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When the world faces so many big challenges, it can be easy for signs of progress to get lost in the noise — but they’re there! Consider these stats:

Of course, these numbers don’t tell the whole story — it’s people who drive change. Below, we spotlight several changemakers who are dedicating their time and resources toward building a more sustainable, equitable world for all.

Breaking Barriers to Reshape Finance
We weren’t the least bit surprised to see Sallie Krawcheck named to Barron’s “100 Most Influential Women in Finance” earlier this year. She is the founder of Ellevest, a virtual financial advisory geared towards women.

The Ellevest story started about a decade ago when Krawcheck saw how she could use her investment expertise to help women grow their wealth. Observing how the industry catered to men, she seized the opportunity to build a business tailored to the needs of women.

While naysayers predicted Ellevest’s failure, Krawcheck and her team kept working towards their mission, and now they’re seeing the result. The company hit $2 billion in assets under management this year — a remarkable milestone.

That tenacity is part of what makes Krawcheck such an impressive leader. In a recent Fortune interview, she discussed how she powered through “glass cliff” opportunities in her career to turn around struggling businesses and advance her career. It’s clear that whatever life brings, she’ll approach it fearlessly.
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Impact Buyout Fund Helps Aspiring Business Owners
A Rhode Island-based private equity firm aims to bridge wealth gaps by helping aspiring business owners acquire profitable businesses. New Majority Capital, which is looking to raise $50 million, will funnel capital to a pipeline of 100 trained and vetted entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds so they can buy and run established businesses. The firm joins a handful of other private equity companies that have launched new impact buyout funds this year, including Mentha and Eurazeo.
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Investors Band Together to Prevent Nature Loss

Biodiversity stands to benefit from a new Principles for Responsible Development initiative. A coalition of 200 investors managing a combined $15 trillion in assets has pledged to start talks with 60 companies to drive better corporate practices aimed at halting or reversing nature loss.
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Conquering Venture Capital’s Gender Bias

Although research indicates that higher female representation in venture capital (VC) firms leads to greater returns and more profitable exits, a recent report found that only 15% of European firms have women investment decision-makers. Forbes has the story of one VC firm, CapitalT, that is paving the way for more inclusive and successful VC ecosystems. Fifty-two percent of the firm’s portfolio company founders are women and 48 percent are people of color.
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Black Founders and Investors for the Climate
A growing group of Black entrepreneurs and investors aim to turn the tide on climate change while supporting marginalized communities. Look no further than BlocPower, a climate tech company based in New York City that is bringing clean power to low-income neighborhoods. Inc. recently spotlighted BlocPower founder Donnel Baird and others who are ensuring Black people have a voice and role in the energy transition.
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Young Scientists Join the Fight Against Wildfires

Teenagers Amy Boote, John Parsons, and Jason Zhao share a common interest — using scientific ingenuity to address wildfire threats. The three young scientists recently showcased their research and innovative tools at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, which brings together high school students from around the world.
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