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After returning to work following the birth of her second child, Michele Liddle felt unfulfilled, and her work schedule was punishing. Liddle traveled sometimes three weeks a month, and still nursing, she was pumping breast milk to ship it home. Somehow, working while her kids slept, she managed to put together her dream company: The Perfect Granola. But Liddle's product wasn't the point: hunger was.

“We’ve never been about the granola," says Liddle. "We’re mission-first. The granola was something to sell to fuel my other ideas on how to fix hunger.”

And Liddle will evidently stop at nothing to fulfill that mission. She is part of the New York Farm-to-School Program, an...

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When he founded nonprofit TechnoServe just over a half-century ago, Ed Bullard espoused a point of view that was downright radical for the time. Namely, that profits and poverty abatement aren't antithetical, and that the two can actually support one another.

Of course, this perspective has become almost mainstream in today's business world. TechnoServe has expanded to 29 countries, connecting big corporations with small farmers to help them prosper and grow their businesses. And they're at the top of their game: Impact Matters, which rates nonprofits based on their impact, has rated TechnoServe as the number one nonprofit in cost effectiveness for reducing poverty.

And as TechnoServe CEO Will...

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For all of the transformation we've seen in the world of venture capital in recent years, evidence suggests that old ideas persist. Unfortunately, barriers still pervade the space: current figures show that women CEOs net only 3 percent of venture capital, and black women CEOs get only 0.2 percent.

As a CEO in the tech sector, Elaine Kunda experienced a modicum of success. But when she left with plans to become an angel investor, she came to learn how hard it was for female entrepreneurs to get funded.

"It was weird," Kunda says. Many women "were way more competent, capable, and further along in their businesses" than comparable men pitching for VC funds, but were routinely passed over. Kunda ...

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When Jen Hidinger-Kendrick’s late husband, chef Ryan Hidinger, contracted gall bladder cancer in 2013, the Atlanta restaurant community rallied around him. Moved by the couple's struggle, they threw a benefit to defray the costs of Hidinger’s cancer treatments, and managed to raise over $300,000.

Sadly, Ryan Hidinger passed away the following year–but his death proved to be the birth of something enduring. Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to food industry workers in Metro Atlanta and Athens, GA, has given over $2.4 million to nearly 2,500 needy workers to date, and there is no end in sight. Yesterday, the James Beard Foundation named Giving Kitc...

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A 22-year-old entrepreneur in New Jersey is challenging attitudes around the abilities of people with Down’s Syndrome, and he’s doing it by leading by example: John Cronin, who himself has the chromosomal condition, is the co-founder of multimillion-dollar startup John’s Crazy Socks.

Launched at the end of 2016, the business grew out of Cronin’s love of crazy sock designs, combined with his desire to go into business with his father. Originally, the two decided to do something to celebrate Down’s Syndrome Day on March 23rd, and things quickly took off from there.

Mark Cronin, John’s father, knows the value of the good example the two are setting. “Ther...

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Socks are far and away the most requested item at homeless shelters, and it isn't difficult to see why. As anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors can tell you, a good pair of socks can be your best friend.

Six-year-old cult favorite Bombas knows that. And they've created a business model that not only updates the quality of socks for the consumer, but gives back by donating pairs to the homeless. In fact, for every pair the firm sells, they donate another pair to someone in need. And we are talking about a lot of socks: to date they've donated 8.6 million pairs.

The popular socks have some clever innovations, including a honeycomb system that actually increases arch support. And people love ...

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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.

Inspired, Bowe was able to gain admission to Michigan University, and eventually her studies in Aerospace Engineering led to an offer to take her dream job: a position at NASA itself. This was a huge opportunity, being that black women account for a miniscule percentage of engineers in this field. Incredibl...

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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.

Sallie Krawcheck knows what it's like to be fired, all too well: it has happened to her in two different high-profile roles, both in the banking industry. But what she chose to do next is what makes her remarkable. She launched her own startup, Ellevest–a new investment firm specifically created for women. To find out more ...

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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.

Thankfully, two New Zealand entrepreneurs have made it their mission to connect the country's producers of essential oils and spices with customers around the world. Tamati and Rebekah Norman also work to safeguard traditional and natural production methods in the country. The two created Native Rituals, a modern apothecary incorporating traditional Māori preparations, and they're the subject of a recent Business Is Boring podcast (which is...

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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.

Bead For Life started as a humble bead-making business for local women; today they've expanded to teach women how to create their own businesses of all kinds, helping themselves out of poverty along the way. And they've got an incredible track record: fully 89% of their graduates become business owners within two years. Our Board President Janet Lipsey has had the pleasure of visiting their team in Uganda in the past, and hopes to make the trip again in the coming year.

To read more about this...

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