Founders

  • ambassadors

    Mariama Mounir Camara-Petrolawicz

    Co-Founder, President

    Mariama Mounir Camara-Petrolawicz is one of the most influential rising African women. Her inspiring presence reflects her power, optimism and energy. Her entrepreneurial spirit and humanitarian work has led her to mingle with some of the most influential individuals in the business, entertainment, political, and nonprofit sectors.
    ​Mariama is a voice of her country Guinea and fights to ensure hidden voices are heard. Her career experience includes working in fashion, cosmetology, and public relations.

    Mariama is also the President of Mariama Fashion Production. She has readily given her support and voice to worthy causes dedicated to ending violence against women, breast cancer, and diabetes. She also supports organizations bringing change to developing countries, and has participated in high-level meetings including those organized by the World Food Program, Feed the Future and World Pneumonia Day.

     

  • Aissata Mounir Belgrade Camara

    Co-Founder, Executive Vice President

    A social entrepreneur and advocate, Aissata promotes the empowerment of vulnerable people worldwide through bottom-up approaches aimed at ending poverty and inequality. She was featured in The Guardian’s United States campaign to end female genital cutting (FGM/C) internationally. She is also a frequent participant and speaker at events and conferences focused on the rights of poor and ultra-poor individuals and communities, specifically women and girls.

    A writer, Aissata is working on a book project detailing her life and experiences growing up in Guinea. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her commitment to building stronger communities including the 
New York State Assembly Certificate of Merit, 
Knights of Pythias Medal of Achievement, the Hackett Medal for Oratory Excellence, and the Jo Ivey Boufford Award for innovative solutions to public service challenges.

    Previously, she worked at The Rockefeller Foundation and Grameen America. Aissata is a lifetime member of PSI CHI, the International Honor Society in Psychology. She graduated from Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY) with a B.A. in International Relations and Social Policy and went on to earn an MPA in International Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy at the New York University (NYU) Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Founders Story

EARLY ROOTS 

We are from the Republic of Guinea, a place where most people live on less than $1.25 a day and women and girls have little to no rights. From a young age, our parents taught us to give back by exposing us to the realities of our country and world. They often took us with them on humanitarian trips as a way of understanding the importance of “doing our part” in this world.

Visiting Sierra Leonean refugee camps with our father were one of our fondest memories of these trips.  We remember being mesmerized by our father’s work and the work of public servants in these camps. It was amazing to see them work so diligently to help people they had never met before.

Through these “lessons” we also learned the importance of being independent. Our mother was always working on a business idea. Though young, we could see the positive impact her businesses had on our immediate family and community.  Most of all, we saw the importance of the financial and social independence that resulted from her ventures.

Giving back became engrained in us as we maneuvered our way through a country where being a girl meant less opportunity and increased instances of violence.

AWAKENING

In 2001, we moved to New York City. In this new surrounding, we had to learn a new language while adapting to the “New York” lifestyle; we quickly learned that it wasn’t all glitz and glamour. Still, we felt fortunate to have the opportunity to be in a place where we could create our own opportunities.

Though we were away from Guinea, we continued to hear the stories of hardship. These news were hard on us because we knew these issues were easily solvable and also because it could have been us.

We had to make a change. After a lot of soul searching and research, we realized that we could make a difference by relying on the lessons we learned as kids and our experiences. In 2008, with $18 to invest in our dream, we started our journey to help people move beyond their socio-economic limits.

We had a simple goal of helping people live in security and dignity.

THE NEW NORMAL

Years have passed since then but our work never gets old. We love showcasing human resilience and are excited about the idea of helping people create their own version of living a secure and dignified life.

Together, we prove each day that There Is No Limit!