As we stand on the edge of a brand-new year, we thought it would be good to look back on the many positive things that have come down the pike in 2020. After all, no one needs to be reminded that this has been a particularly difficult year. And we've got some real reasons to feel hopeful about the coming annum.
To recognize some of the good things that came out of 2020, El Pais has assembled a collection of 42 positive stories from the past year–and it's truly a remarkable list. From marked declines in HIV infections, cancer mortality and dementia, to the huge advances being made in renewable energy sources, there is so much progress being made. It's the kind of thing we all need to be ...Read more
Posted on 12/31/2020 at 01:55 PM
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we've seen a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. Responding to the needs of this embattled sector, public and private business leaders have invested in an emergency fund targeted to social entrepreneurs who focus on the world’s most vulnerable.
Acumen, a non-profit organization that invests in initiatives to tackle poverty, heads up the fund. Employing a radical approach divergent from their typical strategy, they use small grants and loans to create an immediate infusion of support for impacted communities.
Just one of the organizations they've helped is SiembraViva, a Colombian nonprofit that brings healthy food to people in cities, ...Read more
Posted on 09/30/2020 at 02:45 PM
While it seems like the bad news has been endless lately, it's always important to point out the bright spots when you find them. One area that has been particularly shaken up in the past several months is small business––and yet, there are some wily entrepreneurs who are coming out of the pandemic stronger and healthier.
Lisa Logan, Debra D. Williams and Sydney Perry are three of those entrepreneurs. A manicurist, a fitness specialist and a baker respectively, all three are black women and small business owners who've found a way to thrive during the slowdown. The recent Essence feature takes a look at the three of them, and the challenges they've weathered since Covid-19 began. ...Read more
Posted on 09/18/2020 at 01:15 PM
Finding care for young children suffering from ADHD, anxiety and other common issues can often be a difficult process. Naomi Allen knows firsthand just how hard it can be, having struggled with finding therapy for her five-year-old son. “It was just a black box,” she says.
Now thanks to Allen, there's literally an app for that. Spurred on by her experience, Allen co-founded Palo Alto, California-based Brightline to bridge the gap, and provide families with a virtual behavioral health solution. The Brightline app provides a portal through which children can meet with clinicians to work on problems including ADHD, anxiety, depression, disruptive behavior and more. And this week, the...Read more
Posted on 08/19/2020 at 01:19 PM
The founder and CEO of Making Authentic Friendships (MAF), a web-based app that helps kids and adults with special needs to make friends, Juliana Fetherman has always had a uniquely strong motivating force: her younger brother Michael, who was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Michael struggles with forming friendships, a common problem among those with his diagnosis.
Like many new entrepreneurs, Fetherman faced a steep learning curve when she started out. But she stuck with it, and MAF is currently serving the special needs community in 30 states, 12 countries and 5 continents – and all this from a 23-year-old with no prior business experience.
In the recent Forbes feature, the young entr...Read more
Posted on 04/30/2020 at 03:04 PM
When Felecia Gaston founded Performing Stars of Marin in 1990, a nonprofit art academy serving the underprivileged, she began with no budget whatsoever. “I had no idea about fundraising, writing grants, doing all the networking, filling out the 501(c)(3)s,” Gaston says.
Fast-forward 30 years, and today more than 3,000 young people have attended the program--and many have gone on to achieve at a level they never thought possible. By making classes, scholarships and other assistance accessible to families unable to afford performing arts programs, Gaston opened up a new world to kids who otherwise may have never had the chance to participate in the arts.
One excellent example is John...Read more
Posted on 03/24/2020 at 01:02 PM
When he founded nonprofit TechnoServe just over a half-century ago, Ed Bullard espoused a point of view that was downright radical for the time. Namely, that profits and poverty abatement aren't antithetical, and that the two can actually support one another.
Of course, this perspective has become almost mainstream in today's business world. TechnoServe has expanded to 29 countries, connecting big corporations with small farmers to help them prosper and grow their businesses. And they're at the top of their game: Impact Matters, which rates nonprofits based on their impact, has rated TechnoServe as the number one nonprofit in cost effectiveness for reducing poverty.
And as TechnoServe CEO Will...Read more
Posted on 01/31/2020 at 02:30 PM
In 2018, Nigeria overtook India as the nation with the largest population living in extreme poverty. Among the many problems the rapidly growing country faces is energy security: the country's power grid has failed half a dozen times already in 2019.
Ugwem I. Eneyo grew up in Andoni in the Niger Delta, and she is the founder and CEO of SHYFT Power Solutions, an energy tech firm that develops technology solutions to optimize energy "grid reliability and resiliency.” And despite the steep slope women of color must negotiate to raise VC money, her company is making real progress.
To read more about Eneyo and SHYFT's breakthrough technology, read the recent Forbes article.
Posted on 09/02/2019 at 03:15 PM
Family farms are a strong tradition in the United States, and the vast majority of American farms are family-owned. Unfortunately, food waste is a big problem with smaller farms, and nearly one-third of the food produced by local families is never consumed.
CropMobster is trying to solve that problem, by connecting communities to reduce waste. For starters, they find buyers for family farms' excess food, both helping their bottom line and getting food to those who need it most. So far they've prevented more than a million servings of local products from going into the waste bin–and they're just getting started.
To learn more about the people behind CropMobster, check out Food Tank's inte...Read more
Posted on 07/16/2019 at 01:52 PM
Last year, bicycle-sharing startup oBike ceased operations in Singapore, leaving the city with an inconvenient parting gift: thousands of abandoned bicycles, left behind in parks and other public spaces.
But to Myanmar entrepreneur Mike Than Tun Win, it was a problem with a simple solution. Why not distribute the bikes to poor kids in outlying villages so they could bike back and forth to school?
“It’s a common sight to see lines and lines of students walking long distances from home to school in rural villages,” Than told TechCrunch. “Some students can walk up to one hour from home to school....a school bus is almost unheard of to the students in rural villages.”...Read more
Posted on 06/10/2019 at 10:59 AM