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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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Catherine Garcia Flowers came to Houston following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a violent storm in which she and her parents both lost their homes. She soon met Pastor Rudy Rasmus, who saw her vast energy and potential as she quickly went to work feeding Houston's hungry and less fortunate.

After Rasmus founded Bread of Life, a nonprofit serving Houston's homeless, they stayed in touch. And when Flowers was considering a move to Honduras years later, he talked her out of it. His reason: Rasmus needed her to take the reins of his growing organization. She agreed–and within just weeks, Hurricane Harvey struck Houston. Her decision was seemingly meant to be, as Flowers was perfectly positioned to help after her experience with Katrina. P...

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How does one go from a successful modeling career to working as a social entrepreneur learning high-end mobile development–all the while attending medical school?

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temp-post-imageThese are tumultuous times, in America and around the world, and as we come up on election day one detects a sense of urgency–a refreshing change for a midterm season. But for those who might still be thinking of sitting the midterms out, consider this: there is actually a lot of good news to report around the world, as this article from Vox points out.

In the article, fully twenty-three separate metrics are cited by the publication to show that poverty, hunger and child labor are all on the decline around the world–and have been for many decades. And these are only a few of the positive trends that we've been seeing. Many eligible voters are unaware of these trends, and our news media doesn't always do the best job of highlig...

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Mill Valley entrepreneur Lily Yoseph grew up middle-class in Ethiopia, a blessing in a country plagued with poverty. With the support of her family, she got an education and was able to pursue her dreams. But not all young women in Yoseph's home country are so fortunate, as she discovered on a trip back to her hometown a decade ago.

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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.

temp-post-imageA remarkable new tool is being used to help families rank their own economic condition red, yellow or green based upon an array of indicators–and may be on its way to changing the microfinance game. Developed by social entrepreneur Martín Burt, who founded Fundación Paraguaya over three decades ago to promote economic empowerment in Paraguay, Poverty Stoplight is working to give families the tools they need to pull themselves out of poverty.

For more details on this impressive org, read the OZY 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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