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Compassion + Business

REVEALED: The World’s Top Compassionate Businesswomen

Salt recently compiled the world’s first-ever list of big-hearted business leaders, now available in our latest print issue.

To give you a sneak glimpse into the exclusive rankings, here we present you with the world’s top compassionate businesswomen based on Salt’s criteria of sustainability, innovation, compassion and impact.


JenniferHolmgren 2 276x2761 JENNIFER HOLMGREN

Holmgren leads LanzaTech’s mission to manufacture low-carbon fuels from the industrial waste of steel mills, oil refineries and chemical manufacturers.

Its first fullscale commercial operation, expected by the end of 2015, will turn greenhouse gases at a steel mill in China into more than 30 million gallons of ethanol per year.

As CEO of LanzaTech, Holmgren has forged partnerships with steel, oil, biomass, chemical and natural gas companies. She is also set to power Virgin Atlantic’s airplanes with bio-fuels in the next two years.


Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post. She is an activist and the highly visible inventor of the ‘Third Metric – Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power’.

The term ‘success’, she believes, should include the values of wellbeing, wisdom and kindness. Go-getters, she hopes, will become ‘go-givers’.

JulianaRotich 276x2763 JULIANA ROTICH

Born in Kenya, Rotich is co-founder of the revolutionary website Ushahidi, which provides free and opensource software for information collection, interactive mapping and data curation in Africa.

The site crowdsources information about crisis areas and collates it into live, online maps. First used in Kenya, it has been adapted for disaster situations in Congo, Haiti, Japan, New Zealand and Chile.

Rotich is also editor of the environment section of the Global Voices website.


Medem founded X-Runner, a waterless sanitation system created for the slums of Lima, Peru, where regular toilets are unavailable. X-Runner provides an alternative to pit latrines, which are dangerous for human and environmental health.

Faeces are collected by X-runner service trucks, before being treated and turned into nutrient-rich soil. Medem is aiming for her clean and water-free toilets to provide a solution for the 72 million urban Latin Americans without access to modern sanitation.

JuliaGroves 276x2765 JULIA GROVES

Groves manages the Trillion Fund, a British crowdfunding platform specialising in raising money for renewable energy projects worldwide.

She aims to get investors to take money out of “dirty stuff” and transfer it to “clean stuff”.

Her goal is to disrupt the market by providing alternatives to expensive energy and she is a strong advocate for the UK’s “60,000 not six” energy companies campaign.

Designer Dame Vivienne Westwood invested £1 million in Trillion Fund in 2013.

janechen6 JANE CHEN

The 36-year-old Taiwanese American founded the social enterprise startup that manufactures the Embrace Infant Warmer.

The low-cost device is designed for the 20 million premature and low-weight babies born each year, mainly in developing countries. It costs just one per cent the price of a standard incubator and doesn’t require constant electricity.

It is portable, hygienic, and reusable and is being distributed across clinics in India. Pilot projects are also underway in 10 countries.

BettinaVonHagen 276x2767 BETTINA VON HAGEN
Von Hagen manages Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM), a sustainable forest management firm which practices ecological forestry in North America.
It aims to improve forest health and productivity and provide financial, ecological and social returns. She also serves on the board of the Climate Trust.

As a talk show host, author, philanthropist, actress and media personality, Winfrey has played a key role in modern American life, shaping cultural trends and promoting various liberal causes. Through her talk shows and books, she has focused on many issues facing American women.

ReeseFernandezRuiz 276x2769 REESE FERNANDEZ-RUIZ

Fernandez-Ruiz, 30, co-founded the Rags2Riches fashion and design house to empower artisans from poor communities in the Philippines. She began in 1995 by helping 12,000 families in Payatas, Manila, who scrape a living off a seven-storey mountain of garbage.

She found markets for the rugs they weave out of rags. Since then, Rags2Riches has trained 900 artisans and directly employs 50 people as artisans, marketers, and strategists.

BridgetHilton 276x27610 BRIDGET HILTON

Hilton, 30, is founder of LSTN which makes high-quality headphones from reclaimed wood. For every pair sold, LSTN helps to restore the hearing of a person in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

In two years LSTN has given the gift of sound to over 17,000 people in the US, Peru, Kenya, China, Sri Lanka and Uganda.



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