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Providing fair work for the disadvantaged

January 15, 2020

A woman sits in a chair while holding her hands. There are purses on a wall in the background.Sasibai Kimis is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and a pioneer of social enterprise. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Sasibai is providing her artisans with the support they need to alter their lives for the better.

Sasibai Kimis is the founder of Earth Heir, a conscious lifestyle brand based out of Malaysia. Earth Heir provides income to artisans including refugee women groups, indigenous tribes, prison communities and differently abled persons in Malaysia.

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Closing education gaps in Lebanon

January 6, 2020

Rana El Chemaitelly is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and a pioneer in the education industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Rana’s company The Little Engineer has supports United Nations sustainable development goals.

There are various gaps in education systems all around the world, and Rana El Chemaitelly is actively changing that. El Chemaitelly is the founder of The Little Engineer, a Beirut-based educational institution that provides academic solutions to the gaps that are found between theory, practice and implementation in classrooms.

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Challenging social norms in Georgia

January 4, 2020

Woman in a yellow dress stands in a warehouse with materials behind her.Irma Daushvili is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge from Georgia and a pioneer in the renovation and home improvement industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Irma is using her company DIO to provide their ecologically clean products to improve homes and businesses in Georgia.

Irma Daushvili is the general director of DIO, a company that is based out of Georgia and is a provider of home improvement products. At DIO, a fair and inclusive work space is important to their vision and the company’s future. Just within the last year they have increased their percentage of women in management by over 10%.

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How a WE Empower finalist is creating opportunity from her Hawaiian roots

January 2, 2020

A woman sits on the ground with her hands and legs crossed in front of her.Brynn Foster is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge from Hawaii, USA and a transformative pioneer in the agriculture industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Brynn is breaking barriers in the male-dominated world of agriculture through innovation and community.

Brynn Foster is the founder of Voyaging Foodsv a Hawaii-based artisan miller and bakehouse that produces flour from Hawaiian canoe plants. For over a decade, they have been committed to producing nutritional, delicious and allergy-conscious foods that preserve and honor Hawaiian heritage. The mission Foster has established at Voyaging Foods is to revive these Hawaiian-grown crops and reclaim Hawaiian food sovereignty while building a thriving canoe-plant flour industry. Voyaging Foods ultimate goal is to help move the Hawaiian Islands towards food security.

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WE Empower finalist brings innovation to the world of cleaning

December 29, 2019

Woman stands with her arms crossed in front of a white wall.Anne Butterly is a finalist in the 2019 WE Empower UN SDG Challenge. Her work in the reduction of waste through the innovative technology of Easydry is breaking barriers in multiple industries. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse speaks to Anne about her goals within her company and her community.

 Anne Butterly is the founder and CEO of Easydry, a toweling system based out of Ireland. Easydry products are a recyclable and biodegradable alternative to cotton towels and can be used anywhere from the salon to the gym. Easydry focuses on Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation through reducing the consumption of fresh water globally (in comparison to cotton production) through its water-efficient fibre production, and then by eliminating the need to constantly wash cotton towels which saves 5 liters of water per towel.

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Technology for a sustainable future

December 27, 2019

Woman smiles while standing in front of greenery.Ana Cecilia Flores is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and a pioneer in the tech industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how innovation has empowered Flores’s company, Webee, to tackle some of the toughest sustainability problems.

Ana Cecilia Flores is the co-founder of Webee, an innovative Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence company. Webee supports sustainable development goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure through the use of intuitive technology to combat some of our world’s most complicated issues such as food waste and air quality. At Webee, they recognize that technology can balance economic, social and environmental growth in order to move towards a sustainable future.

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Education's role in your well-being

December 22, 2019

Woman stands with her arms crossed in front of a window.Agnieszka Bilinska is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge from Poland and a pioneer in the health and wellness industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Agnieszka is using education to help leaders in business grow their communication skills, manage their stress, and better their mental health.

Agnieszka Bilinska is the Chief Executive Officer of Trusted Communication, a company that provides personal development programs for leaders in business. The various programs offered encompass mental health, diversity, building communication skills and managing stress.

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Growing industry and community in Nigeria

December 20, 2019

A young woman stands proudly in front of snacks in a coffee shop.Affiong Williams is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and a pioneer in the snack industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how Affiong and her company Reelfruit are benefitting her industry as well as her community.

Affiong Williams is the Chief Executive Officer of Reelfruit, a snack business from Nigeria whose core business value is investing in women.  Reelfruit practices what they preach, their outreach to women who live in rural areas has allowed these women to learn skills and provide for their families.

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Taking cannons to exploitation

December 13, 2019

Jessica Hubley is a 2019 finalist of the WE Empower United Nation Sustainable Development Goals challenge and an innovative entrepreneur that uses her software business which leverages the growth of the $1.5 trillion software services industry, to drive economic power into the hands of human trafficking survivors, empowering them. In the article below, WE Empower Intern Jordan Leiter highlights Hubley, her business, AnnieCannons, and shows how they promote gender equality and other sustainable development goals.

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Sustainable education solutions in India

December 13, 2019

Anjlee Prakash is a 2019 finalist of the WE Empower United Nation Sustainable Development Goal challenge and an innovative entrepreneur who founded the Learning Links Foundation (LLF). Through the LLF, Anjlee has had a positive impact on over 15 million students and 2 million teachers across 48000 schools in India over the past 17 years. In the article below, WE Empower Intern Jordan Leiter highlights Anjlee, the LLF and shows how they promote gender equality and other sustainable development goals.

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Tackling the elusive work-life balance

December 13, 2019

Karolina Andrian is a 2019 finalist of the WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals challenge and an innovative entrepreneur promoting gender equality in Poland through a focus on the work-family balance. Below, WE Empower Intern Jordan Leiter highlights Andrian, her business Femmeritum, and shows how they further gender equality and other sustainable development goals.

Andrian is the co-owner of Femmeritum, an organization that designs and implements specially catered work-family balance programs in small businesses and large corporations. Through Femmeritum, Andrian persuades corporations to offer their employees’ services like parenting programs, workshops and childcare.

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SheWorks! to bridge the gender tech gap

December 13, 2019

Kieran Kesner for Endeavor.

Silvina Moschini is a 2019 finalist of the WE Empower United Nations Sustainable Development Goals challenge and the creator of the first online platform to “leverage TransparentBusiness cloud technology, matching algorithms and remote workforce management tools to connect professional women with flexible remote job opportunities to eliminate the barriers between talent and opportunities and making the connection between education for employability”. In the article below, WE Empower intern Jordan Leiter highlights Moschini, her US-based business SheWorks! and shows how they promote gender equality and other sustainable development goals.

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When good food meets gender equity

November 21, 2019

Claudia Castellanos is a 2019 finalist of the WE Empower UN SDG challenge and an innovative entrepreneur that empowers women, farmers and foodies alike. WE Empower Intern Jordan Leiter highlights Castellanos and her business, Black Mamba Foods, in this article while demonstrating how they further gender equality and other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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Women are macro-critical

November 7, 2019

“Women’s equal economic participation in advanced economies can increase GDP by 10% and in developed countries by as much as 30%.” Egypt’s Minister for Tourism and former IMF official Her Excellency Rania Al-Mashat opened the high-level panel “When Women Lead” at the United Nations SDG Action Zone on September 25 by emphasizing the positive macro-economic impact of women’s economic engagement. “GDP growth leads to productivity growth and when productivity grows pay increases among both men and women. Egypt was the first country in 2017 to launch a national strategy for women for 2030,” Al-Mashat pointed out.

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Vital Voices celebrates 25 new fellows in political leadership program

November 5, 2019

By Darcy Nelson, Master’s student at Thunderbird School of Global Management

WE Empower UN SDG Challenge lead partner Vital Voices is in Phoenix this week to celebrate the 25 new fellows in their political leadership program VV Engage. The fellowship is geared to advance women’s public leadership and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The program is supported by Vital Voices' partnership with Freeport-McMoRan, the global mining company based here in Phoenix.

Tuesday evening, at ASU downtown Beus Center for Law and Society, Vital Voices hosted a public panel discussion featuring women political leaders from around the world. Included in the panel was VV Engage Fellows and politicians Isata Kabia of Sierra Leone and Seni Nabuou of Fiji, former Presidents Dalia Grybauskaitė of Lithuania and Laura Chinchilla Miranda of Costa Rica, and Freeport-McMoRan’s Tracy Bame, moderated by Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson, and introductions by Executive Director, Thunderbird for Good, ASU Kellie Kreiser.

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WE Empower helps launch Target Gender Equality at UN General Assembly

October 29, 2019

UN Global Compact Launch: WE Empower Challenge Awardees
The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and Arizona State University Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and helped launch Target Gender Equality during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019. Target Gender Equality is a program for companies participating in the UN Global Compact that is designed to accelerate gender equality by setting and reaching corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership in business.

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WE Empower awardee from U.S. wins DVF pitch night competition

October 24, 2019

During the U.N. General Assembly and Climate Week, philanthropist and fashion icon Diane Von Furstenberg hosted a pitch night in New York City for the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge 2019 awardees. The five WE Empower Challenge awardees — one from each United Nations region — pitched to a high-level panel of judges selected from WE Empower Challenge partners.

Judges and audience voting determined the 2019 winner of the $20,000 cash prize to be Leah Lizarondo, CEO and co-founder of 412 Food Rescue and entrepreneur-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon University.

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Meet WE Empower Challenge partner MyEffect

October 23, 2019

MyEffect founder Kelly LovellMyEffect is a woman-led business that aims to drive positive change and further the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals via engagement on a positive, empowering social media platform. As someone who is passionate about sustainability, gender equality, and changing the way we interact with social media and the attention economy, WE Empower Challenge Intern Jordan Leiter is excited to showcase just how multifaceted MyEffect’s mission is and how it benefits gender equality and positive digital practices.

As the founder of MyEffect and a young female entrepreneur who has struggled to find her place in the tech community, Kelly Lovell (pictured) has “taken an active role in advocating for policy developments that advance women’s economic empowerment and prosperity, and this work has influenced MyEffect’s culture and technology.” According to Lovell, “MyEffect prioritizes gender equality and strives to provide equal opportunities for women to contribute innovation — particularly the next generation.”

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