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37 Social Entrepreneurs To Watch For In 2020

37 Social Entrepreneurs To Watch For In 2020

Social Entrepreneurs to watch for in 2020

This will mark the 7th edition of our Social Entrepreneurs to watch for list. If you want to check out the previous years of social entrepreneurs you can see them here. 2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019

Over the past six years I have had the great pleasure of speaking with over 500 social entrepreneurs around the world while running Causeartist. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch many of these startups grow into companies and scale without losing their focus on impact.

Of course these are not all the amazing people around the world doing spectacular things in their respective fields. These particular social entrepreneurs are just the ones that have stood out to me over the past year.


Evin Floyd Robinson & Jessica Santana // America On Tech


Evin Floyd Robinson is one of the co-founders and President of America On Tech (AOT), an organization preparing the next generation of technology leaders. AOT’s work has been featured in media outlets such as CNN, Forbes, TechCrunch, BET, PBS, Black Enterprise, Univision and other leading publications.

Robinson started his career as a technology consultant at Accenture advising global investment banks and financial institutions on technology transformations. He has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, Black Enterprise Modern Man List, City & State NYC Tech List, and is a Points of Light Civic Accelerator Entrepreneur, Wells Fargo Millennial Activist, 4.0 Schools Launch Entrepreneur, Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellow, a TEDx presenter, SXSW EDU featured speaker and an Inaugural Black Enterprise Tech Prep Presenter. 

Robinson is a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc and an alumni of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). Robinson’s commitment to entrepreneurship and philanthropy is evidenced by his world travels and work in countries such as Turkey and China. He graduated with degrees in Economics, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, and Information Management from Syracuse University.


Jessica Santana is one of the co-founders and CEO of America On Tech, a nonprofit organization on a mission to prepare the next generation of technology leaders. AOT provides students with access to the development, mentoring, networking and professional experiences that prepare them for degrees and careers in technology. Their work has been featured in major media outlets such as Forbes, CNN, Wells Fargo, Sirius XM Radio, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, BET, Black Enterprise, AlleyWatch and The Network Journal. 

Prior to AOT, Santana worked as a technology consultant for global brands such as JPMorgan Chase, Accenture and Deloitte. She has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and NYN 40 Under 40 Rising Stars list. She is an Ashoka Emerging Innovator, Pahara Institute Next-Gen Leader, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, former Entrepreneur in Residence at General Assembly, Wells Fargo Millennial Activist, Camelback Ventures Social Innovation Fellow, Points of Light Civic Accelerator Entrepreneur, 4.0 Schools Launch Entrepreneur, JPMorganChase Global Enterprise Technology Leader, Morgan Stanley Emerging Leader, Deloitte Future Leaders Apprentice​ and one of 50 Visionary Women L​eaders to Watch by Innov8t​iv Magazine. Santana was also one of the inaugural technology anchors on Univision. ​

Santana has presented and spoken to over 50 different audiences that include SXSW Edu, TechCrunch, Google for Entrepreneurs, White House, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg. Her commitment to philanthropy and community engagement is evidenced by her world travels and work in parts of Europe, China and South America to work with nonprofits, private companies and social enterprises that better local communities and economies. She graduated with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Accounting and Information Technology from Syracuse University.


Alex Stephany // Beam


Alex Stephany was inspired to build Beam after getting to know a homeless man at his local Tube station in London. The man had spent decades out of work. Alex would buy him cups of coffee and pairs of socks, but could see his condition going from very bad to even worse.When the man had a heart attack, Alex asked himself: “What could we do to make a real difference to that man’s life?” The answer lay in giving him the skills to support himself. Alex knew that’d cost much more than a coffee. But what if everyone chipped in?

Beam is a crowdfunding platform that enables new career opportunities for homeless men and women. Beam uses technology and global citizens to help fund skills training and education to homeless individuals. With the Beam platform, you can help someone start a new career and leave homelessness for good.

Before Beam, Alex ran the parking app, JustPark, which he grew from 2 to over 40 people and still support as a Board Advisor. At JustPark, he had his first experience with crowdfunding when he led a record-breaking equity crowdfunding round – what was the largest crowdfunding round for a startup in history.

He is also the author of a book on the sharing economy called The Business of Sharing, and also advised the city of Seoul as part of the Mayor’s Sharing Economy Advisory Panel.


Trinity Heavenz // era92


Trinity is a social entrepreneur from Kampala, Uganda with a passion for upskilling the next generation of digital talent in preparation for jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in Uganda.

He is the founder of era92, a youth creative agency training and employing Uganda’s young adults in DESIGN, ARTS & TECHNOLOGY. For every product or service we sell era92 provides skills and employment to youth at risk in Uganda. To date, era92 has impacted the lives of 120 young adults in the slums of Kosovo.

He is also the co-founder of the 92hands movement that mobilizes young adults across Africa to carry out intensive community services, becoming agents of change in the communities they come from, through educating and empowering the vulnerable people of Uganda.


Rachel Klausner // Millie


Rachel is the Founder and CEO of Millie, a charitable giving platform that makes giving back easy and impactful. Rachel’s passion for fundraising started when she spent a year after high school living and volunteering on a youth village where she took on a fundraising role during the day and ran programming for kids in the evenings. Rachel is a product designer by trade and spent 8 years designing software at startups. Her expertise is in personalization technology + product design and is excited to leverage those to transform the way people give.


Chad Dime, Chad Jernigan, and Zach Gordan // Diff Charitable Eyewear


Chad Dime, Chad Jernigan, and Zach Gordan – DIFF Charitable Eyewear, Co-Founders: When DIFF Charitable Eyewear was founded, the vision was to have a positive impact on the world through quality, affordable eyewear. And in four years, the company has provided over 1.2 MILLION people with the reading glasses they need to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. Over the past few years, they’ve learned that doing even more is possible. Diff is completely committed, more than ever, to creating a world in which everyone has access to the vision care they need — whether that’s an eye exam, surgery, glasses, or medicine.

Now through the expansion of their global mission, every pair of DIFFs sold helps provide the Gift of Sight, through their global partner SightSavers, because the brand truly believe VISION IS POWER. This partnership will allow DIFF to help provide the gift of sight for every pair of DIFFs sold, through medicine, surgeries, glasses, eye exams, and more.


Mica Le John // 2Swim


Mica Le John is CEO and Co-Founder of 2Swim, a social messaging platform with an emphasis on close connections and private communities. A graduate of the New School, she holds a B.S. in Liberal Arts and completed the Riggio Honors Program for Writing and Democracy. As a writer, educator, technologist and STEAM advocate, her work uses an intersectional lens to explore the relationships between technology, art, and social justice.

2Swim is currently invite-only for communities that are POC, LGBTQ+ and/or womxn-centric, and some of their partners include Ethel’s ClubFeminist Camp, and Shop Latinx. If your community needs a better place to meet online, reach out.  


Francisco Alcala & Alejandra Alcala // HOME Storytellers


Francisco discovered his love for documentary photography and after 30 years of service with the Kellogg Company, he decided to retire from his role as Vice-President of Latin America Supply Chain to complete an MFA in photography to explore and put to good use this new passion of his.  

Alejandra, his daughter, decided to study graphic design abroad and has been living in Barcelona for the past 8 years. After some time, working in a communication and events agency for big fish tech companies, she began having existential doubts whether she was giving meaning to her visual communication skills.

It was a little over a year ago when Francisco and Alejandra embarked on a new journey driven by the excitement of contributing to create a better future for refugees through their joint passion for visual storytelling. They founded a non-profit called HOME Storytellers on the premise that cinematic short documentary films have the power to generate empathy and ignite action. HOME Storytellers identifies long-lasting refugee solutions anywhere in the world and partners with the grassroots organization and a media agency to create an impact campaign that dramatically increases funding to the solution. The campaign centers around a film produced by HOME Storytellers about the compelling story of a refugee(s) whose life was changed by the solution.

Until now HOME Storytellers has produced one film and 2 more are on the way. Their first documentary Hot Dogs on a Tricycle was completed in May and until now Asylum Access, their grassroots parter organization for that film, credits the documentary for helping them raise $118,000 and increasing by 8 the number of companies that have joined their Hospitality Route Program in Mexico! Hot Dogs on a Tricycle continues to be used to help them on their mission of making human rights a reality for refugees. 


Patrick Schmitt & Jenny Xia Spradling // freewill


Patrick Schmitt and Jenny Xia Spradling met as graduate students at Stanford University, both determined to make an outsized impact on the world. They serve as Co-CEOs of FreeWill, supporting a team of nearly forty talented staff. To date, FreeWill has raised nearly $1B for charity. 

Jenny is a veteran of McKinsey and Bain Capital, where she helped to launch the firm’s first impact investment fund. She is the cofounder of Paribus (acquired by Capital One). She graduated from Harvard University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar finalist and finished at the top of her class.

Patrick is a leading innovator in nonprofit fundraising and technology for social impact. He is the founder of two nonprofit organizations and served as the Head of Innovation at Change.org. 


Jonathan Johnson // Rooted School


Jonathan Johnson is the founder and CEO of Rooted School in New Orleans, LA. Rooted School opens high schools that are the local leader in sending high school students directly into the tens of thousands of jobs opening in their communities over the next 10 years and beyond.

Rooted School is a high school that is completely re-imagining the relationship between local schools, local industries, and the communities they call home. They’re starting with a focus on the digital media sector in Greater New Orleans area, where over 7,000 jobs will be created in the next decade. By creating multiple pathways to prosperity we’re building a new class of high school that will prepare students for college, while cultivating practical job skills for the 21st century.

A graduate of Chapman University, he was recognized by the Fishman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and listed as among the top one percent of emerging social innovators by Echoing Green—among the one percent of entrepreneurs in the world to receive this honor. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s The Giving Pledge campaign recently recognized Jonathan as one of the most innovative school builders in the country. By many accounts, his work is considered one of the most ambitious projects in charter school history.


Justin Frank Polgar // YES Cacao


Justin Polgar is the Co-Founder of YES Cacao, a botanical chocolate company that helps individuals live a more healthy lifestyle. He is an alchemical chocolate technologist, focusing his chocolate innovation toward education in the holistic health and wellness category.

His journey includes graduating with a degree in Marketing Psychology: Introspective Humanistic Behavior from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Several jobs attracted his curiosity, from sales in health & wellness, to incentive marketing, to harvesting apples, healing arts, investment analysis, network marketing, artist promotion, t-shirts, etc… a long list of business cards without the deep satisfaction of meaningful purpose.

With a pure confidence and trust, he stepped into the mystery of mantra, starting each morning with the words: “I ONLY DO WHAT I LOVE”. Layers of disharmonious life-pursuits dissolved, leaving a simple and refined passion for using chocolate as a vehicle for medicine. Over 10 years of studying longevity formulas, consciousness, and confidence all merged into a single platform for sharing energy, presence, health, wellness, vitality, connection, and of course the powerful word: YES.


Claire Pettibone // Madison Grace Boutique


Claire Pettibone is the founder of Madison Grace Boutique, a social impact women’s accessories boutique. No stranger to conscious consumerism, Claire has consulted with social good brand startups from marketing campaigns to ghostwriting their initiatives. She soon discovered that a lot of women did resonate with the values of ethical fashion and conscious shopping after all. They did want to shop fair trade practiced and ethically made things but it didn’t meet their style. “I felt the same way,” Claire looks back, “a lot of ethical fashion brands and ethical marketplaces were starting to look the same.” She adds, “I ended up solving my own problem and it turns out a lot of women felt the same. Yes, we wanted ethical things that empowered the marginalized but we also wanted to be proud and confident in our stylish pieces while let’s face it – remaining chic.”

With her California laidback roots, she is bringing Madison Grace to “women who give a care” – a term used to describe the community of conscious women she is helping to enable. Madison Grace is named after its customers. Madison Grace is the “it girl” who gives a care. She’s that one friend who always seems to be effortlessly chic and “in the know”. But she wants it all- she believes that eco and ethical can also be stylish and elevated.

Madison Grace Boutique’s accessories are highly curated but will remain in its values of giving. Not only do they give ethical work, give an opportunity to the marginalized, give green by being conscious of their carbon footprint and intentional with their materials, but they also give back a portion of their proceeds to a nonprofit quarterly giving partner – and of course all because and for the women who give a care.


Sophie Stevens & Pete Oswald // Little Difference


Sophie and Pete, based in New Zealand, love to create and wanted to start a business with a Little Difference. The couple started Little Difference, a 1 Card. 1 Tree initiative where they pay for the planting, raising and protection of one tree towards reforestation for every single product sold. They also only use 100% recycled paper products and 100% compostable packaging. Sophie Stevens is a geology graduate and artist from the Isle of Wight, UK. Pete Oswald is a professional skier and media producer from New Zealand. Sophie does all the artwork and Pete handles the accounts and sales.


Catherine Berman // CNote


Catherine Berman is the CEO and Co-founder of CNote, an impact investment platform delivering competitive returns by investing in women, minorities and low-income communities across America. She’s a three-time entrepreneur with experience building scalable businesses. Her last startup grew into a multi-million dollar firm in less than four years. Prior to CNote, she worked as a Managing Director at Charles Schwab focused on new market segments and predictive analytics. At the vanguard of impact investing, Catherine has spoken at events hosted by Stanford, Oxford, Google, The Economist, SoCap, Coinbase, and others to challenge conventional thinking about money and meaning.


Aanchal Bansal // Redo


Aanchal incorporated Redo as a women’s workwear company during her summer internship of Masters in Fashion Management at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India. Redo makes boardroom worthy workwear which is sustainable, modern, and functional. Their capsule collections of 7 convertible garments can be mixed and matched to create over 30 outfits. Prior to this, Aanchal has worked with two leading ethical fashion startups in the country as a growth hacker. Her motto is to “create change through clothing.”


Melissa Herman // Left Tackle Capital


Melissa is a challenger of the status quo and forever curious. She has always been fascinated by the relationship between financial + social capital and seeks meaningful connections that empower others to succeed.

Inspired to take intelligent risks, Melissa took a professional leap towards the social impact sector. She joined a B corporation to lead curation for the NationSwell Council, a uniquely service-minded community of 1,000+ leaders tackling America’s most critical challenges. The connections and impact shared amongst a diverse group of doers is what continues to fuel her work today!

Melissa is now Founding Partner of Left Tackle Capital, a startup on a mission to select, connect and future-proof a visionary league of diverse fund-managers and investors who will re-shape asset management. 

She also serves on the executive board of The Sumaira Foundation for NMO, a nonprofit that raises global awareness for an extremely rare autoimmune disease. A true wanderlust, she is a founding member of Escape the City NYC whose mission is to liberate one million people to do work they love. She is also a founding Inner Circle Ranger for Campowerment where she co-facilitated monthly meetings for women to connect, empower, and support each other through community.


Jesse Gould // Heroic Hearts Project


Jesse Gould, Founder of Heroic Hearts Project, was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew up in New Smyrna Beach, FL. In 2009 he graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Economics. After working in investment banking for a short time he enlisted in the Army and became an Airborne Ranger for four years and three combat deployments. 

After struggling with severe anxiety for many years, he finally decided to go to an ayahuasca retreat which had a profoundly positive effect on his anxiety and daily life. During the week-long retreat, he instantly saw the healing potential of the drink and knew that it could be a powerful tool in healing the mental struggles of his fellow veterans. This experience inspired him to found Heroic Hearts Project, an organization that connects veterans in need of healing with ayahuasca therapy. Since its founding, Heroic Hearts Project has quickly become one of the most prominent veteran voices pushing for psychedelic based therapies.


Farrukh Lalani // DARIA DAY


Farrukh Lalani has worn many hats over her career from Management Consulting to Humanitarian Assistance and now as a social entrepreneur. Her journey to social entrepreneurship began almost ten years ago when she left her corporate job to pursue something more fulfilling and joined an international development agency. Her work took her from Syria to Afghanistan to Tajikistan and finally to Pakistan, her birthland. It was a country she had often heard about from her family but hadn’t visited since childhood.

In Northern Pakistan, nestled at the foothills of some of the world’s tallest mountains, Farrukh worked with some of the most isolated and impoverished communities. To break the cycle of poverty and provide the community with additional sources of income, various NGO’s had implemented gemstone processing and jewelry making programs for women in Gilgit. Working for a NGO she realized that NGOs were very good at implementing training programs but often failed to take the next crucial step – create market access. The artisans, having received this extensive training, were still unable to stake out a livelihood as they had no access to profitable markets or ideas of what to produce. Witnessing the vulnerability of these communities Farrukh founded Daria Day to provide artisans with a sustainable livelihood and a path towards prosperity.


Branden Harvey // GOOD GOOD GOOD


Branden Harvey is a storyteller focused on the good in the world. He’s the host of the podcast Sounds Good, the creator of the Goodnewspaper, a printed newspaper full of good news, and built an online community over more than 250,000 world changers. In his journey Branden has helped brands like Disney, Square, Southwest Airlines, and (RED) tell meaningful stories with heart all over the world. He’s been featured in The Washington Post, Seventeen Magazine, Forbes, and Mashable.


Raphael Amiens // 2worlds


Raphael is an environmental educator, ecopreneur and advocate who works in many different spheres to inspire ecological, cultural and social change. He received a Master’s Degree from BCU in Environmental Sciences and a Degree in Entrepreneurship.

As a young black Millenial in sustainability, Raphael is trying to bring fairness and democratize the world of sustainability. Through his work; the aim is to make sustainability available to minorities in a more relatable way and prove to a larger audience and companies the importance of diversity within sustainability because “I believe that sustainability is more than just buying a stainless straw and driving a prius.”

As an Ecopreneur ( sustainable entrepreneur) and co- founder of 2worlds, his Patreon is going to be platform that changes mainstream narrative on what sustainability look like and will enable him to promote sustainability to a larger audience. This initiative promotes access, awareness and action to create sustainable solutions that are inclusive of those whose communities are disproportionately affected by climate change, racism, economic injustice and inequity.


Jacqueline Villeneuve // Olive & Annie


At 18 years old Jacqueline Villeneuve moved to Nairobi, Kenya after graduating high school with the goal of opening a children’s home. In 2013 with the help of her local partner, Jerusha Wanjiru (mama to the kiddos at ZLT), ZLT Children’s Home opened it’s doors and continues to provide a loving family to 27 orphaned and abandoned children. This began Jacqueline’s journey passionately advocating for the rights of orphaned children, and collectively working alongside other organizations and fair-trade brands to end the orphan cycle.

Jacqueline became a single mother at 21 years old. Through the years working and volunteering in Kenya with orphaned children, Jacqueline and her team identified an alarming trend. A large majority of children living within children’s homes were coming from single mother households. Jacqueline became a student via correspondence at Pennsylvania State University shortly after her daughters birth. She conducted her first research study in 2015 identifying the factors leading to single mothers first unplanned pregnancy.

Her researched shared that most vulnerable single mothers under the age of 25 had little to no support for their child’s father, experienced abusive relationships, had limited support from their families, and in nearly all cases no access to sexual health education and family planning. This sparked the idea for Olive & Annie. A fair trade brand creating artisan crafted apparel and accessories that gives back with every purchase and provides employment to single mothers and men who serve as positive male role models.


Katy Lynch // Codeverse


Katy Lynch is a British-born entrepreneur, marketer, and investor.

She is the Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Codeverse — the world’s first interactive coding studio for kids ages 6-13. Codeverse is founded on the mission to “teach a billion kids to code.” The company opened its flagship location in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood in 2017. Codeverse opened two more locations to bring their interactive classroom experience and kid-friendly coding language, KidScript, to children across the city and suburbs.

Katy is the recipient of the Smart Cookies Award by Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, and has appeared on Forbes, NBC, Inc, WGN, Huffington Post, FOX and Today.com, amongst others.


James Traf & Luca Marra // Vera


Vera is a new platform created by Luca and James that allows members to easily offset their plastic footprint for $3/month. Every year, an estimated 14 billion pounds of plastic and waste ends up in our oceans, by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our seas. We as consumers, entrepreneurs, and creatives, have the ability to combat this problem and use are consumer power and skills to make significant impact.

The founders recently announced a partnership with Plastic Bank, which will help the platform move closer to their vision for Vera. Vera now prevents plastic from ever entering our oceans in the first place. Powered by IBM’s blockchain technology, every month, your Vera membership will prevent exactly 250 plastic bottles from entering our oceans.


Jennifer Silbert // Rewilder


Jennifer Silbert is an architect, designer and master scavenger who has worked in material development and problem solving for innovative architectural projects ranging from concert halls to houses. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Design and Art History from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Master’s Degree in Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture. She teaches Materials Innovation classes at Art Center College of Design, and is passionately committed to upcycling as the best way to solve design challenges.

Jennifer is also the founder of Rewilder, a sustainable fashion brand that finds beauty in discarded industrial materials, upcycling them into classic products that highlight their strength and durability. The brand is women owned, and manufacture ethically in Los Angeles. The mission is to design a product that was completely zero waste, giving the founders the challenge of not using ANY material that wasn’t previously trashed.


Jigar Ganatra // Halisia Travel


Jigar is a 22 year old Indian-Tanzanian budding filmmaker-entrepreneur who’s travel company Halisia aims to transform the way people connect with the world around them. Through their storytelling workshops in India and Tanzania, Halisia empowers aspiring photographers and filmmakers with the soft skills and technical skills needed to respectfully interact with people who’s voices have not been heard in the mainstream and coax authentic and just stories from the grassroots in order to bridge the gaps between peoples hearts and broaden their perspective.


Carly Burson // Tribe Alive


Carly Burson is the Founder & CEO of Tribe Alive, an ethical fashion brand focused on moving the industry toward a more sustainable approach while educating and meaningfully employing artisan men and women. Tribe Alive’s story began when Carly and her husband finalized the adoption of their daughter, Elie. Carly knew that becoming a mother would profoundly impact her life, but she never imagined that it would alter the course of her life’s work.

Although adoption presents an opportunity to support an individual child, Carly was struck by the desire to address the core issue of child relinquishment on a global scale: namely, the economic insecurity facing women in the developing world. Tribe Alive was born from Carly’s decision to utilize her years of experience in the fashion industry as a platform to alleviate poverty. In four years, Tribe Alive has grown from employing 4 female makers in Honduras, to supporting 8 artisan design cooperatives in 5 different countries, where over 150 people are sustainably employed.

Utilizing her drive for social justice and years of experience in the fashion industry, Carly shares her passion for activism, social enterprise, and impact consumerism as a means to empower women. She believes that business should only be used as a platform for positive change and that elevating women and girls is the only way to guarantee a brighter future.


Tina Alexis Allen & Gina Raphaela // Gina Raphaela Jewelry 


Tina Alexis Allen is a GLAAD Award-nominated actress, producer, scriptwriter, author, and playwright. Allen is a cast member of the TV series Outsiders (WGN America), and co-starred in the feature films Moving Mountains (2014), Tom’s Dilemma (2016), as well as the webseries Looking for Kathleen. Her childhood memoir, Hiding Out, was recently published by HarperCollins. The Washington Post calls it “a can’t-put-down read.” Allen is also the co-founder of Gina Raphaela Jewelry’s mission-driven No More Violence collection.

Gina Raphaela is a designer, artist and the co-founder of Gina Raphaela Jewelry. Influenced by her bold Sicilian heritage, Gina’s jewelry juxtaposes a masculine sense of danger and provocation with refined finishes while transforming bullets into beauty. After attending a speech by the Dalai Llama, where he declared “the world will be saved by Western women,” Ms. Raphaela and her partner, Tina Alexis Allen, heard that as a call to action. Thus, the No More Violence collection was born.


Alexis Cook & Corbin Hooker // Unlocked


Alexis Cook is a passionate individual with a drive to create a more equitable world through increased opportunity and empowerment. The Co-Founder and Co-President of Unlocked, Alexis was an Ingram Scholar at Vanderbilt University, where she graduated in 2018 with a bachelor’s in Human and Organizational Development and a minor in Economics. Prior to studying at Vanderbilt, Alexis spent a year working at five different non-profit internships in five different countries, learning more about poverty through the eyes of those experiencing it. Alexis is focused on using her leadership to elevate the voices of marginalized people, creating pathways for sustainable change.

Corbin Hooker is the Co-Founder and Co-President of Unlocked. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2018 with a triple major in political science, economics, and history with a minor in corporate strategy. He is committed to the service of others and is focused on leading projects that move us towards a more just society and a more equitable world. In addition to building social enterprises, Corbin plans to expand his capacity to create institutional change through public office.

Unlocked is a social enterprise jewelry brand that employs women who are transitioning out of homelessness. Alexis and Corbin have also created an opportunity to uplift their employees by providing transitional housing, career counseling, financial training, and more.


Melanie Aronson // Panion


Melanie is the founder and CEO of Panion, an app for finding like-minded people nearby with common interests. She has a bachelors in anthropology from Columbia University and a masters in documentary filmmaking from the School of Visuals Arts in NYC. Melanie worked in sales for Apple for almost 3 years and for more than 10 years as a freelance filmmaker, photographer and designer. She moved from NYC to Sweden on a Fulbright grant in 2014 and has lived there ever since.


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