A trip to India in 2005 inspired founder Shannon Keith to begin an innovative business venture to create lasting impact for survivors and those at high risk of sex trafficking.
The previous year, Shannon had returned from a trip to India where she heard story after story of women who were sold into sex slavery. She also heard stories of women who were at high risk of being forced into the sex trade by their families or picked up off the streets by local pimps. The reasons they were at a high risk? Because they lacked an education or the resources or the skills to have a choice.
Shannon returned home from that trip and formed a small team of family and friends. Together, they looked for groups in India that were compelled to have a positive impact and help women looking for a way out of the Red Light Districts. The team knew that safe, steady and living-wage employment would be a pathway to freedom and offer choices for women and their families.
A trip to India, in 2005, inspired Shannon to take action and begin an innovative business venture. Her drive to disrupt the social enterprise space and create lasting impact for survivors and those at high risk of sex trafficking led her to found and cultivate Sudara – a certified Benefit Corporation.
Having previously spent ten successful years in corporate sales, Shannon was primed to redirect her business prowess to Sudara’s cause. Since founding Sudara, Shannon has received multiple accolades and rewards for her groundbreaking conscious approach to business ventures. She has been honored as a Social Impact Winner at Oregon’s largest Angel investing conference, BVC, won female Entrepreneur of the year in 2017, spoke at TEDx, and was a Top 25 SheEO World Venture Finalist, in addition to being featured in The Good Trade, Conscious Magazine, Real Simple, Forbes and more. Shannon is a sought-after national speaker delivering key notes and panel discussion on topics like economic development for women, how to use social business to address the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and why investing in women is a game changer, plus many other topics in the social business arena.
Shannon created Sudara with a mission rooted in job creation and freedom-filled choice for women who want to escape sex slavery. Over the past fifteen years, Shannon has taken the organization far and wide. On its current trajectory, Shanon leads Sudara’s vision from the position of founder and chairwoman. Her responsibilities include analyzing systemic issues, evaluating and forming strategic partnerships, and positioning Sudara as a leader in the social innovation space.