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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. ...

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Growing up in Shillong, India, Hasina Kharbhih learned about human trafficking early on. Bordering on Myanmar, Nepal, and Bangladesh, the area is deeply unstable, and plagued with the desperate poverty that breeds the widespread practice. At one point, Kharbhih’s father housed refugees in their own farmhouse.

“The stories remain etched in my brain,” Kharbhih says. “He did that as a human being and not a social worker....I understood what you can do for human beings.”

Her father's example proved to be an enduring one. Today, Kharbhih’s Impulse NGO Network has created an entirely new model to fight the problem, working with 1,000 nongovernmental organizations ...

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Although things have been changing in recent years, today women still hold less than 7 percent of government leadership roles across the world. Women who do hold such roles get a fair amount of attention however--and since the Covid-19 pandemic began, a number of them have proven to be especially effective in the midst of crisis.

"The news coming out of many countries is striking," said Amie Batson, executive director of WomenLift Health, a nonprofit focused on elevating women in the health sciences. The org recently hosted a webinar on female leadership in the pandemic. "Many of the countries that are doing the best are led by women."

One of those women is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New...

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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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As nearly anyone can tell you, Valentine's Day can be a tricky holiday, especially when you're single. It's a difficult day to be alone, and one can just imagine how hard it would be to be in a homeless shelter on a day when others are celebrating.

With this in mind, this year the Sikh community in London is taking steps to ensure that women staying in shelters on Valentine’s Day aren't forgotten. Volunteers are assembling personal care packages, complete with baked treats and items like toothbrushes and shampoo, to be brought to local women’s shelters for the holiday this Friday.

The program, launched in 2012 by the One Billion Rising movement, now happens in a host of cities, inc...

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As I write this, approximately 800 million women and girls in the world are menstruating. Despite the commonness of the occurrence, however, many are still forced to do so clandestinely, and in shame. Sadly, menstruation is in some ways the last great taboo, and that's no hyperbole: indeed, nearly half of women have no foreknowledge of the condition before their first menstrual cycle.

Thankfully, a groundbreaking new documentary is working to change all that: produced and directed by a predominantly female team, Pandora’s Box may be the first feature-length documentary film to focus on menstrual rights. The film zeroes in on the introduction of reusable pads, and puts a light on the wor...

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Born in a small fishing village in Senegal, Magatte Wade left her home country as a girl to live with her parents in France. Just old enough to see the differences between Senegal and France, Wade found herself puzzled.

As Wade got older, she began to notice a pattern: in wealthier nations, it was much easier for people to start a business than it was in poorer nations like Senegal. Since more business means more opportunities for everyone, she asked herself: could the key be encouragement of entrepreneurship?

Wade knew that in her hometown, there were few opportunities to break out of poverty. She came to see that the best way for her to change the situation at home would be to do it herself&...

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When Cheryl Gray initially heard about the new program, she thought it must be too good to be true. A nonprofit organization was planning on awarding 20 African American single mothers $1,000 each month for a year, provided they lived in public housing. The women would be allowed to use the money however they wanted.

Gray immediately signed on to the program, called Springboard to Opportunities, planning on using the money to pay for graduate school. But she quickly learned it wasn't quite that simple. Like the other women in the program, Gray had little to no experience with managing savings. She could stretch a minimum-wage paycheck, but had little experience with discretionary income.

It se...

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When she was just a second grader, Nujoud Merancy visited an air traffic control tower on a school field trip, an event that kindled the young girl's interest in aerospace; later, she was inspired by the Apollo missions. And incredibly, today she is working on an enormous mission of her own: sending the first woman to the moon by 2024.

Along with her colleagues Anne McClain and Holly Ridings, Merancy is part of a new vanguard of females in the aerospace industry. She serves as Exploration Mission Planning and Analysis lead for the Orion spacecraft that will execute the 2024 mission, and Ridings is NASA's first female Chief Flight Director; McClain just came back from a six-month assignment on...

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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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