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Maria Angeles Leon: Helping Creative Minds Solve Real-World Problems

Maria Angeles Leon: Helping Creative Minds Solve Real-World Problems

Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Maria Angeles Leon, the founder and president of Global Social Impact Investments. Let’s learn about what’s happening there and how Maria Angeles is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Hi Maria Angeles, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Global Social Impact Investments?

Maria Angeles: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! I'm working to help creative minds solve real-world problems. By connecting talented entrepreneurs with private capital, we empower them to turn their innovative ideas into impactful solutions. Our focus is on projects that positively affect vulnerable communities, fostering growth and development. Through funding and investments, we strive to make a difference and create a better future for those in need.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Maria Angeles: Since I was a child, I realized how fortunate I was and felt a desire to do something for others. I quickly discovered the "joy of giving" and firmly believe that talent knows no postal code. I trust in people and their potential to thrive; we just need to open doors of opportunity. My motivation is to share that joy and prove that everyone, regardless of where they come from, can achieve great things when given the right chance.

Spiffy: What would you say is the impact of your work?

Maria Angeles: Our work at Global Social Impact Investments has a double impact! We invest in businesses that not only make money, but also create positive changes. Imagine helping people facing tough times to find jobs and improve their lives. We have funds in Africa and Spain dedicated to these meaningful projects. It's about making money and making a difference—a win-win for everyone involved!

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?

Maria Angeles: Our impact investment firm achieved some milestones recently. In Africa, we supported a maize firm in Zambia, aiding small farmers to sell, earn, and progress. In Ghana, we uplifted farmers, ensuring food security and job opportunities. In Spain, we invested in a telecom company addressing digital gaps in rural areas, fostering local business development, and preventing social exclusion. These initiatives prove we can generate appealing financial returns while directly and measurably contributing to underserved populations' economic and social inclusion. By improving people's livelihoods, supporting families, and empowering companies, each investment is a milestone and marks an exciting step towards positive change!

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Maria Angeles—it’s been an honor!

María Ángeles Leon, the co-founder and president of Global Social Impact Investments, is an impact investment fund manager born from the belief that private investment and entrepreneurial talent can provide solutions to pressing social challenges while generating economic profitability.  She's also co-founder of Open Value Foundation, a non-profit catalyzing innovative and sustainable solutions to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people with a focus on Venture Philanthropy. (First published on the Ladderworks website on March 30, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushre Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.