The fight for clean and sustainable communities is full of bright, ambitious, and forward-thinking individuals and it’s moving to watch green initiatives and sustainability efforts come to life all over the world and right in our own backyards. While the clean energy industry is brimming with inspiring individuals, Jessica O. Matthews and Ugwem I. Eneyo are two women that represent leadership, innovation, and strength and they are redefining what the future will look like for clean energy. Whether you work in the clean energy industry or not, these are names and stories you should know.

Jessica O. Matthews

Photo credit: ICBA

Matthews is the co-founder of Uncharted Power, but she wasn’t even out of college before she made her first mark on energy innovation. She co-developed the Soccket, a soccer ball that takes the kinetic energy created from being kicked around and converts it into renewable and portable energy. This idea turned into Uncharted Play, which includes an expanded energy-producing product line such as jump ropes and skateboards. For individuals dealing with “light poverty” (such as no electricity or regular outages), this technology is hugely impactful.

Fortune named Matthews one of its “10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs”and in 2015, named her as one of its “Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs.” In 2012, the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations named her “Scientist of the Year.” Her company, Uncharted Power, has raised $7 million, the largest Series A ever raised by a Black female founder.

Learn more about Matthews here and her company, Uncharted Power.

Ugwem I. Eneyo

Photo courtesy of: Ugwem I. Eneyo

Growing up in Nigeria, Eneyo witnessed the contrast between a country with a fast-growing tech scene, yet a country who passed India recently as having the most people living in extreme poverty. In 2019, Nigeria’s power grid failed more than a handful of times, leaving 180 million+ people in darkness for days, and that doesn’t count the 20 million households that live in constant blackouts, as they don’t have power at all. Eneyo is the founder and CEO of SHYFT Power Solutions, an energy technology company that addresses grid reliability and resiliency with developments in IoT and software solutions.

Did you know that “Black women have only raised 0.0006 percent, $289 million, of the $424.7 billion total tech venture funding raised” since 2009? Eneyo’s company is part of that small percentage, earning her place in the Powerhouse Accelerator and earning awards from Cisco, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the California Clean Energy Fund. Eneyo is an MIT Clean Energy prize winner and she also made the Forbes list of the “Top 60 Women-led Start-ups Shaking Up Tech Around the World.”

Learn more about Eneyo here and her company, SHYFT Power Solutions.

You don’t have to come up with an unprecedented invention to play a role in lowering carbon emissions and improving energy-efficiency; you can start right at home with simple green acts. Lowering your carbon footprint is not only great for the environment but it can also help you save money!

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Help us make Massachusetts green from home and create a cleaner future for us all!