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The founder and CEO of Making Authentic Friendships (MAF), a web-based app that helps kids and adults with special needs to make friends, Juliana Fetherman has always had a uniquely strong motivating force: her younger brother Michael, who was diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Michael struggles with forming friendships, a common problem among those with his diagnosis.

Like many new entrepreneurs, Fetherman faced a steep learning curve when she started out. But she stuck with it, and MAF is currently serving the special needs community in 30 states, 12 countries and 5 continents – and all this from a 23-year-old with no prior business experience.

In the recent Forbes feature, the young entr...

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Of all the trends that have transformed business in the last couple of decades, the importance of data certainly tops the list. Major companies live or die by their data these days, so much so that it's now hard to imagine them doing business any other way.

Now the power of data aggregation is being used to address the exigencies and decision-making of the poorest members of society, rather than the most powerful. Poverty Stoplight is a self-evaluation tool that allows families to rank their economic state based on objective indicators, assigning each a value of red, yellow or green. This simple tool gives families the insight to help themselves--and perhaps just as importantly, it also give...

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In 2018, Nigeria overtook India as the nation with the largest population living in extreme poverty. Among the many problems the rapidly growing country faces is energy security: the country's power grid has failed half a dozen times already in 2019.

Ugwem I. Eneyo grew up in Andoni in the Niger Delta, and she is the founder and CEO of SHYFT Power Solutions, an energy tech firm that develops technology solutions to optimize energy "grid reliability and resiliency.” And despite the steep slope women of color must negotiate to raise VC money, her company is making real progress.

To read more about Eneyo and SHYFT's breakthrough technology, read the recent Forbes article.

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Ethiopia has made a lot of encouraging progress in recent years, but despite two decades of economic growth, its economy is still struggling. The nation has one of the world's lowest GDPs per capita, and many Ethiopians still rely on subsistence farming. 29-year old tech entrepreneur Selam Wondim is up to the challenges facing her home country, however. And recent changes on Ethiopia's political horizon, including the election of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, have her feeling optimistic.

These days, young Ethiopians are looking more and more to technology–and it's not in search of the latest food delivery app. Where much of new technology in the West is convenience-driven, in Ethiopia peop...

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In 2014, Subhajit Roy and Gargi Mazumdar competed in the Global Learning XPRIZE competition to promote learning using technology. They were shortlisted, and after the competition, they decided to quit their full-time jobs to create an enterprise version of their software that would benefit underprivileged students in rural India.

Krishworks has been busy, and they are aiming high: in just over a year, the startup has opened 14 locations across West Bengal, responsible for nearly 600 rural students being educated in spoken English. And they plan to open fully 50 centers there by next year. For more, check out the full Your Story feature.

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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?

Ask Shanay Thompson. After a successful stint in the modeling industry, motivated to help others, Thompson decided to become a doctor. When she got into Stanford University, she began mentoring at-risk teens, getting a taste for volunteerism. She then launched Every Kid Fed, a nonprofit which operates year-round pantries in schools in Oakland, California.

Today Thompson's group is feeding hundreds of students who would otherwise go hungry–and she's not finished. To hear the rest of her galvanizing tale, read the Forbes st...

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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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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.

This tendency can seem cruel at times, one of the more ugly concomitants of celebrity. Today, the media's favorite target has become none other than tech visionary Elon Musk. The man behind Paypal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, the poster child of tech genius, has been having a rough year–to say the least. In a recent interview with the NY Times, the workaholic entrepreneur was painfully clear about the strain he is under, and at points his mental state seems dire.

As we've seen, the mediaspher...

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As a cornerback for the Washington Redskins, Shawn Springs learned more about head trauma than he likely cared to. Football players are often left with horrible medical consequences as a result of their work, and his 13 seasons in the NFL had opened Springs' eyes to the considerable risk.

Now, he's taking action to help solve the problem. His company Windpact works on technology for not just athletes, but soldiers, recreational facilities and other occupations in which people suffer from impacts to the head and body. And he's maklng progress: Windpact recently signed a two-year, $600,000 contract with the U.S. Army to develop padding for combat helmets.

You can read Springs' impressive story a...

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One of the most severe impacts of climate change is the scourge of drought. Drought affects rural farmers' ability to make a living and provide for themselves, and threatens the wider food supply. Solar stills have shown great promise as a way to insure fresh water supplies, but they are typically inefficient. Engineer and social entrepreneur Alessandro Bianciardi has been working on the problem, and has been making immense progress by looking at one of the greatest powers of nature itself: mimicry.

Bianciardi and his team have created what they call the 'Mangrove Still,' which, incredibly, can be produced at just 1/5 of the cost of traditional solar stills. You can read the whole fascinating...

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