CHICAGO, Aug. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand, in association with Chicago Ideas, are proud to announce the 2016 Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation (BHSI) Fellows. The Fellowship, in its sixth year, supports dynamic entrepreneurs committed to solving the world's most pressing challenges through innovative solutions.
Selected from a pool of 250 applicants, the 2016 class of Fellows tackles long-standing social issues with fresh, original visions. Companies include a tablet education program to reduce recidivism among inmates; a water purification system that employs a micro-franchise model to empower local entrepreneurs; a digital library that provides content to children in developing countries; and more.
"These five entrepreneurs have already had a remarkable effect on the world, addressing significant social complexities," said Chicago Ideas CEO, Jessica Malkin. "We hope their presence at Chicago Ideas Week will have a catalytic impact on the critical work that they do, as well as influence action among the 30,000+ audience."
Since 2011, the BHSI Fellowship has supported 27 leaders across the globe and invested more than $500,000 in their ventures. Additionally, the collaborative partnership has helped selected entrepreneurs accelerate expansion and amplify impact, with several organizations launching programs in Chicago.
"It has been thrilling to get to know these five young, immensely talented individuals," said BHSI Co-Founder Leslie Bluhm. "We are inspired by their entrepreneurial spirits and look forward to helping each achieve their next goals."
The 2016 Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship Winners Include:
- Tanyella Evans (30), co-founder and CEO of Library For All, New York, NY: Library For All has built a digital library to deliver quality educational materials to children in developing countries.
- Fagan Harris (29), president and CEO of Baltimore Corps, Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Corps connects young professionals to high-impact leadership roles in social enterprises, nonprofits and government agencies.
- Eric Liu (25), co-founder and U.S. executive director of Bayes Impact, San Francisco, CA: Bayes Impact uses data for social good, specifically in healthcare, criminal justice and unemployment.
- Minhaj Chowdhury (27), CEO and co-founder of Drinkwell, Bangladesh: Drinkwell uses a micro-franchise model to establish local water businesses in arsenic-affected areas all over the world.
- Brian Hill (31), CEO and founder of Edovo, Chicago, IL: Edovo reduces recidivism among jail inmates by providing tablet technology as a medium for positive change for the 2.2 million incarcerated people in the U.S.
Each Fellowship winner receives $10,000 in direct financial support for their organization and will present their work at the "Social Entrepreneurship" Conversation during Chicago Ideas Week on Tuesday, October 18. Visit Chicago Ideas' new website for more information at https://www.chicagoideas.com/bhsi.
Chicago Ideas is a year-round platform and solution-oriented Community of Curiosity that seeks to spark action in the world. The BHSI Fellowship was co-founded by Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand in honor of the 20th anniversary of Chicago Cares, the largest volunteer service organization in the Midwest. The partnership with Chicago Ideas Week enables BHSI Fellows to showcase their work, and interact with talented thought leaders from across the world.
SOURCE Chicago Ideas