What do you do when loss upends your life? Scarlett Lewis’s nonprofit aims to prevent school shootings by bringing social and emotional learning to schools.
In this ongoing series, we profile women social entrepreneurs and nonprofit founders who are addressing social issues in innovative and inspiring ways — and using the power of business to do #GoodOnTheGround. Here’s why.
Meet the Abortion Clinic Owner Who Took on Texas
For Amy Hagstrom Miller, providing high-quality reproductive care to women is a mission.
Meet the Fashion ‘Trash Nerd’ Who’s Won Money and Love from Vogue
Jessica Schreiber left New York’s sanitation department to launch Fabscrap. She’s still reselling textile waste, despite the pandemic.
A Small Inventor Turns ‘Granny Thug’ to Take on Counterfeiters
Bonnie Tyler invented the Negg to peel eggs. She never anticipated counterfeiters on Amazon were waiting to pounce.
Her Startup Aims to Make Water Safer and Cleaner
Meena Sankaran is the founder of Ketos, a water analytics startup that aims to detect toxins and leaks in the water supply.
Meet the ER Doctor Bringing Covid Tests to the Communities Who Need It the Most
Dr. Nana Afoh-Manin launched MyCovidMD to help Black and brown neighborhoods impacted by coronavirus.
Baby Horses Are Still Being Born: Running a Horse Sanctuary During Coronavirus
For Lynn Hummer, founder of Pregnant Mare Rescue, her work continues amidst shelter-in-place orders.
3 Mission-Driven Women Entrepreneurs Share What Inspired Them to Start
The number of women-led social enterprises is growing. These female founders turned ideas into businesses that are getting results.
An Immigrant Founder Uses Food to Lift Up Her Latino Community
Paty Funegra of La Cocina VA has raised $2 million to turn her community kitchen into an incubator, a café and a place of hope for struggling immigrants.
Meet the Plastics Engineer Who’s Raised $1 Million to Make Prosthetic Legs
Erin Keaney of Nonspec is on a mission to make prosthetics affordable around the world — and that means using medical-grade plastic.
She Designed Fierce Female Action Figures. And Surprise! Her Customers Are Men
Julie Kerwin launched I Am Elemental to combat all those hypersexualized girl superheroes. She didn’t anticipate her newfound fans.
How a ‘Champion of Change’ Stays Inspired, Even on Soul-Crushing Days
Deborah Shore of Sasha Bruce Youthwork has worked with homeless young people for 45 years. The work is not easy.
JJ Ramberg on the End of ‘Your Business’ and What’s Ahead
The former MSNBC TV host, who also runs socially conscious company Goodshop, talks about her career and what excites her.
Thanks to This Musical Disrupter, the Chorus Is No Longer a ‘Uniblob’
Dianne Berkun Menaker’s Brooklyn Youth Chorus is tackling everything from race and identity to gender and sexuality — and making students’ voices heard.
Donna Karan Opens Up About Fashion, Failure and the Force That Drives Her
During a recent conversation, the iconic fashion designer turned social entrepreneur urged women just starting out in business to tune in to their gifts and where they’re being guided.
When Pain Derailed This Doctor’s Career, She Started a $5 Million Nonprofit That Saves Pregnant Women’s Lives Around the World
Laura Stachel co-founded We Care Solar, which makes solar suitcases that light deliveries in health centers where electricity is scarce.
An Insect Lover Builds an $18 Million Natural Pest Control Company
After setbacks and scandal, Pamela Marrone of Marrone Bio Innovations is staging a comeback developing alternatives to dangerous pesticides.
A Surf Therapist Builds a ‘Really Beautiful Thing’ for Trauma Survivors
Groundswell Community Project founder Natalie Small wanted to empower women through surfing in San Diego, but no one was doing it. So she created the opportunity herself.
How to Seriously Make a Difference Through Your Work
Sure, you could have a safe and secure job in any old profession. But if you’re looking to make an impact, consider starting a social enterprise.
This Minneapolis Beekeeper Is Building a Thriving Business
Kristy Allen is no hobbyist beekeeper. Her Beez Kneez has multiple sources of revenue, and a pedal-powered invention is up next.
Feeling Lost, She Quit Her Corporate Job, Started a Social Enterprise and Reinvented Her Life
Kate Curran took a series of calculated steps to make a midlife career change and rediscover her purpose.
Why a Jordanian Scientist Is on a Mission to Get Kids to Read for Pleasure
Rana Dajani has raised millions of dollars, trained thousands of volunteers, and worked with an estimated 100,000 kids to foster a love of reading.
Why This Nonprofit Cares About Periods. And How Meghan Markle Might Help
Around the world, girls miss school because of stigmas about menstruation, or because they don’t have feminine-hygiene supplies. Days for Girls wants to change that.
A Survivor Uses Sweat Lodges, Talking Circles and Dream Catchers to Bring Healing to Native Women
At Mother Nation, Norine Hill uses cultural traditions to help Native American women recover from abuse and homelessness.
How to Retire From Your Mission-Based Baby
Steffanie Lorig, who spent 20 years running Art with Heart, has successfully left the nonprofit she founded. It’s now in Heidi Durham’s capable hands.
For This CEO, Volunteerism Is as Important as Her Work
Rebecca Thomley’s company offers its employees paid time-off to help in charitable efforts — especially disaster relief. And she’s often first to sign up for a mission.
These Two Activists are Elevating Black Women in U.S. Politics
Kimberly Peeler-Allen and Glynda C. Carr are the co-founders of nonprofit Higher Heights. Together, they are leading the charge to get more black women into office — and the voting booth.
This Fintech Entrepreneur Is Banking on Disaster. Literally.
The looming spectre of a student debt crisis gets Kelly Peeler out of bed every morning. It also inspired her company.
This Landscape Architect Is Committed to Saving Coastal Communities
Jennifer Bolstad of Local Office Landscape & Urban Design is taking on the challenge of rising sea levels.
Providing A Way Forward From Hate
Angela King, co-founder and deputy director of Life After Hate, helps former white supremacists and members of hate groups become productive members of society. With hate crimes on the rise in the U.S., can she help turn the tide?
She’s Bringing Joy to Kids in Poverty
Julia Warren started nonprofit Celebrate! RVA to throw birthday parties for underprivileged children in the Richmond, Va., area.
Meet the Rock Camp Founders Who Are Teaching Much More Than Music
Musicians Mona Tavakoli and Becky Gebhardt created Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles as a space where Southern Californian girls can rock out and get empowered.
This Former Military Officer Is Teaching Young Girls to Be Confident
Girl Smarts founder Dianna Flett hopes her leadership workshop series will empower elementary school girls.
How a Mother’s Grief Inspired a Mission
After the murder of her son, Monique Willis founded a nonprofit to help families cope with the loss of family members to violence. Through Momma on a Mission, she offers comfort, while sparking conversations between civilians and police.
Meet the Female Entrepreneur Who’s Going Global With Her Eco-Friendly Pest Repellant
Kari Warberg Block, the founder and CEO of EarthKind, a maker of all-natural pest-control products, has found success in the United States. Now, she wants to bring her bug-banishing products to the international marketplace.
For Those In Need of Shelter, This Arizona Entrepreneur Has a Solution
Angie Lozano started Angie’s House to help the less fortunate find affordable housing and rebuild their lives.
How School-Lunch Trash Inspired Two Moms to Start an Eco-Cool Business
Lynn Julian and Chance Claxton co-founded U Konserve to reduce plastic use and help keep it out of the oceans.
These Phoenix Sisters Launched a $25 Million Eco-Chic Business
Ann and Jenny Siner’s “cute, clean and current” consignment shops keep used items out of the trash.
This 6-Horse Startup Helps Kids With Special Needs
Chelsea Harden’s The H.E.A.R.T. Center offers therapeutic riding lessons to children with physical, emotional and behavioral challenges.
A Fan Teams With Singer Martina McBride to Do Good
Through Team Music is Love, Sheila Jones leads fans of country star Martina McBride in “flash mob volunteering.” Together they tackle domestic violence, hunger and more through tour-stop activities and the power of song.
In Rural Uganda, Women Supporting Women
Seven Ugandan women farmers banded together in 2015 to found the Network of Women in Agribusiness and Development. They’re already giving hundreds of poor women in rural communities the skills and confidence to improve their lives.
3 Solutions from Women to a Staggering Plastic Problem
Plastic waste is harming marine life — and human life — around the globe. Through businesses and nonprofits, these women are hoping to turn the tide.
How Celebrity Women Are Lifting Up The Sisterhood
Tory Burch, Sara Blakely and Eva Longoria are using their fame and fortunes to help other women succeed and to lift up whole communities. They are bright examples of the many women who use their success for good.
A Former Hairstylist Brings Hope to Senior Dogs
Sherri Franklin, inspired by her affection for senior dogs, created a San Francisco organization called Muttville that has rescued thousands of them.
A Beauty Queen’s Platform Becomes a Nonprofit That Stands Against Domestic Abuse
Former pageant winner Lovern Gordon launched Love Life Now to unite communities against domestic violence and break down the isolation that survivors like her have experienced — and that allows abuse to persist.
A Mother’s Creation for Her Kid Launches a Multi-Million Dollar Business
Aviva Weiss, founder of kids’ therapeutic toys and tools purveyor Fun and Function, helps children with special needs through research-inspired, parent-approved products.
Meet the New Jersey Mom Granting Foster Kids’ Wishes
Danielle Gletow created One Simple Wish to bring joy to America’s invisible children.
The Unusual Item That Inspired This Science Entrepreneur’s Career Path
Like many young women, Tish Scolnik initially rejected engineering as “nerdy.” Now she’s running a social enterprise that designs wheelchairs for rough terrains.
An Indian Startup Takes ‘Ugly’ Farm Food To Market
Since 2013, DesiVDesi has sold low-cost solar dryers to farmers in India and beyond, reducing food waste and raising farmer incomes. Now, it aims to take those dried fruits and veggies to the masses, co-founder Nidhi Pant tells us.
Seeking Women Entrepreneurs of ‘Passion & Purpose’
The Story Exchange’s 2017 list will spotlight founders of successful passion projects that create jobs, solve problems and make a difference. Interested entrepreneurs: Apply before March 31!
This Philadelphia Entrepreneur is Helping Fix a Broken Food System
How Tatiana Garcia-Granados’ nonprofit enterprise, The Common Market, is bringing healthful food to low-income communities and lifting local farmers’ livelihoods.
A Mother-Daughter Team Brings Opportunity to Formerly Incarcerated Women
Teresa and Laurin Hodge’s nonprofit, Mission: Launch, is helping women return to the workforce after prison — as Teresa, herself, once struggled to do — and to launch their own businesses.
How ‘Orange is the New Black’ Inspired This Luxury T-Shirt Company
At Road Twenty-Two, founded by Iranian immigrant Fif Ghobadian in San Francisco, women who served time in prison get a second chance.
Meet the Women Who Teach Financial Skills to the Homeless
Anita Saville and Kathy Brough formed Budget Buddies to help homeless women lift themselves out of poverty.
An Entrepreneurial Duo Helps Women Find Welcoming Workplaces
Georgene Huang and Romy Newman cofounded Fairygodboss to help the women of America’s workforce find jobs at supportive, female-friendly companies. Could they change U.S. companies in the process?
Three Good Women
The Story Exchange presents our shortlist of stand-out female entrepreneurs who run businesses that are not only doing well, but doing good in the world.
Stacy Ratner is in Business to do Good
The founder of Chicago-based Open Books has built a high-impact literacy nonprofit by applying everything she learned as a serial tech entrepreneur.
This Woman Created the Uber of Legal Aid
Donna Peel founded the nonprofit Pro Bono Network to make volunteering easy for stay-at-home moms on hiatus from legal careers.
The Compelling, Complex and Wholly Incomparable Tina Turner
The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll was an immense musical talent, a captivating performer – and a thoughtful woman who wouldn’t be defined by adversity.
These 3 Sisters Are Making Period Underwear More Accessible
Jodi, Lori and Kari Caden are the trio behind Proof, which sells anti-leak underwear that guards against everything from period bleeding and postpartum incontinence.
Amanda Gorman is Fighting Back After Florida School Bans ‘The Hill We Climb’
The first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate told social media followers she was “gutted” by the Florida school’s decision, and urged citizens to “speak out” against this and other bans.