Roles: Founder of Aspiration, a Los Angeles-based financial services firm that allows users to set the fee they'll pay. He's also on the board of Casa Teresa, an Orange-based nonprofit that provides support to pregnant women. And he's the founder of an international leadership program at Servite High in Anaheim.
Bio: Sanberg grew up in Orange County where he attended Servite High; he now lives in Los Angeles. He says his mission in life is to help the working poor. He was a big proponent of California's earned income tax credit, which helps lower-income Californians. Sanberg's background is in finance. He previously worked as an analyst at Blackstone Private Equity Group and as managing director at Tiger Global Management.
Why he is an influencer: Sanberg helped educate Californians about the earned income tax credit, or EITC. Around 75 percent of those eligible claimed it on their 2015 taxes, Sanberg said. The credit works to refund taxes paid by working individuals or couples who meet low-income requirements.
Biggest challenge: "We had to inform so many hardworking families that they weren't eligible because of two eligibility restrictions: gigs (like independent contract work) are not eligible, and the income threshold is so low."
Thoughts on business' role in ending poverty: "Business has a huge role to play – many of the most valuable businesses are going to be those built to make people's lives better. The business culture has been consumed by profit maximization in the short term at the expense of creating sustainable businesses that solve people's problems."
Inspiration: "My faith."
Can't live without: "My (rescue) dog Bruce."
What's next: Sanberg is working to raise the minimum income to be eligible for the EITC to $20,000, allowing people working full-time minimum wage jobs to be eligible. He also wants the credit to include self-employment and independent contract workers.
– Hannah Madans
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