Who: Dina Habib Powell, President, Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Numbers: Led by Dina Habib Powell, 10,000 Women has provided business education to female entrepreneurs in 43 countries since 2008 (and hit the 10,000 mark last December), with impressive results: Within three years, 82 percent of graduates increased revenues and 71 percent created jobs.
Success Story: In 2007, Ayodeji Megbope of Lagos, Nigeria, opened a catering business called No Left Overs in her kitchen with just $8 in seed capital. But she struggled to turn a profit in a country where 92 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day. Now Megbope—a graduate of the initiative—owns a restaurant that employs more than 40 workers, and mentors fellow female entrepreneurs.
Ripple Effect: The financial lifting of many boats is just one positive by-product; women who might once have deferred to their husbands now have a hand in making family decisions as breadwinners. "I watch women, often amidst vast political and social uncertainty, get up every day and find ways forward for themselves and for their families—and, ultimately, for their societies," says Powell, 41. "That's the return on investment we're looking for."
Upping the Ante: Powell recently took things to the next level by partnering with the World Bank Group to give 100,000 female-owned small and medium-size businesses around the world access to some $600 million in capital.
Get Involved: goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000women
Photo via Peter Hapak