As we close out the month of March which celebrates and honors the contributions of women throughout history, we want to shine the spotlight on some women social entrepreneurs that are doing amazing work around the world.
- Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies
Justice of the Pies is a low-profit limited liability company (L3C) that serves sweet and savory pies, quiches, and tarts. Broussard founded the company to honor her later father, a criminal defense attorney and passionate baker who believed that “everyone deserves an opportunity to reform their lives”. Justice of the Pies partners with various nonprofit organizations to carry out this mission.
- Audrey Cheng, Moringa School
Working with Savannah Fund in Kenya, Audrey noticed a shortage of qualified software developers. Audrey thought she could help tackle the high unemployment rate in the country if she were able to close that skills gap. She co-founded Moringa School in 2014 to teach students key technical skills and provide them with practical experience. To date, Moringa School has enrolled over 3,000 students and has an 85% success rate of placing students into employment.
- Vera Cordeiro, Instituto Dara (formerly Saúde Criança)
Founded in Brazil in 1991, Instituto Dara uses a unique, integrated approach to fight poverty and promote health and human development. The organization offers training and support to help families within the areas of health, education, housing, citizenship, and income. To date, they have impacted the lives of more than 75,000 people in Brazil.
- Alice Emasu, Terrewode
Terrewode, which stands for The Association for the Rehabilitation and Re-orientation of Women for Development, is a Ugandan NGO focused on improving the livelihood of women. Specifically, Terrewode supports more than 200,000 women in Uganda that are affected by obstetric fistula by providing them with access to surgery. The organization also works to prevent obstetric fistulas through partnering with various health organizations and hospitals.
- Brit Gilmore, The Giving Keys
The Giving Keys is a jewelry company that sells re-purposed keys engraved with inspirational messages. The company encourages customers to wear the jewelry until they find someone else who needs that message more and “pay it forward”. The Giving Keys partners with local LA organizations to employ people transitioning out of homelessness.
- Ruth Ibegbuna, RECLAIM
Ibegbuna founded RECLAIM in 2007 “out of frustration at seeing so much wasted potential in young people, often written off due to their postcodes or through appallingly low expectations of their outcomes.” RECLAIM empowers those from middle-class backgrounds to make their voices heard and fight for social change.
- Etka Jaju, Onganic Foods
Onganic’s vision is to achieve “a better livelihood for farmers, health and wellness for consumers, and a sustainable planet.” The organization does this by working directly with organic, smaller holder, certified grower groups and supporting them from procuring their seeds to accessing premium markets to sell their products. To date, they have positively impacted over 2,000 farmers and 23 villages within East and North East India.
- Servane Mouazan, Ogunte
Ogunte is a Community Interest Company and certified B Corp based in the UK that supports women social entrepreneurs with customized services that address the unique challenges they are facing in scaling their impact. The purpose of the organization is to create an inclusive ecosystem where women are empowered to contribute their social innovations and support one another in creating a better world.
- Kendis Paris, Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT)
Truckers Against Trafficking was founded with the idea that transportation professionals could help “assist law enforcement in the recognition and reporting of human trafficking in order to aid in the recovery of victims and the arrest of their perpetrators.” Through their program, more than 1 million truckers have been registered as TAT trained and over 1,200 victims have been identified.
- Sakena Yacoobi, Afghan Institute of Learning
Founded in 1995, the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) “provides education, training, and health services to vulnerable Afghans in order to foster self-reliance, critical thinking skills, and community participation throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan.” With 48 learning centers and 6 health clinics, AIL has been able to educate 26,000 students.
In the article we shared on social media last week, the World Economic Forum posits that female social entrepreneurs, like the ones shared above, are essential to shaping a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When we reframe the definition of success in a way that better includes and celebrates women social entrepreneurs, we curate an ecosystem that is more likely to inspire and nurture women changemakers,” says Iman Bibars, founder, Women’s Initiative for Social Entrepreneurship, Ashoka.
So let’s empower and celebrate women social entrepreneurs not just in the month of March, but all year long.
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Rachel LevittRachel Levitt
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