Building an organization around a single idea: to design a coat specifically for the homeless, Veronika Scott has transformed countless lives through her empowering social entrepreneurship.

Self-heated and waterproof, Veronika’s Empowerment Plan trademark coat doubles as a sleeping bag at night. By hiring the homeless to produce coats for people living on the streets, Veronika Scott’s Empowerment Plan helps struggling women gain back independence for themselves and their families.

Veronika takes audiences on her journey from top product designer to influential non-profit luminary. Scott shares anecdotes from her time at a homeless shelter in Detroit where she conducted the research for her coat prototype. She also shares how her idea for clothing the homeless blossomed into the hiring initiative that rehabilitates this underserved population. Audiences will leave inspired by Veronika’s story and experiences, and motivated to help make a difference in the fight to combat this increasingly prescient cause.

Veronika is the youngest recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award from the JFK Library Foundation and Harvard University. She has received an IDEA Gold Award from the Industrial Design Society of America and has an honorary PhD of Humane Letters from Johnson State College. Veronika has been named one of CNN’s Ten Visionary Women in the World and is the winner of the 2014 DVF People’s Voice Award. She has also been named a 2015 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur. Since 2012, the Empowerment Plan has provided employment to 34 homeless individuals—all of whom have now secured permanent housing for themselves and their families —and distributed over 15,000 coats to those in need across the U.S. and Canada. The Empowerment Plan story has been told across the world and shared at events such as the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit with Oprah, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.

For her extraordinary efforts, Veronika was named a “CNN Hero” by the network in 2016.

Veronika Scott at TEDXDETROIT 2011.