview Technology

Kaveto Tjatjara is passionate about using business as a force for good in society. Prior to starting his social enterprise, he received a Bachelors in Financial Accounting and worked at PKF and Deloitte. Currently, Kaveto is the CEO and Co-Founder of Worldview Technology, a company on a mission to provide innovative solutions to the sanitation problem. As a social entrepreneur, he has won numerous prestigious awards such as Total Startupper of the Year 2019, Pitch Night by Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS), and was also named as one of the top 5 Eco-Entrepreneurs by the Namibia Business Innovation Institute.

Mary Ackley

CEO + Founder | Little Wild Things Farm

Mary Ackley discovered her love of plants during a graduate school botany course at the University of Vermont. She was later inspired to start farming to prove that environmentally sustainable farming methods are the most productive, and therefore also the most profitable. She is the CEO + Founder of Little Wild Things Farm, an urban farm producing Certified Naturally Grown microgreens and edible flowers in Washington, D.C. Mary has also worked in international development in the fields of conflict mitigation, agriculture, and natural resources management, serving as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan, and Washington, D.C. She came to USAID from the private sector, where she worked on program planning, design, and evaluation of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, green building, environmental compliance, and remediation.

Manish Ranjan

CEO + Founder | NanoHealth

Manish Ranjan is the CEO & Founder of NanoHealth, a social enterprise focused on managing chronic diseases. Manish started NanoHealth while pursuing his MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB), where he was awarded the Torch Bearer title for outstanding leadership and won the prestigious Hult Prize in 2014. Manish previously worked as a business consultant with i2 Technologies (presently JDA), where he helped design business processes aimed at driving efficiency and profitability for large multinational firms.

Michele Nesbit

Co-Founder + VP of Engineering | BoxPower

Michele Nesbit is the Co-Founder and VP of Engineering at BoxPower, a company that's integrating solar microgrid systems into easy-to-deploy containers for rapid electrification and diesel generator replacement. Michele is dedicated to BoxPower's mission of increasing renewable energy accessibility to people in rural areas. She was born and raised in Grass Valley, CA, received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science at UC Berkeley, and is now married with two dogs. 

Nidhi Pant

Co-Founder | S4S Technologies

Nidhi Pant is the Co-Founder of S4S Technologies, a food preservation company that converts farm losses into value-added products by intervention of sustainable solar technology. In 2013, Nidhi's hometown suffered from a severe drought that destroyed the lives of many local residents, with her own family forced to migrate to another town. She vowed to dedicate her career towards helping farmers. S4S Technologies operates agri-entrepreneur networks in eight countries such as Kenya, Nepal and India and was the winner of DBS NUS Venture Challenge 2018.

Piyush Jain

CEO + Co-Founder | Impact Guru

Piyush Jain is the the CEO & Co-Founder  of ImpactGuru.com, a crowdfunding platform in India with a major focus on healthcare. ImpactGuru.com is India's equivalent of GoFundMe. Piyush holds an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Joseph Wharton Scholar, and a graduate degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He previously worked as an M&A investment banker with J.P.Morgan (New York, Hong Kong, and London) and management consultant with BCG and EY (Southeast Asia and India).

Ray Abel

CEO + Co-Founder | Bansen Labs

Ray Abel loves building communities and movements that make the world a better place. He began his work with the community of people with disabilities at the Muscular Dystrophy Association and continues it today by leading the business initiatives at Bansen Labs, a startup that has created an adapter to allow people with disabilities to control consumer electronics with their own assistive technology. Prior to joining the Bansen Labs team, Ray worked in non-profit for seven years and also launched his own startup with a successful pitch on ABC's Shark Tank.

Rebecca Hui

Founder | Roots Studio

Rebecca Hui is a designer, social entrepreneur, and urban planner who has spent 8 years working in the rural creative sector. She is the Founder of Roots Studio, which digitizes thousands of endangered art from tribal communities into an online library for royalty licensing. They seek to reverse appropriation into celebration, and reclaim authorship for minority voices by averaging a 5 - 20x return from the original selling price. Roots Studio has been recognized by Forbes 30 under 30, PBS, The Guardian, Echoing Green, The Unreasonable Institute, TechCrunch, WGSN, MIT Tech Review, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. Rebecca also works with the World Bank on cultural restoration for post-disaster regions, and previously designed maps to plan and predict urbanizing villages. 

Reyhan Jamalova

CEO + Founder | Rainergy

Reyhan Jamalova is the CEO & Founder of Rainergy, a rainwater energy generator built for low income families. Her passion for solving the electricity need of impoverished communities in areas with high precipitation led to the birth of this technology. Reyhan is a 17-year-old high school student and the first-ever Azerbaijani to be included on the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list for Industry, Manufacturing and Energy, and BBC 100 Women 2018.

Abbey Wemimo

Esusu

Abbey is the Co-founder of Esusu, a venture-backed company that empowers communities to save better, manage their cash flow, and build credit through a digitized rotational savings system. Growing up living paycheck to paycheck in in the slums of Lagos, Nigeria, Abbey's family was excluded from the traditional financial system and turned to rotational savings to pay for school fees and put food on the table. He understands first-hand the power of community savings, and digitized this process to make it easy for people to use. Immigrants in America often do not have robust credit profiles, and Abbey aims to build financial resilience and provide access to the marginalized.

Abe Kamarck

True Made Foods

Abe Kamarck, a Navy veteran and father of four, has been obsessed with good, real food for life. As a young parent, he tried to limit his kids' ketchup intake, explaining it was like putting candy on their burgers. He often cringed at family and community cookouts as BBQ sauce and Sriracha flowed freely. So when the opportunity arose to create True Made Foods, Abe jumped. True Made Foods brings real flavor to every meal by naturally sweetening America's favorite condiments, turning these once empty calorie staples into nutrient dense, plant-based super foods.

Eyitayo Ogunmola

Utiva

Eyitayo is the CEO of Utiva, a talent accelerator that seeks to rapidly develop Africa’s motivated young people with skill sets to transition into entry-level positions within startups and large corporations. The company is currently working with students across 25 universities. Eyitayo was jobless after graduating from school and eventually met a mentor who helped him chart a new direction. He started learning new skills and got a job in consulting in Lagos, Nigeria. He discovered that unemployment in Nigeria was not caused by a lack of jobs, but the unemployability of the youth population.

Gail Robinson

Robinson Business Solutions

Gail Robinson, Founder of Robinson Business Solutions (RBS), has extensive experience in Database Management and CRM software. With over a decade of Database Administrator experience serving local businesses and Military, RBS helps organizations reach new levels in performance and with data and processes through software implementation. 

Hitesh Toliani

Virtudent

40% of Americans can’t access basic oral healthcare. As Founder of Virtudent, Hitesh makes high-quality dental care convenient and easy to access through a combination of onsite and telemedicine technologies. As the trusted onsite dentist for Fidelity Investments, Wayfair, LogMeIn, Hubspot, and many other companies, Virtudent is able to take a portion of its proceeds to serve 5,000 children who otherwise wouldn't have access to basic oral healthcare. Hitesh a child of immigrant parents, fell into “immigration limbo” for 22 years and during this time, he lost his father, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and his family was left destitute. Fortunately, their story went viral throughout the U.S. and 35,000 people wrote to their Congressmen and Senators to help. Hitesh says that he is a pure product of generosity, and as a dentist, feels he has the ability to pay it forward.

Hyasintha Ntuyeko

Kasole Secrets LTD.

Hyasintha is the CEO and Founder at Kasole Secrets LTD., developing and distributing bamboo-made sanitary napkins. These pads are disposable, environmental friendly and free from chemicals. She also consults organizations and companies on Menstrual Hygiene Management. Although trained as a telecommunications engineer, Hyasintha started Kasole Secrets due to her own personal challenges. “My discomfort during my menses made me decide to dedicate my career as an entrepreneur to improving the menstrual experience for women and girls in Tanzania,” she says.

Jennifer Luik

Decisions Oriented Inc.

As CEO of Decisions Oriented Inc., Jen Luik hires and trains skilled decisions engineers, solution architechts and systems engineers who have a passion for learning, serving others and getting things right. Decisions Oriented Inc. delivers decision support and IT consulting services that fit within their DoD, federal, state and local government clients' environment. Collaboratively, they work with clients to clear away distractions, discover the unknown-unknowns and create solutions that provide actionable insights for essential next steps. 

Mark Casper

Tech For Troops

Mark Casper is a United States Marine Corps veteran and the President and Executive Director at Tech for Troops, dedicated to empowering Veterans with computers, skills, and Information Technology (IT) work force training. Tech For Troops provides veterans and the children of veterans in-need with free computers, and in house hands-on essential computer training to help them start new careers. They only hire veterans, help them to connect with employers, keep usable computers out of the landfill, and recycle electronics in an environmentally sustainable way. Companies ranging from Fortune 500s to small local businesses make this possible by donations of funds, computers, needed infrastructure, and volunteers.

Mark Mhley

Re4ormed LLC

Mark is the Founder and CEO of Re4ormed LLC, a service-disabled veteran-owned business based in Annapolis, Maryland that serves the ecosystem of veteran-owned and military-spouse-owned businesses. Their vision is to create a nationwide enterprise that connects veteran-owned and military-spouse-owned businesses, corporate partners, and municipalities to deliver mutual support, development assistance, and affordable, core tools to those entrepreneurs, enabling them to succeed. Mark is a retired Naval Officer and Aviator who spent nearly 22 years in uniform, flying the F-14 and F/A-18F, working for the Naval Special Warfare community, and instructing at the U.S.Naval Academy. 

Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter

IMPAQTO

Michelle is the CEO and Co-founder of IMPAQTO, a network of social innovation spaces in emerging cities in Latin America. A new generation of change agents are seeking to build a new, sustainable economic model, but the mortality rate for most startup businesses on the continent is exceptionally high due to lack of access to capital, high rents, low social mobility, and gender-based obstacles. IMPAQTO assists Latin American entrepreneurs by providing co-working spaces, business acceleration programs, and social innovation consulting. In addition, IMPAQTO Network & Consulting serves leading public and private sector organizations, such as Nestlé and the City of Quito, thereby helping to sponsor scholarships for entrepreneurs in incubation programs.

Mike Leffer

Squadra Ventures

Mike is Principal of Squadra Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm led by founder-operators that invests in enterprise software that drives value — efficiency, security, top-line revenue — located in the Mid-Atlantic and other emerging technology hubs. He is a mission-driven investor, advisor, founder and former Army officer. Mike is passionate about making the world a safer place, improving the purpose, quality and attainability of work, and driving quantifiable value to enterprises. He is focused on helping founders take their companies from zero to one, by learning from pattern recognition and activating and fostering real connections. 

Kevin Gibbons

Health Access Connect

Kevin is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Health Access Connect, a nonprofit that links Ugandans living in remote areas with healthcare resources. Through its Medicycles program, Health Access Connect uses micro-financed motorcycles to transport health workers to outreach clinics, where they focus on anti-retroviral treatment, HIV testing, antenatal care, family planning, and other essential health services. Kevin joined the US Peace Corps as a volunteer after graduating from college in the US. He lived in the Philippines for three years, working for a small forest conservation nonprofit in remote communities and was happiest working toward a goal greater than himself. Later, when traveling to Uganda to conduct Master’s research, Kevin noticed that people kept mentioning the lack of access to healthcare. He decided that there must be a way to get the free, life-saving healthcare offered just a few miles away to people in more remote areas.

Laura Renner

Freedom Makers

Laura is the Founder of Freedom Makers Virtual Assistant Services, which provides military spouses as virtual assistants to small business owners. She developed this idea after coming across many businesses that needed part-time help, and with the knowedge that military spouses struggle to build careers due to constant relocation. Laura is veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Neha Arora

Planet Abled

Neha is the Founder of Planet Abled, providing inclusive travel solutions to people of all disabilities. Neha herself wasn't able to travel much growing up as a child with two disabled parents - this was her inspiration to start Planet Abled. People with disabilities and senior citizens are often apprehensive of traveling in India because they are at a loss of information about accessibility, but Planet Abled strives to break that barrier. One can travel solo, with family, as an institution or organization or join a group tour at over 35 destinations across the Indian subcontinent. The organization was recently named one of the best innovative practices by the Zero Project Conference at the United Nations.

 

Nick Karnaze

Stubble & 'Stache

Nick's former bunkmate in the same Marine Corps special operations unit was killed while conducting combat operations in Northwest Afghanistan. It’s common for members of the special operations community to grow beards while deployed. As a coping mechanism, Nick grew out his beard for his friend's funeral. As Nick's beard grew, he was quickly reminded of how itchy and abrasive facial hair can become. That's when Stubble & 'Stache was born - an all natural, premium skincare and beard product line for men. They donate a portion of profits to charities supporting our wounded heroes and their families, with particular interest in organizations combating post-traumatic stress, depression, and other mental wounds.

Sharon Cummings

Own My Anger (OMA) Wellness

Sharon is the Founder of Own My Anger (OMA) Wellness, focused on helping people recognize and self-manage personal triggers. From school aged youth to public service workers, Sharon has touched the lives of many. Ultimately, her desire is to help in building safe, self-sustainable communities with strong educational foundations. OMA offers a unique approach to anger management. They focus on peeling back the layers to identify the source of internal conflict. Their cognitive reassignment, holistic, and artistic tools help our clients to reclaim personal empowerment. Sharon is a disabled veteran of the U.S. Army, mentor and advocate for the underserved.

Tonee Ndungu

Kytabu

Tonee is the Founder and CIO of Kytabu, an education technology company that provides students in Kenya with affordable access to required textbooks via their mobile devices. With an increase in access to both devices and data connectivity, more students are looking for technology solutions to access learning content. Kytabu has influenced the Kenyan government to pursue a digital policy that allows devices in schools.Tonee grew up dyslexic and with ADHD, so he knows from first-hand experience the challenges students in the Kenyan education system face in accessing affordable, relevant and relatable content. He hopes to scale this technology to a country-wide level in order to improve education for the young people of his country.

Toni Staten

Carael Group

Toni is the Founder and CEO of Carael Group, LLC, a mental health and substance abuse private practice located in Rockville, MD. Due to an increase in violence and trauma that young adults are exposed to at earlier ages, today’s college students experience a plethora of complex issues ranging from anxiety, depression and substance abuse at alarming rates. Carael Group, LLC’s mission is to address these unique needs and help them reach the goal of Creating A Renewed And Empowered Life through therapy and coaching. Toni is a veteran of the US Air Force Reserves.

Vaibhav Lodha

Ftcash

Vaibhav is the Co-founder of Ftcash, one of India’s fastest-growing financial technology ventures, converts cash to digital payments and provides pre-approved advances and loans that can be disbursed at the click of a button. After a successful launch in India in 2015, the company was incubated by PayPal and accelerated by MasterCard. By enabling small businesses to accept electronic payments, ftcash empowers lower and middle class individuals, giving more people access to better health, education, and nutrition.

Allyson Baker

Executive Director, Human Universal Health Institute

Allyson Baker, BS in Marketing from University of Utah, Master’s in Education from University of Colorado, and ACIMD board certified Holistic Health Practitioner, is the respected, visionary Co-Founder and Executive Director of HUH Institute, a sustainable, biologically-sound, integrated health and community education center, home to BioDentist, BioVital, BioLogic 501©3, HUE Center. Allyson, in partnership with Dr. John Augspurger, BioDentist has co-created a vibrant, pioneering, community health and education center, showcasing international and local professionals in biological medicine, bio-dentistry, and learning arts, all in a nature-centric space.

Daniela Grigioni

Executive Director, After School All Stars

Daniela Grigioni began working as the Executive Director of After-School All-Stars DC in December 2015. She started at DCPS in 1994 in the Office of Bilingual Education working with bilingual population and later went on to be the project manager of a systemwide federal grant. In 2006, Daniela transitioned to a charter school, Briya, as project manager and compliance officer. In 2008, Daniela joined the Office of Out-of- School Time Programs (DCPS) to manage partnerships for afterschool services, going from program manager to the Interim Director position. Building relevant partnerships became her passion as only by providing equitable services youth in DC can receive the same opportunities to become successful Adults. Daniela was born in Rome, Italy. She holds a medical degree and came to the United States with her family in 1989, living in DC since with her family.

Danny Weissberg

CEO & Co-Founder, Voiceitt

Danny Weissberg is an executive and serial entrepreneur with international experience in the healthcare AI and voice technology sectors, and proven ability to accelerate business and technology innovations from concept to commercialisation. Mr. Weissberg draws on his background in sophisticated technology development and delivery of digital health solutions to drive startup growth. Mr. Weissberg is a Coordinator of Horizon 2020 projects including SME Instrument Phases I and II, and an awardee of over €4M in non-dilutive funding, and €15M in total funding including Microsoft and Amazon. He has served as evaluator for and mentor of early stage startups in several social impact incubator and accelerator programs, including the 8200 Impact Accelerator, “Hakaveret” Social Program, and the A3i Social Accelerator. Since 2012, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Voiceitt, a venture-backed digital health startup employing AI to develop speech recognition algorithms that recognize and translate impaired speech patterns.

Dan Caporale

Chairman & Founder, Hire Our Heroes

Dan Caporale is the Chairman and Founder of Hire Our Heroes (HOH), a not-for-profit organization founded by veterans for veterans. It’s mission: to empower veterans and employers with the knowledge, skills, and innovative tools necessary to optimize a strategic workforce, while taking a National approach to lowering Veteran unemployment and under employment. Additionally, Dan is the founder of ​HireOurHeroes.com​, Americas #1 veteran job board. For over 25 years, Dan Caporale has stood as an advocate of America’s servicemen and women. His dedication to our nation’s active duty defenders and veterans has become a tireless crusade of support, service and gratitude to all those who have served before him to protect our freedom and serve our country. A proven leader and Marine Corps veteran, Dan was a Sergeant with experience in multiple disciplines with his primary experience as a Satellite Communications Specialist in the United States Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve.

David Wolf

Executive Director, Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington

Rev. David B. Wolf, Executive Director of Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington (SMGW) since 2012, has served and lived in urban, multicultural environments for many years.  Through its Next Step Program, SMGW provides a robust offering of services for homeless, unemployed and other participants committed to making significant changes in their lives and includes the rigorous STRIVE job readiness training course that makes SMGW an affiliate of STRIVE International. The ministry is a partnership of almost 60 congregations and schools throughout the Greater Washington area. David holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), a law degree from George Washington University Law School, and a B.A. in Philosophy form Bates College in Maine.

Doniece Sandoval

Founder & CEO, Lava Mae

Doniece is the founder of Lava Mae, a nonprofit that began by converting buses into showers and toilets on wheels for the homeless. Driven by a fierce belief everyone has the right to ben clean, she launched Lava Mae after learning about the appalling lack of access to hygiene available to people experiencing homelessness. Her work has created a ripple effect, touching the lives of 30,000 Californians and inspiring 136+ similar programs around the globe. Doniece credits Lava Mae’s international visibility to its focus on dignity and Radical Hospitality.  A 2019 Social Entrepreneur in Residence Fellow at Stanford, 2017 CNN Hero and 2016 KIND People Award recipient, she’ most proud of the moniker given to her by her 12-year old daughter who calls her a Homeless Superhero.  

 

Donna Childs

Founder & CEO, Prisere

Donna Childs is the founder of Prisere LLC, a business that builds capacity for climate and disaster risk resilience. Prior to founding Prisere, Donna was a director and member of senior management of the Swiss Reinsurance Company. Donna serves as an advisor to the climate change lab of the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. She has delivered projects for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. This past year, she has led climate and disaster risk projects in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Turkey. Donna’s expertise in climate and disaster risk resilience has been recognized by major news media, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Emi Kyota

President & CEO, Ibasho

As an environmental gerontologist, Dr. Emi Kiyota, based in Washington, DC, focuses on improving both the built environment and the organizational culture of long term care for elders. Inspired by living in a nursing home during her graduate studies, Kiyota has become an expert on age-friendly housing, hospitals, and clinical care centers in the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa and frequently speaks on these issues at international gatherings. In 2010, she founded Ibasho, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable communities that value their elders, embodying the Japanese concept of “a place where one feels at home being oneself.” Through her work, she continues working to create a shared future for elders internationally in which aging is something not to fear but to enjoy as a valued community member. Her vision is to provide elders with a range of opportunities to contribute to the whole community. She is president and CEO of Ibasho, as well as serving on the board of directors of International Homes and Services of Aging. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design in Harvard University in 2017, and a Rockefeller Bellagio residency fellowship in 2011.

Enrique Young

Founder & CEO, FEBA, Inc.

Enrique Young is the Founder and CEO of ​FEBA, Inc​. Dba FEBA Security Services, providing armed and unarmed security guard, event staffing and security consulting services to federal, state and commercial clients. With its headquarters in Largo, Maryland, FEBA Security Services is certified as a Service Disable Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) in the state of Maryland. Before his current position with FEBA, Inc., Mr. Young honorably served more than 29 years of military service and retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is a General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award recipient, Pentagon inductee 1999. This award is given to a mid-level management officer who demonstrated the highest degree of military leadership amongst all peers nationwide to include overseas. Mr. Young served a host of military assignments as a Military Police Officer both home and abroad to include two combat tours as an embedded trainer, Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2008. 

Fred Barnes

Founder & CEO, TAC Integrated Solutions

Fred Barnes is Founder and CEO of ​TAC Integrated Solutions​, an IT and Professional Services firm specializing in protecting critical information (enterprise & network defense) and empowering information discovery (analysis) in support of customers in the Defense, Intelligence, and National Security markets. Prior to this role, Mr. Barnes was a Supervisory Special Agent with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service [NCIS]. During his tenure as a Special Agent, Mr. Barnes’ primary responsibility was identifying and neutralizing foreign enemy threats to the Naval Aviation Enterprise. Mr. Barnes was a key architect in the establishment of a government – industry partnership with manufacturers and/or exporters of strategic technology and components to prevent sensitive U.S. technologies and weapons systems from being inappropriately acquired by foreign adversaries. During one of his “classified missions”, Mr. Barnes appeared in a brief non-speaking cameo appearance on the CBS Series of NCIS, Season 5, Episode 4. Mr. Barnes served in the Active Duty US Navy as a Cryptologic Technician (Collection).

Gayatri Datar

Co-Founder & CEO, EarthEnable

Gayatri Datar is the CEO and Co-Founder of EarthEnable, a social enterprise that aims to make living conditions healthier for the world’s poor. While in business school in 2013, she took a design school class that sent her to Rwanda with the goal of finding a way to make the rural home healthier. She and her team were struck by the challenges of dirt floors for families in Rwanda as they were breeding ground for pathogens, parasites, and bacteria, not to mention incredibly uncomfortable to live on. The team decided to focus on finding a more affordable and more environmentally sustainable alternative to concrete, and discovered earthen flooring. Earthen floors are a niche design trend in the US, made of compacted earth and sealed with a drying oil. The team tested this type of floor in Rwanda, and the results were amazing. Thus, EarthEnable was born. Previously, Gayatri served as a  Senior Consultant at Dalberg Global Development Advisors, where she focused on social entrepreneurship, energy access, and agriculture. She holds a Bachelor’s degree of Arts in Economics from Harvard College, a Master’s degree in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Gulika Reddy

Founder & Director, Schools of Equality

Gulika is a human rights lawyer and the Founder & Director of Schools of Equality, a non-profit that runs activity-based programs in schools with the aim to shift social attitudes that perpetuate gender-based violence and other forms of identity-based discrimination. She has worked with lawyers, non-profits and academic institutions to prevent and respond to gender-based violence by representing women in court, conducting rights awareness, sensitization programs and working towards mainstreaming human rights education. She is currently a Dubin Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and was a Human Rights Fellow at Columbia Law School. In 2016, Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute awarded her a Commendation for Leadership and Commitment in Human Rights, and the World Economic Forum named her one of the Davos 50. She was also recognized with the TalentNomics Global

Dr. Iffat Aga

Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer, Sehat Kahani

Dr. Iffat Zafar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sehat Kahani, an e-health company in Pakistan working on improving health care in communities through a spectrum of services focused on primary health care consultation, health awareness and health counseling utilizing ICT enabled platforms. She is currently doing her Masters in Global E-Health from University of Edinburgh through a Commonwealth Scholarship. Dr. Iffat was a mentor for the GIST Tech-I Applicants 2017-18, and is also working as a mentor for Cherie Blair Foundation. She is a 2016 Alumni of USAID TFP Program,  MIT Sloan School of Management (for Entrepreneurship Development) and SPRING Accelerator Cohort 2 (2017).

Dustin M. Haggett

Founder & Board Director, Impact Hub Salt Lake and Veterans Stand United

Dustin M. Haggett is Founder and Board Director of ​Impact Hub Salt Lake​. Impact Hub provides Utah’s entrepreneurs, investors, and freelance professionals a dedicated space to connect and co-create ventures that benefit the community and world at large. Impact Hub was founded in London in 2005 and is part of a larger, global community of more than 20,000 change makers spanning six continents who collaborate on enterprising ideas for a better world. In addition to Dustin’s role at Impact Hub, he serves as Board Director and Vice President at Warrior Rising, a start-up accelerator for US Veterans; serves on the real estate development team at Summit Powder Mountain--working to build a next-generation alpine town and innovation zone; develops partnerships and programming at Summit Institute; and is Founder at ​Veterans Stand United​, an organization that connects active and former military volunteers with human-rights NGOs around the world. Outside of his business endeavors Dustin served in the U.S. Army as a reservist for eight years and is a combat veteran of the Iraq War.

Immaculate Bih

Founder & CEO, ICON

Tim Immaculate Bih is a civil engineer, CEO/Founder of ICON Co. Ltd and passionate about reaching infrastructure challenges in Cameroon. She has revitalized over 50 classrooms and 40 Ventilated Improved Pit toilets in her community and is currently working to supply affordable homes in Cameroon. Immaculate has participated in five international accelerator programs and has the ability to build relationships, embody personal values and act with integrity. Being raised in a community with the stereotype that linked masculinity to engineering, she overcame these challenges and is currently volunteering in raising awareness on STEM education for girls in her community. She won the 2017 Regional/Country Award for Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business in the Building and Construction sector.

Jean Bosco

CEO, Habona LTD.

Jean Bosco Nzeyimana is the Founder and CEO of HABONA Ltd, a company that produces affordable and environmentally friendly fuels in form of biomass briquettes and fertilizers from waste. Under his leadership, Habona’s offerings have reached over 1500 people, and 25 permanent jobs have been created. Jean Bosco is also the Co-Founder and Director of Strategy of Kitabi Ecocenter – a new joint venture his company organized in partnership with local residents around Nyungwe National Park. The joint venture aims to uplift the livelihood of communities around the park through ecotourism and biodiversity conservation. His initiatives awarded Jean Bosco several accolades such as hosting a panel with the former U.S. President Obama, and winning the 2014 Rwanda top young innovator prize.

Jessica Johnson

Founder and Executive Director, Scholarship Academy

Jessica Johnson is a Howard University graduate and recipient of over $200,000 in scholarships. As the Founder and Executive Director of The Scholarship Academy, she has spent the last decade serving as a family scholarship consultant and travels throughout the country conducting scholarship workshops for organizations such as The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), The U.S. Department of Labor, The New York Urban League and the National Center of Philanthropy. Jessica is author of The Scholarship Workbook: A 3-Step Guide Scholarship Tutorial. Because of her commitment to helping students pursue debt-free degrees, Jessica has received numerous awards: Inaugural Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow, the NAACP's Entrepreneur of the Month, Ebony Magazine’s Educate Young Minds Award, Root Magazine’s Top 100 Emerging Leaders, and the Center for Financial Enterprise Development’s Innovative College Access Champion Award. She has been featured on Ebony.com, Black Enterprise, the Black Issues in Higher Education Magazine, the NAACP Crisis Magazine and on the cover of React magazine.

Joe Wynn

President + CEO | The Vets Group

Joe Wynn founded ​The Vets Group​ in 2004, as a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. for Veterans to achieve economic empowerment through Education, Training & Entrepreneurship. In 2010, Joe established the ​Vets Group Training Academy​ that offers occupational skills training for high demand occupations in the Information Technology (IT) industry for veterans, their families and persons of limited means. As a veterans advocate, Joe holds over 20 years of combined service, including National Vice-Commander and Legislative Liaison on Capitol Hill for the National Association for Black Veterans; Special Advisor to the Director of Government Relations, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA); Executive Committee for the Veterans Entrepreneurship Task Force (VET-Force); D.C. Mayor’s Veterans Advisory Board; NAACP National Veterans Affairs Committee; and the US Veterans Chamber of Commerce. Joe is a US Air Force and Vietnam-Era Veteran; serving with the 66th Strategic Missile Flight Squadron stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base South Dakota and received an Honorable Discharge.

Juliana Cardona Mejia

Founder + CEO | Street Entrepreneurs

Juliana Cardona Mejia, is an inquisitive, passionate, and creative thinker that is eternally iterating community solutions to drive action and impact. In 2015 she founded Street Entrepreneurs (SE), an inclusive accelerator. SE connects entrepreneurs to human, social and economic capital via workshops, a talent exchange and a showcase. Prior to establishing SE, Juliana had over 10 years of experience volunteering with disadvantaged, low-income and marginalized populations in over five countries and with over 20 grassroots organizations. She is a Global Good Fellow and is committed to localized impact.

Kelly Orians

Co-Founder | Rising Foundations

Kelly Orians is the co-founder of Rising Foundations, an organization that works to stop the cycle of incarceration through community economic development.  Kelly started her career advocating for prisoner’s rights at The Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana (JJPL) managing a statewide campaign to End Life Without Parole Sentencing for Juveniles (JLWOP). She worked on the legal team that secured the release of the first two people in the country under the US Supreme Court ruling in Graham v. Florida, which declared JLWOP sentences unconstitutional in non-homicide cases. After nearly half a century in prison, those men were released in the middle of the night from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Kelly met them at the front gates that night, drove them home, and personally guided them through their transition. It was during these very exciting (albeit uncertain) weeks that Kelly launched her first “communal loan fund,” raising and dispersing zero interest loans to her clients to assist them with meeting the demands of their reentry process. With this mission in mind, Kelly enrolled at UCLA where she specialized in Public Interest Law and Policy, Critical Race Studies and Business Law and Policy. While at UCLA, Kelly was published in the National Black Law Journal, where she addressed persistent barriers to financial security for formerly incarcerated people. In 2015 Kelly was awarded the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship to launch Rising Foundations. Kelly is currently the Co-Director of The First 72+ and Adjunct Professor at Bard College.

Makeda Ricketts

CEO + Founder | Pink Think

Makeda Ricketts founded PinkThink because of her frustration with trying to find educational toys for her younger sister. PinkThink makes cStyle Bracelets, an innovative wearable that teaches girls coding skills. As CEO of PinkThink, Makeda has received numerous awards for her work, including earning title of Maker of the Year by the International Alley Awards and being selected by Chicago Scholars as one of the 35 Under 35 Impactful Leaders. She has also been in the Huffington Post, Forbes and other national publications, and was recognized by Chicago Woman Magazine as a 2016 “Woman to Watch." Makeda earned a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Rose Wang

Co-Founder | Chirps

Rose is the Co-Founder of Chirps, a company that is bringing sustainable and nutritious insect protein to the mainstream. She is a Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneur, Shark Tank survivor, ELLE USA Impact Award winner, Echoing Green climate fellow, MassChallenge Gold Winner, Harvard Dean's Design Challenge winner, BHSI fellow, Global Good Fund fellow, and TEDx speaker. Rose previously worked in strategy and marketing at Abercrombie and Microsoft. She also has a passion for education and sits on the board of an education non-profit, Wema Inc., in Kenya. Rose is a graduate of Harvard College. Rose is currently the Head of Customer Experience at Forethought.

Scott Austin Key

Co-Founder | Emergency Floor

Scott Austin Key is co-founder of Good Works Studio, the creative force behind Emergency Floor. What started as a student research project at the Rice School of Architecture is now a quickly scaling solution that addresses many of the deplorable conditions millions of refugees suffer through on a daily basis. A recipient of the Design Futures Council Emerging Leader Award and a USAID DIV grantee, Scott continually pushes his enterprise towards growing impact, self-sustaining sales and a diverse portfolio of innovative shelter-related provisions. He is now the Founder and CEO of Every Shelter.

Kimberly Lewis

President + CEO | Goodwill Industries of East Texas

Kimberly B. Lewis is the President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of East Texas and has more than 17 years of executive level experience.In addition to being a 2018 Global Good Diana Davis Spencer Fellow, her leadership has led her organization to be awarded the 2017 Center of Excellence Award from Goodwill Industries International and the 2017 Impact Award from the East Texas Human Needs Network. In 2018, she launched GoodTech Academy to train adults age 50 and older for the CompTIA A+ certification. Graduates will be placed in jobs with business partners or internally with Goodwill’s managed IT service – GoodTech Services. Her goal is to even the playing field for older adults and narrow the digital divide.

Kiron Chandy

Co-Founder + CEO | Consult Your Community

After witnessing the turnover of small businesses surrounding her college campus and seeing the impact young people were making as startup founders in Silicon Valley, Kiron saw an opportunity to co-found Consult Your Community, a nonprofit that now empowers over 300+ student volunteers to provide pro bono consulting services to small businesses in over 15 college communities across America. An avid reader and writer, she spends her spare time writing about young community builders in the Huffington Post, where she was invited to blog after cold emailing Arianna Huffington. Kiron graduated with Distinction from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business and a B.A. in French. She started her career at PwC as a management consultant working primarily for healthcare clients.

Molly Matthews

Founder + CEO | Job IQ

Molly is a serial entrepreneur who likes to write, draw, dance, and share storytelling. In her book, Job-IQ Stories: Mistakes, Miracles, and Meaningful Work, she tells about building a successful health marketing company. She likes to inspire others to dream and create soul-full, authentic, and engaging life work. A baby boomer, Molly has climbed the career ladder and now wants to enjoy the view without falling off or losing the chance to bring value, work hard, and participate in community. She’s a fan of generations learning from one another. Molly is CEO of Job-IQ, and recently developed a mobile phone app that provides Career Development in Your Pocket.

Phillip Scott

Owner & Operator, Jetseal Inc.

Phillip Scott is a Navy Veteran and Entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience specializing in diversified areas such as General Contracting, Business Management, Firefighting and Emergency Medical Services. In 1991, Phillip joined The US Navy as a Damage Controlman on The USS Harlan County. He was with a small division of sailors that oversaw training and work necessary for damage control, ship stability, firefighting, and CBR warfare defense. Phillip is also a 20 year Professional in the Baltimore City Fire Department and is committed to helping protect the community from disaster situations, including house and building fires, along with promoting an environment of public safety within the City of Baltimore. Phillip is the Owner and Operator of Jetseal Inc. an Asphalt Maintenance Company which provides services to prolong and protect asphalt driveways and parking lots. These services include but not limited to sealcoating, striping, and crack filling. Over the years he has been very successful in building a reputable company with the increasing desire and drive to expand the business to the next level.

Sam Nasserian

Founder + CEO | Cozymeal

Sam Nasserian is the founder & CEO of Cozymeal, the leading U.S. platform connecting guests with local, professional chefs through cooking classes and team-building experiences. While providing customers with easy access to top chefs, Cozymeal is a meaningful source of income for chefs by offering better lifestyle than the traditional restaurant business. A significant portion of Cozymeal's chefs are at the age of 50+ years. An online marketplace and sharing economy veteran, Sam has a long track record of successfully launching and growing online businesses. Sam has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics and Management from RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and Stanford University.

Noah Wilson-Rich

Founder + CEO | The Best Bees Company

Noah Wilson-Rich, Ph.D. is a biologist / professor / NYTimes, LATimes, and National Geographic contributor / two-time TEDx speaker / beekeeper / uncle.  He has 20 academic publications with Harvard, Tufts, MIT, and Northeastern. Noah is founder and CEO of The Best Bees Company, a beekeeping service that installs and manages beehives for home gardens and city rooftops nationwide. He partnered his book tour for The Bee: A Natural History (Princeton) with the company’s expansion across nine cities, meeting with and hiring local beekeepers along the way. Noah earned his Ph.D. in biology from Tufts University in 2011. Best Bees proceeds fund research at the Urban Beekeeping Laboratory and Bee Sanctuary, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 

Veronika Scott

Founder + CEO | The Empowerment Plan

Founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, an organization around a single idea: to design a coat for homeless people made by the formerly homeless, Veronika Scott has transformed countless lives through her empowering social entrepreneurship. Self-heated and waterproof, the trademark coat doubles as a sleeping bag at night. This coat has changed workforce development and has evolved into a system of ending generational poverty through employment. Veronika is a CNN Hero and the youngest recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award from the JFK Library Foundation and Harvard University. She has been named one of CNN’s Ten Visionary Women in the World and in 2015 achieved Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur.

BAILLIE AARON

Founder | Spark Inside

Baillie is the founder of Spark Inside, a London-based charity pioneering the use of professional coaching in prisons to promote rehabilitation and desistance from crime. Spark Inside has coached over 400 participants through its two programmes, The Hero’s Journey and systems coaching. In 2016, it was shortlisted for the Charity Times Awards Best New Charity. Previously, Baillie founded the US non-profit Venturing Out, providing entrepreneurship education to people in prison. Baillie holds a BA from Harvard College and M.Phil from the University of Cambridge. She is a UK Ministry of Justice Policy Fellow "At Large," TEDx speaker, and member of the World Economic Forum community of Global Shapers. Baillie is now the founder of Principled Leadership and is a coach, poet, and writer.

GUILHERME BRAGA

Founder + CEO | Egalitê

Guilherme Braga graduated with a degree in law from PUCRS and with an MBA from FGV (Fundação Getúlio Vargas). Guilherme worked at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) as commercial coordinator and was responsible for the trainee program. He left AmCham to work at Perto S/A as an export account manager and was responsible for opening new markets outside of Brazil. In that role, Guilherme gained experience with clients from Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, India, Germany, South Africa and the USA. Guilherme left Perto S/A in 2009 to found Egalitê where he is the CEO. Egalite is a company that specializes in the recruitment of persons with disabilities (PWD). In Brazil there is a law that requires companies over 100 employees to include 2 - 5% of PWD in their workforces. To accomplish this inclusion requirement, Egalite prepares, recruits and evaluates PWD candidates. The preparation occurs through free online courses adapted to PWD. The evaluation takes place through a behavioral profile test. With this assessment, Egalitê syncs the best job for the applicant with the appropriate job opportunity. An algorithm calculates the best opportunity for each candidate, based on geo-location, education, salary requirements, practice area and behavioral profile.

 

CHARLENE BROWN, MD, MPH

CEO + Founder | Caregiver Jobs Now

Charlene, the CEO of Caregiver Jobs Now, knows first-hand the importance of in-home care in preventing adverse outcomes for seniors. Recognizing both the unmet needs in home care and the underemployment within the aging caregiver workforce, Charlene founded Caregiver Jobs Now as a natural extension of her preventive medicine career. Her public health mindset combined with the personal and compelling experiences of her loved ones working in home care inspired her to make a difference. She strives to build bridges between home care agencies and caregivers tosupport the increased access to employment opportunities. Charlene is a graduate of Princeton University, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health. She is Board-certified in the medical specialty of public health and general preventive medicine and has more than fifteen years of experience addressing public health problems faced by people living in resource-poor settings.  She served as a Medical Officer at USAID and as the Deputy Commissioner at the Baltimore City Health Department.

SARAH BURGAUD

CALSO

As Chief Operating Officer of CALSO, Sarah leads the development of CALSO’s programs in the U.S. In 2014, Sarah moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to launch CALSO Community, Inc. with Nicolas Hazard. Prior to her work with CALSO,Sarah worked at Le Comptoir de l'Innovation, a social enterprise supporting the new generation of entrepreneurs through impact investing and accelerator programs. She was an investment officer and then moved to an international business development position, developing projects in North Africa, North America and India. Prior to her work in the social entrepreneurship sector, Sarah worked as a microfinance investment officer in France and as an Export and Project Finance Analyst in India for BNP Paribas Group. She has an education in Politics, Economics and Finance. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics, Economics and Social Sciences and a Master’s degree in Finance and Strategic Management from Sciences Po, Paris (Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris).

BRITTANY DÉJEAN

Founder | AbleThrive

Brittany Déjean is founder and executive director of AbleThrive, a social enterprise featuring a one-stop platform of curated and customized resources for living well with a disability. Brittany's dad was paralyzed in a car accident when she was 12 years old and after seeing it's possible to live well with a disability, she has dedicated her life to making it possible for others and spreading a message of empathy that bridges between people with and without disabilities. A 2008 Harvard University graduate, Brittany has also worked with disability communities in five countries, giving her a sense of the common challenges faced globally. She specializes in building allies for people with disabilities by debunking misconceptions associated with disability to foster a more inclusive society. Brittany is currently a Diversity & Belongings Accessibility Partner at Airbnb.

ANDREA ESCOBAR-HOYOS

Executive Director | Soydoy

Andrea was born in Manizales, a small town in the coffee zone of Central Columbia.  She studied architecture and later moved to Bogota, where she studied planning and development management. She has dedicated her life to the social sector with specific focus on the creation of youth leadership organizations.  In 2008, she co-founded Soydoy, an organization in charge of working to improve the food security indexes in Colombia through productive projects. SoyDoy has impacted the lives of of more than 15,000 beneficiaries in 12 states through 43 Nutrientrepreneurships.

FRANCESCA FEDELI

Founder | Fight The Stroke

Francesca’s been a Senior MarCom professional for more than 15 years, with experiences in highly competitive environments, from FMCG to Premium Financial Services and Online Banking. Following her baby’s birth, she became a social activist and self-described as a "brain enthusiast." This newfound passion led to her creation of Fight The Stroke, which focuses on supporting causes related to young stroke survivors. She has been a successful TED speaker, a proud Eisenhower Fellow on Innovation (2014), the First Ashoka Fellow in Italy (2015) and has served as a TEDMED Ambassador since 2014. Se describes herself as perpetually curious, highly committed, energetic, and dedicated to thinking critically about solutions to social and health problems that leverage innovative technology-based resources. Her latest product, coupling neuroscience discoveries and artificial intelligence technology, is www.mirrorable.org.

RYAN GERSAVA

Founder + President | Virtualahan

Ryan is the founder of Virtualahan, a social enterprise in the Philippines that trains and employs People with Disabilities (PWDs) to work online as remote employees for digital businesses around the world. Using technology, Virtualahan is breaking down employment barriers for People with Disabilities and lifting people out of poverty. Ryan founded Virtualahan in 2015 after being rejected from jobs as a medical laboratory scientist because of his medical condition. To date, Virtualahan has served 127 people with a 74% employment rate located in more than 20 cities all over the Philippines. By using technology for good, Virtualahan has won the Outstanding Tech Visionary Award by Lenovo and Google Business Group's 2017 "Story Search" contest. Ryan is dedicated to creating inclusive, sustainable and meaningful employment opportunities.

SAMIR GOEL

Co-Founder | Transfernation

Samir is a social entrepreneur, writer, and connector committed to bridging the public and private sectors by bringing together diverse communities to solve the globes biggest challenges. In 2015, Samir Co-Founded Esusu, a platform that leverages community-based savings to empower users to better save their income, access larger amounts of capital, and build credit when denied financial access. Prior to Esusu, Samir co-founded and remains the Chair of Transfernation, a nationally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit which uses technology to ensure excess food from events goes toward underserved communities across New York City. To date, Transfernation has rescued over 40,000 thousand pounds of food and impacted 25,000 lives. In addition to his work as a social entrepreneur, Samir is a Business Leadership Associate at LinkedIn where he spends his time creating economy opportunity for underserved communities. During his time at LinkedIn, Samir has spent time working in Customer Success, Talent Acquisition, Customer Operations, and is in transition to a new role in Dublin as part of the Sales Operations Team focused on Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Previously Samir worked at The United Nations, Venture for America, and consulted for various small non-profits and startups. In addition, Samir is an avid writer, who frequently contributes for LinkedIn, The Muse, Startup Grind, Mogul, and Quartz on social justice, career search, and entrepreneurship. In the future, Samir plans to continue finding ways to bridge the global opportunity gap and create equitable systems.

Zak Kaufman

Co-Founder + CEO | Vera Solutions

Zak is Co-Founder and CEO of Vera Solutions, a social enterprise helping social sector organizations around the world use cloud and mobile technology to better track impact and streamline operations. Since 2010, Vera has worked with over 290 organizations in 50 countries. Zak has worked at the intersection of the social sector and technology for 12 years, leading public health program evaluations in Latin America and Southern Africa and architecting data systems for dozens of funders and implementers. Zak holds a PhD and MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dartmouth College. In addition to the GGF Fellowship, he has been recognized as a Marshall Scholar, Harry S. Truman Scholar, Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur, Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellow, and with Dartmouth's MLK Social Justice Award for Ongoing Leadership. Vera has additionally been recognized through Echoing Green and Rainer Arnhold Fellowships, in the B Lab Best For The World 2017-2019 lists, as one of Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 30 Startups to Watch, and by Real Leaders Magazine as one of 2019's Top 100 Impact Companies.

TOM MCDOUGALL

Founder + CEO | 4P Foods

Tom was born and raised in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York State.  He grew to love the rolling country, and learned to question the suburban sprawl that took over one cow pasture after another around his childhood home.  After moving to DC and reading one too many Michael Pollan books, he found himself on a life-changing path of working towards food systems change.  He is the founder of 4P Foods, a benefit corporation that works with over 100 local farms, delivering their sustainably produced food to customers in and around DC. The goal is to use food as a tool to create a more equitable, socially just and sustainable food system of tomorrow. Tom is a fierce advocate for True Cost Accounting as a resource to change the conversation around what, ultimately, is the true purpose of business. His personal favorite vegetable?  Kohlrabi.

PHIL MICHAELS

Co-Founder + CEO | Tembo

Phil Michaels has a dual MBA / MS in Marketing from The University of Tampa and currently sits on the Leadership Board of the HIVE at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He is the co-founder and CEO of Tembo Education and was recently published in Forbes magazine among the top 30 Social Entrepreneurs Under the age of 30. His social enterprise, Tembo, educates 0-6 year old children around the world, via text messages. Out of 22,000 teams, Tembo was one of six finalists in Bill Clinton's $1 million Hult Prize. They were the only finalist from the USA and defeated all eight Ivy League universities. Recently, the owner of the Boston Red Sox recently presented Tembo with the Social Impact Award because they are now launching in developed nations and soon to launch in Mexico. Tembo believes education is the most powerful weapon to change the world and they will do so by making a quality early-childhood education more accessible and affordable to millions of children worldwide.

ABHISHEK MISHRA

Co-Founder + COO | Nabet India

Abhishek Mishra is the co-founder of Nabet India, an NGO that works for the empowerment of visually impaired, disabled, and/or underprivileged individuals in India.  He has developed a unique employment linked training program in the IT sector that has resulted in a regular source of livelihood for them. This technology based training program is in demand both in the industry and amongst the beneficiaries. He has mastered the use and application screen reader software programs for training his blind beneficiaries.  This knowledge has helped him to better understand the needs and difficulties of the blind in delivering IT enabled tasks. He conceptualized and created a self-sustaining model of employment generation, that has led to regular jobs for hundreds of visually impaired people.  IT companies also benefit from this program as they get a regular source of trained manpower in an attrition afflicted industry. Today, the program serves premium clients in the Telecom, Automobile, E-commerce sectors.  Buoyed by this success, Abhishek now wishes to take this program to various parts of India that will help a very large number of such untapped human resources.  An electronic and communication engineer by profession, Abhishek earlier worked for Alcatel Lucent and carried out various communication related infrastructural development project both in Delhi and across India.

Cynthia Mene

Co-Founder + CEO | Inspire Africa

Cynthia is a serial social entrepreneur. At age 26, Cynthia’s ambitious start-up record includes: EverGlow, a successful liquid soap company that filled the niche for a non-toxic, plant-derived and biodegradable dish soap in Nigeria; Kadosh Production Company (KPC), a cassava processing plant that has the potential to revolutionize the cassava industry in Nigeriaby yielding about 30 percent more food per unit for human consumption, while improving the livelihood of women farmers through processing and packaging of cassava finished products and recycling the waste peels as a sustainable and inexpensive source of animal feed. Her third venture recently started in 2016, known as Inspire Africa, is a Pan-African Institution established to deliver high impact entrepreneurship and leadership education to African youths. Cynthia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Textile Science and Polymer Technology at Ahmadu Bello University. She has received awards and accolades from an impressive list of international organizations, including her recognition as a Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders, United States African Development Funds Award, Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Award, LEAP Africa (Social Innovators Program), Global Student Entrepreneurs Award, Innovation Prize for Africans Post Prize Awards, and Global Innovation through Science and Technology Awards.

LILY YEH

Founder | Little Loving Hands

Lily Yeh lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Jeff and two daughters. As a mother of two young toddlers, Lily wanted to teach her children the importance of giving back, but she found opportunities were very limited for young children to help with charities. So she decided to created Little Loving Hands to give kids a hands-on way to get involved through monthly craft activities. Lily is a graduate of the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and has an MBA from The George Washington University. After business school, she spent over a decade working in the corporate world for large companies including Monster Worldwide, AOL, and Blackboard, always in innovation, strategy and new product development.  In her limited free time she enjoys vacationing and eating out with her friends, snowboarding, cheering on the Indianapolis Colts, and playing poker.

SUMMAIYA AFREEN

Co-Founder + Director | Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti

Summaiya is the Co-Founder and Director of Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti, a social enterprise in India that provides leadership opportunities that encourage women to participate in stakeholder committees through coaching, literacy training, business training, organizational mobilization and market access. Her mission in life is to open a school of Mothers where women can continue studies after marriage. Summaiya launched Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti during college Jeevan Jagriti with Co-Founder, Rahul Goswami. She has also launched Aao Sath Maa, an initiative that provides a platform of digital literacy to mothers. From basic literacy to digital literacy, women from any background can join with their veils on. Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti has touched 6,000 lives over the span of five years. It is the unconventional approach of turning the unskilled female population into a skilled female workforce by narrowing the digital gap.

DANIEL BIN

Founder + CEO | Monk

Danny is the Founder and CEO of Monk, a mobile platform aiming to provide financial security by enabling social circles to save, borrow and lend together. Prior to Monk, Danny was the technical Co-founder of Jurispect, an enterprise legal intelligence SaaS platform. Danny’s entrepreneurial career started at the age of 17 when he founded his first E-Commerce auction site selling textbooks. Early in his career, Danny was a financial analyst on Wall Street working for several global investment institutions including J.P. Morgan and Neuberger Berman. To pursue his passion for technology and software development, Danny eventually left the finance world to join Google before he returned to his entrepreneur root. Danny holds dual BS degrees from the University of Michigan in Mathematics and Economics and he is also an active member of the American Mensa. Daniel is currently the co-founder and CEO at MisenBox.

GUILHERME BRAGA

Founder + CEO | Egalitê

Guilherme Braga graduated with a degree in law from PUCRS and with an MBA from FGV (Fundação Getúlio Vargas). Guilherme worked at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) as commercial coordinator and was responsible for the trainee program. He left AmCham to work at Perto S/A as an export account manager and was responsible for opening new markets outside of Brazil. In that role, Guilherme gained experience with clients from Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, India, Germany, South Africa and the USA. Guilherme left Perto S/A in 2009 to found Egalitê where he is the CEO. Egalite is a company that specializes in the recruitment of persons with disabilities (PWD). In Brazil there is a law that requires companies over 100 employees to include 2 - 5% of PWD in their workforces. To accomplish this inclusion requirement, Egalite prepares, recruits and evaluates PWD candidates. The preparation occurs through free online courses adapted to PWD. The evaluation takes place through a behavioral profile test. With this assessment, Egalitê syncs the best job for the applicant with the appropriate job opportunity. An algorithm calculates the best opportunity for each candidate, based on geo-location, education, salary requirements, practice area and behavioral profile.

MARQUETT BURTON

Executive | Fletch

After graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor of Art in Political Science from UC Berkley, Marquett decided to join Teach For America’s Baltimore corp. While teaching full-time, he earned a masters degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Education. In 2011, Marquett was awarded a Mayoral Fellowship which made him the liaison between the Mayor’s Office and the CEO of Baltimore City Schools. In 2013, after visiting over 100 schools throughout Washington, Oregon and California he was confronted with the reality that 50% of America’s college students never graduate. Marquett founded Fletch to ensure every family has the honor of seeing one of their own graduate. Fletch is a college retention app that empowers students to get quick answers around the clock and invite any classmate to a study group. The app also uses an algorithm to target on campus resources to students who need them most.

LEAH FILLER

Co-Founder | LavaMaeˣ

Leah Filler is a founding team member at LavaMaeˣ, a mobile shower service for the homeless in San Francisco, CA. By re-purposing retired transportation buses into bathrooms on wheels, LavaMaeˣ works to deliver dignity, unlock opportunity, and seed hope for people moving through homelessness. Leah was born and raised in Boston, MA, where she organized with the women’s rights, LGBT, and Occupy movements. Two weeks after moving to the Bay Area in 2013, she read an early article about LavaMaeˣ and fell in love with the project. She is proud to have driven LavaMaeˣ through the crowd funding campaigns that launched the first two mobile shower buses. She was a 2014 Google Bay Area Impact Challenge and was featured in a viral video that has touched 19+ million viewers via AJ+ and UpWorthy. She is currently the Senior Innovation Consultant at Fahrenheit 212.

ROCÍO GONZÁLEZ

Co-Founder + Director | Daravi

Rocío González is co-founder of Daravi, a sustainable design company that makes objects and fashion accessories from discarded buttons. Products are sustainable and handmade in Daravi’s workshop in collaboration with social cooperatives from vulnerable sectors. Today, Daravi works with YoNoFui, a NGO that employs and empowers women from jails and RedActivos, an organization that works with people with disabilities. Daravi also aims to create environmental consciousness. Rocío studied architecture when she started experimenting with resin. What began as a hobby became an everyday project when she met Lucas Campodónico. Daravi's social impact is environmental through its use of up-cycled materials as well as impactful in terms of job creation for underserved communities.

ZHIHAN LEE

Co-Founder + CEO | BagoSphere

Zhihan is the co-founder and group CEO of BagoSphere, an education company helping growing companies in developing markets bridge the skill-gap and develop purpose-driven employees. He worked at a medical-tech start-up in Stockholm before venturing into rural India to work with an IT outsourcing social enterprise. Graduating from the National University of Singapore's Engineering Science Program, he studied entrepreneurship at the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship and the Royal Institute of Technology. He was a Singapore Ambassador for the Sandbox Network––the leading global network of innovators under 30––and a 2016 Global Good Fund Fellow. For his work at BagoSphere, he was named as an Ashoka Fellow in 2018, joining the world's largest, most prestigious network of social innovators.

JASON PANDA

Founder + CEO | B Holding Group, LLC

Jason Panda, Esq. is the Founder of B Holding Group, LLC (BHG), a social enterprise that improves the health of underserved communities by focusing on challenges like family planning and HIV. Jason graduated from Morehouse College, where he was an Oprah Winfrey Scholar, and Georgetown University Law Center. An early career working at start-up companies and a prestigious law firm was interrupted by a deeply moving discussion with his mother regarding the disproportionate impact of HIV and teen pregnancy on underserved communities. Jason eventually left his firm to fill this void through BHG. BHG works with health departments to integrates traditional techniques that increases sales while leveraging market research and data to inform the branding, marketing, improve condom distribution efforts, and track impact. Jason is an Echoing Green Fellow, Huffington Post contributor and a member of the Strategic Leadership Council for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

NELSON REIYIA

Founder | Oldarpoi Mara Camp

Nelson Ole Reiyia, son of Maasai nomads, is the creative initiator and owner of the Oldarpoi Mara Camp with a visionary passion for his culture, people and community. His mission is to use business as a key driver of change particularly in sharing benefits with local communities. Nelson’s passion is to transform his local Maasai community socially and economically without changing their positive value systems. Nelson has worked extensively in the tourism and Hospitality industry where he has been a college lecturer, hotel manager and currently owns his own lodge in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Apart from the Tourism and Hospitality ventures which are associated with him, Nelson has established a community based organization by the name of I SEE MAASAI DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE (ISMDI), which works with the local community in the Mara, particularly in promoting educational opportunities. The organization together with the safari lodge has so far been able to establish three schools and a library for the community. In his free time, Nelson enjoys walking in nature, as he is very keen in studying medicinal plants. He enjoys reading as well as connecting with friends in social media. Nelson is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Nashulai Maasai Conservancy Corporation.

STEPH SPEIRS

Co-Founder + CEO | Solstice

Speirs is a social entrepreneur and community builder with eight years of experience in the U.S., Middle East, and South Asia. She is co-founder and CEO of Solstice Initiative, a first-of-its-kind company that deploys community solar power to underserved Americans. She previously worked as the Innovation Manager at d.light India, spearheaded Acumen’s renewable energy sector investment strategy in Pakistan, developed Middle East policy as the youngest Director at the White House National Security Council, and managed field operations in seven states for the first Obama presidential campaign. Speirs holds a B.A. from Yale and a Master in Public Affairs (MPA) with distinction from Princeton. She was selected as an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, an Acumen Global Fellow and is a recipient of the Diplomatic Courier/Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Top 99 Under 33 Award.

JULIA STEWART

Associate Director | Mother Miracle

Julia Stewart currently oversees markting and outreach for Mother Miracle, an India-based nonprofit focused on educating the neediest of children and equipping them with shelter, food, books, and everything they will need to flourish. She is the former Director of Programs for Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, a New Orleans-based non-profit that helps to launch social and environmental ventures to address local challenges within the areas of food security, healthcare, educational equity, and water management. Julia oversaw all of Propeller’s social entrepreneurship programming. Since 2012, Julia has supported 90 Ventures that have collectively generated 120 full- and part-time jobs and $35 million in external financing, revenues, and grants. Julia has served on judging panels for the International Fulbright Seminar, Junior Achievement of Greater New Orleans, on the Advisory Board for Tulane’s Changemaker Institute, and was a speaker at the 2015 Detroit Policy Conference. Julia graduated with a B.A. in International Relations from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

SOKUN SUM

CEO | Lighting Engineering Solution

Prior to establishing Lighting Engineering Solutions (LES), Sokun worked in the private and development sectors.  This experience gave him the opportunity to hone skills in business development, marketing and product development.  Sokun focused on his interest to engage in social enterprise work during his stints as Country Manager of the World Toilet Organization and as Business Development Specialist in Cambodia for DuPont.  Sokun witnessed firsthand tremendous challenges regarding lack of reliable access to electricity for more than 2 million households.  That problem motivated Sokun to establish LES in 2013 to provide sustainable electricity solutions for rural communities in Cambodia.

KARIM ABOUELNAGA

Founder + CEO | Practice Makes Perfect

Karim is the CEO of Practice Makes Perfect, a Benefit Corporation that partners with K-12 schools to deliver high quality, academic programs. He founded Practice Makes Perfect at 18. He writes for Entrepreneur, Forbes, Linkedin, and is working on releasing three books during Summer 2018. Karim is a TED Fellow and Echoing Green Fellow. At 23, he was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in Education, and at 24 was named to Magic Johnson’s 32 under 32 list. In 2016, he was ranked in the top 3 most powerful young entrepreneurs under 25 in the world by Richtopia. He graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s in Hotel Administration and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Education Policy at Columbia University.  

SHILSHILA ACHARYA

CEO + Co-Founder | Hamri Bahini- The Green Angels

Shilshila Acharya was born and raised in a small town in western Nepal. She completed her schooling at a small school in Myagdi where she realized that the number of girls in her class decreased every year. This led her to delve into the issue. She was saddened to discover that thousands of poor Nepali girls were being sold to brothels in India, and exploited in other countries.

During the course of her studies, Shilshila was awarded a full scholarship in 2005 from the Government of Nepal to study medicine. However, realizing the pressing environmental challenges across the globe, she chose to study Environmental Studies at Kathmandu University, Nepal so she could address this problem. Through a Fellowship from World Wild Life Fund Nepal, she went on to complete her Masters in Biodiversity and Environment Management from Norway and Nepal. In 2013. Shilshila joined Himalayan Climate Initiative and married her interest to promote environmentalism and support vulnerable women. She co-founded Hamri Bahini- The Green Angel, a social enterprise that provides “green” jobs to poor girls through green enterprise activities. Today, she has created employment for more than 150 less educated women. She has received numerous fellowships and national awards, as a promising young leader of Nepal, and has been repeatedly featured in national news and Television in recognition of her work.

MENE BLESSING

Founder + CEO | UNFIRE

Mene Blessing is a visionary leader who is deeply passionate about making a difference in the food security and agriculture space in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. He founded Aleph Tav Limited, now UNFIRE, a company focused on producing alternative low-cost animal feed derived from agricultural waste. He serves as the CEO. Mene believes in the power of integrity, wisdom, honor and grace as the key to outstanding living, unlimited impact and business endeavors. Some legends who have influenced him include: John C. Maxwell, Bill Drayton, Howard Schultz, David Oyedepo, Stephen R. Covey, Myles Munroe, Nick Fellers, Sam Adeyemi, Kevin Starr, Mike Murdock and Andrew Young. His greatest passion is the pursuit of wisdom, especially related to leadership, social entrepreneurship, business innovation and the prosperity of nations. Currently, Mene is Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Vetsark Limited as well. 

IRINA GHAPLANYAN

Co-Founder | The Green Bean

Irina Ghaplayan is a Doctoral graduate from the University of Cambridge. Her academic research and civic activism, combined with her being a long-time hobby environmentalist, were the driving factors behind her active participation in co-founding and running of The Green Bean Coffee Shop – Armenia’s first sustainable coffee shop.

Irina holds a BA from Russian-Armenian State (Slavonic) University in International Relations and a MA from the Diplomatic Academy of London. She has extensive work and academic experience including but not limited to engagements at the UNDP, German Council for Foreign Relations, and ISIS Center at Georgetown University.

A certified wine expert, Irina finds refuge from her academic and green challenges in discovering the world of wine and promoting wine-appreciation in Armenia. Irina currently resides in Yerevan with her husband, David, and their three children, David Areg.

ANGE M. MUYUBIRA

Founder + Executive Director | Kaz'O'zah Art

Since childhood, Ange M. Muyubira was interested in learning about style, fashion, art and craft. Although this was her passion, Ange moved to England to pursue a degree in interpreting/translating. A few years after moving to England, Ange worked for Chanel. This renewed her interest in fashion and helped Ange to realize her talents in design, and her joy in working with people.

After living in England for 10 years, Ange returned to Burundi to use her creativity to help grow Burundi’s cultural and artistic industries. Ange began her entrepreneurial endeavors in 2010 by creating the company Burundi Tours and Events, a tour operator that specializes in Burundian cultural tours. While working in this business, Ange consistently received requests from foreign visitors to see the production of art and craft items, and this is how she discovered the lack of authentic Burundian souvenirs. She also found that Burundian artisans were making archaic craft items that were not of interest to today’s modern market.

Motivated by her desire to empower and support Burundian artisans, Ange founded Kaz’O’zah Art in 2012. Kaz’O’zah Art is a social enterprise that trains and employs artisans and provides them with a platform to improve their skills and earn a fair wage. Kaz’O’zah Art also offers urban and rural poor Burundians, especially women, an opportunity to become artisans and learn new skills to produce art, jewelry, and textile products. All products are made using traditional Burundian craft techniques, but the designs have been modernized to fit with the current fashion scene. Kaz’O’zah Art currently works with over 102 Burundian artisans, 28 of whom are full-time employees.

DIANA QUINTERO

Co-Founder | Bive

Diana Quintero is the cofounder of Bive, a healthcare social business that facilitates access to high quality healthcare services for low and medium income families in Colombia. Through an annual family membership, Bive provides access to a network of private healthcare providers that offer high quality and timely health services, receiving a discount of up to 70% on the actual price of the service. Established in 2012, Bive has reached approximately ten thousand people.

Diana was born and raised in Colombia. She graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia with a degree in business and corporate finance. Diana is passionate about social equity and sustainable poverty reduction. As a result, she has volunteered with several organizations in Colombia that promote Nobel peace prize Prof. Muhammad Yunus’ social business philosophy such as The Grameen Creative Lab and Yunus Social Business Colombia, and for local NGOs, helping them create sustainable business models. She also enjoys engaging young people in leadership, entrepreneurship and social change.

Diana is actively engaged in the arts such as music, dancing and theater. She also loves outdoor activities, spending time with her family and traveling. She’s also developed a passion for speaking at both national and international conferences about poverty reduction and social inclusion in Austria, Brazil, Malaysia and Mexico.

AMECA REALI

Co-Founder | Justice and Acountability Center of Louisiana

Ameca Reali was the Co-Founder of the Justice and Accountability Center of  Louisiana. As JAC’s Executive Director, Ameca helped to create and oversees the delivery of the mobile legal clinics, which provide free legal services to thousands of people in Louisiana and community education programs aimed at increasing community members knowledge of the criminal justice system and law. She’s responsible for the development and delivery of new programs, as well as the recruitment, development, and ongoing management of relationships with community partners.

A native of New York, Ameca graduated cum laude from of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Communication and moved to New Orleans to attend Loyola University School of Law. Ameca grew up as one of three children, raised by a mother and aunts who spent time advocating for others in their community and fighting to end injustice. Realizing the connection between the issues faced by people in her hometown and people in New Orleans, Ameca spent her first few years in New Orleans working on a range of legal issues effecting marginalized communities such as capital appeals, access to courts and justice housing discrimination, housing voucher termination, landlord tenant and security deposit retrieval for people receiving public assistance, first amendment violations, voter protection and elections and education reform in Post Katrina New Orleans. She has worked closely with the Loyola Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild as a legal observer. In 2011, after securing an Echoing Green Fellowship, Ameca and her partner founded the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana.

Ameca is passionate about mentoring young people and has worked for and volunteered for youth based organizations such as Urban League College Track, Youth Run Nola and Project Butterfly Nola. She is currently the Founder and Managing Partner at Amicus Group LLC, and is also the Membership Director for Law for Black Lives. 

ANGELICA TOWNE

Co-Founder | Educate!

Angelica Towne is motivated by the belief that the development of African nations is a necessary step to ending racism globally. As an African American growing up in New York City, she has experienced the positive exchange of resources, support, and skills between communities of the global African diaspora. Angelica would travel to high school everyday from the family shelter where she lived among many immigrants. Her only dream was to attend college because higher education was the promise of a better future. She was awarded a full-tuition merit scholarship to attend college that included one year of youth leadership training. At Middlebury College, her Pan-African passion turned into transformative action as Angelica began to pilot youth programs in Jamaica and Ethiopia. She witnessed first-hand the low quality, factory-style schools in these communities and couldn’t ignore her call to action. All over the African diaspora, the promise of education was being broken by low quality standards and a focus on examinations. She wrote her senior thesis on defining a life-changing education that provides students and their communities the skills to end poverty. Angelica started Educate! with her co-founders based on the shared values of scale, sustainability, and the power of young people to change the world. Educate! program is now operating in over 250 schools and growing quickly. She also adapted Educate!’s curriculum for use in the Uganda national curriculum and designed a new practical standardized examination, reaching 25,000 young people annually. Angelica is committed to living and working in Africa, starting with building Educate! for over 6 years in Uganda, as she works for the dream of bringing a life-changing education to one million children.

MARINA MANSILLA HERMANN

Founder + President | Fundación TierraVida

Marina Mansilla Hermann is President and Founder of Fundación TierraVida, an Argentinean-based NGO working to educate, mobilize and promote citizen participation to achieve sustainable development in Latin America. Marina has 20 years of experience inspiring, supporting and mobilizing youth to address the challenges of sustainable development. In 2007 Marina joined Ashoka’s Youth Venture international team to help identify, support and mentor a new generation of 3,000+ young social entrepreneurs.

Marina was elected Climate Champion by the British Council and Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina in 2011. In 2013, she was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. Between 2011 and 2012, Marina was an International Facilitator for the Rio+YOU Campaign, a global youth mobilization towards the Rio+20 Earth Summit that reached over +2,000,000 in less than two months.

Previously, Marina served as Youth Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNEP´s Youth Advisory Council. Marina has also been involved in the UN-CSD process and the UN Climate Negotiations since 2004. Marina holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences from the Universidad Católica de Salta and a Master’s Degree in Environment and Development from King´s College London.

SARA POTLER LAHAYNE

Founder + CEO | Move This World

A life-long dancer and previous professional performer, Sara was a Fulbright Scholar in Bogotá, Colombia when she authored, implemented, and evaluated the original Move This World curriculum. Today she is the Founder & CEO of Move This World, a social emotional learning program that provides PreK-12 educators and students with video tools to strengthen their social and emotional wellbeing in order to create healthy environments where effective teaching and learning can occur. Through evidence-based, developmentally appropriate video tools, Move This World ritualizes a daily practice of identifying, expressing and managing emotions. To date, Move This World has impacted over half a million students across 28 states and Washington DC. By providing 24/7 access to educational videos, classroom resources, and a dedicated wellbeing consultant, Move This World is increasing accessibility to effective social emotional learning.  A graduate of the University of Virginia, Sara is a 2016 Stevie Award Winner for "Female Innovator of the Year;" a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum; an American Express Ashoka Emerging Innovator; a Cordes Fellow with the Opportunity Collaboration; a Peace X Peace 2012 Women, Power, & Peace Award Winner (Generation Peace Award); the only U.S. recipient of the Youth Leader Award in the Americas by the Inter-American Development Bank Annual Board of Governors Meeting; an Ashoka Activating Empathy Award Winner; a three-time Beyond Sport Award Finalist; Global Good Fund Fellow; honored among The Jewish Week NY's "36 Under 36"; and a Susan Schiffer Stautberg Leadership Fellow among others. She has presented at conferences across 5 continents and been featured in Forbes, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Carnegie Council’s Policy Innovations, Huffington Post, and is a regular contributor on EdWeek Market Brief.

MARIANA ASTRID GONZALEZ PACHECO

Co-Founder | Diyalo Foundation

Mariana Gonzalez Pacheco is the Co-Founder of the Diyalo Foundation, which creates schools, agriculture initiatives and energy programs around the common goal of sustainable community-led development for all. She also served as the Director of Institutional Development, ILUMEXICO Co.  Iluméxico is a social venture that achieves rural community development through clean energy access with photovoltaic home systems.

Mariana was one of the eight engineers who founded Iluméxico in August 2009. The business was designed to prove that Mexican technology can be a platform for local economic development while achieving positive social impact targeted at the bottom of the pyramid. Mariana’s current work with Iluméxico focuses on the development of the business sales and marketing strategies.

In 2008, Mariana co-founded her first company, Tecsus, a sustainable technology company focused in experience design. She worked in the Oil Exploration and Production Department in the Ministry of Energy and is also cofounder of SVE, a student organization in the Engineering Faculty, which encourages entrepreneurship.

In 2013, Mariana was the first Mexican woman to be selected as participant in the Fortune/U.S. Department Global Women Mentoring Partnership Program. She was also selected to participate in the Social Innovators Program of the International Development Bank. In 2012 she won the UVM Social Entrepreneur award. Mariana holds a Bachelor’s of Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Her hobbies include Mexican history, dancing and writing.

VICTOR GUTIERREZ

Co-Founder + International Director | Futbol Mas

Victor Gutierrez was born in Santiago, Chile. Victor has been involved in social activities from a young age, both as a participant and as an organizer. Deeply passionate about community development, Victor decided to study psychology at the Catholic University of Chile where he was involved with several community programs.

In 2008, Victor met Guillermo Rolando, with whom he founded Fútbol Más. Fútbol Más aims to increase the resilience and development of children ages 7 to 14 years old in Chile’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. The organization is designed as a sustainable community initiative and directly connects with the individual child, the child’s family, and the broader community. Fútbol Más has programs in Haiti, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Kenya, Paraguay, Mexico, France, Spain, and Dominican Republic, benefiting approximately 4,000 children in 50 districts.

Victor is passionate about sports, especially diving. He loves traveling and discovering different cultures around the world, and has a deep love of music, especially salsa, which he has danced for several years.

ERIC GOLDSTEIN

Founder + CEO | One World Education

Eric Goldstein is the CEO and Founder of One World Education. The nonprofit organization is a national leader in advancing research, writing, and public speaking skills for middle, high school, and adult learners while they learn about social justice. As a teacher, Eric earned a United States Department of the Interior Partners in Education Award and he holds a Masters in Education from the University of Vermont and Masters of International Policy from George Washington University. His career in education started after a solo, 5,000-mile bicycle trip across the United States. Eric is the father of three children and lives in Washington, DC.

LIZIANE SILVA

Co-Founder + CEO | Ink Inspira

Liziane Silva co-founded and led Ink Inspira, a social venture that inspires, trains and connects people and organizations to transform their realities through entrepreneurial action. Ink Inspira’s focus is to inspire and support change in NGOs and social businesses, providing professional training, consulting services and ideas to expand impact and relevance. Established in 2012, Ink Inspira has reached approximately 2,000 people and has trained over 1,800 nonprofit professionals.

Liziane graduated in Economics and is certified in the Innovation Master Series Professional Development Program at Stanford University. She also holds a certification in Social Programs Evaluation by PUC-Rio and the MIT Poverty Action Lab. Liziane has almost 8 years of experience in social organizations management and was selected to be a co-founding curator of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers hub in Curitiba.

Before Ink Inspira, Liziane worked from 2008 to 2011 for Aliança Empreendedora, a Brazilian NGO focused on training and supporting low-income entrepreneurs with knowledge, microcredit and access to sales channels. In 2007, she worked in Colombia with Amichocó, the first organization to create and validate a fair trade criteria focused in sustainable artisan mining of gold and platinum. From 2004 to 2008, Liziane was heavily involved with AIESEC, the world's largest student-run organization.

AUTUMN ADEIGBO

Founder | Autumn Adeigbo Fashion

The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Adeigbo developed her love for fashion as a young girl watching her mother sew many of the dresses she wore to school. The Autumn Adeigbo Collection is inspired by Nigerian cultural designs, and utilizes a portion of all sales to fund microloans to women in Africa. Autumn worked previously alongside several fashion icons, including Betsey Johnson. After graduating from Spelman College with a bachelor of arts in economics, Autumn studied fashion design at Parsons.

MADHURA BHAT

Founder | Swirl

Madhura founded Swirl in 2018 to engage children in local charities through fun activities thereby instilling compassion, gratitude and generosity from an early age. Prior to this, she spent five years as a co-founder of Health for America, an innovative, nationally recognized non-profit acquired by Medstar Health. Madhura has over a decade of experience working with global brands, Fortune 500 companies, UN agencies and NGOs to maximize the impact of their investments in corporate social responsibility. Madhura is an alumna of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, the Atlantik-Brücke Young Leaders Program and the Stars Symposium for Leaders of the Next Generation. She is a recipient of the Power 30 under 30 Award, the SXSW Dewey Winburne Award and a winner of the Case Foundation's Finding Fearless competition. Madhura holds a MA, MPH and MBA.

GENE GURKOFF

Founder | Charity Miles

Inspired by his grandfather’s struggle against Parkinson’s Disease, Gene Gurkoff founded Charity Miles to raise money for various health-related charities by providing 10¢ for every mile biked and 25¢ for every mile ran by users of the Charity Miles mobile application. Previously Gurkoff worked in several well-respected legal firms and served as pro-bono General Counsel for The Michael J. Fox foundation. Gene graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University before attending Harvard Law School.

REESE FERNANDEZ-RUIZ

President + Co-Founder | Rags 2 Riches

The winner of several awards, including the Rolex Young Laureate title, Fernandez-Ruiz founded Rags 2 Riches to provide access to the international market for low-income Filipino artisans. Rags 2 Riches provides fair pay to Filipino women who recycle waste textiles collected from garbage dumps into high-end handbags. Previously, Fernandez-Ruiz served as a program fellow in the Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship department at the Ateneo School of Government. Fernandez-Ruiz holds a bachelors of science from the University of the Philippines.

REID SAARIS

Founder | Equal Opportunity Schools

Reid founded Equal Opportunity Schools to increase the enrollment of capable, low-income, minority students in advanced coursework at local high schools. The organization is inspired by the story of Reid’s childhood best friend, who failed to receive equal educational opportunities as a consequence of being enrolled in lower level courses in high school. Previously, Reid taught in a rural South Carolina high school, where he led the Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate program. Reid holds a bachelor of arts in government from Harvard University, as well as a master’s degree in business and education from Stanford University.

SASHA FISHER

Co-Founder & Executive Director | Spark Microgrants

Sasha created Spark Microgrants to support poverty-stricken communities in East Africa. Spark Microgrants offers small grants to rural villages in order to carry out community-organized and designed development projects. Previous work in South Sudan, South Africa, India, and Uganda helped Sasha envision and create her unusual model of community-led development. Sasha holds a bachelor of arts in studio art and human security from the University of Vermont.

ANNIE RYU

Founder + CEO | The Jackfruit Company

The Jackfruit Company is an organization on a mission to bring the world’s best fruits to the palm of your hand and to help thousands of farmers rise out of poverty. The Jackfruit Company operates on organic and fair trade principles; it sources its jackfruit products directly from a farmers’ cooperative whose members they befriended in India. The company has brought jackfruit products to small gourmet organic and specialty food stores on the East Coast, primarily in Boston, but also sells its goods online. As the company grows, it plans to give interest-free loans to jackfruit processing groups they’ve screened.

BRUKTY TIGABU

Owner + CEO | Whiz Kids Workshop

Whiz Kids Workshop believe that mass-media can be the most cost-effective and immediate way to make an impact on large educational gaps in the developing world, particularly at the preschool level. To put that belief into practice, Whiz Kids Workshop uses existing research on mass-media education, new lower-cost technologies for media creation and booming growth in reach of television. Whiz Kids Workshop is best known for the award winning, early-childhood educational television show ‘Tsehai Loves Learning,’ which won two prestigious international children’s media awards in 2008. The “Next Generation Prize” was awarded at the Prix Jeunesse International Children’s Television Festival in Munich, Germany in May of 2008, recognizing ‘Tsehai Loves Learning’ for social impact, and high production quality relative to its small budget. ‘Tsehai Loves Learning’ also won the Preschool category at the 2008 Japan Prize for Educational Media in October, beating out many great educational television programs, games, websites, and toys from all over Asia, Europe, and North America. Whiz Kids Workshop was established in the living room of husband and wife team Shane Etzenhouser and Bruktawit Tigabu in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2005.

CHRISTI ADAMS

Inova Health Systems

After surviving years of mental and physical abuse, Christi Adams and her children were able to escape the violence they grew to know as normal. It was not until her escape that Christi realized the true uphill battle it takes to break the chain of abuse in families. Living in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the most affluent counties in the United States, posed a difficult and almost impossible feat to overcome on her own. With the help of her family, her faith in God, and a very dedicated victim advocate, she was able to put together a successful combination to build a new life for her and her children.

Christi has since committed herself to being a catalyst for change in her community and others like it across the United States. With 1 in 4 women experiencing domestic abuse in their lifetime, she soon realized that domestic violence was an epidemic damaging lives and families across the country and the world. In December of 2011, Christi founded Stop Abuse, Victim Empowerment (SAVE) which provides a sustained effort in preventing domestic violence and builds momentum for social change. Through Christi’s work with SAVE, she provides a collaborative structure and focus which is needed to transform individual intentions into collective actions that can change a culture. Utilizing established businesses, groups and events already in communities, SAVE reaches those in need with education and prevention programs which are led by other survivors of domestic violence. SAVE harnesses the power of community to work towards a future without violence.

Currently, Christ serves as a Marketing Manager at Inova Health Systems in Virginia.

MELISSA KUSHNER

Founder + Board Chair | Yamba Malawi

In 2006, Melissa Kushner founded goods for good (GFG) with a firm belief that every child in the world deserves the opportunity to achieve. Now called Yamba Malawi, they have reached over 70,000 orphans and vulnerable children by working through the strategic provision of goods to African community centers, To date, Yamba Malawi has distributed 1.4 million pens, 116,200 shoes, and 23,000 school uniforms and garments. Now, Yamba Malawi is making those same community centers financially sustainable, by launching small on-site businesses that generate income and fund orphan care programs for education, health, and nutrition. These businesses, which include chicken farms, agriculture enterprises, and tailoring co-ops, create jobs, stimulate the local economy, and ensure Malawi’s children have every opportunity to thrive.

Jay Kloppenberg

Founder | African School of Excellence

At African School for Excellence, we believe that a great education need not be reserved for a small elite. We believe that every young person with the talent, drive, and desire to succeed deserves an education worthy of his or her potential. Our scholars are as bright and capable as students anywhere in the world, and we expect them to achieve results commensurate with that ability. Our graduates will leave African School for Excellence with the skills to succeed at the world’s best universities, and with the character and leadership to transform their communities.

L.E.A.P. Entrepreneurs


Emory University studied + validated our theory of change: When you invest in the leadership of a young social entrepreneur, that entrepreneur will become a more effective business leader who positively impacts the world. On the heels of this study we're itching to scale our social impact, and for us, that means supporting more social entrepreneurs. We created the Leading Entrepreneurs to Accelerate Prosperity ("L.E.A.P") program to serve more brilliant innovators, whose enterprises will prosper with additional leadership support.
 
L.E.A.P entrepreneurs are selected from the internal Global Good Fund network of social entrepreneurs to participate. Entrepreneurs commit to this 6-mo virtual people accelerator focused on leadership development. We support L.E.A.P. entrepreneurs with our proven methods of impact: executive coaching, business mentorship, and access to a network of peers and sector expertise to accelerate their growth and impact.

 

 

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Amy Paulson
Co-founder & CEO | Gratitude Alliance

Amy Paulson is the CEO and Co-founder of Gratitude Alliance, an Oakland-based non-profit that works at the intersection of healing and social justice - helping to break generational cycles of trauma and harm, build individual and collective resilience and democratize access to healing resources.

 


Edward Yee
Co-founder | Givfunds

Edward Yee is the Co-founder of Givfunds, a foundation that lends low-cost loans to social entrepreneurs in South Asia. To date, the organization has impacted over 40K lives and helped innovators generate an additional $8M in revenue.


Ogholi Alero
Founder | Rural Development + Reformation Foundation

Ogholi Alero Sandra is the Founder of Rural Development and Reformation Foundation (RUDERF), a nonprofit committed to the development of rural and semi-urban communities in Nigeria through investment in human capital.


Derrin Slack
Founder | ProAct Indy

Derrin Slack is the Founder of ProAct Indy, an Indiana-based nonprofit that engages as-risk youth and corporations in public service projects. He has trained and led teams to engage over 25,000 boys and girls and corporate employees to value intentional community engagement and appreciate diversity and equity as an integral part of their lives.


Gülcan Yala
Co-founder & CEO | Kodluyoruz

Gulcan Yayla the Co-founder of Kodluyoruz, working to make Turkey a worldwide talent hub for the technology sector while addressing youth unemployment and underemployment problems.


More LEAP Entrepreneurs


Ruth Nabembezi
Founder | Ask Without Shame

Ask Without Shame is a social enterprise that provides emergency sex education via mobile device to African youth.


Allister Chang
Founder | Civic Suds

Civic Suds supports digital literacy development for families in the United States living below the poverty line by installing public access computers and facilitating digital literacy trainings inside coin laundromats.


Eliza Pesuit
Executive Director | Global Glimpse

Global Glimpse is a highly selective, structured leadership program that launches motivated US high school students from a wide range of backgrounds into a fascinating, transformative international experience.


Veteran Entrepreneurs


The Global Good Fund supports United States Veterans through it's partnership with The Smithfield Foundation, philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Through a $400,000 capital investment from Smithfield, The Global Good Fund is able to provide it's flagship year-long leadership development program to veteran entrepreneurs. Our Veteran business owners are focused on giving back to their communities, creating sustainable jobs and supporting veterans and their families.
 
The Global Good Fund develops the leadership skills of veteran entrepreneurs by pairing them with professional executive coaches and c-suite business mentors, along with leadership assesment resources, a global peer network, sector expertise and $10,000 in targeted funding.

 

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Ali Akil

CEO + Co-Founder, Public Bloc

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Ali Akil is a US Army Veteran and the Co-Founder & Chief Vision Officer of Public Bloc, accelerating economic growth through enterprise software solutions. Public Bloc is an innovative platform that leverages blockchain and AI technology to raise capital and secure payments for infrastructure related projects around the world. Ali also serves on the National Small Business Association Leadership Council and the Small Business Technology Council. 

Ali Ahmadi

CEO + Co-Founder, TCARE Inc.

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Ali Ahmadi is a former U.S. Naval Aviator with a Masters & Bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and an Executive MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. Ali is a technologist with extensive experience in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business models and has established strategic partnerships including BlueCross BlueShield, Microsoft, RGAX, SAP, PwC, Salesforce & Anthem. He is the CEO & Co-Founder of TCARE, a venture-backed family caregiver burnout prevention tool powered by predictive analytics. TCARE’s CMS-approved platform is used by health insurance/LTC companies to reduce family caregiver burnout and delay nursing home placement. The company’s evidence-based predictive technology saved Washington State Department of Social and Health Services over $20 million in a 2,300-caregiver pilot by delaying nursing home placements by an average of 21 months and reducing Medicaid LTC service usage by 20%.

Alejandro Ramirez

CEO + Owner, Universal Spartan, LLC

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Entrepreneur and Veteran Major Alejandro Ramirez retired as a combat army officer after twenty-two years of military service. He is the CEO & Owner of Universal Spartan, LLC, a one-stop sourcing solution for the federal government and and defense industry. He is also the founder of the Kentucky Veteran Business Alliance, which brings back esprit de corps and unity of effort to all Kentucky veteran businesses and transitioning veterans, the community, and the state of Kentucky.

Jeanette Haynie

Founder & Executive Director, The Athena Project

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Jeannette Gaudry Haynie, PhD, is a career Marine Corps officer and combat veteran with a PhD in International Relations. A New Orleans native and a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, she is a Cobra attack helicopter pilot by trade with multiple operational deployments. Jeannette’s academic research focuses on the intersections of gender, leadership, and security, connecting her operational experiences and academic work. She is a member of the Presidential Leadership Scholars’ Class of 2019, where the roots of the Athena Leadership Project were planted. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Athena, which seeks to elevate the stories of female veterans and conduct research to inform how we consider gender, leadership, and security.

Justin Constantine

Chief Business Development Officer, JobPath

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Justin Constantine is an Iraq combat veteran, a Purple Heart recipient, an accomplished author, inspirational speaker, veteran employment expert and the Chief Business Development Officer at JobPath, a robust veteran employment platform that provides a variety of solutions to corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. For Justin, getting back to work in a fulfilling career was an important part of his recovery after being shot in Iraq, and he wanted to help others with their employment challenges. In fact, he is now leading the company's pivot to also support people with disabilities and the formerly incarcerated.  

Kyleanne Hunter

Managing Director, The Athena Project

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Dr. Kyleanne Hunter, PhD, is a Marine Corps combat veteran with multiple combat deployments as an AH-1W “Super Cobra” attack pilot. She finished her active duty time in the Marine Corps’ Legislative Liaison Office in the House of Representatives. Dr. Hunter is currently an adjunct professor of Security Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She created a first of its kind course in gender and war, which is being integrated as the cornerstone for a forthcoming Women, Peace and Security Certificate. She serves as the Chair of the Employment and Integration Subcommittee for the Secretary of Defense’s Advisory Committee of Women in the Services (DACOWITS). She was part of the Department of Veterans Affairs inaugural class of “Women Veteran Trailblazers,” and named as one of HilllVets 100 most influential veterans in 2018.

Margo Baines

CEO + Founder, Chicks with Class DBA Youth Enrichments

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Margo Baines is the CEO & Founder of Chicks with Class DBA Youth Enrichments, a girls empowerment company developing workshops to help young women reach their full potential. Margo joined the United States Army National Guard after her first year of college, and went on to join the Texas Army National Guard while pursuing a finance degree from Texas Southern University. After graudating in 2013 and working in investment banking, Margo realized she wasn't making enough of an impact on society. She left corporate America to start Chicks with Class in 2015, and by 2017, opened her first brick and mortar location. By 2019, Margo had grossed over $250k in revenue and impacted over 10,000 girls.

Patrick Alcorn

Director + Owner, Veteran Business Outreach Center, University of Texas Arlington

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Patrick E. Alcorn is the Director at UTAVBOC and Founder of Business Beyond the Battlefield Conference. He is a John Maxwell Team speaker, teacher and coach. Having served as an NCAA athlete, a US Army engineer, a deputy city councilman, and an award-winning sales professional for Fortune 100 companies, Patrick knows how to empower you to get up, get out and keep moving– even under the most difficult circumstances. As a co-author, a coach, and a keynote speaker, he delivers power, passion and a dynamic experience to diverse audiences. Patrick's combination of the West Point experience, a Masters in Business Administrations, and relevant real-world knowledge of the small business startup process moves you to discover the talents, skills and abilities you have within. 

Paul Vann

Owner + President, Wealth Building Academy, LLC

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Paul Lawrence Vann is the Founder & President of Wealth Building Academy, LLC, a professional/personal development company in the metro Washington, D.C. area. Paul is passionate about enhancing leadership and team building for organizations he serves and assists them in getting their workplaces to function efficiently. Wealth Building Academy also provides a youth entrepreneurship program to high school students aimed at assisting them in understanding how to start and lead a business. Paul is an international speaker, two-time #1 international best-selling author and the author of three solo books and three co-authored books.

Scott Mackes

CEO + Founder, Service Academy MasterMind Group, LLC

Bio

Sponsored by Smithfield Foods

Scott Mackes is a United States Naval Academy graduate and the CEO & Founder of SABM Group and StrengthsMugs.com. At SABM, Scott leads a supportive community helping military veterans achieve financial freedom through business ownership.  Since launching the community in 2017, SABM has received 40,000+ podcast downloads, 1000+ meetup attendees, 300+ investor group members, and 100+ accelerator members. StrengthsMugs.com is an online store officially licensed by Gallup, Inc. to sell products related to the Clifton Strengths assessment which has been taken by more than 20 million people worldwide. Scott is also a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.