2016 Laureates

Mandakini Women Weavers


Mukti Datta


India Leadership Initiative

In the wake of massive floods in 2013, Mukti Datta applied her experience improving rural economic situations by replicating the Panchachuli Women Weavers model she pioneered. Mandakini provides women with sustainable livelihoods linked to global markets, the success of which has catalyzed the creation of a new hub for handlooms to scale opportunities for women weavers across India’s Himalayan region.



Panama City

KC Hardin


Central America Leadership Initiative

Working at the individual, group, and community level to address the root causes of gang violence in Panama City, real estate developer KC Hardin is succeeding in demobilizing street gangs and reintegrating members into society through a holistic curriculum of education and entrepreneurship, followed by supporting them in finding alternative, productive sources of income and a sense of dignity in the historic city center.


iSimangaliso Rural Enterprise Accelerator Program

South Africa

Andrew Zaloumis


Africa Leadership Initiative - South Africa

A beautiful and vital UNESCO World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park in Kwazulu-Natal is also situated in one of the poorest regions of South Africa. Park CEO Andrew Zaloumis founded this program to transform an aid-dependent economy by providing entrepreneurs with training, mentorship and seed capital to start small businesses in and around the historic park to ignite a cycle of job creation and economic growth.