social impact

This Social Entrepreneur is Changing the Story of Human Trafficking, with Stephanie Page, Stories Foundation

Stories Foundation is committed to resourcing the rescue and restoration of human trafficking victims through education, advocacy, and microgrants Between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. 80% are female, and half are children. Can this story be changed? Stephanie Page thinks so. Stephanie grew up in a safe and happy home. “I grew up in a close-knit family,” she says. “I am the oldest of 4 children, two boys, and two girls. I was a high achiever and a people pleaser. I loved my friends and being social. I loved the church. I loved my family. I was an avid reader.” Starting when she was…

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Fueled by Prize Money, These Social Entrepreneurs Are Striking at the Root of Poverty, with Leeore Levinstein and Jesse Abelson, Vetiver Solutions

Vetiver Solutions is a for-profit social business that is alleviating poverty and malnutrition for subsistence farmers in Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the northern hemisphere. 2.5 million Haitians live in extreme poverty. Two out of three live on less than $2 per day. 100,000 Haitian children are acutely malnourished. Jesse Abelson first started traveling to Haiti in 2013 as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with Project Medishare. Between 2013 and 2016, he traveled there five times. “After seeing countless deaths due to poverty and malnutrition, I decided that I wanted to work to tackle the problem at the root,” Jesse explains. “There is only so much I can…

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Weaving Artisans and Markets Together, with Alicia Wallace, All Across Africa

All Across Africa creates sustainable jobs to alleviate poverty in Africa. Travel is a key component of Alicia Wallace’s journey. When she was 14 years old, she visited slums in Mexico. At the time, she thought “this isn’t right.” She wondered if there was a model that creates homes, jobs, and dignity for people, without depending on charity. She knew she wanted to commit her talents and energy to serve others. While attending university in Seattle, Alicia found a job at a law firm. Within two years, she was managing the firm. “I thought that was going to be my career path,” Alicia explains, “to climb a corporate ladder and…

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Hope, Cookies, and the End of Relationship Violence, with Junita Flowers, Junita’s Jar

Junita’s Jar donates a portion of their profits to end relationship violence. One year ago, Junita Flowers said, “Clarity comes while you are working.” And, she is always working. So, it comes as no surprise that she launched a new brand, Junita’s Jar. They offer new products, including 3 oz snack packs. She has a new overarching message, #HopeMunchesOn. And her new job title is “Hope Muncher in Chief.” Still, she remains true to her mission. She brings hope to women experiencing relationship violence. “Junita’s Jar is focused on creating meaningful conversations that foster education and awareness around relationship violence,” Junita explains. A portion of profits from each purchase of…

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When Vision Meets Purpose, with Susan Elwer, Hands & Feet

Hands & Feet creates apparel with inspiring messages and donates 50% of the profits to end childhood hunger. In the US, 13.1 million children struggle with food insecurity. The mission of Hands & Feet is to help end childhood hunger in the United States. According to the company’s Founder, Susan Elwer, “We accomplish this by donating 50% of the profits to our local non-profit partners who are working to end childhood hunger in the United States. There is enough food available in the United States for everyone. The issue is how do we get the food into the hands of the people who need it and at the right time?”…

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Five Impact Entrepreneur Fellowships Up for Grabs, with Mary Rick, Impact Hub MSP and FINNovation Lab Collaboration

The Impact Hub Minneapolis – Saint Paul and the FINNovation Lab have teamed up to create a new impact startup incubator. Now they are offering five $50,000 fellowships. Social Entrepreneurs have a new place to gather. The Impact Hub Minneapolis – Saint Paul (MSP) has teamed up with the FINNovation Lab to occupy a new space at FINNEGANS House in Minneapolis’ East Town District. The Impact Hub MSP will focus on co-working, collaboration, and events. FINNovation Lab is providing venture services for impact entrepreneurs. According to Mary Rick, CEO at FINNovation Lab and Impact Hub MSP Collaboration, “Our mission is to inspire, nourish, and scale inclusive impact enterprises, entrepreneurs, and…

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This App Launched a Female Solidarity Movement, with Aine Mulloy, GirlCrew

GirlCrew is a social networking app for women to make new friends. It seems that female solidarity has never been more important. Women still struggle to gain meaningful power over their lives and choices. One in five women will experience violence at the hand of their intimate partner. Systemic gender discrimination still exists. Even though women make up 50.8% of the US population, only 39% of all managerial roles are held by women. When it comes to CEO positions, only 4.2% of Fortune 500 companies are run by women. Aine Mulloy of GirlCrew was born for a time like this. “It has always been important to me to be part…

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Upcycling Food Waste into Tea with a Purpose, with Daniela Uribe, Lazy Bear Tea

Lazy Bear Tea is a socially and environmentally inspired beverage company brewing teas from cascara, the dried coffee fruit. I suspect that, like me, you drink coffee…lots of coffee. But, also like me, you’ve probably never held a coffee fruit in your hand. The coffee bean that we are familiar with is the seed of the coffee fruit. And, just like a plumb, peach, or cherry, coffee fruit has a skin and flesh that surrounds the seed. The coffee fruit is known as cascara, the Spanish word for husk. We know what happens with the coffee bean, but what about the husk? Cascara is commonly a wasted byproduct of coffee…

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Elisa Birnbaum, Author of “In the Business of Change: How Social Entrepreneurs are Disrupting Business as Usual”

In the Business of Change features stories of changemakers who use the power of business to address society’s most pressing problems. Elisa Birnbaum is the publisher and editor-in-chief of SEE Change Magazine, a digital publication of social entrepreneurship and social change. You may recall her interview from June 2017. Elisa has a new book out, In the Business of Change: How Social Entrepreneurs are Disrupting Business as Usual. The book highlights how social entrepreneurs are using business savvy to create change in their communities. Elisa tells stories from a wide-range of sectors, including employment, food, art, education, and social justice. Each chapter focuses on lessons learned and measurable impact. The…

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Making a Sustainable Difference, with Sasha Kramer, SOIL

SOIL is working in Haiti to design, test, and implement social business models to increase access to sanitation services. When the business model is right, anything can be a valuable asset, even human waste. SOIL uses a business model that provides sanitation services, improves soil fertility, and creates livelihoods in Haiti. SOIL collects human waste and transforms it into compost that can be safely used in agriculture. Ecologist Sasha Kramer of SOIL describes her work this way. “We are taking human waste, something that is one of the largest factors in public health issues in the world. And, we are transforming it into something that I, as ecologist thinks is…

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