One of the most rewarding things about getting to know so many entrepreneurs is seeing first-hand how many of them are focused on so much more than just financial results. So many of the folks we connect with are focused on having a positive social impact on their community or the world at large. Check out some of these amazing folks below.

Erica Benson | Wedding and Branding Photographer

I feel like, for a long time, the black community has been inaccurately and poorly represented, even more so in visual media. There are stigmas and stereotypes that have been projected on us that simply aren’t true. One big one that bothers me the most is that we are incapable of love, and aren’t beautiful. And that couldn’t be farther from the truth. So being in the wedding industry, I see love and beauty all the time, but I haven’t seen it represented as beautifully and strongly in visuals for the black community and I am working HARD to change that. I just want people to see the black community in a new light, to hopefully break down those stigmas, and fears that have help create a false narrative and hopefully change the way America sees us. Read more>>

Leila Kolkop | Artist & Art Teacher

Besides creating and painting I also lead art classes. I focus on personal creativity, I try to unlock their potentional, I try to “teach” people that everyone is creative! I try to spread the idea that we are unique in our art style, that what matters is whether you enjoy the activity, let´s leave all the judging aside.. I love seeing people being amazed about their creativity, when they scream: wow, I had no idea I can do that! Oh, I am so relaxed after this class. I love giving people the time to relax. I sometimes say that I don´t teach art, I just sit close to them, offer tea and cookies 🙂 I listen to their stories and dreams. I hope for myself that people can connect with themselves at my art classes and if they do so, the world will be a better place. Read more>>

Angelo David Russo | Mixed Media Artist

I enjoy recording my creative process and sharing it with my followers. Every step is documented and posted for the world to see. This year videos have provided a source of entertainment for many as well as inspired others to try similar techniques. The type of artist I am is not based solely on the artwork I make, but by the way the community engages with it, and with me. As an artist, there is no greater satisfaction that discovering that your work is having a positive impact on your community. Read more>>

Patrick Neil Brown | Fine Art Painter and Social Activist

I like to think my art has always had some sort of impact in the community and beyond. Impact of a visual art piece can be as simple as inspiration to a fellow artist or thought provoking when the piece has a controversial message. The impact that is more tangible comes from caring and being involved in your community. I have donated paintings to many various organizations used to raise money for support of their programs. Some of those organizations include VisualAIDS in New York City that has a world outreach helping people living with HIV/AIDS through various art projects, The Monarch School for homeless youth, Panache a non profit fundraiser in support of the Escondido Arts Partnership. Read more>>

Jennifer Leigh Warner | Wildlife Conservation Photographer

My business, Experience Wildlife, focuses on wildlife conservation photography with an emphasis on wildlife photography ethics and human-wildlife coexistence. Through my photography I raise awareness about conflicts that arise between humans and their wild neighbors and help come up with solutions to encourage coexistence. Read more>>