The Meaningful Business 100: Hope Amidst the Chaos

The Meaningful Business 100 is a community of entrepreneurs, business leaders, CEOs, and investors who are changing the nature of business as they promote the UN Global Goals. The recently announced Meaningful Business 100 leaders for 2022 (MB100 2022) inspire us with their entrepreneurial vision and innovative spirit.  As I have in previous years, I am sharing some of the most inspiring and innovative trends among the MB100. Since its inception, I have blogged about the MB100 and introduced some of the language around their innovations.

I served as a Judge for the first three years of the MB100 and continue to blog about this important work. The MB100 hail from 34 countries and were chosen based on the following criteria: durability, impact, innovation, leadership, and scope. A panel of 24 expert judges selected the winners based on over 750 nominations from 80 countries. The MB100 are changing paradigms and as they innovate they create and portray  new language.

Lemon Tree Hotels: In India the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is estimated to be 70%. Twenty percent of the hotel staff are people who are marginalized in some way, either because they have a disability or are neurodiverse, which relates to the variations in the human brain and cognition, such as being on the autism spectrum or having other ways of learning. The hotel hires widows, people who are transgender, and survivors of acid attacks, among other categories. The MB100 leader who runs these programs is: Aradhana Lal. One of the key aspects which makes this work is job mapping: each entry level job in the company and its associated tasks are mapped to ensure that employees can succeed. Job mapping, in addition to training, sensitization, and forming partnerships with specialized NGOs, has helped Lemon Tree Hotels implement these programs in its 84 hotels in 52 cities across India.

HACE: Data Changing Child Labor: Around the world one in ten children are involved in child labor. Eleanor Harry is working on how artificial intelligence (AI) can tackle child labor in supply chains such as cocoa and garments.  HACE examines the drivers of child labor and uses AI to address the root causes of child labor.

Mobiliti: Abrahim Shah has founded a company to address the needs of amputees. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 40 million amputees around the world and 80% of these people have no solution. An engineer turned entrepreneur, Shah has helped over 4,000 amputees gain access to prosthetics. Mobiliti makes affordable prosthetics by using upcycled plastic, making the prosthetics seven times more affordable.

Cheryl Kiser, who runs the Institute for Social Innovation at Babson College in the US, was a judge this year. She shares that “The cohort of leaders I was charged with evaluating were extremely effective, creative and innovative influencers given the challenges and problems they are creating solutions for… What I observed about MB100 nominees is the explicit focus on and recognition of “entrepreneurial leaders” who are using their resources at hand, in often resource constrained contexts to empower others to create value and manage dilemmas within the organization. The leaders I learned about work with and through relationships to achieve momentum.  Without exception the leaders I learned about were radically optimistic, collaborative and knew how to build conditions for success.”

Congratulations to the winners of the Meaningful Business 100.

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