Meet Our Global Network of Social Enterprise Leaders

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012


Abe Kamarck

Founder, True Made Foods

True Made Foods founder, Abe Kamarck, is a former Naval Aviator, father of four and BBQ lover. As a lifelong home cook, he had always used carrots as a natural sweetener to cut the acidity in tomato based sauces. True Made Foods was born as a condiment brand naturally sweetened with vegetables. After graduation from Vanderbilt on an NROTC scholarship, Abe served eight years as a Navy Helicopter pilot, deploying on counter-narcotics missions and for OIF. He spent his last tour in England where Abe earned his MBA from the London Business School and was introduced to impact entrepreneurship. This experience prompted Abe to leave the Navy and start a five-year adventure in emerging markets as an impact entrepreneur.

Eyitayo Ogunmola

Founder + CEO, Utiva

Despite earning a medical physiology degree from The University of Llorin, Eyitayo Ogunmola was jobless for two years upon graduation. He founded Utiva to help college students in Sub Saharan Africa transition from school to work, bridgin the gap between education, employment and entrepreneurship. Utiva's commitment to making higher eduation effective and impactful for Africa's community is a result of global partnerships with companies, learning institutions and policymakers to understand the ever-changing employment landscape.

Gail Robinson

Founder, Robinson Business Solutions

Gail Robinson, US Army Veteran, Owner and CRM Administrator at Robinson Business Solutions, provides knowledgeable database and software services to local and out of state organizations. Robinson Business Solutions has served an ever-growing number of clients since its founding in 2013 and relaunch in 2018. Prior to going into business, Gail worked at organizations where she managed data and software.  Gail brings her personable approach and sharp attention to detail to the CRM software industry and views helping her clients through the selection and implementation process as a true privilege.

Hitesh Tolani

Founder + CEO, Virtudent

Growing up, Hitesh Tolani's family went through years of financial hardship and an immigration battle that made national headlines. Those headlines generated support from 35,000 Americans which led to a resolution and changed the course of Hitesh's life forever. He wondered how he would pay it forward, and found that answer through Virtudent, the first commercial teledentistry practice in the U.S. Hitesh believes that quality oral health care should be a standard, not a luxury, so he's making it more accessible through state-of-the-art mobile dentist clinics. Virtudent dedicates a portion of proceeds to build programs for local communties, brigning quality oral care to those who need it most.

Hyasintha Ntuyeko

Founder + CEO, Kasole Secrets Company Ltd

Hyasintha Ntuyeko founded Kasole Secrets Company Ltd., a social enterprise that innovates and produces bamboo-made sanitary napkinds, currently distributing across Tanzania, DRC-Congo and the U.S. Kasole Secrets aims to educate and empower young women through menstrual hygiene management (MHM) education programs in primary and secondary schools. The organization also works as menstrual hygiene management consultants for local and international NGOs. In 2015, Hyasintha pioneered the first MHM Day in Tanzania, educating the entire community that the importance of menstrual hygiene managements spreads beyond just women and girls.

Jennifer Luik

Co-Founder, Decisions Oriented Inc

Jen Luik is Co-Founder and CEO of Decision Oriented Inc, a consulting and systems engineering company located in Maryland. She is a 15-year Coast Guard Officer and current member of the Coast Guard Reserves where she serves as a Contingency Planning Officer. Descions Oriented Inc was founded in 2016 and specializes in developing strategic solutions to modernize clients cyber mission organization and processes. The company utilizes design facilitation techniques and methodology to frame problems, support innovation incubation efforts and propose feasible and actionable solutions for clients to select, and ultimately resource and budget appropriate solutions and initiatives. The company currently has a small team of employees predominantly military veterans. As a veteran advocate, Jennifer is currently working with the Maryland Tech Connect and the Anne Arundel County to identify resources available to veterans. She is also developing an Atlassian User Training program to train veterans on how to use JIRA and Confluence. 

Kevin Gibbons

Co-Founder + Executive Director, Health Access Connect

During his masters research, Kevin Gibbons visited fishing villages in Uganda and learned about the high HIV rates and difficulty accessing care. Many people fail to get treatment because it's too far or too expensive. Kevin's solution was Health Access Connect (HAC), a nonprofit that links Ugandans in remote area with healthcare resources. Through HAC's main program, Medicycles, Ugandan health workers bring monthly outreach clinics to these areas using micro financed motorcycle taxis and community cost sharing.

Laura Renner

Founder, Freedom Makers Virtual Assistant Services

Laura Renner 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 small business owners who needed super part-time help and knowing how military spouses struggle to build careers due to their constant moves. Laura graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor's of Science in English and a minor in Chinese-Mandarin. She served as a Public Affairs officer before leaving the Air Force to earn an International MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

Mark Casper

President + Executive Director, Tech for Troops

Mark Casper is the President and Executive Director of Tech For Troops (T4T) a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to eradicate veteran homelessness and poverty – one veteran at a time. Mark has worked tirelessly to create a high-impact organization that is a powerful force for changing lives of veterans throughout the United States. He believes in mobilizing and working together with other businesses, non-profits and volunteers, providing a network of support for veterans in need. T4T serves veterans throughout the country through providing free refurbished computers, IT training, and placement services by working with each veteran on an individual basis. Additionally, T4T hires displaced veterans to work at the T4T distribution center, giving hands-on educational IT training, while providing layers of support to encourage a positive entry back into the workforce. Mark is a proud veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and for more than 20 years served as an IT expert whose career focused on large-scale government and civilian IT projects.  

Mark Mhley

Co-Founder, Re4ormed Organics, LLC

Mark Mhley is a native of Rockville, MD.  He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1996, was designated a Naval Flight Officer, and graduated from the Navy Fighter Weapons School, Top Gun, in 2002.  Mark’s career as an aviator includes 5 deployments around the globe in the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Super Hornet, in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM.  Mark also served at the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (NSWDG) in Dam Neck, Virginia from 2010-2013, where he planned and executed numerous special operations missions around the globe, and at the US Naval Academy from 2013-2017 we he served as the Deputy Director of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, a Political Science instructor, and the Senior Naval Flight Officer.  After retiring in 2017, Mark founded Re4ormed Organics, a food and farm-animal waste recycling company based in Annapolis, Maryland.  Their anaerobic digestion technology was born from the Navy and Marine Corps’ need for forward-deployable renewable energy systems, and their first system at the Naval Academy demonstrates how midshipmen food waste from a table, or Marine food waste from the field, can be processed into energy.  The Maryland Energy Administration recently awarded their team a grant to build their first digester on a Maryland cattle-farm. In September 2018, The StreetShares Foundation and Boston Beer Company awarded Re4ormed the 2018 Veteran Small Business Award in the food and beverage industry.

Michael Leffer

Principal, Squadra Ventures

Mike Leffer is a Principal, and member of the founding team, at Squadra Ventures. Squadra is an early-stage venture capital fund investing in remarkable entrepreneurs, empowering them to win and make a difference. Their ideal founder possesses, among other qualities, the ability to operate under adverse conditions. And, several of the portfolio companies have Veteran-led founding teams. Before his current position, he founded Cofoundr, LLC which was a professional advisory firm for founders that were underserved or ignored by typical sources of capital and support. They worked exclusively with Veterans, first-time entrepreneurs, inventors, and doctors with the goal to make the world better a place by fostering disruptive innovation. In his role as Managing Partner, he worked with three companies (two Veteran-led) on business strategy as they raised over one million dollars in venture capital funding. In addition, he previously worked in early-stage venture with Baltimore Angels, co-founded a small eCommerce company which he sold in early 2018, and is expected to graduate with an MBA from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in May of 2019. Mike honorably served as an Army Officer from 2014 to 2017, and is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter

Co-founder + CEO, IMPAQTO

Michelle Arevalo-Carpenter is a social entrepreneur and human rights lawyer from Ecuador, passionate about realizing the potential that her biodiverse, culturally rich country has to offer the world. She co-founded the country's first coworking space and social business incubator, IMPAQTO, to build an ecosystem that fosters purpose-driven businesses. IMPAQTO gives change agents in Latin American emerging cities a home where ideas come together and innovation is driven forward.

Neha Arora

Founder, Planet Abled

Born to parents with disabilities and having faced challanges while traveling as a family, Neha Arora realized a huge gap existed in society. Her personal experiences drove the inception of Planet Abled, the world's first organization to provide accessible and inclusive travel solutions for poeple with disabilities and the elderly. There are over one billion people living with disabilities in the world, and Planet Abled aims to give them freedom to explore and discover.

Nicholas Karnaze

Founder, Stubble and 'Stache

Prior to starting stubble + 'stache, Nicholas Karnaze served over seven years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. First as an Intelligence Officer, then in 2007 joining the Corps' newly formed elite special operations unit: MARSOC aka the Marine Raiders. He was a member of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion with multiple combat deployments to Afghanistan. Nick is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business’ Post 9/11 Veterans Ignite program. stubble + ‘stache is a certified service disabled veteran owned small business pioneering the development of specialized skin care products for men with facial hair. stubble + ‘stache features a growing lineup of beard and skincare products to hydrate, protect and soothe skin and reduce beard itch. These award-winning products answer all grooming needs, regardless of facial hair length, complexion or skin type. A portion of the profits are donated to organizations helping those suffering from the physical and mental wounds of war.

Rachel Connors

Co-Founder + Co-Owner, Yellow Leaf Hammocks

Rachel Connors is the Co-founder and Chief Enthusiasm Officer of Yellow Leaf Hammocks, a social enterprise dedicated to defeating global poverty through sustainable artisan job creation. Yellow Leaf Hammocks empowers women and communities in Thailand by creating high-wage weaving jobs for marginalized hil-tribe groups. Rachel's passion is to help redefine "value" for consumers. She believes that we can transform the world and life the next billion people out of extreme poverty by changing the perception of shoppers and updrating the style of handcrafted goods.

Sharon Cummings

Founder, Own My Anger

Sharon L. Cummings, is an experienced entrepreneur with over 25 years of corporate experience. Ms. Cummings earned a MBA, and a MS in Cybersecurity Policy from the University of Maryland University College. She is a disabled veteran of the U.S. Army, mentor, and advocate for the underserved. Her passion for community service lead her to start Teen Sircles, Inc. , a 501(c) 3 organization. Through Teen Sircles she offers guidance and resources to empower youth and young adults. In 2016, Ms. Cummings started  Own My Anger (OMA) Wellness. OMA focuses on helping people to recognize and self-manage personal triggers. Helping people to peel back the layers and get to the core of their anger is one of the best rewards to her. From school aged youth to public service workers, Ms. Cummings has touched the lives of many. Ultimately, her desire is to help in building safe, self-sustainable communities with strong educational foundations.

Tonee Ndungu

Founder + CIO, Kytabu

Raised in a fast-growing, cosmopolitan city of Nairobi, Tonee Ndungu's life experiences have been a maship of tradition in deep rooted culture and the dynamic influece of technology. Starting one of Kenya's first technology incubators that fueled the Silicon Savannah Revolution in 2008, Tonee belives the widespread impact created by a single person if not bridled by their circumstances at origin. He founded Kytabu, an app that gives teachers and students access to textbooks and learning resources, to enhance the Sub Saharan education system.

Toni Staten

Founder, Carael Group LLC

Toni Staten is 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 student 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 that college students face and to help them reach the goal of Creating A Renewed And Empowered Life through therapy and coaching. Ms. Staten is a veteran of the US Air Force Reserves. 

Vaibhav Lodha

Co-Founder, FT Cash

Vaibhav Lodha is the co-founder of ftcash, one of India's fastest growing fintech companies, empowering 60+ million underserved micro-merchants through financial inclusion. He was inspired by his newspaper vendor, Pankaj, who was denied a bank loan and unable to scale his business. Pankaj is one of millions in India who are unable to access capital from banks, as financial institutions lack data and appropriate risk modeling systems to asses eligibility for loans. ftcash uses a proprietary algorithm to understand credit-worthiness, along with psychometric analysis on their platform.

Wemimo Abbey

Co-Founder + Co-CEO, Esusu

Wemimo Abbey grew up living paycheck to paycheck in the slums of Lagos, Nigeria. His family was excluded from the traditional financial system, and turned to rotational savings to pay for school and food. Wemimo understood first-hand the power of community savings, and digitized the process through Esusu. A venture backed company that empowers communities to save better, Esusu helps people build credit and bridge a permanent gap to financial access and inclusion.


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

Founder & 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 and 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

Executive Director, Rising Foundations

Kelly Orians is the co-founder and Executive Director 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.

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

CEO & Co-Founder, Chirps

Rose is the Co-Founder and CEO 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.

Scott Austin Key

CEO & 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

Kimberly Lewis

President and 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 www.Job- IQ.com.

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, 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 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

CEO & Founder, The Empowerment Plan

Founder and CEO of 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.



Spark Inside

Baillie is the founder and CEO 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.



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.



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.



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 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.



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.


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 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 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

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.


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 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.


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

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.


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 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.



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.



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.



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 is a founding team member and the Director of Global Community Engagement at Lava Mae, a mobile shower service for the homeless in San Francisco, CA. By re-purposing retired transportation buses into bathrooms on wheels, Lava Mae 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 Lava Mae and fell in love with the project. She is proud to have driven Lava Mae 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.



Rocío González is co-founder and CEO of Greca, a sustainable design company that makes objects and fashion accessories from discarded buttons. Products are sustainable and handmade in Greca’s workshop in collaboration with social cooperatives from vulnerable sectors. Today, Greca works with YoNoFui, a NGO that employs and empowers women from jails and RedActivos, an organization that works with people with disabilities. Greca 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. Greca'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 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, 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 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.



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 president 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 currently oversees markting and outreach for Moth 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.



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.



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.  


Himalayan Climate Initiative

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 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.


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.



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 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.


Justice and Acountability Center of Louisiana

Ameca Reali is the Co-Founder and Executive Director at 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.



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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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 and Chile 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.



Liziane Silva co-founded and led INK, a social venture that inspires, trains and connects people and organizations to transform their realities through entrepreneurial action. INK’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 has reached approximately 2,000 people and has trained over 500 people in Brazil.

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, 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 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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



The Jackfruit Company (Formerly Global Village Fruit)

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.


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.


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.


Yamba Malawi (Formerly goods for good)

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

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.