Turn Your Ideas Into Reality

ave you ever had an innovative idea but was not sure where to turn with it? In a competitive, at-times undemocratic marketplace, brilliant ideas go unheard all the time. And for groups historically underrepresented in the professional world, this can prove even more challenging.

Without the resources or connections to turn dreams into a reality, how do would-be entrepreneurs, CEOs and inventors share their ambition and creativity? Fortunately, efforts are being made to change the game — from grants being offered to individuals and small business owners in developing countries to non-profit/corporate partnerships designed to promote the spread of great ideas anywhere in the world.

One of the latest efforts is a global campaign by leading beauty brand Clinique in partnership with TED, an international forum for smart thinking. The campaign is dedicated to celebrating the power of female thought by encouraging women around the world to share their compelling ideas.

Whether it’s in the boardroom, the classroom or the soccer field, smart women from all walks of life are already making a difference. Here are three women in particular who are using their skills, intelligence, and ingenuity to improve lives:

• TED fellow Jane Chen co-founded Embrace, a social enterprise that aims to help the millions of vulnerable babies born in developing countries through low-cost infant warmers.

• Entrepreneur and CEO of Unchartered Play, Jessica Matthews, is the power behind SOCCKET, a soccer ball that provides clean energy by converting kinetic energy generated in play into electrical energy that can power small appliances.

• Feminist storyteller Erin Bagwell directed “Dream, Girl” a documentary that tells the story of female entrepreneurs, with the aim to change the public perception of the roles that women can fill.

This year, women can enter their smart ideas by September 30 or learn more by visiting clinique.com/smart ideas. The winner will receive $20,000 in funding to turn her idea into a reality, plus the opportunity to attend a Clinique and TED hosted event and share her idea with other women making a difference.

You may not be best buddies with a top venture capitalist, but that doesn’t mean your talent or creativity should go to waste. Investigate new channels for having your voice heard.

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