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If you’re a longtime reader of Breaking Good, you know we seek out hopeful stories amid the gloom that too often fills our newsfeeds. We look for silver linings, signs of progress (no matter how small!), and resilient individuals who persevere in the face of challenges.

Recently, we found more examples of optimistic voices trying to rise above the din amid a shift toward solution-based journalism. For example, we’ve been finding inspiration in the stories of changemakers featured in the new Bloomberg series, An Optimist’s Guide to the Planet and the Disruptors for Good podcast.

This month’s newsletter is packed with more stories that fill us with hope for a better future, and we hope it leaves you feeling more optimistic, too.

Creating Impact Starts with Showing Up
Pakistan-born Shiza Shahid didn’t always envision herself as an entrepreneur while growing up. It wasn’t until she left home to attend college in the US that she even learned what the word meant and understood the power of building a mission-led business.

Now, Shahid is the founder of the viral, sustainable kitchenware brand Our Place, which found its first hit with the Instagram-famous Always Pan. However, building the business is far from her only accomplishment. Shahid also co-founded the Malala Fund and has been a student activist, refugee camp volunteer and startup funder.

Shahid recently shared with Harper’s Bazaar a few of the defining moments on her path to becoming a successful social entrepreneur, such as how her mother’s courage to invest in her education gave her the ability to claim her own freedom.

But access to an education wasn’t the only thing that changed Shahid’s life trajectory. She also credits her refusal to be constrained by her fears and her willingness to simply show up (so #BeFearless!🙂), as she discussed on The Founders Project podcast.

“You have moments in your life where you are called to things that you are meant to do, and [it’s important to] just being open and ready to show up to those opportunities.”
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Impact Investors Find Opportunity in Nature-Based Solutions
Climate-focused impact investors are taking a closer look at opportunities to invest in nature-based solutions where their capital can make a major difference. Regenerative agriculture, for example, offers a way to decarbonize the planet while providing needed food for the world’s 8 billion people. Barron’s provides an overview of how investors can make a difference by providing financial support to help farmers convert from traditional practices to more sustainable methods.
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The “Feminization of Wealth” Poised to Change Investing

Women are poised to inherit tremendous wealth in the next two decades amid a Great Wealth Transfer that will see $80 trillion inherited by younger generations. A new Ellevest survey suggests this “Feminization of Wealth” will have far-reaching implications for society since women with agency over their own money tend to spend and invest differently than men. Women in almost every generation ranked “invest for positive impact among their top five priorities if they receive a financial windfall.
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Women Lifting Up Women

Two new reports point to an upward trend in venture capital (VC) funding for women. According to Venture Capital Journal, women-led funds’ share of the $107 billion raised by venture funds worldwide hit about 3%, up from less than 2% in 2022. The report suggests this increase is helping drive up funding for women-owned startups — and a separate study backs that up. New Pitchbook research finds that women founders and co-founders secured a record 27.8% of VC deal value last year. While the sector is still far from reaching equity, it’s encouraging to see progress.
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Empowering Black Tech Companies
Despite challenges that have affected the success of Black-owned businesses, Black innovators continue to lead trailblazing ventures. The latest edition of The Black Tech Effect spotlights 100 promising Black-led, high-growth tech companies while examining ways to support this ecosystem for the long term. The innovators featured in the report are making a lasting impact in their communities and industries, from health tech and renewable energy to AI and social networking.
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Celebrating Women’s History Month

March is a special month to honor women in history, and while we think celebrating women 24/7/365 is the way to go, we’re embracing this opportunity to spotlight several ways to learn more about women’s contributions to society wherever you are in the world.

The National Women’s History Museum’s online exhibits spotlight the trailblazing women of NASA, the Civil Rights Movement, politics, the Olympics and more. Also, the Smithsonian's new digital exhibit, “Becoming Visible,” was just reviewed in the New York Times. If you’re looking to get out and about, Museums Without Men provides a guide to artworks by women and gender-nonconforming artists in some of the world’s most celebrated art museums. Meanwhile, National Geographic features female heroes of the natural world in its limited series, Queens.
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