July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities

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In Louisiana, about 1 in 4 people have criminal backgrounds. The Justice and Accountability Center, co-founded by two lawyers Ameca Reali and Adrienne Wheeler, seeks to tackle the deficiencies in the post-conviction phase of the criminal justice system. The Justice and Accountability Center, or the JAC, does so by conducting research, collecting data, and communicating with Louisiana communities in order to further identify the issues, end mass incarceration, and create pathways toward success and away from recidivism.
July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities
Ameca Reali and Adrienne Wheeler

In Louisiana, about 1 in 4 people have criminal backgrounds. The Justice and Accountability Center, co-founded by two lawyers Ameca Reali and Adrienne Wheeler, seeks to tackle the deficiencies in the post-conviction phase of the criminal justice system. The Justice and Accountability Center, or the JAC, does so by conducting research, collecting data, and communicating with Louisiana communities in order to further identify the issues, end mass incarceration, and create pathways toward success and away from recidivism.

While a guidance counselor, Estella Pyfrom recognized that fewer and fewer students had access to technology or computers at home after school. The sluggish economy forced families to prioritize their finances, and left the children without home computers academically behind. She went on to create Estella’s Brilliant Bus, a mobile learning center that provides computers and trainings on how to utilize technology to promote education and provide students with access to these tools. She and her volunteers hold regular classes and tutoring sessions on Internet basics in addition to reading, math, or science classes to supplement a child’s in-class education. Estella’s Brilliant Bus aims to close the digital divide, and is doing so one ride at a time.
July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities
Estella Pyfrom

While a guidance counselor, Estella Pyfrom recognized that fewer and fewer students had access to technology or computers at home after school. The sluggish economy forced families to prioritize their finances, and left the children without home computers academically behind. She went on to create Estella’s Brilliant Bus, a mobile learning center that provides computers and trainings on how to utilize technology to promote education and provide students with access to these tools. She and her volunteers hold regular classes and tutoring sessions on Internet basics in addition to reading, math, or science classes to supplement a child’s in-class education. Estella’s Brilliant Bus aims to close the digital divide, and is doing so one ride at a time.

Originally from Haiti, Nedgine Paul is the co-founder and CEO of Anseye Pou Ayiti, which translates to Teach For Haiti. The organization seeks to raise education outcomes in rural Haiti by promoting teacher excellence and student success. Anseye Pou Ayiti acknowledges the severity of their mission and recognizes the challenges of access and quality that exists in the Haitian education system. With only 20% of properly trained Hatian educators, Anseye Pou Ayiti recurits, trains, and equips education leaders to fight the disparities that exist within the system.

In 2014, Paul was named among the top global social innovators by Echoing Green, and in 2016 was selected for the Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30″ Social Entrepreneurs.
July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities
Nedgine Paul

Originally from Haiti, Nedgine Paul is the co-founder and CEO of Anseye Pou Ayiti, which translates to Teach For Haiti. The organization seeks to raise education outcomes in rural Haiti by promoting teacher excellence and student success. Anseye Pou Ayiti acknowledges the severity of their mission and recognizes the challenges of access and quality that exists in the Haitian education system. With only 20% of properly trained Hatian educators, Anseye Pou Ayiti recurits, trains, and equips education leaders to fight the disparities that exist within the system. In 2014, Paul was named among the top global social innovators by Echoing Green, and in 2016 was selected for the Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30″ Social Entrepreneurs.

A native of Accra, Ghana, Deborah Ahenkorah fell in love with reading as a young child. She had dreams of becoming a detective like her favorite character, Nancy Drew, but was quickly deterred due to her father’s acknowledgement that this was a Western aspiration and ultimately unrealistic to her life. Ahenkorah went on to create the nonprofit social enterprise, Golden Baobab, a prestigious annual prize awarded to African authors and illustrators to promote and encourage literary creatives to create content for African youth. Golden Baobab is stimulating literacy and cultural understanding by inspiring a new generation of African authors to write children’s literature to which African youth can relate.
July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities
Deborah Ahenkorah

A native of Accra, Ghana, Deborah Ahenkorah fell in love with reading as a young child. She had dreams of becoming a detective like her favorite character, Nancy Drew, but was quickly deterred due to her father’s acknowledgement that this was a Western aspiration and ultimately unrealistic to her life. Ahenkorah went on to create the nonprofit social enterprise, Golden Baobab, a prestigious annual prize awarded to African authors and illustrators to promote and encourage literary creatives to create content for African youth. Golden Baobab is stimulating literacy and cultural understanding by inspiring a new generation of African authors to write children’s literature to which African youth can relate.

Peruvian-born Isabel Medem is the CEO and co-founder of X-Runner - a company whose mission is to assist over 2 billion people worldwide who lack access to modern-day sanitation. Communities suffering from poor sanitation face a number of health risks caused by polluted air and water and X-Runner was created to assist them in resolving this issue. Lima is the 2nd driest capital in the world and a conventional water based seweage system cannot reach all of its population. Because of this, the company was established to make a difference for the 3 million people affected in Lima, Peru and has developed a waterless sanitation system that works without the infrastructure of piping or sewers.
July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities
Isabel Medem

Peruvian-born Isabel Medem is the CEO and co-founder of X-Runner - a company whose mission is to assist over 2 billion people worldwide who lack access to modern-day sanitation. Communities suffering from poor sanitation face a number of health risks caused by polluted air and water and X-Runner was created to assist them in resolving this issue. Lima is the 2nd driest capital in the world and a conventional water based seweage system cannot reach all of its population. Because of this, the company was established to make a difference for the 3 million people affected in Lima, Peru and has developed a waterless sanitation system that works without the infrastructure of piping or sewers.

In an effort to combat the growing epidemic of obesity, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks co-created socially-driven Black Girls RUN! The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage Black women to make fitness a priority and do so by cultivating running cohorts in their communities. What started as a blog to discuss the issues of health, obesity, and fitness has blossomed into over 70 Black Girls RUN! Running groups and the organization has over 150,000 members.  It is now a business and movement of encouragement for women across the United States.
July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities
Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks

In an effort to combat the growing epidemic of obesity, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks co-created socially-driven Black Girls RUN! The mission of Black Girls RUN! is to encourage Black women to make fitness a priority and do so by cultivating running cohorts in their communities. What started as a blog to discuss the issues of health, obesity, and fitness has blossomed into over 70 Black Girls RUN! Running groups and the organization has over 150,000 members. It is now a business and movement of encouragement for women across the United States.

Founder and Creative Director of Mariama Fashion Production, and co-founder of There is No Limit Foundation, Mariama Camara is an humanitarian from the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. Her company is revamping the textile industry by preserving the artisanal works of designers while creating sustainable jobs for these artisans and designers, and educating them on how to thrive in the international market.  The mission of No Limit Foundation aligns with that of Mariama Fashion Production, as it aims to empower individuals and families in poor communities to reach their highest potential through business education and the destruction of barriers such as poverty, inequality, and violence.
July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities
Mariama Camara

Founder and Creative Director of Mariama Fashion Production, and co-founder of There is No Limit Foundation, Mariama Camara is an humanitarian from the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. Her company is revamping the textile industry by preserving the artisanal works of designers while creating sustainable jobs for these artisans and designers, and educating them on how to thrive in the international market. The mission of No Limit Foundation aligns with that of Mariama Fashion Production, as it aims to empower individuals and families in poor communities to reach their highest potential through business education and the destruction of barriers such as poverty, inequality, and violence.

Catherine Mahugu is the co-founder of Soko - a global fashion and technology brand created to connect shoppers with global markets and handcrafted jewelry from developing parts of the world. Mahugu was inspired to create Soko by her time in Kenya where she and her team of co-founders aspired to use technology solutions to expand economic opportunity for artisans. These solutions allow artisans, majority who are women in underserved communities, to participate in the global marketplace. This in turn makes Soko and Mahugu a driver of social and economic equity.
July 2016 | The List: 10 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in Their Communities
Catherine Mahugu

Catherine Mahugu is the co-founder of Soko - a global fashion and technology brand created to connect shoppers with global markets and handcrafted jewelry from developing parts of the world. Mahugu was inspired to create Soko by her time in Kenya where she and her team of co-founders aspired to use technology solutions to expand economic opportunity for artisans. These solutions allow artisans, majority who are women in underserved communities, to participate in the global marketplace. This in turn makes Soko and Mahugu a driver of social and economic equity.

 

Social entrepreneurship can be defined as the relationship between an entrepreneur’s passion for a social mission, and the business practices, discipline, and determination needed to build and establish one’s business. Social entrepreneurs seek to solve some of society’s most pressing issues through business innovation.  The List for July 2016 features women of color who are identifying these societal problems, and capitalizing on the opportunity to make a difference through their business practices.

View our gallery to learn more about these leading ladies in social entrepreneurship.

Walker's Legacy

Walker's Legacy

Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

 

Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.

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