employment

150, Ken Oloo, Filamujuani | Using Film to Fight Youth Unemployment

Ken Oloo works to end youth unemployment for young people from informal housing such Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. Ken Oloo grew up surrounded by abject poverty. And yet, he was ambitious. At an early age, he vowed that by the time he was 25 years-old, he would be on the cover of Fortune or Time magazines. When he was nine years-old, he began to use his father’s camera to take pictures. Soon, he met other photographers who taught him the craft of photography and film. After high school, Ken took up photography full time, earning money by filming weddings and events. As he tried to escape from poverty, he took…

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149, Sara Leedom, African Entrepreneur Collective | The Real Job Creators: African Entrepreneurs

African Entrepreneur Collective builds the capacity of African entrepreneurs to create jobs. Sara Leedom has a history of working in the social justice space in the US and in India. She worked on affordable housing for people with HIV. She worked on teen pregnancy prevention. She worked on education equity. In 2012, Sara and a friend, Julienne Oyler were traveling through Mali. As they got to know their tour guide, he revealed that he wanted to launch a company. At the time, Mali was experiencing political turmoil. The country was under trade sanctions from France. To make matters worse, the country was experiencing a severe drought. The entrepreneur acknowledged the…

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146, Gayathri Vasudevan, LabourNet | Sustainable Livelihoods through Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship

LabourNet is a social enterprise that enables sustainable livelihoods by bridging the gap between education, employment and entrepreneurship. Gayathri Vasudevan worked in crisis situations. She provided humanitarian aid during a riot. She provided aid in the aftermath of an earthquake. But she found the work depressing. “I wanted to do more solutioning,” she told me. After completing her PhD, she worked for the United Nations, International Labor Organization for eight years. There, she saw a disconnect between the policies she was helping to draft and the results on the ground. She remarked, “In India, we’re very good at white papers. We can write very well. We define everything well. But…

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140, Benje Williams, Amal Academy | Continuous Action Creates a Path Out of Poverty

Through continuous action, Benje Williams helps Pakistani youth find a path out of poverty. Benje Williams’ parents wanted to make an impact with their lives. They did so by adopting eight children. As Benje grew up, his parents pressed him to ask himself what his contribution to the world would be. While Benje was in university, he had a chance to accompany his dad to Kenya. There, he met people that, except for circumstances of birth, were not too different from him and his family at home. “Perhaps family for me was much more global than I had previously thought.” A belief began to cement itself inside of him. “We’re…

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Social Impact Without Being a Startup Founder, with Amanda LaGrange, TechDump

TechDump provides job training and practical experience for adults facing barriers to employment. Social impact does not necessarily require you to be the founder of a social enterprise. Amanda LaGrange is living proof of that idea. Amanda spent more than seven years at General Mills, including time as a Senior Financial Analyst. Today, Amanda is the CEO of TechDump. TechDump refurbishes and recycles electronics, and in the process they create jobs for adults facing barriers to employment, especially those who have spent time in the justice system. TechDump accepts anything with a cable, cord or battery that is not a home appliance. Amanda brings her background in corporate finance to…

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Social Impact Without Being a Startup Founder, with Amanda LaGrange, TechDump