We’re living in an exciting era whereby entrepreneurs are stepping up to the sustainability challenge and are coming up with innovative sustainable solutions that are also lucrative.

It’s not been an easy ride for the sustainability industry. There’s the ongoing fight with fossil-fuel providers, who have relied on the resource as a primary revenue generator.

However, it is under threat due to innovative advancements by disruptive entrepreneurs in the sustainability sector.

Here are a few of those entrepreneurs creating and generating wealth, whilst changing the world for the better.

1. Elon Musk

With an estimated net worth of $13 billion, Elon Musk’s career has been illustrious. His main vision is to change the world and humanity through sustainable solutions. One of his most famous ventures is Tesla, which developed the first electric sports car that was sold commercially.

Instead of the car relying on fossil fuel, the car would only need to be plugged into a charging station to operate. As renewable energy sources continue to increase, a circular environmental model can be achieved with the car.

The automotive industry hasn’t responded well to Musk’s achievements. The very same manufacturers who laughed at his vision are now scrambling to respond to the new market eco-friendly automotive market that has been created.

Tesla constantly receives criticism from other automotive manufacturers. However, the criticism is taken in stride as others continue to praise Tesla’s achievements. This has also been reinforced by their recent increase in valuation.

2. Suren Chandrajit

Suren Chandrajit is the founder of LEDified and part owner of Savewise, a supplier of high bay LED lighting. The companies provide energy-efficient light bulbs for the residential, commercial and industrial markets in Australia. The growth of the company has been remarkable.

In less than 5 years, the business has grown its annual revenue to over $30 million. Chandrajit was able to capitalize on people’s motivation to invest in sustainable solutions in technology while providing a pricing model that proved that people would save a significant amount of money over the long-term.

Chandrajit’s success has disrupted the incandescent lighting market, as well as loosened the grip of Australia’s power companies. Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out in order for Australia to cut carbon emissions.

Power companies are feeling the pinch because less energy is being produced and affects their business operations and profits.

3. Bill Gates

Bill Gates is the world’s richest person with an estimated wealth of $80 billion. His fortune comes from his computer software company Microsoft, however, he has teamed up with billionaire Warren Buffett to develop sustainable solutions through a $1 billion breakthrough energy investment fund.

Despite not having the expertise to develop clean energy solutions, Gates and his like-minded peers are committed to supporting innovators who can provide scientific breakthroughs that have the potential to provide cheap and clean energy to the world.

You can see Bill Gates talk about his vision in the TED talk below.

Gates often comes under criticism by skeptics that say that he isn’t doing enough.

Due to his immense wealth, people believe that he should be sharing more of his wealth with the world in order to curb the differences in income inequality in a bid to deflect attention away from his environmental efforts. Jeremy Paxman challenged Gates in an interview on BBC Newsnight.

4. Akon

Known to the world as a singer and musical artist, Akon used his fortune and celebrity to give back to the continent that he came from. Akon co-founded the Akon Lighting Africa project, whereby solar panels are being used to generate power for communities that aren’t connected to an electrical grid.

Public lighting is now possible for several areas and communities to have claimed that safety in their area has increased.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference.

You can take small actions such as participating in the programs that are offered by people who are leading these projects. So take a look and see how you can get involved.

Image Credits:Heisenberg Media – Flickr: The Summit 2013, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/

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