The world is full of visionaries and entrepreneurs whose businesses transform people’s lives for the better. You’re probably familiar with big names like Oprah Winfrey and Ariana Huffington. However, celebrities aren’t the only ones making an impact on the world.
Here are 5 brilliant visionaries you probably haven’t heard about.
- Anna Pittard – Cotton Grove Estate
The senior care industry has been a tremendous source of frustration and heartache for seniors and their families. Most people dread placing a loved one into any kind of nursing home or long-term care facility. Between the lack of personal attention and bad food, most care facilities don’t feel anything like home.
When Anna Pittard started working in an assisted living facility that treated residents like royalty, she knew she had to create the same experience for people in her Georgia hometown.
Anna’s vision was to create a luxury personal care facility with compassionate caregivers who would give their time, attention, and love to all the seniors who had given themselves to the community.
Once Anna found the right property, she hired a full-time staff and created the gold standard of personal care homes in Georgia known as Cotton Grove Estate.
- Reem Hassani – Numi Organic Tea
You’ve probably heard of Numi tea, but you may not know the story behind the tea. Founded by Reem Hassani and her brother, Ahmed, the company doesn’t just produce delicious tea. The duo launched a non-profit organization that helps communities in need.
Working toward human rights and sustainability worldwide, the Numi Foundation provides an art program for low-income students, a program to bring clean drinking water to tea farmers, and Iraqi war victims and orphans.
- Jessica Jackley – Kiva
Most people are aware of microlending, but until now, it’s never been available worldwide and online.
To bring microlending to the world, Jessica Jackley started Kiva – the world’s first online peer-to-peer microlending organization. After attending a lecture on microcredit, Jessica quit her job and pursued an internship in Africa. During her internship, she came up with the idea for Kiva.
Since Kiva’s launch, Jessica’s efforts have helped 2.6 million people in 84 countries with a total of more than $1 billion in loans. The best part is that around 96% of Kiva’s 1.7 million lenders are faithfully repaid.
- Bebe Heiner – The Women’s Initiative
Low-income, uninsured women often struggle to afford things like medical care and counseling. Bebe Heiner set out to change that and make counseling services more available to these women. As a licensed counselor, Heiner saw the gap in care for the uninsured first hand.
Starting with a 3-person staff, a card table, and one telephone, Bebe launched the Women’s Initiative. At first, only a few people came in for services, but after five years the organization had helped 4,000 women with a staff of 23 licensed therapists working pro bono.
The Women’s Initiative was provided with a rent-free space from Martha Jefferson Hospital, where they set up counseling services on a sliding scale that goes as low as five dollars.
- Shauna Martin – Daily Greens
After being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, Shauna Martin decided to explore food as a method to detox her body from all the chemicals in her treatments. She also wondered if she could use food to prevent her cancer from coming back once it had gone into remission.
When Shauna learned that juicing was an efficient way to consume fruits and veggies full of nutrients, she gave it a shot. Her energy came back fast and her skin returned to a normal state.
After experiencing a profound shift in her health, Shauna decided to start a cold-pressed juice company called Daily Greens.
Shauna transitioned to a plant-based diet over several years and 10 years later, she’s cancer-free and feels better than ever.
Are you the next visionary?
The world needs more visionaries. There are abundant problems to solve on this planet and the more visionaries we have, the better society will function.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a business to make a difference in the world, now is the perfect time to pursue that dream. There are enough businesses that exist just to create profits. The world needs more businesses spearheaded by strong leaders with a vision for a better world.