Poverty, At-Risk Populations

Poverty and the lack of resources prevent most people in rural India from accessing primary health care. But there is hope in the form of Arogya Ghar, a self-sustainable social venture by 2009 Purpose Prize fellow Bhagwati P. Agrawal.

Nancy Sanford Hughes, founder of StoveTeam International, is one of five social entrepreneurs this year to win a $100,000 grant from Civic Ventures' annual Purpose Prize. The award is for “making an extraordinary impact in an encore career.” She says: “I feel humbled. I did not choose to do this work – it chose me."

It wasn’t retirement, but the loss of her husband to cancer that set Nancy Sanford Hughes on her way to finding a new career bringing safe, efficient and healthful cookstoves to people in developing nations. As a result of the work that Hughes has accomplished as founder of StoveTeam International, she has won a $100,000 Purpose Prize, awarded to five people over age 60 each year who use their experience to start encore careers that focus on social good.

Nancy Sanford Hughes has received a $100,000 Purpose Prize, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The founder of StoveTeam International, Hughes hopes to use the prize money to help develop more stove factories in countries where poor women often cook over dangerous open fires. So far, she's helped build six factories in five countries and, she estimates, improved the lives of 90,000 people.

A recent study shows that approximately one in four Americans between ages 44 to 70 are interested in starting their own small businesses or social ventures. The research, conducted by Civic Ventures, goes on to state that of this 25 percent of the age range, or 25 million people, more than one third have already begun their ventures, while more than half are planning to start within the next 5 to 10 years.

Each year, Civic Ventures awards The Purpose Prize to individuals over 60 who are combining their passion and experience for social good. The only grant of its kind in the nation, the prize awards $100,000 each to five people who advocate for new ways to tackle tough social problems.

Nancy Sanford Hughes, the founder of StoveTeam International, has received a $100,000 national prize for her work. Hughes was one of five winners of the 2011 Purpose Prize, awarded to social entrepreneurs who are older than 60. The prizes are awarded by Civic Ventures.

Civic Ventures is a nonprofit dedicated to helping people find meaningful, purpose-filled work in the second half of life. Each year the organization selects five people over who have made extraordinary contributions in their encore careers focusing on solving critical problems in education, health care, the environment and more. The organization has announced its 2011 Purpose Prize $100,000 winners.

They're game-changers, innovators, all past 60 and making a difference in their communities and the world. Meet the five winners of the 2011 Purpose Prize – $100,000 awards given to outstanding social entrepreneurs.

Dana Freyer, 2010 Purpose Prize winner, still has vivid memories of the three months in 1972 that she and her husband, Bruce, spent in Afghanistan. Driving a Volkswagen Beetle, the young couple rolled through dense forests and lush agricultural landscapes. When they returned in 2003, the country was unrecognizable. Freyer vowed to help.

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