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.

In 2015, 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 


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