We’ve opened the 2024 application period for our SOCAP Fellowship: LEARN MORE AND APPLY!

9 Entrepreneurs Driving Inclusive Economic Development

SOCAP Global September 8, 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 nine social entrepreneurs making a difference in the sector of economic development — from creating a new way to link sustainable tourism to U.S. communities to providing more equitable access to legal services. Register for SOCAP22 to hear more from them and others in the Entrepreneur Program bringing the most innovative solutions around the globe to scale!


Laura Jardine Paterson

What is the focus of your venture?

CONCAT is a web development agency led by talented refugee and female developers from countries of conflict. We empower marginalised developers by providing them with long-term, sustainable employment while creating innovative tech solutions for international clients. Our vision is to employ marginalised developers all over the world and have multinational businesses as our clients.

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

To hire more refugees and women in the tech sector.


Azima Dhanjee

What is the focus of your venture?

ConnectHear is a social enterprise focusing on the next generation of assistive technology for the deaf/hard of hearing communities around the world. Growing up in a developing country as a child of a deaf adult, I was always passionate about using technology to provide means of independent communication to the deaf. Started as just a Facebook page, ConnectHear has now created the first one-tap virtual sign language interpretation solution to connect deaf individuals with sign language interpreters via their phone. Informed by data, we are now establishing the first sign language recognition AI that will minimize dependency on human sign language interpreters by using machine learning and computer vision.

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

Whatever business you are building, always have your disability lens on and think about how you can use technology and collaborations to include the 1.85 billion people around the world living with some form of disability.

Coverdale – Project RISE UP

Ashley Avery

What is the focus of your venture?

Project RISE UP promotes more efficient, effective, and gender-informed bail and court processes for women. The project also will test innovative interventions that aim to reduce the rates of remand for women, decrease breaches of bail conditions, reduce administration of justice offences, and eliminate the homelessness-jail cycle.

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

Reform, innovate, support, empower, and uplift women involved in the criminal justice system.

Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program

Brandon Smith

What is the focus of your venture?

The Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program is a nonprofit organization that helps those impacted by the criminal justice system transition into gainful employment within the wildfire and forestry sectors. The program provides training, credentials, paid work experience, and individual re-entry support to justice-involved individuals as they navigate the journey into professional work.

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

Let’s build a community of climate justice entrepreneurs!

Humans in the Loop

Iva Gumnishka

What is the focus of your venture?

Humans in the Loop provides human input for AI systems. From dataset annotation to real-time model monitoring, our humans-in-the-loop workforce provides essential human oversight to help ensure that AI systems are trustworthy and unbiased. Through this work, we generate employment and upskilling opportunities for conflict-affected and displaced people around the world.

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

Channel more funding to profitable, revenue-generating, and sustainable social enterprises.


Jukay Hsu

What is the focus of your venture?

Pursuit is a social enterprise that transforms the lives of low-income and diverse adults by training them to launch tech careers. Participants go from making $18,000 to nearly $90,000 on average and work at leading companies including Uber, Twitter, and Citi.

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

Consider what is meaningful in the “S” of ESG that drives business objectives and advances impact. Don’t let impact and ESG get turned into optics and fuel cynicism.


Nora Jeanne Joseph

What is the focus of your venture?

RADIKAL is a Haiti-based social business based focused on creating opportunities for women (and families) living in poverty to earn a reliable income through micro-franchises.

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

Invest in the women of Haiti!


Hetal Sheth

What is the focus of your venture?

Sopact is a technology platform that helps organizations measure and manage social impact by building strategy, collecting and connecting impact data sources, and getting continuous insight to make informed business decisions and be ready for impact investments. We concentrate on building capacity for social enterprises and nonprofits to manage impact data.

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

Take Sopact IMM solution to many more impact funders and get funding to grow and scale.

Traipse PBC

Darren Smith

What is the focus of your venture?

Traipse PBC provides innovative tools to local tourism, economic development, and cultural organizations in U.S. communities to help them support locally owned businesses and preserve historic business districts, and in turn gives both locals and visitors the means to explore place. These tools include the app Traipse, which hosts gamified walking tours that promote independent and legacy merchants, and the app My Local Token, a scalable, digital community currency ecosystem launched in May 2022.

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

Invest in the future of American Main Streets by investing in Traipse PBC!

Impact Tech / Measuring Impact / Social Entrepreneurship / Technology & Design
Join the SOCAP Newsletter!