Everyday, we meet women in social entreprises, campaigns or networks, who have stepped out of the tramlines of convention and been brave enough to try something new and get great results. They provide sustainable, replicable, exciting and inclusive solutions and contribute to shape a more socially, environmentally and economically stable society.
We call them Female Social Innovators. Some are visible leaders, others work in the shadows.
We have asked women with confidence and influence to tell a bit more about themselves, women from all sectors who are making a difference through their primary activities.
For more examples on how women make social and environmental change happen, check our Scoop.It curated page, and make more suggestions!
Do you want to be featured on our website and social media channels?
Do you want to be on our radar and promoted to people interested in supporting women social entrepreneurs?
If so, have a go at this interview with your best, most succinct answers!
Previously featured women social entrepreneurs said this interview had made them think differently about themselves, their business and their vision!
Iara Lee, a Brazilian of Korean descent, is an activist, filmmaker, and founder of the Cultures of Resistance Network, an organization that promotes global solidarity and supports peace with justice projects. Iara is currently working on a variety of initiatives, grouped under the umbrella of CulturesOfResistance.org, an activist network that brings together artists and change-makers from around the world.
Iara Lee: "I have had the honor of meeting so many amazing women activists who are not activist superstars but people who work very hard, in very low profile way and just go about accomplishing what they need to accomplish in anonymous fashion. They show how important it is that we all have confidence in our own ability to change the world, no matter how insignificant it might sometimes feel. Even if it is just on your block or in your classroom, you can be a positive, creative force just like these amazing women."
At 19, Sara Damber founded Friends, today Scandinavia’s largest organization in the fight against bullying. Today, as CEO of the Reach for Change Foundation, Sara Damber leads a movement of change for children around the world through social entrepreneurship.
"Five years ago, social entrepreneurship was a virtually unknown concept in Sweden. When I started Reach for Change, then called the Playing for Change Foundation, in 2009, we conducted a survey that showed only a few percent had even heard the term.
InVenture believes that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have the potential to create lasting economic development in under-served communities, and that the best way to unleash this potential is through micro-INVESTING, not micro-loans. With your InVestment of as little as $25 in one of our micro-entrepreneurs, you can be part of our movement! Are you ready to InVest In Good?
1) Who are you, Shivani, and what drives you?
I am the CEO & Founder of InVenture. I believe that every business owner, no matter how large or small, should have access to the same capital, tools and guidance to grow their business and follow their dreams.
Who are you, Adital and what drives you?
I am a designer and teacher incorporating indigenous knowledge into sustainable design. My exploration is around finding ways in which design can support sustainable life habits that come from a deep sense of participation. I run S-SENSE-DESIGN , an active sustainability design studio, promoting various projects with companies, non-profit organizations and social groups. I teach sustainability design at the social-environmental design study program at the Faculty of Design at HIT, Israel. And lecture regularly at conferences and lead workshops around the world touching upon various aspects of design for sustainability. And I am a TEDglobal fellow 2010-2011.
Naomi Devine decided to travel overland (mainly by bike) from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for Rio+20 (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development). The ride has been an intense personal challenge, an opportunity to raise awareness about sustainability, and most importantly, to inspire people to take action to build a future that is better for everyone. As she says: "It is about finding your chance to shine".
Michelle Swann | www.identitiesforwomen.org.uk
"We give people encouragement and support to shine like only they can do"
I am the founder of Identities CIC, a social enterprise that breaks down barriers for individuals facing challenges to personal fulfilment in all aspects of their lives. Our organisation was created on the core belief that everyone has a right to their individuality regardless of their cultural, class or economic status.
Don't slap nasties on your face! Use the purest of the pure…
“There are over 10,000 ingredients commonly found in cosmetics which accumulate in our bodies in vast quantities of up to 2 kg per year!” Says Joanna Kossak, co-founder of Gaiavita. These substances have already been shown to produce toxic effects on living systems. We are concerned with lack of regulation in the cosmetic industry – an industry which has the capacity to harm people. Most government agencies do not require manufacturers to prove that their products are safe or effective…”
Mixing Trends that people need and value.
Hi Shazia, how did the idea of Third Door come about?
I was on maternity leave 5 years ago and had been working for a large telecommunication company. I didn't really want to go back to the corporate world, do a lot of traveling and leave my baby. So I found myself brainstorming business ideas with a friend who just had a little girl too. However, on that day, we found it really difficult to get any work done between our babies, the nappy changing, feeding and entertaining them. We were in my flat, then we moved to Starbucks, then moved to the park and it still made absolutely no difference. I was really frustrated.
I remember saying to my friend: "Wouldn't it be great to have a place, where we could go and work for a few hours and still be near them? That's where the initial idea came from.
Hi Olivia, tell us about your inner drive and the wave you are making in the world at the moment?
I’m driven by my principles. I’m a socialist, a feminist and an environmentalist and now that I’m starting my own business I’m hoping to prove that my isms are compatible with enterprise!
We launch Patchwork Present* in February. It’s a site that lets friends come together to collectively fund a single gift or experience that is really wanted. It’s about helping people meet needs in tough economic times and also about reducing the amount of unwanted gifts that end up in landfill! I don’t think I’m starting a wave so much as joining one – a really important and powerful movement that challenges conventional consumption and instead celebrates a more creative, collaborative and resourceful approach to living … and giving.
Elizabeth Jane Plummer is a strong advocate for Slow Fashion in sunny Marseilles, France. Her venture, the Lost Travel Tshirts Company combines fair trade, environmentally friendly garments with urban arts.
The t-shirt production is controlled by the Fair Wear Foundation. Their fabrics include organic cotton, bamboo jersey and Tencel Lyocell (made from the wood pulp of Eucalyptus trees). All designs are printed with water-based ink in France and the printing is certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).
- Cynthia Coredo | Boxgirls
- Jackie Vanderbrug | Women Effect Investments
- Kanika Gupta | The SoJo
- Jo Manuel | Special Yoga Centre
- Sinead Mac Manus | 8fold
- Lindsey Hall | Real Ideas Organisation
- Daniela Soares | The Impetus Trust
- Sally Goodsell | CEO FSE Group | Incito Ventures
- Kate Welch | CEO Acumen Trust
- Amanda Palmer Roye | Eco-Actif Services CIC
- Eugenie Teasley | Spark & Mettle
- Theresa Burton | Buzzbnk
- Jody Day | Gateway-Women
- Lily Lapenna | MyBnk
- Becky John | Who Made Your Pants?
- Roxanne Krystalli | Story-Teller and Conflict Manager
- Jane Burston | Carbon Retirement
- Sarah Thelwall | MyCake
- Sara Alison | Wrapelope
- Dr Rachel Armstrong | Living Architect