If you have been following my "Short Girls Crushing It initiative", you may recognize a common theme amongst the petite women I feature — they are on a mission to bring some kind of social equality to the world. Riah, our featured "short girl" this week is no exception.
I have the honor to know Riah because she is my VERY FIRST customer. Supporting the underdog and women is in her DNA. Although we never met, she did not hesitate to invest in my first collection because she sees the value in small businesses, especially in woman-run businesses (and she likes jumpsuits)! As I get to know her more, I realized this go-getter has been working on something that can profoundly change someone's life by giving them the access to knowledge.
Up till recently, this 5-foot-1 has been crushing it and working hard at a social enterprise startup called Endless Computers
is on a mission to build computers for people in the developing world who haven’t been able to access computers before. As the organization puts it,
"The computer revolution is one of the greatest revolutions in human history. And yet 75% of the world still lives outside of its reach, struggling to fulfill the most basic of needs. Health, education, livelihood. What would a world look like where everyone has access to the opportunities that computing can offer?"
With an impressive panel of advisors — the incredible Tony Robbins (little known fact, I am a big fan of his), David Kelly (founder of IDEO), Muhammad Yunus and more — they are on full gear to bring computers to the underserved 75%!
Early this year, Matt Dalio, CEO and Chief of Product presented at the Consumer Electronics Show the Endless $79 desktop computer. But what is unique about Endless is its “Internet Optional" approach to tackle connectivity by offering apps that provide content curated from resources like Wikipedia and Khan Academy. Watch a short clip of Dalio's presentation on this article
Riah focused on expanding the access of computers particularly in India, leading business development and product research efforts. During our correspondence, she was traveling between the U.S. and India (not short-distance flight). Adding to her list of exciting works, she has decided that it is time go back to school. Congratulations to her! She got into the school of her dream — she will be attending the joint graduate program for International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School and MBA at Stanford this year.
A little known fact about Riah is that she is part of a tiny (now ~100,000) community of Zoroastrians who migrated from Iran to India in the 10th century. This makes any form with a checkbox for “ethnicity” complicated for her. With such unique and small representation of her community, it is no wonder that Riah has the propensity to support the under-represented, and we need more people like her to speak up for the underserved.
She hopes to (and I am sure she will) start her own social enterprise someday. I cannot wait to she what she comes up with.
"To me, success means finding the balance between being hungry and ambitious for more, and being content with & grateful for what you have"
The world needs more dedicated people like her to make lives easier, especially for those who are in needs for simply accessing basic tools.
Riah's Latest "Crush It" Moment
She got into the graduate school of her dream!
Good Causes That Riah Supports
The fund she raised here through our Short Girls Crushing It initiative will go to support:
Our Interview with Riah
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