Meet the Team

Gemma Bulos

Gemma Bulos


Gemma Bulos is a multi-award-winning serial social entrepreneur having launched three social enterprises in three continents. She has won numerous social innovation and entrepreneur awards at the World Economic Forum (Best Social Entrepreneur in Asia), the United Nations (Special Recognition for Global Rights of Children) and Silicon Valley (Tech Awards)  for her work in Asia, Africa and around the globe. She was named one of the Top Filipina Thought Leaders and Innovators in the United States (Filipina Action Network) and Top 10 Water Solutions Trailblazers in the World (

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Gemma still serves as the Founding Director of the Global Women’s Water Initiative, her third social enterprise. GWWI trains grassroots women in Sub-Saharan Africa to become water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) technicians, trainers and social entrepreneurs. GWWI was shortlisted for the Humanitarian Water and Food Award and Gemma was named one of the Top 10 Water Solutions Trailblazers in the world by Reuters Foundation. Prior to stepping in to lead GWWI, Gemma co-founded A Single Drop for Safe Water (ASDSW), developing income-generating community-led water service organizations in disaster prone regions of the Philippines. For this innovation, Gemma received international accolades including Echoing Green as one of the Best Emerging SocEnts in the World; Best SocEnt in the Philippines by Ernst Young; and Best SocEnt in Asia by the Schwab Foundation at the World Economic Forum.

Because of her work in innovative international development, Gemma was invited as a Social Entrepreneur en Residence at Stanford University where she co-taught a class on Social Entrepreneurship. She helped launch a social innovation curriculum where students had opportunities to engage and work alongside award-winning SocEnts through service-learning seminar courses, internships and fellowships abroad.

The initiative that started it all was a global movement that Gemma spearheaded after the tragedy on Sept 11. She was a professional jazz singer and pre-school teacher who called in sick on 9/11 when she was supposed to be in the WTC when the planes hit. As a singer/songwriter, she wrote a song in response called “WE RISE” and left her life, gave away all her belongings and traveled around the globe to build a million voice choir. In her worldwide travels, she was able to mobilize singers and choirs in over 100 cities in 60 countries to sing “WE RISE” from all over the planet on Sept 21, 2004, in celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace. After being recognized at the United Nations and then winning a $10,000 award from Queen Latifah and CoverGirl for women who were changing the world through music, she seed funded her social enterprise in the Philippines, ASDSW. And the rest is history.