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Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Aisha Bowe was the child of divorce, and dealt with many of the issues that come with the territory. She had a lack of self-esteem and scholastic problems that led to less-than-stellar grades, excluding her from consideration at a top school. But she soldiered on at community college, and there she met a teacher who challenged her to reconsider her gifts.

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As women's role in society and the workplace continues to transform, this past year has seen a particular media fascination with senior females. More and more these days, figures like Oprah Winfrey (65) and Nancy Pelosi (78) make up the ranks of our role models. And this change has placed a spotlight on an enduring problem in our business culture: age discrimination.

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Papua, New Guinea is a country of more than 8 million people, but most would be hard-pressed to point it out on a map. That isolation, caused by years of colonialism and exploitation, makes it very difficult for citizens to find markets for their products.

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Here at Billions Rising, we've always been focused on self-reliance, so there are some organizations that will always hold a special place in our hearts. One of these is Bead For Life in Kampala, Uganda.

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In a very welcome development, an influx of new venture capital is being directed to companies dedicated to the elimination of food waste. According to a recent report by ReFED, more than $125 million has been invested in the category so far in 2018.

Food waste and food access have long been a focus here at Billions Rising–and with an estimated $218 billion of food going to waste each year, that's hardly a surprise. The problem of food waste in particular has now become a hot topic among VC firms, including such major players as S2G Ventures. As pointed out by Chuck Templeton, S2G's Managing Director,"Food waste is a huge problem hidden in plain sight,” and it offers huge potential gains for both investors and the public at la...

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When Ken Jacobus quit his Silicon Valley job to set up Good Start Packaging in 2009, he had little knowledge of the packaging industry, and less than $10,000 in inventory. To make sure every dollar went as far as it possibly could, the entrepreneur did the only sensible thing: he did everything himself. He took on sales, admin, management and even the delivery of product.

Today, Jacobus' company is changing the way that restaurants handle packaging, and helping to create a new sustainable paradigm for the fast food industry. To find out how, read the brand-new Forbes article here.

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Food access is a vexing problem, especially in the inner cities, and small business has a critical role to play in providing workable solutions. We've seen scores of hopeful innovations in this area, many aimed at redirecting the tons of food that are wasted in our cities every day.

Entrepreneur Mark Brand knows what it's like to be hungry; he was once homeless himself. And as a chef, he has a unique perspective on the matter: “I believe that food is the conduit to love and to show people that we really deeply care about them and their success. And that every time we do the opposite, it is the opposite. It’s disrespecting people,” he explains.

Brand and his company MBI have created a program that allows people to buy meal...

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It has always been a peculiar trait of American culture: we love to tear down our heroes. It seems that by witnessing their foibles, we feel a commonality with our icons that would otherwise be denied.

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Budding entrepreneur Paul Crowell has chosen what might be the least likely of causes: his mission is to feed the dogs of San Francisco's homeless community. What started as one small act of kindness–feeding a hungry dog in his Mission neighborhood–soon became an obsession for him. And this month, crowdfunding site GoFundMe gave Crowell's organization a huge boost.

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When Beto Yarce first came to the U.S., he took a job bussing tables at a Mexican restaurant, despite his college degree. Over time, he used his advantages to get ahead and build a successful business, but along the way he saw many others that didn't have those advantages. The lack of English skills in particular was a handicap, and Yarce knew he could help.

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