25-for-Life: 25 Social Entrepreneurs Who Are Innovating Ways to Change the World, and Life, As We Know It.
Below is a list of 25 social entrepreneurs you one should follow on Twitter to understand how business can be used effective to change people’s lives, and our well-being as a whole. Let’s dive in!
Cofounder, Moringa School
The 22 year-old Northwestern graduate and former Huffington Post blogger and CNBC Fast Money intern founded the Moringa School in April of 2014. The Moringa School trains young students on how to be successful web developers top mobile app creators in Nairobi, Kenya in order to give these young minds an opportunity to seek lucrative careers in the field of technology. This is done by an elite-level curriculum instilled by top professionals from Hack Reactor (a top coding school in Silicon Valley). Audrey Cheng’s innovative project is allowing young minds in Africa to have an opportunity at an education and a long term career, while also paving the way for younger and future generations to possess the skills necessary to create new technological innovations for years to come.
Senior Manager City and State Programs, LinkedIn
Before being hired by LinkedIn, this former Duke Blue Devil had already founded two different social startups. After being hired by LinkedIn, she formed a social impact team, which has built: a program that has helped over 100,000 veterans find work, and a network/marketplace of seven million individuals that’s connected them with volunteer opportunities. Currently, she is developing an initiative at LinkedIn to help train workers for jobs.
Founding Director, Sanitation and Health Rights in India
This 29 year-old Northwestern graduate is the founder of Sanitation and Health Rights in India (SHRI), for which he created in 2011 to help alleviate India’s sanitation crisis. Anoop formed SHRI after realizing, in 2010, the importance of public health as a means of empowerment. SHRI builds toilets to collect human waste and use the subsequently released methane to power generators to filter water for healthy consumption and other various uses.
Stanford graduate who, in 2011, founded the Gooru, an organization that utilizes big data and crowdsourcing to ensure students maximize their education. Via web-connected devices and real-time feedback, students are able to progress in their studies at their own pace through Gooru’s “learning navigator” that essentially acts as a GPS for learning.
Christopher is the co-founder of Scholly, an app and web-based platform to connect pre-screened scholarships with eligible students using an eight parameter algorithm to deduce these matches through the program. Since the launch, Scholly has connected over 600,000 students with over $20 million in private scholarship funds and is now seeking to connect students with public university scholarships in the near future.
Joséphine Goube, 27, United Kingdom:
Director of Partnerships, Migreat
This 27 year-old holds as Masters of Science from the London School of Economics in Urbanization and Development. She is the Director of Partnerships at Migreat, a company whose mission is to simplify the process of migration by finding users services to help them acclimate, along with a team of experts to help migrants, refugees, and anyone else seeking relocation. Since 2012, Migreat, has two million monthly users and has received $6 million in funding from private investors.
Mike Hole, 29, United States:
Mike Hole holds both an M.B.A and M.D. from Stanford University, and he is the cofounder of StreetCred, which helps low income people, who are employed with children, to save time and money by advertising these individuals’ eligibility for the earned income tax credit and helps these people file such forms while waiting at a doctor’s office. Currently, Mike is planning to expand the company’s services into being a one-stop shop to help families build assets, and apply for resources such as food assistance, health insurance, savings plans, public housing, electricity, and the FAFSA all before they leave the doctor’s office.
Noam Kimelman, 29, United States:
Cofounder, Fresh Corner Café
Noam is a former Michigan Wolverine who cofounded the Fresh Corner Café in 2011. Fresh Corner Café’s mission is to ensure every Detroit resident has the ability to access healthy meals. Since its inception, Fresh Corner Café has served over 200,000 meals, only costing $3-$5. In addition to this, Mr. Kimelman also heads the Detroit Food Academy, which is a training facility focused on training high school students to start their own food businesses.
Anisa Mirza, 28, United States:
Anisa Mirza is a graduate of Y Combinator’s 2015 class, and is the cofounder of Giveffect, which builds software for nonprofits to do their “busywork” for them. It offers nonprofits platforms to help them with anything from fundraising, donor management solutions, or volunteer services. “Think Shopify for nonprofits. Our turnkey SaaS acts as a full operating system for nonprofits by combining the best elements of fundraising systems (like Artez, Convio, Crowdrise) with a full back-end donor CRM and admin software (like Salesforce or BlackBaud)”. Since its creation, Giveffect has secured partnerships with United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Derrick Braziel, 30; William Thomas, 30:
Cofounders, MORTAR Cincinnati
Together, Derrick Braziel and William Thomas created MORTAR Cincinnati, which runs training courses to help current Cincinnati residents develop their entrepreneurial skills through nine-week training courses and pop-up retail spaces to help them understand how to grow their own businesses.
Nedgine Paul, 29, Haiti:
Cofounder, Anseye Pou Ayiti
Nedgine Paul is a Yale graduate who also holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University. She is the CEO and cofounder of Anseye Pou Ayiti, which focuses on raising education outcomes in rural areas of Haiti by promoting student success and teacher excellence. Before cofounding her company, Nedgine conducted research on the historical, cultural, and socioeconomic factors contributing to Haiti’s school system, as well as currently maintaining ongoing involvement in community service and youth development programs in Haiti.
Sharad Sagar, 24, United States:
Founder, Dexterity Global
Sharad Sagar is a recent graduate of Tuft’s University with a degree in International Relations, as well as the founder of Dexterity Global: a system of educational platforms that serve undergraduate and high school students in Southeast Asia. The goal of these platforms is to ensure the next generation can connect with the world by making educational opportunities and resources available for students in Southeast Asia.
Anna Stork, 29, United States:
Anna Stork is Dartmouth grad who also holds a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. She is the cofounder of LuminAID, which develops portable energy products for outdoor activities and emergency aid, especially with about 1.1 billion people who do not have access to electricity, which has also been worsened by natural disasters. LuminAID’s products are solar-powered and inflate into portable lights that, in partnership with Doctors Without Borders, are used in relief efforts after tragedies/natural disasters.
Sophia Sunwoo, 28, United States:
Cofounder, Water Collective
Sophia Sunwoo is a current Master’s student at Columbia University, pursuing a Master of Public Policy and Administration and International Economic Policy. She is the CEO and Cofounder of the Water Collective, which is focused on bringing long-term clean water solutions to rural African and Indian communities by using in-country engineers to create solutions to water crises plaguing these areas while teaching these communities how to keep their water clean on their own.
Brent Caramanica, 21; Ulixes Hawili, 20; Phil Michaels. 29; Samantha Taranto, 23; Sercan Topcu, 26:
Cofounders, Tembo Education
These four individuals came together to form Tembo Education, which provides early childhood education learning into homes of families in developing countries. They are able to do so by sending parents and caregivers text message instructions and quizzes about early childhood education in addition to having trained community members who will visit these households and teach their children.
Maria Vertkin, 29, United States:
Founder, Found in Translation
Stemming from her experience as a Spanish-to-English translator, Maria Vertkin founded Found in Translation, which helps homeless and low-income multilingual women in Boston utilize their language skills in the healthcare industry’s workforce. The company does this by providing medical interpreter certificate training and job placement.
Catalin Voss, 20, United States:
Catalin Voss is a Stanford student and entrepreneur who created The Autism Glass Project. This project, which is currently in clinical trials, uses Google Glass which acts as a behavioral aid for children with autism. It helps autistic children recognize basic facial emotions through a system that delivers real-time social cues.
Patrick Woodyard, 29, United States:
After traveling through Africa and South America, Patrick discovered the distraught Peruvian footwear industry made up of talented shoemakers who were unable to find work, fair-wages, etc. As a result of this experience, Patrick created Nisolo, an online retailer for handcrafted shoes and other accessories that also provides fair wages for the workers. Nisolo also offers English classes and other services to their employees in both Kenya and Peru. Nisolo topped $1 million dollars in revenue this past year and have its products have been sold in all 50 states.
Danile Yu, 22, United States:
Daniel Yu is a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and also happens to speak six different languages. His is the founder of Reliefwatch, a cloud-based platform that manages and tracks supplies in pharmacies and clinics around the world. It uses automated to collect inventory data that is then sent to suppliers to ensure these clinics never run out of medicine. Reliefwatch is currently operating five different countries.
Mohammed Ashour, 29; Shobhita Soor, 27:
Mohammed Ashour and Shobhita Soor, two McGill University graduates, are the cofounders of Aspire, a company that brings jobs and nutrients in the form of microfarms of palm weevil larvae to people in Ghana (for which the aforementioned is a popular local food). After this initial step, members of these rural communities are taught to raise the native insects that, within four weeks, can be eaten for sustenance or sold for resources.
Paul Duan, 23; Eric Liu, 25:
Cofounders, Bayes Impact
Berkeley graduate Paul Duan and Eric Liu together formed Bayes Impact, who “believe that applied properly, data can be used to solve the world’s biggest problems”. Bayes Impact aims to solve the world’s biggest problems using data. They have previously worked with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to improve employment opportunities and training for over 21 million veterans. For their next project, they’re focusing on tackling France’s unemployment agency.
Ann Wang, 24; Jessica Willison, 24:
Ann Wang and Jessica Willison are two graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles who together formed Enrou. Enrou is an online marketplace that gives customers the opportunity to purchase made in the U.S. and from developing communities around the world. Enrou also links artists with local organizations that provide training and education and helps create jobs. People who buy products from Enrou are introduced to their creators through stories that come with the purchased goods.
Jordyn Lexton, 29, United States:
Founder, Drive Change
While teacher high school at Rikers Island, Jordyn witnessed the cruel nature of the criminal justice system and how his students struggled to find purpose. Motivated by his students’ in his culinary class Jordyn started Drive Change as a result of digging into their belief of the power of a shared meal. Drive Change employs and trains previously imprisoned young individuals to work in a New York City food truck. Drive Change has 8-12 month fellowships, and participants rotate jobs within an award-winning culinary vehicle.
Catherine Mahugu, 27, Kenya:
Catherine Mahugu is a graduate of the University of Nairobi, and she is the founder of Soko. Soko is an online marketplace connecting nearly 1,000 sub-Saharan Africa artisans’ jewelry with the global marketplace while also providing these artisans sustainable income. Within two months of working for Soko, artisans can double their income. Soko sells their products through retailers such as Anthropologie and Nordstrom.
Mubeen Malik, 29, United States:
Vice President of Telepsychiatry Operations, Genoa
Mubeen Malik is a UPENN graduate who currently serves as the Vice President of Telepsychiatry Operations of Genoa Telepsychiatry. Genoa connects users to medical professionals who can assist with mental illness, abnormal behavior, and emotional disturbances through through an online platform.
Adam Kramer is a senior studying Finance and Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has a true thirst for adventure, sports, and breaking down barriers for better social connection and change. You can connect with him on Facebook.