51 Social Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2021

Entrepreneurship can take on many different forms, but a category that is often underappreciated are those who help to make a brighter impact within their community, nationally, or even on a global scale. In this compilation of entrepreneurs, we at IdeaMensch are proud to feature a list of 51 social entrepreneurs who strive to do good on all levels of their businesses, startups, or individual endeavors.

Although you may think of a social entrepreneur as someone who dedicates their time to social media, this is not the case for these inspirational individuals. These social entrepreneurs spend their time doing good within their communities as they see the broader impact of their work influencing others to do the same.

It might be a fortunate flash of inspiration, or a lifelong dream finally fulfilled – the business ideas of our social entrepreneurs thought of and bravely put on the market; and they all prevailed. The following interviews are testimony to their success stories. But how did they turn an idea into a viable and sustainable business?

These social entrepreneurs strive to break new ground by creating greater awareness throughout their communities and broader through their foundations, charities, and other forms of social education to create a resounding impact that continues to resonate each day. Whether these innovations be in the form of new technology to help with social justice, or non-profits that promote environmental sustainability, these social entrepreneurs are motivated more than ever.

Be they young and brave pioneers exploring new markets or experienced veterans in their fields inspiring younger generations – they all have something in common: determination and devotion to follow their dreams. Through these, the social entrepreneurs listed below gathered the strength to fulfill their visions – strength from within.

What these social entrepreneurs have created is outstanding; their businesses span the whole scope of the market. Longtime professionals founding their own charities and foundations, incumbent social entrepreneurs designing socks to help support endangered species, some are using their design skills to create sustainable fashion for all. Not to forget – the authors, life coaches, bloggers, and motivational speakers are all striving for community awareness and involvement. They are a global inspiration.

We hope to inspire some of this in you as well by providing the following (and definitely not all-encompassing) list of 51 social entrepreneurs we are rooting for:

Feel free to skip ahead to the section most interesting to you. We have organized this list alphabetically by first name.

1. Afam Onyema Afam Onyema

Afam Onyema was born in Chicago, IL in 1979. He graduated from Harvard University (cum laude) and Stanford Law School. While in law school, Afam co-founded the GEANCO Foundation. After graduating from law school in 2007, Afam declined multiple lucrative law firm offers in order to lead GEANCO full-time as its CEO. GEANCO’s mission is to save and transform lives in Nigeria. The Foundation leads complex surgical missions to Nigeria, runs an innovative program to fight anemia, and builds rural maternity centers where poor, vulnerable pregnant women deliver healthy babies. Through its David Oyelowo Leadership Scholarship for Girls, GEANCO provides tuition, medical care, and social & psychological support to young female victims of terrorism and gender inequality in Nigeria.

2. Alicea Joy Davis Alicea Davis

Alicea Joy Davis is a spoken word poet, author and artist who began writing poetry in her childhood and has been successfully creating work for over 25 years. Her mind shifting creativity inspires inner healing and racial reconciliation. The Detroit native has been named one of nine women making black history. She is also a nationally recognized social entrepreneur. She is listed on PeopleMaven’s List of Fantastic Public Speakers. Her powerful poetic performances have been featured on a variety of television shows, radio shows, college campuses, public schools, church events and more.

3. Amy Edge Amy Edge

Amy Edge is a former childhood educator turned impact-driven entrepreneur. She is an operations and project management expert for visionaries and change-makers in the online space. This strategic partnership increases profits, empowers their team, and scales their business without frustration and complete ease. She is the founder of The Rising Sisterhood movement, the book, and our community, the ‘Collective’. Amy desires to curate a platform to celebrate, empower and lift up our sisters as we navigate towards changing our narrative and stepping into our greatness.

4. Bonnie Schiffman Bonnie Schiffman

On a mission to find the most environmentally conscious, safe, and effective skincare products, Bonnie Schiffman ultimately decided to take matters into her own hands – thus, This Stuff Goes Bad was born. Equipped with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University, she initially worked in sustainable building in efforts to reduce the negative environmental effects of new construction. After a few years of both working by day, and teaching yoga and dance classes at night, she decided to change course and move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in dance.

5. Christopher Tufford Christopher Tufford

Christopher Tufford left college after two years to start his first business in property management with a childhood friend. He followed that with a pioneering startup in telecom that became a casualty of the dot-com meltdown. He then founded and thoroughly enjoyed a decade running the largest amateur poker tour in Canada under license to the world’s largest poker brand, the WPT. Afterwards he created a guest Wi-Fi business for restaurants that became his second business to get crushed by larger economic forces when it got wiped out by lockdowns during the pandemic. His newest business, Green Apple Pay, is also his most passionate. It is a digital fundraising platform for organizations like charities, nonprofits, and other community-based groups to generate new recurring revenues from spare change and cashback rewards from their stakeholders’ everyday spending. It works like a rewards program for organizations that fundraise.

6. Craig Kielburger Craig Kielburger

Craig Kielburger is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of a family of organizations dedicated to the power of WE, a movement of people coming together to change the world. Along with his brother Marc Kielburger, Craig co-founded WE Charity in 2008, which provides a holistic development model called WE Villages, helping to lift more than one million people out of poverty in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Back at home in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, WE Schools and WE Day provide comprehensive service-learning programs to 16,000 schools, engaging 4.3 million young change-makers. Lastly, he is the co-founder of ME to WE, a pioneering social enterprise, the profits from which help sustain the work of his charitable organization.

7. Daniel Liddle Daniel Liddle

Daniel Liddle is a true Silicon Valley veteran, with more than thirty years of experience navigating high-growth, rapidly evolving markets with some of the key technology leaders in the IT space. He has over two decades building venture-backed start-ups from the ground up, followed by almost another decade with executive marketing and sales responsibility at a U.S.-based Fortune 500 global technology contract manufacturer. With a focus on strategic marketing and sales, Dan has been responsible for driving significant product growth in dynamic, rapid-growth industries including networking, database, servers, and data storage. One of the high points of Dan’s career was helping to guide ‘First Virtual Corp’ from a small startup to a highly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO). Dan has assembled a top-caliber team of seasoned industry experts across different functions for Splitvolt pulling from the deep contact base that developed over his career. Dan has a keen interest in building businesses, developing high-performance teams, and solving problems that make people’s lives easier—so after having owned three consecutive electric and hybrid cars over much of the past decade, coming up with the idea to form Splitvolt was serendipitous.

8. Dean Haynesworth Dean Haynesworth

Dean Haynesworth is CEO and Executive Minority Founder of Black Progress Matters [BPM], an organization committed to effectuating change in existing businesses and organizations. Still, BPM is also providing an ambitious incubator program for the development and funding of minority start-ups. Dean encourages, along with the BPM founding partners, to pledge their net share of the profits to incubate minority businesses. Black Progress Matters is already engaged in the financing and launching of four significant minority-owned start-ups, one of which is Panther Data Solutions. Dean has also been a sales leader at multiple Fortune 500 Medical Device companies.

9. Denisha Ferguson Denisha Ferguson

Denisha-Dlang Ferguson is a creative catalyst, event producer, and fashion designer. She is the CEO of the Indiana Fashion Foundation and produces Indiana Fashion Week, along with numerous events, projects, and programs. She combines research and creativity to show the power of creative individuals and how they can use their GOD-given creativity to make an impact, income, and create a legacy. She co-authored 2 books that reached #1 AMAZON Bestseller, You Can, and Prayers for the Boss Babes. Her work has been featured in tv, magazines, and websites like WWD, Forbes, Sheen Magazine, Indy Style, Hope for Women, Inside Indiana Business, IBJ, Pattern Magazine Online, Indianapolis Monthly, Nuvo, Ridiculousness, Indy Star, Houston Style Magazine. She has been a guest on podcasts such as Made in Indy, Do Boss, and Motor City Woman. You can find out more at www.yearofthecreator.com.

10. Emily Smith Emily Smith

Emily J. Smith is the founder and CEO of Chorus—a matchmaking app where friends swipe for friends. She missed the days when friends would set up other friends. The world of online dating had become detached and devoid of community. That was the inspiration for founding Chorus. Smith has a background in engineering and business but is also a writer who has been featured in The New York Times, Salon, Medium, etc.

11. Eric Tubbs Eric Tubbs

Eric Tubbs is the President of Iron Light Labs, a non-profit dedicated to equipping purpose-driven organizations to change the world. After helping to build his retail automobile company into a $55 million a year business, Eric sold his shares to his brother in 2016 to pursue his passion for helping others flourish and understand the benefits of human empowerment. Prior to accepting his current role at Iron Light Labs, he held the role of President of Think Freely Media and served on its board of directors, as well as the board of The Sam Adams Alliance. Eric co-owned and managed automotive retailer Tubbs Brothers, Inc. until 2016. In 1993 he created Uniquest, Inc., an innovative tech startup before that was a thing.

12. Fedia Kourbatov Fedia Kourbatov

Fedia Kourbatov was born and raised in Chicago, IL. He went to Lincoln Park HS in the city. Growing up Fedia spent most of his free time playing sports and being involved in the Ukrainian community. Once it was time to go to college he decided to go to The University of Oklahoma. He studied Finance and minored in Management Information Systems. The summer of his junior year that idea came to him after a conversation he had with his mother about a reusable bag his grandmother had brought from Ukraine to give to his family. When he got back to school, he applied idea to the “Sooner Innovation Fund”. The fund saw potential in his vision and funded his initial market research while also giving him valuable mentorship. After completing the program his market research gave him enough positive feedback to take the leap in starting the business! Baba Bags was launched on May 1, 2019 and is now a year and a half old. Fedia graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Spring 2020.

13. Gaia Giladi Gaia Giladi

Gaia Giladi is the co-founder and chief creative of HILOS, a Portland-based start-up focused on making zero waste, additive footwear. When she’s not designing shoes, Gaia loves to go on outdoor adventures, eat amazing food, and run along the bridges of Portland.

14. Greg Berry Greg Berry

Greg Berry is the CEO and founder of Municibid, the go-to online marketplace for government auctions. As a councilman for the Borough of Pottstown, Greg noticed a huge problem: his borough and almost every one of the United States’ 86,000 local government agencies were selling surplus for dirt cheap because so few people knew the items were for sale. The sealed-bid process for which agencies would accept bids was also not a truly competitive process. Greg launched Municibid in 2006 to solve these issues. Municibid is now a leading platform for state and local governments, schools, authorities, and other government agencies all over the US and Canada to sell their surplus vehicles, equipment and all kinds of items directly to the public, 24 hours a day. As a business leader, Greg educates entrepreneurs on why government auctions benefit enterprises, tips for launching a successful online company, and more.

15. Holman Gao Holman Gao

Holman Gao is a software engineer turned entrepreneur with a love for education. He currently is the Founder/CEO of BoostMySchool, the all-in-one fundraising platform for schools. Holman started his tech career in Silicon Valley as a senior software engineer at several venture-backed startups, one of which was acquired by Google. When his former high school needed to raise money to cover funding lost due to budget cuts, he built the first version of BoostMySchool to assist with their efforts. Since then, BoostMySchool has onboarded K-12 schools and universities coast-to-coast and helped them raise millions of dollars.

16. Jacqueline von Edelberg Jacqueline von Edelberg

A unicorn with a brain. A deep-rooted Chicago connector and rainmaker. A pie-in-the sky, free thinking builder-type who gets sh*t done. Not easily pigeonholed: Jacqueline von Edelberg is a University of Chicago political science PhD/Fulbright professor turned social entrepreneur, who comes to challenges with an intellectual rigor, global perspective, and high-tolerance for white-knuckle moments. With two decades applying creative thinking to seemingly intractable real world challenges, she is nationally recognized for her work building coalitions, movements, and digital platforms that drive civic engagement and create systemic change.

17. Jeffrey Harry Jeffrey Harry

Jeff Harry combines positive psychology and play to help teams/organizations navigate difficult conversations and assist individuals in addressing their biggest challenges through embracing a play-oriented approach to work. Some of the topics he covers including how to deal with toxicity in the workplace, how to address office politics, how to play with your inner critic, how to help your staff rediscover their flow, and how to navigate these uncertain times through play. For his work, Jeff was selected by BambooHR & Engagedly as one of the Top 100 HR Influencers of 2020. His work has most recently been featured in the NY Times & Mashable. You can check out some of his interviews here: https://www.rediscoveryourplay.com/guest.

18. Jenny Goldfarb Jenny Goldfarb

Jenny Goldfarb, aka Mrs. Goldfarb, is the founder of Unreal Deli. She grew up on the Standard American Diet (SAD), and in her early 30s, learned about the plight of animals on factory farms, which led her to adopt a plant-based diet. After much trial and error she became a whiz in the plant-based kitchen and realized the thing she missed most after becoming vegan was premium NY-style deli meat. She sought to recreate a corned beef made from beets, chickpeas, tomatoes and high protein wheat. The recipe became such a hit that it encouraged her to produce her Corn’d Beef Reubens for Delis, Whole Foods, even Shark Tank, where she took on Mark Cuban as primary investor. The company then developed Unreal Roasted Turk’y followed by Unreal Steak Slices (coming soon). With no experience in the food sector, let alone launching a company, she gave birth to this rapidly expanding business in her tiny kitchen while pregnant with her 3rd child. The Unreal Deli product line can now be found in thousands of restaurant and grocery locations with more to come.

19. Joseph Lucey Joseph Lucey

Joseph Lucey is a Certified Financial Planner and tax expert with almost 30 years of experience advising clients on their current and future finances. For the past 10 years, he’s also been the host of his radio show, Secured Retirement Radio, in Minneapolis. He learned early in his career that virtually no one was offering long-term tax planning advice for everyday individuals, and there are countless Americans in need of actionable advice on how to best reduce taxes while increasing retirement income. Lucey’s mission is to teach people the importance of investing with an active eye on reducing future tax exposure to ensure they can live comfortably and maintain a secure retirement, regardless of income level.

20. Kevin Ruef Kevin Ruef

Kevin Ruef co-founded 10-8 Systems after exceeding multiple companies’ sales records (both domestically and internationally). With more than a decade in sales, his experience ranges from B2B, B2G, and B2C. Since the company’s start in 2019, Kevin is responsible for business development, strategic partnerships, and business operations.

21. Lanai Moliterno Lanai Moliterno

Lanai Moliterno is the founder of Sozy, a women’s clothing brand that makes soft and cozy casual wear for everyday style. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, she has since moved to California where she began her career as an entrepreneur for good. Today, Sozy is a carbon neutral business that donates 10% of its profits to survivors of sexual violence, committing to the betterment of women and the planet.

22. Lisa Wang Lisa Wang

Lisa Wang is the founder and CEO of Almost Fun, an education tech non-profit dedicated to providing culturally-relevant and accessible educational resources to low-income students and students of color. She was previously a product manager at Google, building education products used by over 40 million teachers and students.

23. M. Reese Everson M. Reese Everson

M. Reese Everson is a tireless advocate for young women, committed to helping them to and their voice and showing them how walk in their purpose, uncompromised. While serving as Advocate in Chief of the Blush Project Foundation, she travels the globe as a Women’s Rights Expert, Lifestyle Engineer, author, and speaker.

24. Maddie Booth Maddie Booth

Maddie Booth is a 22 year old entrepreneur. She is the founder and director of Scrubbee, a new sustainable skin care business that focuses on repurposing by-products for it’s ingredients in a step towards creating a more circular cosmetic industry.

25. Marina Tran-Vu Marina Tran-Vu

Marina Tran-Vu is the Founder & CEO of EQUO, a sustainable brand providing 100% plastic-free and compostable solutions for single-use plastics, starting with drinking straws and utensils. Prior to starting her business, Marina worked for over 10 years in brand management and marketing for companies including Unilever, Bacardi, LG Electronics and Spin Master. Recently, EQUO won the SME100 Fast Moving Companies award, was the first Vietnam-based company admitted in to and backed by Techstars, and Marina was named Flik’s 21 Women Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2021.

26. Marisa Sheff Marisa Sheff

While it is amazing for brands to give away products or donate a portion of their proceeds on behalf of their customer base, in founding Sock Footage, Marisa Sheff was hoping to take the same 1 to 1 model one step further. Having been involved in and volunteered at a number of charitable organizations over the course of her lifetime, Marisa has had the opportunity to work closely with members of the homeless community. Through her work, she quickly realized that there was a common thread among the individuals with whom she crossed paths: they all craved connection and conversation. They wanted to be heard and they wanted to be seen. Unfortunately, in this age of technology, we have lost authentic connection, and, as a result, many of our relationships have become short-lived and transactional. After a five year stint as a corporate account manager in the sock industry, she knew she wanted to find a way to combine her passion for socks with giving back to those less fortunate.

27. Marja Verbon Marja Verbon

Marja Verbon is the founder of Jump – a job recommendation platform that helps job-seekers navigate the confusing job market and get the right job recommendations based on their experience and ambitions, and in turn, helps businesses attract the right talent for them. Prior to setting up Jump, she worked in Venture Capital investing in Series A & B marketplaces, and at McKinsey & Company, focused on strategy and operations. She has an MSc in Sociology and a BA in Economics from the University of Oxford. She sits on the Oxford University Business School Alumni Advisory Council. She has been featured in publications such as Management Today and regularly contributes on topics such as entrepreneurship, women in business, COVID survival and provides regular comments on these topics.

28. Marjory Wildcraft Marjory Wildcraft

Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The Grow Network, an online community of 450,000 people who are stopping the destruction of the Earth via home grown food. National Geographic featured Marjory as an expert in off-grid living, she hosted Mother Earth News Online Homesteading Summit, and she is listed in Who’s Who in America for having inspired hundreds of thousands of backyard gardens. She is the focus of Reuters award winning article on Food Sustainability.

29. Mark Zhang Mark Zhang

Mark Zhang is the CEO & founder of Manta Sleep mask, the only mask designed, constructed, and optimized for deepest-possible sleep in any environment. Manta Sleep masks provide 100% blackout for maximized sleep quality — so users feel 100%, all the time. A leader of the pro-napping movement, Mark educates others on why an afternoon nap is crucial for unlocking one’s full potential, tips to improve sleep quality, and much more.

30. Martina Iwala Martina Iwala

Demonstrated in all aspects of her being, Martina Iwala‘s charming and inquisitive demeanor, paired with an innate sense of self-awareness, authenticates her progressive experience from FinCorp to entertainment to media production to social advocate. Of Nigerian & Cameroonian descent, Martina grew accustomed to the realities of being the product of immigrant parents: their passion for success will forever be to ensure their future generations have a better life. Martina’s passion for success “…far exceeds the limitations we’re inundated with by society…” and believes the “deepest misfortune is living within the confines of a social media generated chimera”.

31. Matthew Baron Matthew-Baron

Matthew Baron is the President and CEO of Wholesale Nuts And Dried Fruit. An online business selling nuts, dried fruit, and seeds. Trained as a Specialist in SEO and eCommerce with decades of successful experience. A study of modern marketing technology and increasing visibility for small businesses. Baron regularly develops wellness campaigns to assist associates, friends, and partners with effective mental and physical health techniques. Baron is also an Artist, working to develop and produce the best movies, commercials, interactive sculptures, and dance performances.

32. Matthew Manos Matthew Manos

Called “crazy or genius” by Forbes, Matthew Manos is an author, educator, and entrepreneur. He is the Founder of verynice, a design strategy practice that gives half of its services away for free to nonprofit organizations. With clients including Apple, the American Heart Association, UNICEF, Disney, and Google, verynice’s work has reached millions of people across the globe. Matthew has delivered lectures, facilitated workshops, or exhibited work at 200+ events across 19 countries and territories, including two TEDx talks. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Reginald, a library of pay-what-you-want creative problem solving toolkits. He is an Assistant Dean at the USC Iovine and Young Academy, where he serves as an academic strategist and curriculum designer.

33. Meggie Tran Meggie Tran

After being diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in August 2018 and undergoing therapeutic treatment, Meggie Tran realized the importance of normalizing the discussion about mental health and its illnesses. Two years after her diagnosis, she created a safe space on the internet for this, her Mindful Meggie travel blog. At about the same time, she visited a therapist again, learning about her social anxiety and mental health issues related to the Asian American immigrant experience (she is a second-generation Vietnamese American).

34. Merideth Spriggs Merideth Spriggs

Merideth Spriggs received her Bachelors degree in Christian Education from Olivet Nazarene University in 2000. Spriggs then went on to complete her Masters of Divinity in 2004 from Nazarene Theological Seminary. In October 2008 she lost her job and became homeless. After struggling with homelessness, she overcame and was hired at the San Diego Rescue Mission to work in the Recuperative Care Unit. Merideth created a charity, Caridad Inc. in 2010 to help educate the public on the fact versus fiction about homelessness as well as highlight and create partnerships between legitimate agencies and volunteers. She has participated in the 100,000 Homes Campaign. In 2013 she and her husband moved to Las Vegas. In 2014 she joined the Downtown Rangers; a Downtown Project Company providing customer service-based outreach to the homeless. Spriggs is currently the Southern Nevada lead on outreach for the federal 25 Cities Initiative working with federal VA, HUD, and USICH to coordinate ending veterans homelessness in 2015.

35. Misty Castañeda Misty Castaneda

Misty Castañeda is a Mom, a Passionate “Do-Gooder” and Founder & Cultivator of Purpose at For Purpose Kids.
As a Mom, she wanted her son to grow up in a kind & compassionate world, so she initially created For Purpose Kids to teach him and other kids how to connect to the world and their communities by giving back and doing good for others, animals & the planet. Now, she’s expanding the vision to creating a community “Where Conversations That Matter, Begin” by delivering products & experiences to help start kid-friendly conversations that matter and inspire the next generation of global citizens.

36. Minjie Zhai Mingjie Zhai

Mingjie Zhai is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She is the founder and CEO of The Love Story Media Inc., a non-profit organization that combines media with the mission of improving mental wellbeing through expressive journaling. She is also the founder of a new writing genre called “Journal-Artism,” which fuses journaling, journalism, and the personal journey to arc one’s character while writing their narrative. This genre is the central practice of her organization. Zhai is a published author of three books; The Producer’s Playbook, Diary of a Crazy Entrepreneur, and The Love Story Playbook. She has spoken at UCLA, UC Berkeley, several Tech conferences, and at The Love Story’s own showcases, which she has produced. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she was an award-winning English teacher, an English department chair, and a Speech & Debate Coach for over a decade. Today, she enjoys traveling with her dog Foxy, hiking, writing, and creating a new journaling genre called the Vlogumentary Diary.

37. Natalie Hardie Natalie Hardie

Natalie Hardie is an award winning holistic mental health practitioner and Director of NH Neuro Training, an organisation which specializes in consultancy and training on the neurological and cognitive mechanisms which underlie human behavior. NH Neuro Training is acclaimed for strategically diverting focus to mental health issues within society, increasing access to early interventions and support, whilst eradicating stigma. Natalie is renowned for exquisitely applying complex scientific knowledge to real life everyday situations which both captivates and educates her audiences. Natalie is acclaimed for her eloquent style of creative non-fiction writing on neuroscience and mental health and has been featured in numerous health and wellbeing publications.

38. Nathan Liao Nathan Liao

Nathan Liao is the founder of CMA Exam Academy, a top Certified Management Accountant exam review program. As a CMA and CMA coach, Nathan mentors accounting and finance professionals in over 80 countries to earn their CMA certification in as little as 8 months. The unique review framework in CMA Exam Academy has proven to be the key to his students’ outstanding success in attaining their dream of earning the Certified Management Accountant certification.

39. Paulina Karpis Paulina Karpis

Paulina Karpis is the cofounder and CEO of brunchwork. The company delivers modern business education via a two-month Business Intensive, membership, and free newsletter. brunchwork educates tens of thousands of millennial professionals annually. Prior to Covid, 100% of brunchwork’s revenue came from live experiences in NY, SF and LA. While most of their competitors shut down after Covid, brunchwork quickly and successfully pivoted to an online program. Today, brunchwork is a top-rated, global, online business education program. Paulina has been featured and celebrated in Business Insider, Forbes, NY Post, Fast Company, Fortune, and many more outlets.

40. Ray Blakney Ray Blakney

Ray Blakney is the CEO and co-founder of Live Lingua, a renowned online language learning platform. Live Lingua offers a unique and immersive approach to mastering a new language, as it pairs users who want to learn Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and more with their own hand-picked, certified, native-speaking tutor for online teaching sessions. An award-winning Filipino-American entrepreneur, speaker, and podcaster, Ray builds and helps others build 6- and 7-figure businesses on a bootstrap budget. Ray lives in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

41. Ryan Schwartz Ryan Schwartz

Ryan Schwartz deeply cares about creating a world that is more nurturing and connected. His passion for mental health first started as client grieving the sudden loss of his mom, but grew as he saw what therapy made possible for friends and family. Ryan has his mom’s determined spirit to fix what is broken, which led him to research, develop, and launch Mental Health Match. Through Mental Health Match, Ryan hopes to remove a major barrier preventing people from healing and hope – the barrier of finding a therapist. Ryan is currently CEO of Mental Health Match, a free and confidential service that matches people to the therapists and counselors who best meet their needs. Prior to founding Mental Health Match, Ryan was principal of Full Focus Communications, a messaging and communications strategy firm for social change organizations.

42. Scott Toal Scott Toal

Scott Toal is a husband to an amazing woman and father to seven of the world’s most wonderful individuals! The kindness, patience, and support of his family are the foundation on which Scott has built his professional career. In business, Scott uses his skills in entrepreneurship. His knowledge and experience in digital marketing and brand development have led to the creation of multiple companies serving niche, underserved markets in residential, commercial, and industrial fields. For over two decades, Scott has directed a private family foundation started by his father and mother. The mission of this foundation is to serve children, meeting spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. This philanthropic work inspired Scott to found a nonprofit called eMite. Working with his daughter, Madison, and the fantastic eMite team, Toal’s main mission is to spread the joy of giving through Doing Good Globally.

43. Shawn Joseph Shawn Joseph

Dr. Shawn Joseph has put teaching and faith at the forefront of his life in and out of education. His accomplishments in learning are many. After graduating from Lincoln University, he earned a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a doctoral degree in educational administration and policy studies from George Washington. Embarking on a career in public education, Joseph taught English and served as a school administrator and central office administrator before being hired as superintendent of schools in districts in Delaware and Tennessee. His time running the Metro Nashville Public Schools as superintendent made equity a priority and managed to increase academic performance for all student groups in reading and math. A published author, his most recent book is Finding the Joseph Within: Lessons Learned Through A Life of Struggle, a memoir of faith and perseverance. While Joseph recently took a tenure track position at Howard University’s Graduate School of Education, he manages Joseph & Associates, a consulting firm focusing on expanding equity within education.

44. Silas Nyembe Silas Nyembe

Silas Nyembe is a director at Westonaria Development Forum. Silas found development more interesting than any other business venture he joined. He is now a full-time consultant, community person, and he just started his new career as a politician. He is currently lobbying for the Chairperson position at his ANC YOUTH LEAGUE branch. He is looking forward to introducing new developments that will bring change not only to the youth but to the following generation after his. He is engaging with the community council to raise different views apart from the traditional transaction of decision-making and planning. Silas believes that he was born for only one reason which is to bring hope when no one believes things will change.

45. Stephanie Schwartz Stephanie Schwartz

Stephanie Schwartz leads Little Bean Group, a fundraising consulting firm based in Washington, DC. She has a passion for relationship building and creating connections, both of which are at the heart of successful fundraising. Stephanie has raised tens of millions of dollars for a variety of organizations and developed fundraising strategies for dozens of organizations. She believes that philanthropy has the power to create and sustain profound change in our society. Stephanie spent 10 years in front-line fundraising before transitioning to management roles where she had broad responsibility for running development operations including resource allocation, talent management, and campaign strategy. She has extensive experience in raising transformational gifts and stewarding donors for long-term organizational engagement and giving.

46. Sunny Akhigbe Sunny Akihbe

Sunny Akhigbe was born in Nigeria and in the first years of his life, he faced poverty and malnutrition. He was challenged by his family to live up to and exceed his potential, and he did. Since then, he moved to the United States, earned his MBA and started “A Boy and his Dream Foundation”. With the foundation, Sunny aims to inspire change and give a voice of determination and perseverance to everyone experiencing hardship, specifically youth. From complicated family situations to moving to the other side of the world; Sunny’s story of determination to succeed, no matter the cost, is a story we believe is one that inspires and gives hope. The goal of the foundation is to inspire struggling youth to realize there is hope for their future, and to encourage change.

47. Suzanne Barker Suzanne Barker

Suzanne Barker is the Co-Founder of When I Shop. She grew up in Auckland, New Zealand where she had an adventurous childhood sailing on her family’s yacht. She has a creative background, having studied visual arts and started her career as a picture editor in the media industry. She moved into trademark portfolio management and founded an online e-decorator business. While up-skilling in digital marketing she identified the struggle that brands and shoppers have in finding each other. She convinced her husband and technical co-founder Max Loddo to start When I Shop with her. The mission of When I Shop is to help people consciously find quality brands in niche areas and shop in a more informed and intentional way.

48. Tara DePorte Tara Deporte

Tara DePorte founded the Human Impacts Institute in 2010, recognizing a need for creative approaches to sustainability and global coalition building. Before starting the Human Impacts Institute, Tara worked for nine years as Director of Environmental Education and as Program Director for a NYC community-based organization, developing opportunities for inner-city youth to learn about, and develop responsibility for, their local environment. She has also served as a global representative of The Climate Reality Project since 2006, presenting to thousands of people worldwide about climate change.

49. Tara Haddad Tara Haddad

Tara Haddad is the CEO of Modern Meat. She started Modern Meat and has been building the company from the ground up. Modern Meat focuses on creating plant-based meat alternatives that are non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, and even preservative-free. The company went public on June 26, 2020. They started selling their product through food service markets in February and won an award for Best New Product of the Year at a recent trade show, but when COVID hit, they pivoted out of food service since all of the restaurants had shut down. At that point they have focused on retail and selling their products to local retailers, getting into 37 different retailers by April of this year.

50. Tex Dworkin Tex Dworkin

Tex Dworkin is the Co-founder and Chief Community Officer of Raddle, a virtual space for 20-minute conversations between solopreneurs and community members who are there to help them succeed in business. Before Raddle–she was a socially responsible business leader and spokesperson, supporting thousands of entrepreneurs around the world, serving on multiple boards and making media appearances to promote business as a tool for social change.

51. Wendy Yates Wendy Yates

Wendy Yates is the CEO and founder of Abigail-Elise Brands, a collection of companies on a mission to reinvent what others believe to be possible in the world of design, leadership, and global impact. She is the host of The Design Driven Life Podcast, an upbeat interview-style podcast with the goal of sharing stories of people doing good in the world with a mission to inspire others to shift their mindset to create the world they want to live in. Her companies currently include: Abigail-Elise Design Studio, an award-winning design firm specializing in interior design and merchandising for commercial, hospitality, and residential projects; Well Fit Human Retreats, a wellness-based impact humanitarian travel company; and AE Cares, a non-profit foundation dedicated to positively influencing the wellbeing of others connecting need with resources. Together Wendy and her team elevate the overall quality of people’s livelihood by being a force for good.