Money + Meaning in Conversation with Cartier Women’s Initiative Fellows
Empowering women impact entrepreneurs to reach their fullest potential and drive social and environmental change is the goal of the Cartier Women’s Initiative (CWI), which became SOCAP’s newest Entrepreneur Program partner in 2022. Through the SOCAP Entrepreneur Program, CWI fellows and other selected social entrepreneurs from around the globe gain access to SOCAP’s broad network of investors, donors, and changemakers.
At SOCAP22, several CWI social entrepreneurs shared more about their company’s impact story and the challenges of their work in conversation with Sarah Sterling, Executive Director of Entrepreneurship at SOCAP Global. The newest episode of SOCAP’s Money + Meaning podcast features highlights of five conversations plus information on the support that the SOCAP community can provide to advance the entrepreneurs’ dreams and amplify collective impact.
In fields from fashion to wastewater management to health care, the CWI fellows are building solutions to address some of the world’s biggest challenges. One example is Angel Chang and her self-named venture, ANGEL CHANG, which creates clothing that is good for people and the planet. The zero-carbon womenswear is made by hand — without electricity — using ancient techniques that follow the cycles of nature. Chang aims to shift the fashion industry’s impact on the environment for the better. “It’s not that nature works the opposite of the fashion industry, but the fashion industry works the opposite of nature,” she said.
“Most of us enjoy water coming out of the tap and water going down the drain. But that’s not the reality for a lot of people around the world.” Orianna Bretschger, Aquacycl
At Aquacycl, Orianna Bretschger provides wastewater services that have a lower impact on the environment. “Most of us enjoy water coming out of the tap and water going down the drain. But that’s not the reality for a lot of people around the world,” she said. “We can treat some of the most untreatable waters with 90% less energy, which means at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gases.”
What started for Ting Shih as a college assignment to positively impact more than a billion people has evolved to become ClickMedix, a telemedicine initiative that connects patients with health care via mobile phone. In an industry known for layers of bureaucracy and ever-increasing costs, Shih says a grounding focus helps the company realize improvement on numerous levels. “Our north star is always being patient first. What can we do to make sure that the patient is getting better care, at lower cost, and faster care?” Shih said. “At the end, everything does work out if you put patients first and therefore are lowering costs and improving health outcomes.”
Enhancing access to health care is also the mission for Kelly Nguyen at DrKumo Inc., which provides remote patient monitoring technology that helps health care providers connect with patients at home. Her experience as a provider inspired her to create an app that better connects people throughout the health care ecosystem, although spreading word about the product remains a challenge. “We saw the joy of the patients when medications were working and their conditions improved,” she said. “Adopting a new technology into their practices and institutions takes time.”
“We use technology as a way to not displace but amplify the work, combining it with global cultural and creative sectors.” Rebecca Hui, Roots Studio
Rebecca Hui calls Roots Studio “a unique collision of so many things.” Working with Indigenous and rural communities globally, Hui’s company provides ways for clients to digitize their heritage assets into a library for licensing with brands across fashion and retail. “It emerged as a contextual response to so many things that we were solving for, and it all made sense along the way,” she said. “We use technology as a way to not displace but amplify the work, combining it with global cultural and creative sectors.”
Listen to the full conversation on Money + Meaning
Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.