Entrepreneurs Around the World Have Started and Grown their Business

Entrepreneur: Ryan Hreljac, 13
Business: Ryan's Well Foundation
Location: Ontario, Canada


When he was just seven years old, Ryan got inspired to help people in Africa access clean, safe water. After raising money to build a well in Uganda, Ryan started a foundation to continue helping people. He then went to college to study international development and political science. Ryan now uses his experience and passion to speak to people around the world about the importance of safe water supplies.

This is his story:
"One day in January 1998, I was sitting in my Grade One classroom. My teacher, Mrs. Prest, explained that people were sick and some were even dying because they didn't have clean water. She told us that some people walked for hours in Africa and sometimes it was just to get dirty water.

All I had to do was take 10 steps from my classroom to get to the drinking fountain and I had clean water. Before that day in school, I figured everyone lived like me. When I found out this wasn't the case, I decided I had to do something about it. So, I went home and begged my mom and dad to help. After a few days, they told me I could do extra chores to earn the $70 I thought would build a well. I thought that's all it would take to solve the world's water problem. I worked for four months to earn my first $70. Then I learned that it was actually going to cost $2,000 to build a well in a place like Uganda. I also learned that the problem was way bigger than I realized.

I started speaking to service clubs, school classes, to anyone who would listen to my story so that I could raise money for my first well at Angolo Primary School in Uganda. That's how my little Grade One project became the Ryan's Well Foundation.

My advice to anyone is that in order to make a positive change in the world, you need to find something you are passionate about and then you need to take steps to act. For me, the issue is water and sanitation.

Water is essential to all life. "I hope my story is a reminder that we can all make a difference - it applies to each and every one of us."

Do you want to start a business like Hart did and raise money to help people in need? If so, join One Hen's microfinance to smart a small business and donate your profits to the cause you care most about.