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.

Lisa Elser | Gem Cutter and Gemologist

For me, the connection of a gem to the people who mine it, and the hands that touch it along the way is so important. Gems and jewellery tell a story and the more we know about how the gem came to be the richer that story is. I travel to the gem mining countries as much as possible to buy my rough. Because I’m a small business and not a huge player who can buy the entire output of mines, I have no say in how mines operate or how people are paid. I can and do treat my sellers as partners. I pay fair prices and share profits when something is even better than I’d initially thought. 20-25% of our net profits goes to schools, social programs, water and sanitation, and other efforts. We give directly to organizations on the ground in Tanzania, Nigeria, and other countries as well as supporting social justice efforts in the US. It’s also important for me to support my goldsmith and jeweller clients as a partner helping them succeed. Read more>>

Ulises Rodriguez | El Santo Golpe / Music Group

As an artist, our main goal is to be able to communicate with our community and people around the world through our music and art. El Santo Golpe was created with the goal of introducing people to different cultures that have influenced our music, we believe that if our music can touch someone’s heart, they will not only they might be curious to learn more about the cultural influence, but also they might learn to respect and appreciate the different forms of living, believes and traditions, making a better world. We strive to bring communities together. Read more>>

Rhonna Del Rio | Artist and Creative Spirit

This year 2020 (aka covid) has put a very interesting plot-twist on our entire world! although it has been less than a year since my last ShoutoutLA interview, I feel like it’s been much longer when I take a look at what has happened this year in all of our lives! I’d like to think that since the last interview my services have really been an active part in helping people feel supported where once they did not need any support. Locally, I help them re-imagine working spaces at people’s homes through my side job/passion for space-harmony consultation. I use the philosophy of Feng Shui to promote better flow energy for the much longer time spent at home and others I help with special healing- art commissions to hang on the walls that they now realize is too bare to stare at while working from home. Internationally, I believe that launching an online store last month will not only help share the story of Art for healing for inspiration but also benefits our sexual trauma survivor sisters at KISS ( Read more>>

Monica Hershaft | Chronic Mystery Illness Expert certified in NRT/ACT NC

During this time of fear over our health and people feeling so powerless, the work I do is so important because it teaches people how to protect their health and how their body becomes vulnerable to taking on any illness whether it’s virus, bacteria or anything that impacts their body’s ability to function normally! It’s so important for people to feel confident that their body can handle anything and can do its job properly to protect its immune function. We don’t have an owner’s manual so when we don’t understand why we get sick, it can be very scary! Having the right tools and education to know what steps to take to keep our bodies working properly is the very essence of living your best life. Read more>>

Libero Antonio Di Zinno | Artist / Educator / Innovator

Working as a agents of change allies in the higher education space we are disrupting the previous paradigm for visual arts academies. Where the traditional elite models are most often based upon generational wealth and the ability to pay exorbitant tuition – we at the Emile Cohl Atelier for Social Impact are launching a new satellite campus in downtown LA that is based entirely on artistic promise and inclusivity based on merit. There are precious little scholarships for BIPOC in this space and we seek to flip the script by nurturing, cultivating the next generation of diverse storytellers. This helps directly address the void of writers, directors and producers for authentic narratives that are authored from the overlooked and underserved. This practice of giving voice not only elevates the discourse culture wide but serves to challenge the long term white privilege that has dominated animation, television and cinema for generations. This is empowerment. This is a change to status quo. This is good for everyone involved. Read more>>

Ev Marquee | Visual Artist & Healer

We’ve all heard Gandhi’s famous quote “Be the change that you wish to see in the world” – which basically means that in order to create peace, love, harmony or any other high vibrating reality for ourselves, we must first delve inward & start with self. So if we, for example, want to see & receive love in our worlds, we first need to BE love. And to BE love, we must be willing to open our hearts and find acceptance with who we are. That’s when the shift in our environment begins. The shift within ourselves then leads to actions & behaviors that reflect that love and acceptance, initiating a ripple effect that then positively impacts our realities, starting with our closest people, our communities and ultimately the world. My mission as a WOC creative/visual artist who is an advocate for self love and transformation is to assist in the shift by capturing and highlighting the divinity, raw essence & beauty I see in the world – especially in those who I believe to be most sacred in this time and space: people of color, those within the alternative holistic wellness industry & Mother Earth. Read more>>

Shakerra Monét | Artist

I believe my brand’s social impact is creating a positive light for the black and brown community. One of the aesthetics that my artwork is known for is how colorful my pieces are. I have created art all my life, but I started to refine and create artwork that has an impact roughly around the time of the Ferguson Movement/ Mike Brown’s murder in St. Louis. Growing up in St. Louis, the color of your skin is judged before your character. So I create artwork that can be used as a platform to show the positive representation of black and brown people. Using bright colors and crossing out the eyes allows the viewer to identify with the piece before labeling an ethnicity. My goal is to use my artwork to uplift anyone told that their skin or features weren’t beautiful. I like to glorify the beauty of the black and brown community’s skin and features. Read more>>

Franklin Westbrooks | Financial Strategist & Mentor

The median household income in the United States for Asians is 74k. For White America, it is 53k. For African Americans, its 35k. 7% of the population makes 100k or more. 6% makes between 75k-100k. 16% makes 50k-75k. 36% makes between 25k-50k and 35% makes less than 25k. In the richest country in the world, these statistics are staggering. What I’ve learn about the middle class is that the middle class is not stupid, lazy or weak. The middle class lacks Financial education, financial options and financial accessibility. I love that I provide those things as well as an opportunity to be mentored and trained to go out and make a difference in the community through financial literacy, and get paid very well to do so. Read more>>