“I believe policy reform is crucial to create a pro-women society.”

Leadership: Teresa Njoroge is the founder and CEO of Clean Start Solutions, a social enterprise focused on transforming the lives of marginalized, poor imprisoned and formerly imprisoned women and their children. Teresa decided to dedicate her work to tackling the criminalization of poverty after witnessing firsthand the inherent prejudices of the Kenyan criminal justice system.

Clean Start Solutions creates opportunities for women, girls, and children of imprisoned mothers that allow an easier transition to education, entrepreneurship, or employment during their reintegration back into society. Teresa works on her rallying call of Beyond the Bars, Never Again by building relationships with Kenyan government agencies, law enforcement, and organizations like the United Nations to improve access to education and employment training for women.

Vision: Thousands of women populate Kenya’s prisons at any given time, the majority of them charged with only minor offenses. Teresa herself was wrongfully incarcerated with her infant daughter for a crime she didn’t commit. She was later vindicated and exonerated but was forever changed by the desperate plight of the women and girls she met behind bars and the revolving door of crime and poverty she witnessed. Teresa hopes to further combat the systemic incarceration of Kenyan women by making her work deeper, scalable, and more impactful in her country.