In honor of Black History Month, The Impact Executive is highlighting a diverse group of Social Entrepreneurs who are committed to creating innovative and sustainable solutions in education, tourism, food waste, energy, and agriculture through their business models.
Join us in celebrating their achievements and learning from their inspirational stories and creativity. Each of the incredible innovators below are turning purpose into action and are truly reimagining business and leadership.
Topaz Smith – EN-NOBLE
Meet Topaz Smith, founder of EN-NOBLE, a tech company focused on connecting like-minded travelers to immersive culturally rich destinations while keeping safety and sustainability paramount. Inspired by sustainable business practices through community-based tourism and coupled with her career in international tourism, she created EN-NOBLE to help implement healthy boundaries for the industry while generating benefits for local communities.
By creating an extensive network of independent and local travel experts, Smith saw an opportunity to sustain local markets and seek ways to access resource-filled communities lacking exposure to the broader tourism market. This new-found awareness offers EN-NOBLE clients to experience local cultures and ensures that their money is also strengthening those communities.
As part of EN-NOBLE’s commitment to travel equity is at the heart of its busines model. The company pledges 1% of its revenue to be reinvested in the local communities where they operate.
Read more about EN-NOBLE here
Dr. Lydiah Kemunto Bosire – 8B Education Investments
Meet Dr. Lydiah Kemunto Bosire, a Kenyan native, and founder of 8B Education Investments, a financial and education technology platform specialized in lending to African students to attend world-class global universities and supporting them to succeed. Inspired by her own personal financial struggle to attend University of Oxford, Dr. Lydiah Kemunto Bosire believed she could strengthen Africa’s human capital by equipping the continent’s future leaders and ecosystem builders to innovate, compete, and thrive in the knowledge economy of the 21st century.
8B Education Investments is the first fintech company using innovative guarantees and income-share agreements to facilitate affordable financing to African students in attending universities across the globe.
Dr. Lydiah Kemunto Bosire has a background in international affairs, including serving in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. Lydiah led the UN’s collaboration with the World Bank on the Global Concessional Finance Facility, an innovative financing window for refugee-hosting communities.
Read more about 8B Education Investments here
Yoni Medhin – Grain4Grain
Meet Yoni Medhin, CEO and Co-Founder of Grain4Grain, a FoodTech start-up targeting two of the biggest issues in our world today: food waste and hunger. Grain4Grain created a patent pending innovative solution to decrease the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills. By repurposing the byproducts created in the beer brewing process and turning it into low carb high protein flour, Grain4Grain is capitalizing on this resource.
The inspiration for this innovative idea? Medhin wanted to marry his passion for helping his local community and acting sustainably. Another inspiration was bringing healthy alternatives to daily products across different communities.
While Grain4Grain is working to create a more sustainable and circular economy, it is also ameliorating world hunger. In fact, the company’s name comes from the fact that for every pound of flour sold, a pound is donated to help feed families across communities in San Antonio, Texas. To date, Grain4Grain has been responsible for feeding over 650 families and diverting 4200 pounds of spent barley grains from being tossed into landfills.
Read more about Grain4Grain here
Jessica O. Matthews – Founder of Uncharted Power
Meet Jessica O. Matthews, Founder & CEO of Uncharted Power. Uncharted Power is a sustainable infrastructure company which uses everyday actions to create Motion-based Off-Grid Renewable Energy. The company’s flagship product began with a soccer ball that stores kinetic energy, which generates enough energy to power a small, attachable LED light for three hours.
Matthews’ inspiration for the invention came from attending her aunt’s wedding in Nigeria. During the wedding, the electricity went out, prompting her to rethink the way energy is created and stored. Powered by a desire to protect communities from hazardous fumes and a strong belief that everyone should have universal access to sustainable power infrastructure, she began working on her flagship product.
Expanding beyond toys, Matthews now describes her company’s technology as an energy harvesting building block that can be seamlessly integrated into various infrastructures from floor panels, streets, speedbumps and sidewalks, to subway turnstiles, strollers, shopping carts and beyond.
Read more about Uncharted Power here
Jehiel Oliver – Hello Tractor
Meet Jehiel Oliver, the CEO & Founder of Hello Tractor, an agricultural technology social enterprise that is focused on improving food and income security throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Hello Tractor, is a user-friendly software which connects tractor owners and smallholder farmers through a farm equipment sharing application. Through the platform, farmers are able to connect with farm equipment, which allows them to plant 40-times faster than other methods, driving improved food and income security for their families, their communities, and across the continent.
Oliver’s inspiration for this venture came from the understanding that rural, smallholder farmers often face labor and equipment constraints, resulting in under-cultivation, late planting, and lost income. Over the next 5 years, it is estimated that Hello Tractor will bring 9 million hectares of land into production, creating 37 million metric tons of additional food and adding over 2 million direct and indirect jobs in Nigeria.
Read more aboutHello Tractor here