Author: Real Leaders

Three Unconventional Lessons for Business School Students

It’s unusual when a successful entrepreneur opens a presentation to a room full of business school students with a photograph of her twin baby boys. But then Jessica Jackley isn’t a typical entrepreneur. As one of the speakers of a three-year series funded by the Pears Foundation at the Saïd Business School at Oxford, entrepreneur and investor, Jessica Jackley, had a rather unconventional set of recommendations for her audience. Jackley cofounded Kiva.org, a nonprofit microlending platform that has facilitated nearly $440 million in loans since its inception in 2005. She went on to found ProFounder, a small/medium enteprrises fundraising platform,...

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Lessons in Rwanda inspire innovation in Scotland

An encounter with a Rwandan fleeing the genocide in his country began the unlikely business partnership of a Scottish seafood business with a Rwandan farming community. Dennis Overton’s business, Aquascot, revolves around the farming of fish in the North Atlantic and salmon processing in the Highlands of Scotland. Nicholas Hitimana was studying a doctorate in agriculture at Edinburgh University and had knowledge of Rwandan oil plant production. The two befriended each other and compared thoughts on their respective agricultural worlds. Overton at once saw some potential and realized that the farming of fish and the farming of plant oils...

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Shedding iSight on Blindness

The value of intuitive design in products has become increasingly important among developers, from how a vehicle adjusts its seats to how the navigation works on a smartphone. Abhishek Syal of Arise India decided to include blind people in this revolution. Simplicity of design for a mass market is Abhishek Syal’s motto, and in developing a new device for the visually-impaired, which helps them navigate maps unaided, Syal is putting this idea to work. In addition to keeping the complex workings of his device hidden from the user, he has also explored existing technology and how it can be...

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The Business of Giving

A Good Card is a gift card for charity that you can redeem for any charity in the United States. An idea that came to Bill Strathmann ten years ago was inspired by two concepts. The First was an idea that you could ‘give’ the ‘gift’ of charity to someone, and the second was that you could put a new twist on traditional gifting by making gifts more socially relevant. This was something already pioneered by organizations such as Heifer International which brings your donation to life by allocating a llama, cow or chicken to an impoverished family to...

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