Celebrating International Women’s Day and Some Remarkable Entrepreneurs


One of the (many) cool things about working at Miller Center is having the opportunity to meet and work with outstanding women who are truly changing the world. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s an excellent opportunity to reflect on the amazing work women entrepreneurs are doing to support historically marginalized communities across the globe.

International Women’s Day, observed annually on March 8th, is an important worldwide celebration of women’s achievements, a call to action for gender equality, and a recognition of the invaluable contributions of women to society. As Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, stated, “When women thrive, all of society benefits, and succeeding generations are given a better start in life.”

Miller Center has long focused on women’s economic power as a critical tenet in driving societal and generational benefits. And the potential is huge. According to UN Women, closing the workforce gender gap alone could boost the global economy by an estimated $7 trillion. At Miller Center, we are committed to helping move the needle. Of the social enterprises that participated in one or more of our programs last year, 62% identify as women-led.

Here I’m highlighting three entrepreneurs, who are driving economic mobility, fostering social cohesion, and building resilience within their communities — Florence Mogere of Nyota Limited, Sahar Jamal of Maziwa Breastfeeding, and Ariela Suster of Sequence Collection. I got to know them at Miller Center’s In-Residence and SOCAP last fall and was immediately inspired.

Florence is the founder of Nyota Limited, a Kenyan social enterprise dedicated to improving the livelihoods of rural smallholder farmers. I first met Florence over sandwiches when she checked into the hotel near our office in California. Her warmth is infectious, even after the long journey from Kenya. I also had the privilege of moderating her mock investor panel, where she captivated the room with her business acumen and dedication to smallholder farmers. Florence shared, “At the core of Nyota’s existence is our commitment to increase incomes and improve nutrition in the communities we work with.”

In Kenya, post-harvest loss accounts for a staggering 40% of all vegetables harvested. By sourcing directly from its network of farmers and transforming their produce into premium frozen vegetables and canned sauces, Nyota is reducing food loss to less than 10%. This reduction in loss and access to a ready market results in an average 30% increase in farmers’ incomes. Under the brands Frozen Isle and Ntamu, Nyota also ensures consistent access to locally-grown, highly nutritious products for urban consumers at affordable prices year-round.

Sahar is friendly, engaging, and fiercely passionate about maternal health. She founded Maziwa Breastfeeding to provide solutions for working moms in Africa — igniting their potential by enabling them to balance their infants’ health and their families’ financial well-being. While 62% of Kenyan women of childbearing age participate in the workforce, many workplaces fail to accommodate breastfeeding needs.

According to Sahar, “Most Kenyan mothers are aware of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, yet many feel they have no choice when it comes to choosing between their income and their baby’s health.” She founded Maziwa to distribute groundbreaking breast pumps that are portable, rechargeable, and discreet through a network of Community Breastfeeding Ambassadors. By allowing working mothers to express breast milk for their children without sacrificing their work, Maziwa is revolutionizing maternal and infant health in Kenya.

Ariela is a lovely person who demonstrates tremendous strength, resilience, and compassion. Growing up during the Salvadoran Civil War and living through the kidnapping of her brother, she founded Sequence to change the sequence of events that have led to violence and destruction in her country. The company provides employment opportunities and personal and professional development for young men and women who are vulnerable to gang recruitment. Sequence artisans take immense pride in their work and are experiencing a 2.5x increase in income.

Last month, Ariela came to Santa Clara for our Advisory Board’s winter meeting. She and Susan Betts, former director of brand strategy at both Google and Microsoft, offered the board a fascinating glimpse into the opportunities and challenges embedded in supply chain partnerships between social enterprises and large corporate players.

Miller Center is committed to supporting social entrepreneurs on their corporate procurement journeys — offering guidance, sharing knowledge, helping mitigate burnout, and ensuring their stories reach the right ears and hearts. These partnerships offer enormous potential for our social enterprise partners to scale their businesses and their impact. And with our focus on women’s economic power — supporting women as leaders, customers, employees, and supply chain contributors — the opportunities for contributing to gender equality are profound.

International Women’s Day serves as a catalyst for collective action and solidarity in advancing gender equality and inclusion worldwide. By recognizing and celebrating women’s diverse experiences, talents, and contributions, we inspire future generations to embrace inclusivity, challenge stereotypes, and build a more equitable and just society for all. As we commemorate International Women’s Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to supporting women as drivers of positive change and agents of social transformation.



  1. Florence Mogere (far right) next to a display of Nyota’s Frozen Isle vegetables in a Kenyan supermarket
  2. Florence Mogere, founder of Nyota Limited
  3. Sahar Jamal, founder of Maziwa Breastfeeding
  4. Ariela Suster, founder of Sequence Collection