16 REAL-LEADERS.COM / WINTER 2020 KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS INSPIRING THE FUTURE AS A CHANGEMAKER? EMAIL US AT EDITORIAL@REAL-LEADERS.COM Those enjoying exotic locales while on holiday usually try and ignore the incongruence of the wealth gap as much as possible or rationalize it along the lines of doing their part to prop up the local economy. A Canadian woman, Christal Earle, took it several steps further while visiting the Dominican Republic in 2006. Earle, who had founded the charity Live Different six years earlier, ventured off the all-inclusive resort where she was staying to take in the surrounding area. She visited a tiny hut where a woman was raising her four children, then made a stop at the garbage dump where the locals scrounged for recyclables so that they might earn a dollar or two each day. At the dump, she met a woman carrying a small girl on her hip. Earle also noticed a preponderance of tires in the place, each a haven for disease-carrying mosquitoes, and wondered what could be done about them. In time, she went back to her resort and her life. She learned later that the woman she met at the dump had died, leaving her daughter an orphan. Earle moved to adopt her, and in the meantime, had a brainstorm about those tires: Perhaps, she thought, they could be made into footwear. So it was that she founded her company, Brave Soles, in 2017. Microloans enabled those in the Dominican Republic to join in her venture, and the upshot was clear: Entrepreneurs can YOUR NEXT GREAT BUSINESS IDEA MAY BE LYING IN A DITCH Spectacular opulence and grinding poverty often exist side by side at Caribbean vacation spots. Glimmering resorts sit alongside shantytowns. Vacationers shed disposable income to vendors who can only dream of such things. One woman spotted an opportunity to start closing the gap. “WHEN THE PANDEMIC STRUCK, WE WERE ABLE TO PIVOT QUICKLY AND HAVE DONE 25 PERCENT BETTER THAN THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR.’” — CHRISTAL EARLE By Robert Henderson CHANGEMAKERS BRAVE SOLES