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Activism & Action Our Voices

Maya Penn: The vision to spark movement


With recaps of the great (and not so great) moments of the past year flooding our news feeds, now is the perfect time to reflect on what was and what will be.

As entrepreneurs we always have to be cognizant of what works and what doesn’t. We have to know how to review and measure our own investments in terms of time, money and resources. We look at what contributes to our success and what sustains the livelihood of our stakeholders. By paying close attention to the things that either derailed or propelled our business, we can make better choices for each new quarter.

But aside from profits, what about purpose? Are you driven by the want to create for the better? Are you inspired by products and services that will allow for a better more sustainable future?

If the answer is yes, then you believe in vision. You believe in turning a spark into an action and moving with it.

That is what young entrepreneur, animator and activist Maya Penn promotes in her charming TED Women Talk from 2013.

Maya is full of ideas and the passion to see them brought to fruition.

Perturbed by the harmful waste in the clothing manufacturing process, at just 8 years old she created (and coded) her first business Maya’s Ideas – an online store selling eco friendly clothes and accessories that later grew into a separate nonprofit initiative that helps spread environmental awareness and encourages young girls to follow their dreams in non-traditional fields.

Today at 15, her accomplishments are inspiring and her mindset is powerful.

She believes that her visions have power. The power to spark movement. The power to make change happen. “Ideas are opportunities and innovation,” she says. “Ideas truly are what make the world go round.”

Maya is fortunate to have so much support and recognition at a young age. She may not yet have had to experience the breadth of hardship that come with entrepreneurship, but if she continues to embrace what drives her and uses it to spark new ideas that can inspire entrepreneurs of every age, we have to appreciate her ambition.

So as you approach the new year, take a bright perspective from Maya. Embrace your strengths, ignite your passions through your work; and never doubt your ability to create what you envision.