People of Colour Making a Sustainable Impact
Celebrating achievements made by people of colour who are creating a sustainable impact and bringing awareness towards a cleaner and greener environment – no matter the business nature.
Jasmine Crowe, Founder and CEO of Goodr
“I believe that everybody deserves to eat.”
In the beginning of 2017, Jasmine Crowe started Goodr, a food waste management company which is a real-time food rescue app.
The app connects businesses with local charities to arrange deliveries of leftovers to people in need. Before she founded the company, she used to feed homeless people from the kitchen of her small one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta, GA.
Goodr helps other companies strive for zero waste – together they have contributed more than 1.8 million meals diverting them from landfills.
Jasmine admits she was shocked when she found out that more than 72 billion pounds of edible food is wasted every year in the US while 42 million people, almost 13% of the total population, are suffering from food insecurity. She took action as she understood that hunger was not a scarcity issue, but rather a logistics issue. Goodr connects businesses that have surplus food to non-profit organisations and people who need it.
Goodr uses a blockchain technology that allows the secure tracking of organisation’s surplus food from a pickup to donation, providing real-time reporting analytics. This is how Goodr aims to make a social and environmental impact by reducing businesses’ greenhouse emissions from landfills and getting food to hungry people.
Sergie Albino, CEO and Co-Founder of ecoSPEARS
Innovation That Cleans the World
Sergie is a social entrepreneur and former NASA aerospace engineer who is on a mission to transform the environmental industry.
Sergie leads the engineering and technology divisions of ecoSPEARS. ecoSPEARS is a cleantech solutions company focussed on green and cost-effective technology to extract and destroy contaminations from the environment and water to prevent diseases, birth defects and cancer. The team deploys innovative, environmentally-friendly technologies and is, therefore, able to sustainably and permanently remove various toxins from the environment permanently.
In 2019 ecoSPEARS was accepted in the Black & Veatch’s IgniteX Cleantech Accelerator, 1 of 7 companies selected from over 140 applicants. Black & Veatch became ecoSPEARS’s design-build partner to assist in the scaling of the company’s green technologies.
ecoSPEARS has recently partnered with the United Nations to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals to make sure everyone has access to clean water and healthy soil.
Jessica O. Matthews, CEO and Founder of Uncharted Power
“Everything that moves is a source of kinetic energy which can be stored.”
Jessica is an inventor who founded Uncharted Power – a power infrastructure company that develops smart grid hardware and software solutions making clean, safe, secure, and low-cost power accessible to everyone.
While still in college, she created the Soccket, a soccer ball that can take the kinetic energy created from being tossed and kicked around and transform it into a renewable and portable energy source. This “gadget” can be a true game-changer to those living in poverty, with no electricity or constant outages. Matthews says that usually this is painted as a socio-economic problem – which to an extent is – but it is also an infrastructure and transmission issue.
In 2012, Jessica was invited by President Barack Obama to the White House, to represent small companies for the signing of the America Invents Act. Jessica currently serves as an Ambassador of Entrepreneurship for Nigeria.
Ashley Fouyolle, Founder of Unwrp
“Failure can be the best ingredient for success”
In 2017, Ashley Fouyolle started Unwrp, a sustainable gift wrap, greeting cards and home décor company.
From inception to delivery, UNWRP serves as a platform for emerging artists of colour. Unwrp offers wallpapers, Japanese-style reusable gift wrap, gift tags and ribbon. The reusable fabric wrap can be kept for much longer and reused for many different gifts.
Ashley entered design and found her passion for giftwrapping after failing a required math course that was a part of her marketing degree. She is now happy and reflects on the “failure” with gratitude.
This young artist references design from unexpected places and incorporates them in her own way. She has worked with such Grammy-nominated recording artists like DRAM, Nebu Kiniza, executed projects for Gap, Macy’s and LF Americas.
Pernell Cezar, CEO and Co-Founder of BLK + Bold
Fighting for Social Justice One Cup of Coffee at a Time
Pernell Cezar started BLK + Bold in 2018 – the first black-owned nationally distributed coffee brand.
While the coffee market may be saturated, the specialty coffee and loose-leaf tea category is wide open according to Cezar. The base ingredients consist of either 100% organic in-house roasted coffee or 100% organic premium loose-leaf tea, which the business supplies to wholesale (i.e. cafes, restaurants, hospitality, offices) and retail distribution.
BLK + Bold is a mission-based business, focusing on the contribution made from the beverages industry back to the communities. The business contributes 5% of its profits to initiatives that support under-resourced domestic youth. “We really wanted to find a way to impact that vulnerable demographic by doing something we do every day, which is enjoying a cup of coffee or tea,” says Cezar.
Their goal is to make an impact in every way possible, which includes using natural processes and incorporating sustainability into their practice.