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Good Business: What I Learned About Running My Social Enterprise

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Nancy Payne
NanPayne Advisory, Advisor, Mentor & Communicator

Nancy Payne supports early-to-mid stage entrepreneurs and organizations to develop as leaders, establish their reputation, diagnose pain points, and communicate more effectively about the work they do. She mentors through WeWork Labs and SEED SPOT, and she serves on the strategic advisory board of Thought Partnerships, a startup non-profit organization. Nancy helps build businesses, reputations and programs, including those driving social impact and changing behaviors. Her experience includes: -COO of PeaceTech Lab, where she oversaw daily operations and programs using media, technology and data innovations for peacebuilding in complex conflicts.

Managing director for communications in the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, which mobilizes private capital to tackle development challenges in emerging markets and post-conflict countries. -Senior partner and SVP of FleishmanHillard International, including general manager at FH-Hong Kong and co-lead of the firm’s largest digital communication team in Washington, DC. Nancy started her career in broadcast news as a reporter and photographer. She holds a M.A. from American University’s School of International Service, and a B.A. from the University of Nebraska. She has also taught at Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University.

Elizabeth Gay
Ìpàdé, Founder

Elizabeth Dawes Gay, MPH is a social entrepreneur working for women of color. She is the founder of Ìpàdé and Sisu Consulting, and a co-founder of Black Mamas Matter Alliance. Elizabeth is a recognized thought leader on reproductive and maternal health, rights, and justice who has been published in The Nation, Rewire, The Root, MTV.com, and Huffington Post, among others. Elizabeth holds a Master of Public Health from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Pennsylvania.  

Wa'il Ashshowwaf
Unstuck Labs, CEO & Cofounder

Coming from +15 years working with fortune 500’s including Pepsi, Walt Disney World and , HSBC Bank, Wa’il Ashshowwaf is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Unstuck Labs startup studio. His latest venture Reyets is a social justice app; recognized as one of Fast Company's World Changing Ideas. Reyets helps counter police brutality and injustice by helping people know and assert their rights.

Melanie Akwule
MINWO, CEO & Founder
Lina Zdruli
Dafero, Founder & CEO

Lina Zdruli is a social entrepreneur passionate about using business and technology as a tool for social good. She has experience building international entrepreneurship ecosystems, including Rawabi, Palestine, where she helped support local entrepreneurs and connect them to international markets. She also launched VRefugees, the virtual reality simulation of a refugee’s journey from Syria to Germany, as an education and impact tool viewed by over 4000 people.


Lina holds a Masters from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University,where she researched and developed a roadmap for companies interested in assisting refugees to become employable in their local market which segments were published through the Urban Institute and Bertelsmann Foundation. After Georgetown, Lina worked at the World Bank helping bridge the humanitarian-development divide for forced displacement.

Lina founded and is currently running dafero, a social enterprise supporting vulnerable women, such as refugees and former trafficking victims, through life skills and workplace training. Dafero has won dozens of awards, grants and incubators, including but not limited to the Yunus and Youth Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, the G20 Global Innovation Warehouse, is a current Halcyon Opportunity Fellow, a Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship awardee and won the 20,000$ HerImpact pitch competition from the Ford Foundation.

Revenue from the company funds the Kura Foundation, which uses technology to scale self-reliance programs for vulnerable women globally. They have developed the world's first comprehensive course on COVID-19 and it's mental health implications, distributed free of charge internationally to vulnerable populations.
Lina is a G20 Young Global Changer, a Y20 advisor on entrepreneurship, and has won several international awards including but not limited to the Yunus and Youth Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, the G20 Global Innovation Warehouse, is a current Halcyon Opportunity Fellow, a Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship awardee and won the 20,000$ HerImpact pitch competition from the Ford Foundation.
She was featured in Forbes, Aspiring Entrepreneur, Voice of America, Highre.Co and Venture Forward, among others.


Hear firsthand from local social entrepreneurs as they share lessons learned from their successes and failures. Apply insights to get ahead with your ventures.