What is Social Impact Leadership? And 5 People Doing it Well.

Aug 5, 2020 | Mindful Marketing

I use the term “social impact” and “mission-driven business” throughout my website kind of a lot.

Specifically, “I show mission-driven entrepreneurs, like you, how to better understand their mindset and intentions to connect with their people through digital marketing.”

And while I can feel it in my bones why I gravitate toward social impact leaders, social entrepreneurs, conscious businesses- I wondered what does that mean?

And who gets to hold this title?

What qualities does it take to be a social impact leader?

And who’s doing it well right now?

As I dug deep in the various definitions, university programs, and Youtube channels, I kept reading something like this,

“Social Entrepreneurship or Social Impact Leaders have innovative ideas to solve the world’s most pressing social problems by creating products, systems, or solutions to help change people’s lives. They have an ability to see and seize opportunities and they take those opportunities and they have the passion and drive to go after those solutions”

Help change people’s live.

See and seize.

Passion and Drive.

When I see those words I think of health & wellness educators like yoga and meditation teacher. I think of artists and coaches. Solopreneurs wearing many roles. Often times these people are social entrepreneurs but they don’t get called that or get access to the same venture capital.

How can we begin to broaden our lens of who is making an impact in our world?

Is it really only the social enterprise sectors of large companies or non-profits doing that work?

I want to say otherwise. You don’t need a huge corporation behind you to make an impact. And you can be a solopreneur or an educator making those big changes.

To start, what are the skills for impact leadership?

  • Social Innovation
  • Impact Assessment
  • Advocacy
  • Storytelling

Then, what are the abilities a social impact leader needs?

  • Moral Imagination
  • Commit to Pro-social Purpose
  • Empathy
  • Systemic Thinking
  • Credibility & Accountability
  • Acting Boldly
  • Resilience
  • Self Reflection
  • Inspiring Others

Lastly, what are the qualities they need to execute?

  • Focused and ability to execute with alacrity
  • Solving problems instead of generating ideas
  • Everyone else sees problems you see an opportunity
  • Resource magnet
  • Unshakeable obligation to a cause. A foundational belief in what you’re doing and why

When I was researching all these so many wonderful people were crossing my mind!

But oftentimes we see this guy or a company like Toms as the face of social entrepreneurship. Nothing wrong with that at all! But what if we switched it up a bit.

What if Florence Nightingale was the face of social impact? Google her.


She revolutionized nursing to what we know now as modern nursing.

Talk about lasting impact! During a time when women didn’t have opportunities to break the mold.

It’s not enough just to have the idea, you have to execute on it, you have to serve your clientele, you have to prove your model of social change is making an impact, and you have to build on your mission-driven business. – Dr. Cheryl Dorsey

So let’s talk about modern social impact leaders. Leaders that are creating radical and amazing change but may not be handed the mic. I’ve chosen 5 but truly there are more!

Maryam Ajayi, Founder of Dive in Well

Maryam Ajayi is an energy healer and entrepreneur with 10+ years experience in business growth strategy and strategic partnerships across a multitude of industries ranging from politics to tech.

She is using her various platform to de-stigmatizing the wellness industry, advocating for inclusive spaces for marginalized communities, and using her voice to empower and uplift others around the world!!!

Go check our Dive in Well.


Dr. Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green

Cheryl L. Dorsey is a trailblazer in the social entrepreneurship movement, and the president of Echoing Green, a global nonprofit that supports emerging social entrepreneurs and invests deeply in their ideas and leadership.

Cheryl uses her voice to speak on racial justice and equity in philanthropy. She has advocated for equitable funding for leaders of color on panels and has received many awards for her commitment to public speaking!

So inspired.


Isis-Rae Goulbourne, Founder of DEUIT Innovative Agency

Isis-Rae is developing something different as a creative agency, a holistic approach to innovation and growth. Empowering not only organizations but the people behind executing for those organizations. Everything from 1:1 creative coaching down to innovative strategy and design.

This is how you take an organization to a new culture of innovation.

Create innovative change NOW!


Shia Joyner, Founder of Zen and Boujee

Shia Joyner is a “new now womxn.”

Her beauty line focused on healing on the inside and outside.

The Zen & Boujee mission is to keep products and messages simple yet purposeful while shining the light on domestic violence prevention. Her journey through self-love and healing is empowering everyone that comes across her beauty line.


Nathalie Molina Niño, Serial Entrepreneur and BRAVA Investment Founder

Nathalie Molina Niño has a long list of titles and impact she’s created.

Specifically always focusing on high-growth businesses that benefit women and the planet. The author of Leapfrog The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs, she is ready to make an impact and bring anyone along that ride with her.  She started her first tech startup at the age of 20. Wow!

Inspired. Observational mentorship. I’m ready.


We are stronger together

There you have it. 5 modern social impact leaders. Making change holistically. Through various verticals while showcasing their multifacetedness (is that a word?). I know there’s more out there. So tell me, who else falls into the social impact leadership in your community?