3 Social Entrepreneurs Making a Difference

December 14, 2015 - By: Sarah Pease

During this busy holiday season, we wanted to slow the pace a bit and showcase how social entrepreneurs are making the world a better place. What is a social entrepreneur?
J. Gregory Dees, a former Duke University professor, said
social entrepreneurs play the role of change agents in the social sector by:

  • Adopting a mission to create and sustain social value.
  • Engaging in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning.

Earlier this year,
Forbes announced their global Change the World competition with a $1 million* prize awarded to social entrepreneurs under the age of 30 who created solutions that address global challenges. More than
2,500 social entrepreneurs entered. Here are three of the finalists:
Paul Duan, age 23, founder of
Bayes Impact
in San Francisco, CA This tech nonprofit uses data and builds open-source software to work with
non-governmental organizations (NGO) and governments to find solutions to problems affecting large groups like social services, healthcare delivery, emergency response, and criminal justice.
Forbes competition winner: Kiah Williams, 29, cofounder of
SIRUM
in Stanford, CA
Fifty million Americans skip their meds because they can’t afford the prescription, and $5 billion worth of unexpired medications from hospitals, nursing homes, and pharmacies are destroyed. Using technology, surplus medications are identified, matched, and then shipped directly to safety-net clinics that serve low-income populations.
Daniel Yu, 22, founder of
Reliefwatch
in Chicago, IL Developing countries lack the infrastructure to effectively manage supply chains, making expired medications and stockouts routine. A cloud-based system tracks data in real-time and makes it available anywhere in the world using mobile phones. While working with
Global Brigades in Central America, wasted medication was reduced by 90 percent. Tell us what you think about social entrepreneurship in the comments! *
Williams and SIRUM received the $500,000 grand prize, which was $250,00 cash and a $250,000 media grant from Forbes. For making it to the final round, the other five finalists received $100,000 each.