Blog

temp-post-image

It has always been a tough job, but being a parent became far more difficult this year. Covid has taught us all something new about the world, and in their positions as teachers and explainers to our very youngest, parents have had their hands especially full this past eight months. Since March, they've been learning on their feet to parent in a crisis. And many parents have learned that in a situation where you're largely out of control, it's the small things that you do control that matter most–both to you, and to your kids.

This week's Atlantic article by Mary Katharine Ham discusses the profound significance of these changes, and the need of parents to recognize them as a natural pa...

Read more

temp-post-image

We write about kids often here at Billions Rising, and the things that young people accomplish these days never fail to impress us. To see some outstanding examples, you need look no further than the brand-new "10 Under 20" list from Entrepreneur magazine.

From the 5-year-old (you read that right) who created a fund to pay off the lunch debt of her school district to the 8-year-old who created “Blessing Bags” for the homeless filled with socks, deodorant, sanitizer, granola bars and toothbrushes, these kids' stories are tremendously inspiring. And all of us could use a little inspiration right now. To learn more about what these ambitious youngsters are up to, check out the 10 Und...

Read more

temp-post-image

A longstanding problem, ocean plastic has become severe in recent years, with some studies predicting there will actually be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Thankfully, there's at least one company that is working to make sure that doesn't happen.

In its first full year of operation, Ashley, Indiana's Brightmark is on track to process 100,000 tons of plastic: from grocery bags to coffee cups, if it's plastic, they want it. They convert it to wax and eco-friendly fuel with a commercial process that could revolutionize the industry--and might solve one of our most vexing environmental issues.

To hear more about Brightmark's ambitious plans, check out the new video feature from Yahoo...

Read more

temp-post-image

As we hang on for the results of the national election, in California there has already been one major milestone achieved: for the first time in over 150 years, the entire L.A. County Board of Supervisors is now female. In a county that was led by five men for decades–referred to as the "five little kings"–this is truly a momentous step forward.

It's especially important because as the country's largest, L.A. County controls the largest budget of any local governmental body: $35 billion. These five women now oversee the largest jail system in the U.S., as well as the country's largest public health system. And they've got some serious backstories, so they appear to be more than up...

Read more

temp-post-image

When you think of the fight against poverty, a billion-dollar candy conglomerate might be the last thing that comes to mind. But as we celebrate Halloween this year, Mars, the 109-year-old privately held candy company, is actually working hard on the problem.

This isn't just good public relations, either. Grant Reid, the CEO of Mars, has made it his goal to make the company's global food-supply chain more equitable and sustainable, working with NGOs, governments and suppliers. His belief is that everyone working within Mars' supply chains--not just the employees--should earn enough to maintain a decent standard of living. And his efforts to curb destructive palm oil harvesting have reaped rea...

Read more

temp-post-image

Among the many disruptions we've faced this year due to Covid-19 is the drastic effect it has had on our schools. All across the globe, children's school experiences have been transformed, with such important rites of passage as prom and graduation either curtailed or confined to the web.

But that didn't keep 18-year-old Riya Shah from pursuing her dreams. Shah spent her homebound hours working on new technology that helps expecting mothers manage their health remotely. "We're worried about our health and going out, but pregnant moms are worried about two lives," Shah says. "So what can we do to help them out?"

Shah's platform Fetal Life helps women navigate pregnancy in a new environment&ndas...

Read more

temp-post-image

The Beirut Port explosion of August 4th was a tragedy of staggering proportions. At least 200 deaths, 6,500 injuries and $15 billion in property damage have been attributed to the disaster, and up to 300,000 people were left homeless.

Thankfully, entrepreneurs and social activists came out in droves following the event; in fact, there are now more than 7,000 NGOs in Lebanon, the highest per capita anywhere in the world.

Michelle Mouracade is the Lebanon country director for Alfanar, a venture philanthropy organization supporting social enterprises in the Middle East. Fully eighty-three percent of the orgs that Alfanar supports are woman-led, and Mouracade thinks Lebanon is poised to become a g...

Read more

temp-post-image

Like so many businesses, theaters have been hit hard since the beginning of the pandemic, and Oakland's New Parkway Theater was no exception. But while their screens are still dark, what the eight-year-old theater did have was a loyal following--and as they soon found out, that proved to be their saving grace.

Two weeks after the state shutdown, The New Parkway pivoted to a pickup and delivery food program. And the results have been surprising: while selling food hasn’t come close to replacing revenue lost from showing films, the business is surviving and moving forward.

“It’s fair to say it was an instant hit,” says Carlos Courtade of New Parkway, who sees the theater ...

Read more

temp-post-image

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we've seen a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. Responding to the needs of this embattled sector, public and private business leaders have invested in an emergency fund targeted to social entrepreneurs who focus on the world’s most vulnerable.

Acumen, a non-profit organization that invests in initiatives to tackle poverty, heads up the fund. Employing a radical approach divergent from their typical strategy, they use small grants and loans to create an immediate infusion of support for impacted communities.

Just one of the organizations they've helped is SiembraViva, a Colombian nonprofit that brings healthy food to people in cities, ...

Read more

temp-post-image

While it seems like the bad news has been endless lately, it's always important to point out the bright spots when you find them. One area that has been particularly shaken up in the past several months is small business––and yet, there are some wily entrepreneurs who are coming out of the pandemic stronger and healthier.

Lisa Logan, Debra D. Williams and Sydney Perry are three of those entrepreneurs. A manicurist, a fitness specialist and a baker respectively, all three are black women and small business owners who've found a way to thrive during the slowdown. The recent Essence feature takes a look at the three of them, and the challenges they've weathered since Covid-19 began. ...

Read more