Amy Fallah

“We have to change the narrative around climate change in Africa,” said Sarah Rukundo, General Manager at Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali. Rukundo and her team are working to raise awareness about the urgency of climate change and elevate African women entrepreneurs as key solution providers. “Women are not encouraged to become innovators,” said Rukundo. “We are trying to change this cultural stigma by empowering women with the tools and opportunities they need to scale their ideas into sustainable green businesses."

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“It was a turning point for me,” said Ruchi Jain, Founder and CEO of Taru Naturals, about her trip to the villages of small-scale farmers in India struggling with the effects of climate change. “I realized that if you want to make a big impact on the world, you have to be grassroots based—it has to be a movement.” Since then, Jain has grown Taru Naturals into a fair-trade network connecting over 10,000 tribal and small-scale organic farmers across India to the resources and training they need to grow climate-resilient crops and markets to sell their products.

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“It’s a myth,” said Harish Hande, co-founder of India based solar company SELCO, about the notion that businesses cannot be social enterprises. Hande has been debunking this myth since he started SELCO in 1995 with the mission of making sustainable energy accessible to poor communities in rural parts of India. Today, SELCO provides affordable solar energy to one million people.

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Read about the Kawjo Foundation's work promoting women-led markets in Malawi and helping lift women--and the families and communities that depend on them--out of poverty.

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