Startup Accelerator Spotlight: Helping others

Life hasn't slowed down in retirement for Renu and Ruby. They've started second careers helping others

Have you ever thought to yourself, 

"I wish I could change things for the better in the world, but don't know how to go about it?"

Whether you're retired, or just pondering what you should be doing with your encore career, you’ll be inspired by these two Startup Accelerator participants who are helping to make the world a better place in the next chapter of life.



Ruby is a housing activist and former photographer who advocates for people of color, the elderly, and working-class homeowners to keep their homes and avoid displacement.

Born and raised in Seattle, she graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in sociology and anthropology. She moved away from her hometown for 30 years, returning in 2015. 

In 2019, Seattle passed a law that upzoned 27 diverse neighborhoods but left 100 neighborhoods without upzoning. Homeowners who have lived in these neighborhoods for decades are at risk of getting displaced. She offers support and community to these homeowners including a Facebook group, Keep Your Habitat Anti-Displacement Project

She says,

“When I learned of the impending legislation that threatened to displace decades-long homeowners who played by all the rules, many of who are seniors and mortgage-free, I decided I needed to start an email chain to keep them abreast of this complicated law so they wouldn’t be blindsided. I’ve been giving homeowner awareness clinics since 2018.”

It’s her dream to set up a tax fund program to help pay the increase in taxes for upzoned homeowners until laws are changed. 



Renu, a retired school teacher, is the founder of Samman, a self-help trust aimed at empowering women economically, socially, and emotionally. After she retired in 2018, she dedicated herself to helping women better their lives by creating employment opportunities. Many women have developed their own products and are now selling them. 

Samman provides a platform for women to showcase their talents through exhibitions, food stalls, cultural programs, and more. This not only boosts their confidence but also helps them financially. Some of the members are earning regular income through the sale of their handmade products. She says,

 “I strongly believe that every woman has immense potential and only requires a suitable platform to showcase their talents.”

She’s now in the process of setting up a dedicated kitchen for home chefs and an agro-tourism space for conducting educational workshops and school tours which will be handled solely by women from Samman.  

Read about other Startup Accelerator Participants who are staying productive in retirement. 

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