SOCAP24: Going Deeper, Catalyzing Systems Change — Tracks and Curation Councils Released!

3 Entrepreneurs Changing the Future of Education

SOCAP Global August 30, 2022

Meet These Social Entrepreneurs On Stage at SOCAP22

SOCAP22 offers opportunities to connect and collaborate for change — and our Entrepreneur Program gives innovators from around the world the opportunity to pitch their ideas on stage. The entrepreneurs selected this year — see a full list here — will share their incredible solutions to pressing social, cultural, and environmental programs at SOCAP22, and have other opportunities for learning and connection before the event.

Below we share more about three social entrepreneurs making a difference in the sector of education — from providing mental health awareness and support to K-12 students to training the future artists of our world in the fashion industry. Register for SOCAP22 to hear more from them and others in the Entrepreneur Program bringing the most innovative solutions around the globe to scale!

African Academy of Fashion

Tamburai Chirume

What is the focus of your venture?

The African Academy of Fashion, established by ONEOFEACH, created a garment construction and fashion accessory-making program for unemployed women youth from underserved communities in Cape Town, South Africa. Participants receive practical, hands-on training on fundamental principles, techniques, and knowledge of garment and accessory construction. We aim to boost employment of women while reinvigorating the traditional artisanal craft and manufacturing industry in Africa.

What impact is your company creating in the world?

To date we have trained more than 300 women with minimal funding. We measure our success by looking at how many women have found permanent jobs in the creative sector or how many women have started their own small business. We have successfully placed 60% of our students in employment. Our aim is to train 100 women a year if we are able to secure consistent funding.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Diversify the South African fashion industry and strengthen skills needed in the textile, clothing, and fashion sector.


Rachel Miller

What is the focus of your venture?

Closegap is a daily mental health check-in for K-12 students. Through a fun, interactive check-in, the digital platform captures how kids feel (emotions, energy level, physical needs, etc.) and surfaces what they need to help educators effectively respond. We’re transforming the way kids are cared for and supported within schools.

What impact is your company creating in the world?

The Closegap check-in serves both K-12 students and the school staff (social workers, counselors, educators, and administrators) who support them. We’re now in over 500 schools across the U.S., serving 180,000 students and 18,000 educators. The majority of schools we work with are Title 1 Schools, and our scalable technology is serving students in all 50 states, with the largest presence in Iowa, California, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Illinois, Missouri, and New York. We know this is a needed product, because of how quickly we scaled; demand for the check-in grew quickly during the pandemic as schools scrambled to find innovative ways to meet the emotional and mental health needs of their students whose learning and lives were disrupted. All of our growth has been through word of mouth and referrals from educators, schools, and districts.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Ignoring and disregarding mental health has created generation after generation of misunderstanding and systemic inequities designed to hide, rather than support, our most vulnerable populations. If many of the negative outcomes adults experience stem from unprocessed childhood trauma, how might we make it easier for children to process their experiences with early adversity? How can we do better by our youth?


Maria Sierra

What is the focus of your venture?

Propel digitally strengthens education nonprofits and provides a thriving community to close the education gap in Latin America (LatAm).

What impact is your company creating in the world?

The program has 90% attendance and a 90+ NPS. Out of 24 nonprofits helped, 90% are led by women and 50% serve rural parts of LatAm. We track outcomes related to digital maturity, partnerships, and financial sustainability.

What call to action or advice do you have for others?

Let’s focus on synergies and action. Current problems are too hard to solve in isolation — we need to build a strong community of impact to succeed. My focus: Education in LatAm. Who’d like to join me in the challenge?

Fundraising / Social Entrepreneurship
Join the SOCAP Newsletter!