Babson’s Lewis Institute 2018 Community Changemaker Awards were presented to María Teresa Fernández de la Vega—Permanent Member of the Spanish Council of State and President of the Women for Africa Foundation, and Leila Janah —”Give Work” Founder and CEO of Samasource and LXMI, during the Babson Connect Worldwide entrepreneurship summit in Madrid, Spain on April 21.
This award was designed specifically to recognize persons who have set something in motion in order to create positive change. Past recipients include Catalina Escobar — Founder and President of the Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation, Shainoor Khoja, Managing Director of Roshan Corporate Social Responsibility, and Roshni Nadar Mahotra—Executive Director and CEO of HCL Corporation; Director of HCL Technologies; and Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation.
“Babson is pleased to recognize María and Leila for their continued efforts to create economic and social change for at-risk populations around the world,” said Babson College President Kerry Healey. “Their work exemplifies how entrepreneurship can be a force for creating positive change and global impact, and we are proud to honor them with the 2018 Lewis Institute Community Changemaker Award.”
“Each year, by celebrating the journeys of our award recipients, we illuminate an understanding of what it takes to be a Community Changemaker. This illumination better equips our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and broader community with stories, and insights, to employ Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as a mindset for addressing seemingly intractable problems,” added Cheryl Kiser, Executive Director of the Lewis Institute.
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega
María Teresa Fernández de la Vega made history in 2004 by becoming the first female Deputy Prime Minister of Spain, a position she combined with that of Minister of the Presidency and Government Spokesperson until late 2010.
She was the driving force behind the first and to date the only National Plan for Human Rights approved in Spain, which she presented at the headquarters of the United Nations in December 2008.
Throughout her time in the Government, she promoted policies to extend and enforce citizen’s rights, with initiatives such as the Comprehensive Law against Gender Violence and the Law on Equality, which placed Spain at the forefront of gender equality.
Today, she is a permanent member of the Spanish Council of State, the top advisory body to the Government of Spain, another position that had not been held by a woman before. She has also been a member of UN Women’s Global Advisory Group for Civil Society.
In February, 2012, she launched the Women for Africa Foundation with the aim of making it an institution of national and international reach in an effort to promote development on that continent. This is a task that the foundation undertakes by providing support for African women, who have proven to be the most powerful engine of progress in their societies.
Leila Janah is the Founder and CEO of Samasource and LXMI, two companies that go beyond charity to #givework to low-income people around the world using cutting-edge social enterprise models in technology and luxury skincare, respectively.
A Harvard-educated former management consultant, Leila has been profiled by the New York Times, Fast Company, Wired, Forbes, Glamour, Real Simple, and Inc. She was recently named one ofFortune’s 40 Under 40, Condé Nast’s Daring 25, and Elle’s 2016 Top Women in Tech, and Samasource was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2016. She recently released her first book, Give Work, which challenges people to think about how they can use the power of traditional business to solve poverty global poverty at the root.