Ms. Veronika ScottFounder & CEO, The Empowerment Plan
Veronika Scott was inspired to start The Empowerment Plan when a class at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit challenged her to create a product to fill an actual need in her community. Veronika took to the issue of homelessness and began spending time at a nearby warming center where the design for the EMPWR coat was born. While conducting her research, Veronika was angrily confronted by a homeless woman who stated that she did not need a coat—she needed a job. This is the moment that shaped the innovative business practices The Empowerment Plan would adopt upon establishment.
That idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats for people living on the streets, giving them an opportunity to earn money, find a place to live, and gain back their independence for themselves and their family. Veronika is the youngest recipient of the John F Kennedy New Frontier Award from the JFK Library Foundation and Harvard University. She has also received an IDEA Gold Award from the Industrial Design Society of America and is one of Crain’s Top Twenty in their Twenties. The Empowerment Plan story has been told all over the world and shared at events such as the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit with Oprah, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.
- The Empowerment Plan