February 7, 2020

Causeartist releases its 2020 Social Entrepreneurs to Watch For list

The annual list, curated by Causeartist.com, features emerging business leaders who are committed to changing the world for the better.

This will mark the 7th edition of our Social Entrepreneurs to Watch For list. Check out the previous years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Over the past six years I have had the great pleasure of speaking with over 500 social entrepreneurs around the world while running Causeartist. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch many of these startups grow into companies and scale without losing their focus on impact.

[Read more: 14 social entrepreneurs on how to recover from failure]

Of course these are not all the amazing people around the world doing spectacular things in their respective fields. These particular social entrepreneurs are just the ones that have stood out to me over the past year.

Evin Floyd Robinson and Jessica Santana are co-founders of America On Tech, a nonprofit on a mission to prepare the next generation of technology leaders.

Evin Floyd Robinson and Jessica Santana—America On Tech

Evin Floyd Robinson is a co-founder and President of America On Tech (AOT), an organization preparing the next generation of technology leaders. AOT’s work has been featured in media outlets such as CNN, Forbes, TechCrunch, BET, PBS, Black Enterprise, Univision and other leading publications.

Robinson started his career as a technology consultant at Accenture advising global investment banks and financial institutions on technology transformations. He has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, Black Enterprise Modern Man List, City & State NYC Tech List, and is a Points of Light Civic Accelerator Entrepreneur, Wells Fargo Millennial Activist, 4.0 Schools Launch Entrepreneur, Kauffman Entrepreneurship Engagement Fellow, a TEDx presenter, SXSW EDU featured speaker and an Inaugural Black Enterprise Tech Prep Presenter.

Robinson is a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc and an alumni of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). Robinson’s commitment to entrepreneurship and philanthropy is evidenced by his world travels and work in countries such as Turkey and China. He graduated with degrees in Economics, Communication and Rhetorical Studies, and Information Management from Syracuse University.

Jessica Santana is also a co-founder and its CEO. Prior to AOT, Santana worked as a technology consultant for global brands such as JPMorgan Chase, Accenture and Deloitte. She has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and NYN 40 Under 40 Rising Stars list. She is an Ashoka Emerging Innovator, Pahara Institute Next-Gen Leader, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, former Entrepreneur in Residence at General Assembly, Wells Fargo Millennial Activist, Camelback Ventures Social Innovation Fellow, Points of Light Civic Accelerator Entrepreneur, 4.0 Schools Launch Entrepreneur, JPMorganChase Global Enterprise Technology Leader, Morgan Stanley Emerging Leader, Deloitte Future Leaders Apprentice​ and one of 50 Visionary Women L​eaders to Watch by Innov8t​iv Magazine. Santana was also one of the inaugural technology anchors on Univision. ​

Santana has presented and spoken to over 50 different audiences that include SXSW Edu, TechCrunch, Google for Entrepreneurs, White House, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg. Her commitment to philanthropy and community engagement is evidenced by her world travels and work in parts of Europe, China and South America to work with nonprofits, private companies and social enterprises that better local communities and economies. She graduated with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Accounting and Information Technology from Syracuse University.

Read the full list on Causeartist.com.

Alex Stephany is the founder of Beam, a crowdfunding platform that enables new career opportunities for homeless men and women.

Alex Stephany—Beam

Alex Stephany was inspired to build Beam after getting to know a homeless man at his local Tube station in London. The man had spent decades out of work. Alex would buy him cups of coffee and pairs of socks, but could see his condition going from very bad to even worse. When the man had a heart attack, Alex asked himself: “What could we do to make a real difference to that man’s life?” The answer lay in giving him the skills to support himself. Alex knew that’d cost much more than a coffee. But what if everyone chipped in?

Beam is a crowdfunding platform that enables new career opportunities for homeless men and women. Beam uses technology and global citizens to help fund skills training and education to homeless individuals. With the Beam platform, you can help someone start a new career and leave homelessness for good.

Before Beam, Alex ran the parking app, JustPark, which he grew from 2 to over 40 people and still support as a Board Advisor. At JustPark, he had his first experience with crowdfunding when he led a record-breaking equity crowdfunding round—what was the largest crowdfunding round for a startup in history.

He is also the author of The Business of Sharing and also advised the city of Seoul as part of the Mayor’s Sharing Economy Advisory Panel.

Trinity Heavenz is the founder of era92, a youth creative agency in Uganda.

Trinity Heavenz—era92

Trinity is a social entrepreneur from Kampala, Uganda, with a passion for upskilling the next generation of digital talent in preparation for jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in Uganda.

He is the founder of era92, a youth creative agency training and employing Uganda’s young adults in design, arts, and technology. For every product or service we sell era92 provides skills and employment to youth at risk in Uganda. To date, era92 has impacted the lives of 120 young adults in the slums of Kosovo.

He is also the co-founder of the 92hands movement that mobilizes young adults across Africa to carry out intensive community services, becoming agents of change in the communities they come from, through educating and empowering the vulnerable people of Uganda.

Rachel Klausner is the founder of Millie, a charitable giving platform that makes giving back easy and impactful.

Rachel Klausner—Millie

Rachel is the founder and CEO of Millie, a charitable giving platform that makes giving back easy and impactful. Rachel’s passion for fundraising started when she spent a year after high school living and volunteering on a youth village where she took on a fundraising role during the day and ran programming for kids in the evenings. Rachel is a product designer by trade and spent eight years designing software at startups. Her expertise is in personalization technology and product design, which she leverages to transform the way people give.

Mica Le John is the founder of 2Swim, a social media platform creating real communication and connection.

Mica Le John—2Swim

Mica Le John is CEO and Co-Founder of 2Swim, a social messaging platform with an emphasis on close connections and private communities. A graduate of the New School, she holds a B.S. in Liberal Arts and completed the Riggio Honors Program for Writing and Democracy. As a writer, educator, technologist and STEAM advocate, her work uses an intersectional lens to explore the relationships between technology, art, and social justice.

2Swim is currently invite-only for communities that are POC, LGBTQ+ and/or womxn-centric, and some of their partners include Ethel’s Club, Feminist Camp, and Shop Latinx. If your community needs a better place to meet online, reach out.

See the rest of the social entrepreneurs on the list at Causeartist.com.

This article originally appeared on Causeartist.com and is reprinted here with permission. Follow Causeartist on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Grant Trahant

Grant Trahant

Grant Trahant is the founder of Causeartist. He is a social entrepreneur, a partner at Charity Charge, and music artist. His album "Journey of the Soul" is on Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal, with all sales and streaming royalties supporting impact projects around the world.