Narima Amin, founder and CEO of RISE-UP from Poverty, is a social entrepreneur. In 1985, at age 17, she began her lifetime commitment to empower the poorest of the poor after her escape from poverty in Guyana to a new life in Canada. In 1992, she completed her BA in Economics and International Development Studies at the University of Toronto. She visited the Grameen Bank in 1995 to learn first-hand about microcredit and completed the Grameen International Dialogue and Replication Training. She believes in the Grameen philosophy that poor people have inherent skills and ability, and with access to credit they can lift themselves out of poverty. She held onto the words of 2006 Nobel Laureate, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, when he wrote in her Grameen Reader in 1995, “We can change the world, let’s do it.”

Narima has spent time in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and participated in a mission to Guyana under the 2001 Canadian Professional Leadership Award. In 2007, she wrote a chapter entitled “Enabling the Expansion of Microfinance Using Information and Communication Technologies” for the book Information Technology and Human Development: Opportunities and Challenges. These experiences helped her see that Microcredit (access to credit), technology, conflict resolution, agricultural development, and environmental sustainability are essential to social business development required to change the world.

Reflecting on her own experience of poverty as a child as well as the obstacles she faced as she sought poverty solutions for the larger population, she realized she wanted to go beyond a textbook approach to look at the problem practically and pull together all the resources to help overcome poverty. Now the concept of social business solutions to facilitate employment creation and the development of sustainable local economies and communities becomes a natural option. Narima founded RISE-UP from Poverty to empower the most vulnerable youth to become leaders for the next generation through enterprise and leadership development.