Victoria Hale

Photo: Irene Young

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The Equalizer: Victoria Hale
Her Aha! Moment: One day in a New York City cab, the Nigerian driver asked passenger Victoria Hale, a former scientist at Big Pharma company Genentech, what she did for a living. "When I told him I was a pharmaceutical scientist, he said, 'Oh, you have all the money!' And I realized, this is the moment to launch my vision."

Breakthrough idea: Hale started the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the United States, OneWorld Health. It develops drugs to fight diseases like malaria and black fever that traditional companies don't pursue because they don't bring in enough money. With Medicines360, her latest nonprofit pharma company, Hale has created a model that doesn't rely on grants and donors: She plans to sell affordable contraception in Western countries, then use that revenue to distribute health products around the world to women who can't afford them.

Lesson she's learned: "If I see the path to an end, I want us to be there tomorrow. I want the whole world to achieve it. But change takes time."

Breakthrough advice: "Share your idea. Some people are going to say, 'That's the dumbest thing I have ever heard,' and some people are going to say, 'Oh my gosh, you are brilliant.' And you need to listen to both." —Elizabeth Svoboda


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