This week we're celebrating F&W's Most Innovative Women of 2015, an amazing group we believe is having a lasting impact in the food and drink sphere. These entrepreneurs and idealists are changing the world: transforming food waste into energy, using their "girl-power notions" to help fellow mixologists and more. Throughout our research, we discovered some awesome statistics. Here, the 2015 women movers and shakers by the numbers:
680 million people around the world live without access to safe water. WaterAid CEOs Sarina Prabasi and Barbara Frost have helped bring water for drinking and cooking, as well as for sanitation facilities, to people in 27 countries.
Harvest Power’s Kathleen Ligocki has raised $40 million to fund projects—like producing renewable energy and nutrient-rich soils—since taking over as CEO last year. An astounding 6,000 homes can be powered for a year with the electricity they produce.
In early 2015, Jen Johnson and Serafina Panadech’s Hip Chick Farms products were sold in 300 stores; by the end of the year, they will be in 1,200.
Now in its fourth year, Speed Rack has raised $300,000 for breast cancer.
Julie Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of publicly held Lifeway Foods at 27 years old. Since then, she has transformed the company into the largest kefir outfit in the country, making $130 million in sales.
Leanne Brown developed a free PDF of nearly 100 recipes that low-income Americans can make using just $4 per person per day. Within six months, the book had been downloaded more than 500,000 times.
5,636 supporters raised $144,681 on Kickstarter so Brown could self-publish a print edition of Good and Cheap. She's donated 12,000 printed copies to people in need.
Detroit Dirt diverted 51,000 tons of food waste last year and is on track to divert an estimated 70,000 tons this year. “Our goal is to continue to keep diverting as much food waste as possible,” states cofounder Pashon Murray.
Lauren Bush Lauren’s FEED Supper initiative raised enough money for nearly 2 million meals in 2014.
Hot Bread Kitchen Incubates is currently supporting 45 businesses: 80 percent are women-owned, 51 percent are minority owned, and 29 percent receive subsidized membership fees and kitchen/storage rental rates.
Since 2008, Hot Bread Kitchen's Project Launch has trained 82 women from 20 different countries and graduated 33 women to new culinary careers with access to benefits at top bakeries and specialty retailers in New York and beyond.
Thanks to savvy investments like Cissell-Roell's, VMG Partners is growing: In July, it closed its third—and biggest yet—round of funding, with $500 million from investors.