As an idealistic and ambitious startup, we’re often inspired by individuals whose projects have positive social, economic, and environmental effects. We’ve decided to profile a few female entrepreneurs whose character, success, and work we admire and hope to emulate.
Lisa Gansky recognized the sharing economy’s potential for worldwide industry disruption as early as 2007. She’s since founded Meshlabs – a global index and framework for investment in and scaling of innovative sharing economy startups. There’s startups, part of what she’s coined as “The Mesh”, “provide people with goods and services at the exact moment they need them without the burden and expense of owning them outright”.
Gansky has also authored the book The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing”, and is a popular TED talk speaker about topics in the sharing economy.In particular, she devotes her time to ventures that produce a positive social impact, and is the director of Dos Margaritas – an environmental foundation focused in Latin America. Gansky is also an investor in many sharing economy platforms, like TaskRabbit and Sidecar.
April Rinne is an advisor, consultant, and global thought leader in the sharing economy from the United States. Over the course of her career, Rinne has travelled to over 93 countries and worked in more than 50 conducting field work, giving keynote speeches, advising startups, CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies, and municipal and national governments.
Rinne specializes in urban development, travel and tourism, the future of work, and emerging markets. She facilitates reform though thoughtful, well-researched plans that utilize the sharing economy to transform urbanism. As a Agenda Contributor at the World Economic Forum, she leads the Young Global Leaders Sharing Economy Working Group, and is a member of the Global Futures Council for the Future of Mobility and the Urbanization Advisory Group. She also serves on China’s National Sharing Economy Committee and sits on the Sharing Economy Advisory Boards of Seoul, Amsterdam, Denmark, and the U.S.-based National League of Cities.
Rinne also holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in International Business and Finance from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.A. from Emory University.
Rachel Botsman is one of the most prolific thought leaders, writers, and speakers in the global sharing economy. She defined the theory of “collaborative consumption” in her first book What’s Mine is Yours (2010), now teaches the world’s first MBA course on collaborative consumption at the Saïd School of Business at Oxford University. Botsman specializes in collaboration and speaks on how digital technologies create trust between strangers that will change the way people live, work, and consume.
Botsman has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and serves as a contributing writer for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Australian Financial Review, The Economist, Wired, and other online and print publications.
Botsman also sits on the board of the National Roads and Motorists Association, and holds a B.F.A. from the University of Oxford and attended Harvard University for her post-graduate education.
Debbie Wosskow, OBE, is a British serial entrepreneur, thinker, and speaker who specializes in the sharing economy, digital disruption, and female empowerment. She’s the founder and CEO of Love Home Swap, a sharing economy platform that allows users worldwide to schedule reciprocal vacations in each others homes.
Wosskow also founded AllBright, a UK platform designed to support and finance female-led startups. Wosskow aims to close the gender-funding gap that often prevents female-led businesses from successfully launching and scaling. She’s also the Founding Chair of the Sharing Economy UK, which works to grow the UK’s sharing economy industry and establish responsible standard practices to protect both businesses and users. Wosskow also sits on the Mayor of London’s Business Advisory Board, and in 2014, the United Kingdom’s Department Business, Innovation, and Skills commissioned Wosskow to compile a 60,000 word report titled “Unlocking the Sharing Economy”.