2019 Social Enterprise Cohort

Our 2019 Cohort focused on developing and improving food systems across Dallas and around the world. Of the four Social Entrepreneurs in this cohort, only one was unable to continue work during the pandemic. As we approach the end of the year, below is a brief description of each social entrepreneur’s venture along with links to their work in order to read more and/or follow their progress in the future.

Break Bread, Break Boarders

Founder: Jin-Ya Huang

Break Bread, Break Borders is catering with a cause: empowering refugee women to earn a living through their existing cooking skills, while they also share their incredible stories with the community. Huang is an Affiliate of the Hunt Institute and one of our first Social Entrepreneurs​. The Dallas Observer featured her story in their December 19, 2019 edition. In addition, Huang was a member of the 2020 Class of Presidential Leadership Scholars. Most recently, Huang was featured as a TIME Magazine Community Bridge Builder.

Restorative Farms

Founder: Dr. Owen Lynch

Restorative Farms wants to grow a better Dallas. Their mission is to foster a vibrant and viable community-based urban farm system — an agrisystem — in one of the country’s largest food deserts: South Dallas, Texas. Lynch has been featured in several blogs describing his various community engagements and awards. He is a Senior Fellow in the Hunt Institute and has worked in this area of research for many years. Most recently, Restorative Farms was featured in the Dallas Morning News article Urban farm sprouts on unused DART property beside South Dallas station.

Janta Energy

Founder: Mohammed Njie

Janta is determined to significantly improve access to energy in The Gambia, where most rural citizens and institutions like schools have no electric power. One of Janta’s key energy sources is agricultural waste because farming is a primary economic activity in The Gambia. Njie has been recognized as a Grand Challenges Scholar, winner of SMU’s Big Ideas, and is also part of the SMU Incubator. He is the first SMU student to be invited to the Hunt Institute’s Social Enterprise Program receiving the title of Social Entrepreneur.

Garden of the World

Founder: Kunthear Mam-Douglas

Garden of the World aims to bring the connection between nature and mental health to light through a mindful world garden that promotes sustainable food systems in Dallas. This work is suspended until further notice due to the global pandemic. We remain hopeful it will resume soon.

Each of the Social Entrepreneurs has made a mark in their communities and a dent in the work that needs to be done in our sustainable food systems. As we embark on a new year, we celebrate the completion of this cohort and prepare for the next.

To read more about the Hunt Institute’s work to develop future-focused solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems, please click here. For the latest news on the Hunt Institute, follow our social media accounts on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and Instagram. We invite you to listen to our Podcast called Sages & Seekers. If you are considering engaging with the institute, you can donate, or sign-up for our newsletter by emailing huntinstitute@smu.edu.

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