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Girl Entrepreneur #007

Name: Maya Penn
Location: USA
Business Name: Maya’s Ideas

Maya Penn is an impressive young entrepreneur who has taken her passion for sustainable fashion and created her own non-profit organisation, making and selling eco-friendly clothing and accessories. She is the founder and CEO of the pioneering fashion company Maya’s Ideas.

Maya’s Ideas aims to give and not take from the environment to achieve a sustainable future for all. Since being founded in 2008, Maya’s Ideas has used organic and sustainable high quality materials for its clothing lines. The company is also committed to donating 10% of all profits to environmental charities across the world.

Although the fashion industry is shifting into a more consciously sustainable direction, there is still a lot of room for improvement. Therefore, as well as the clothes Maya’s Ideas sells, Maya also provides consultations to major fashion brands on how to incorporate eco-friendly fashion and sustainable company practices.

Despite her rise to fame and the success of Maya’s Ideas, Maya has remained true to herself and her company— something she prides herself on and has mentioned in numerous interviews. She is the youngest female to do two back-to-back TEDTalks and her most recent TEDWomen Talk went viral. She is absolutely determined to help the environment and encourage others to do the same.  

Maya believes that “Everyone can make a change. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, how old you are – every single person can make a change if they have a passion for it.” Her passion and success are so impressive that she has received commendation from Oprah and Barack Obama and has featured in national and international press. 

She has used the success of Maya’s Ideas to found a non-profit organization called Maya’s Ideas 4 The Planet; this is an ongoing initiative for which she designs and creates eco-friendly sanitary pads for girls in developing countries. Her pads have been shipped to healthcare facilities as far as Haiti, Senegal and Somalia.

Additionally, she has written a book You Got This;  this has been extremely successful and is being used in schools around the world as curriculum to teach youth entrepreneurship. Maya has helped pave the way for today’s young entrepreneurs.

-Phoebe Cawley
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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