These 5 countries are the best for business leaders who want to solve societal issues.

America is #1! ... At least in one very cool way.

Social entrepreneurship.

"What the heck is that?" you might be asking.


Social entrepreneurs are those who use a business opportunity to solve a societal problem.

So if a company, say, prioritizes cleaning up a local river as part of its business model or a start-up gives away a winter coat to a child in need for every jacket it sells, those endeavors could be considered social entrepreneurship.

Photo by Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images.

Social entrepreneurs have played increasingly important roles in terms of economic growth and solving systemic problems throughout the world. And there's no better place to be one than in the U.S., according to a recent study released by the Thomas Reuters Foundation.

By conducting surveys in 45 countries with hundreds of experts — academics, policy-makers, investors, and entrepreneurs themselves — the foundation analyzed where it's easiest (and most difficult) to become a do-good business leader. Several factors can help or hurt a social entrepreneur, like if investors are easy to come by or if the public understands what a social entrepreneur even is (which can affect a business' fundraising efforts), and those variables can vary pretty significantly from country to country.

The foundation's survey asked participants a series of questions related to businesses with a bigger mission such as "Is it easy to get grant funding?" or "Is social entrepreneurship gaining momentum in your country?" Then they ranked the top countries based off of those responses.

Here are the top five countries on the list:

5. Israel

Photo by Eric Piermont/AFP/Getty Images.

Israel finished fifth overall but ranked highest in the world in terms of the general public's understanding of what social entrepreneurs actually do — one of the critical questions the survey took into consideration.  

4. Singapore

The bustling Orchard Road shopping district in Singapore. Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images.

Singapore ranked particularly high on the list in terms of entrepreneurs getting the non-financial support they need in order to get the ball rolling on their goals, like mentoring from experts and access to legal advice.

3. United Kingdom

Photo by Chris Radburn-WPA Pool/Getty Images.

U.K. respondents reported overall favorable conditions for their social entrepreneurs, who ranked second in the world as far as their ability to make a living in their line of work.

2. Canada

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

Social entrepreneurship is definitely on the up and up in Canada as the country ranked somewhere in the top 10 across all questions asked in the survey.

1. United States

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

The U.S. ranked highest in terms of reported favorable conditions for social entrepreneurs. Respondents also said social entrepreneurship in America is "gaining momentum" and that it's relatively easy for businesses with a noble mission to find the talent they need to succeed.  

Stacked up against the rest of the world, there's certainly room for improvement in America on many key issues.

When it comes to health, police brutality, education, inequality, and gun violence, America is, er ... not blazing the trails of social justice (to put it lightly). In part because of issues like these — and the fact we're in the middle of a nasty presidential election season — it can feel like cynicism about the state of our country is reaching all-time highs (there's a reason why the tagline, "Make America Great Again" has struck a chord with so many people, after all).

But surveys like this one can serve as a reminder that, all things considered, there are many reasons to feel proud to be an American. The fact we're empowering innovators who want to make a living making the world a better place is just the latest item on that ever-growing list.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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