CHICAGO, Sept. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Philanthropists and entrepreneurs Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand, along with Chicago Ideas, are proud to announce the names of the 2018 Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation (BHSI) Fellows. The Fellowship, in its eighth year, supports innovative social entrepreneurs under the age of 35 who are building solutions that positively impact the world.
Since 2011, the Fellowship has recognized 36 leaders from around the globe and awarded more than $700,000 in direct financial and in-kind support. The BHSI Fellowship has also connected the innovators to major donors, placed board members, advised on strategy and facilitated scaling at the local, national and international levels.
The 2018 BHSI class, selected from more than 250 applicants, has pioneered innovations to address some of the world’s most critical social needs. The non-profit and for-profit companies founded and run by this year’s Fellows include: an A.I.-backed text message translation platform for parents and teachers that leaps over language barriers; a program that reduces pharmaceutical waste while redistributing unused, unexpired medications to low-income patients in need; a cutting-edge disinfectant product designed to reduce the risk of contamination in areas affected by disease outbreak; a first-of-its-kind approach to higher education that enables students to earn a degree in social entrepreneurship while they build solutions to our most staggering global challenges; and, an organization that closes the literacy gap by training parents and caregivers to become reading coaches at home as a complement to in-school programming.