social entrepreneur

029, Mariana Costa, Laboratoria | The Power of Code to Change Girls’ Lives

Mariana Costa of Laboratoria has seen firsthand the power of code to change the life of a girl. When Mariana and her partners started a web development company in Lima, Peru, she quickly learned that good web developers are hard to come by. She also noticed that, of the candidates that applied for her open positions, very few of them were women. And, while there was a very high demand for web developers, there were also millions of young people who neither went to school nor worked, and of those, 70% were women. That means that, in Peru alone, there are nearly two million young women who are out of…

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029, Mariana Costa, Laboratoria | The Power of Code to Change Girls’ Lives

Our Top 12 Downloads of 2015

What a rush! The podcast, Social Entrepreneur launched on November 8, 2015. In the last two months of 2015, we featured 25 interviews with a wide array of social entrepreneurs and thought leaders. I spoke with founders from Peru, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Uganda, India, Rwanda, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, Kenya, Indonesia, Canada, and the United States. They ran for-profit, nonprofit, hybrid organizations and university programs. Some ran incubators and many came through an accelerator program. They made me laugh, surprised me (I’m looking at you, Carrie Rich!) and always inspired me. Social Entrepreneur Organizations In this article, I’ll tell you a little about twelve of them and invite you to hear…

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026, Joseph Sanberg, Aspiration | Build Trust by Doing Good

Confidence in many institutions has been falling – Congress, churches, and, financial institutions. More than 90% of Americans surveyed do not trust the Financial Services industry to have their best interests in mind. And, it’s no wonder. When I say Financial Services, what images come to mind? For many people, they think of scenes from the financial crisis that began in 2008. They can see massive layoffs, failing businesses and millions of foreclosed homes. What they don’t picture is, financial institutions reaping the consequences of their misbehavior. There were no Bernie Madoff-style perp walks or massive fines. Barclay’s bought Lehman Brothers. Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch. Wells Fargo took…

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026, Joseph Sanberg, Aspiration | Build Trust by Doing Good

025, David Reiling, Sunrise Banks | Empowering Underserved Communities

According to Sunrise Banks’ CEO David Reiling, “The culture of Sunrise Banks is all about mission and innovation.” If you pull his statement apart, you’ll notice three components: culture, mission and innovation. These are the magic ingredients that have allowed Sunrise Banks to be recognized as a “Best for the World” company. Sunrise Banks has been recognized on many levels for their purpose-driven innovation. They are a certified Benefit Corporation (BCorp). Their parent company was one of the first Minnesota Public Benefit Corporations. And, they are a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), one of only 100 banks in the US. They focus on underserved communities. More than 60% of…

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025, David Reiling, Sunrise Banks | Empowering Underserved Communities

024, Tanyella Evans, Library For All | Feeding Great Minds in Low-Income Countries

Tanyella Evans grew up in the highlands of Scotland, which she describes as “the middle of nowhere.” At age 16 she received a scholarship to study at a United World College in Vancouver, BC, Canada. There she learned alongside two hundred students from eighty eight countries. At age 17, the United World College sponsored her on a one-year trip to Uganda as a volunteer teacher. There she saw the difference that an education can make to an eager mind. Globally, five of the six billion mobile phone subscribers live in the developing world. At the same time, 250 million children cannot read and write. Library for All is building a…

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024, Tanyella Evans, Library For All | Feeding Great Minds in Low-Income Countries

023, Shanil Samarakoon, Empower Projects| Empowerment as a Community Development Tool

Early in the morning of December 26, 2004, an underwater earthquake sent a massive tsunamis along the countries bordering the Indian Ocean, killing 230,000 people in 14 countries. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. We have talked about this tsunami before, in episode 11 with Gayatri Datar of EarthEnable. In this episode of Social Entrepreneur, Shanil Samarakoon of Empower Projects relates his story of the same tsunami, but in this case, from the perspective of his native Sri Lanka where tens of thousands were killed. Empower Projects uses an asset-based community development approach. You may have heard this mentioned in the interview with Sasha Fisher…

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023, Shanil Samarakoon, Empower Projects| Empowerment as a Community Development Tool

022, Sasha Fisher, Spark MicroGrants | Driving Change Through Empowerment

Where were you on September 11, 2001? If you were more than three years old at the time, there’s a good chance that you remember. Sasha Fisher grew up about five blocks from “ground zero.” At the time, Sasha was in middle school. This event caused Sasha to begin to think outside of her neighborhood, her city and even her country. She began to learn about people around the world who could not meet their most fundamental basic needs. As a college student, Sasha had a chance to visit South Sudan where she observed a disturbing pattern. Outside aide organizations had started many projects which were not sustained after the…

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022, Sasha Fisher, Spark MicroGrants | Driving Change Through Empowerment

021, Julian Maha, KultureCity | The Startup That is Changing the Perception of Autism

Autism is the fastest growing developmental diagnosis. It is more often diagnosed in children than diabetes, HIV and cancer combined. About four years ago, Julian Maha and his wife received a diagnosis of autism for their son Abram. At the time, they were told that they would need to institutionalize their son. After a very brief period of shock and mourning from the news, the Maha family, both physicians and business people, made a decision that would change the course of their life, the life of their son and the lives of thousands of families who are dealing with Autism. They formed an organization, KultureCity. KultureCity has an aim of…

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021, Julian Maha, KultureCity | The Startup That is Changing the Perception of Autism

016, Funlayo Alabi, Shea Radiance | Women’s Gold

You may have seen shea butter as an ingredient, especially in high-end beauty products. But did you know that in Africa, shea butter is called “women’s gold”? Funlayo Alabi and her husband share a common problem, dry skin. They have a son who had kidney problems, and he also had very dry skin. Their second son had a severe case of eczema. After trying several over the counter and prescription remedies, they found no relief. So, they thought back to their childhood in Nigeria and remembered their parents and grandparents using shea butter to remedy dry skin. Funlayo’s husband experimented with different formulations over a two-year period until they developed…

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014, Steele Lorenz, MyRain | Saving Water Resources through Business Innovation

MyRain distributes efficient irrigation equipment to smallholder farmers in India. It is not an innovation of technology; drip irrigation has existed and been a proven technology for many years. By using drip irrigation, you can increase crop yield by 50% to 100% and decrease water consumed between 20% and 50% when compared with flood irrigation. Increasing yields can drastically improve the quality of life for smallholder farmers. Globally, 70% of freshwater is used for agricultural purposes. It has been estimated that by 2050 the world population will be around 9 billion. With the emerging global middle class, the demand for food will double. This places tremendous pressure on our freshwater…

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014, Steele Lorenz, MyRain | Saving Water Resources through Business Innovation