Hi, I’m Alicia

Social Entrepreneur & Advocate, Non-Profit Strategist & Mentor

I believe we can do well by doing good. I believe that we can use social enterprises as a powerful force to create opportunities where none seemed possible, to build societal wealth, and above all to create jobs – long-lasting, sustainable jobs.

Through advising and mentoring, my mission is to help you create social enterprises and social impact opportunities, identify your SUPERPOWER, work through failures (it happens) while building positive and equitable impact. Read more below to find WHAT I AM ON A MISSION TO DO TO ASSIST YOU!


Empower Your Path with Social Entrepreneurship Coaching

Welcome to our platform where you can enhance your journey as a social entrepreneur. As a seasoned speaker and coach, I am geared up to help you amplify your positive impact on society and turbocharge your career.

Thoughts Become Things

Your visions CAN become reality. How are you bringing those to life? What do you want to build for the community? Your neighborhood? Yourself?

What opportunities do you want to create? How and for whom? Let’s find out together.

Social Impact
High School, College, & Executive Coaching

I know, firsthand, what it is like to think about your purpose in life, to switch careers in pursuit of the PASSION OF A LIFETIME – to do something that has the power to change a life other than your solely your own.

It would be a pleasure to go on that journey with you and help YOU strategize and IMPLEMENT your next steps.

Building Better, Benevolent Brands

Your Brand starts with the “Why”. Why do you do what you do? What do you care so deeply about, what keeps you up at night? What problem are you obsessed with solving. What is that THING you are the BEST in the world at? What drives you? What is YOUR VISION? We will work together to map your “why’s” and get you on the way to innovating and implementing in NO TIME!

Seeking Your Superpower

Have you been trying to figure out what you are good at?

Do you have this sneaking suspicion that you have all this potential but you don’t know how to tap into it?

Are you at a transition point in your work where you’ve been considering a change or are ready to start your business? Maybe you’ve been feeling stuck at your job or are dissatisfied with your career and you don’t know why. I’ll help you find your SUPERPOWER.


Social Impact<br />
Creation from A-Z

Social Impact Creation from A-Z

Ideate. Innovate.

I will help you build a business that creates sustainable impact and generates profit – for the long haul.

Social Impact (Entrepreneurship) Coaching

Social Impact (Entrepreneurship) Coaching

This is what I love to do! No matter what your social impact experience is, state of mind, social enterprise or social impact goals are, I am here to help you do the work that changes the world. I will provide you guidance along the way when you are feeling stuck, stalled, or hit the wall on the way to achieving your vision.
Culture creating positive atmospheres that are ALL ABOUT working towards and achieving  atmospheres of positivity, creating future leaders, and building people’s potential. Positively seeking to create economic  prosperity.</p>

Marketing & Strategy

I LOVE (!) helping people ideate, innovate and bring to life their ideas for their product. For you, that may be the perfect box and accompanying POP displays or it may be creating that perfect set of marketing materials. If you visualize it, I will help you bring it to life!

Workforce Development

Workforce Development

Culture creating positive atmospheres that are ALL ABOUT working towards and achieving atmospheres of positivity, creating future leaders, and building people’s potential. Positively seeking to create economic prosperity.


Finding Your Super Power

Finding Your Super Power

We won’t have to look that hard, travel too far or even work that hard. We all have this power within. I will teach you how to be unstoppable by being Kind. Yes, you read that right.​

That power will help you make connections, create economic impact, generate societal wealth and accomplish your goals. Guaranteed.

Nonprofit Management

Nonprofit Management

Being benevolent is hard work – I will help work with you and provide you with the tricks of the trade (so-to-speak) to help you survive those Board meetings, read through those financials, survive those strategy sessions, and above all, work towards achieving the sustainability and success of your organization.


Initiator of Ideas<br />
(AKA Thought Leadership)

Initiator of Ideas (AKA Thought Leadership)

How to harness the power of Social Entrepreneurship to create societal wealth for employees, communities, corporations and all stakeholders.

Subject Matters

Subject Matters

Ideation , Innovation and Design, Execution, Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Revenue Creation & Generation, Pivoting, Failure (You Will Survive!)


Corporations & Start ups

I work with multinational corporations and local corporations to help strategize, rebuild and redesign brands and customize workforce development plans.

Some of my favorite work has been scouting out the local climate and environment in order to seek out local resources and work with local communities to establish social enterprises. These enterprises, in turn, will fall under the umbrella of a multinational’s CSR program. Other work includes assisting a multinational begin the initial process of thinking through the elements of devising a custom-made indices to track and measure performance in the hospitality industry as well as develop workforce development plans.

Local Governments & Education

Decades of experience, spanning and living across the globe has provided me with an incredibly rich landscape. My work, both internationally and locally gives me a thorough understanding of both the public and private sector – I understand the day-to-day operations, challenges, and trends that my clients face. I am deeply networked in a multitude of Countries, Counties, Cities, States and Provinces and have partners across multiple agencies to help not only improve but innovate and implement new systems and structures in Workforce Development, Racial Equity & Diversity, Community Engagement, and the Social Impact/Entrepreneurship arenas.

Ideation, Innovation, and Implementation are the key tenants to all the successful programs I have created and partnered with – all contributing to the creation of opportunities. My North Star is always to contribute to the creation of societal wealth.

Non-Profits & NGOs

Dedicated to practices and principles of social entrepreneurship, I have now spent close to two decades in this field working in and with nonprofits and NGO’s. I built my own successful social enterprise, created proposals, mentored, and trained Executive talent for Nonprofit positions. I believe we learn best from those who have not only succeeded but from those who have had their share of failures. I am here to share all those learnings with you.

Nonprofits, NGO’s and Community Organizations have worked with KREATE to ideate, innovate and implement ideas and programs for workforce development programs, curriculum development, sustainability creation plans. In addition, KREATE has actively mentored and advised Staff.

EXPERIENCE – Highlights

Founder & Principal


Award winning social enterprise creating jobs for thousands of woman (since inception) with products sold domestically and internationally. South Africa’s longest running social enterprise. Built for sustainable growth and to create societal wealth.


Advisor & Lead Project Planner Proactive Rental
Inspection Program & Racial
Equity Assessments

Working with the Building and Planning Department to advance Racial Equity by completing a Racial Equity Assessment to integrate racial equity across the breadth, and depth, of the Planning and Building Department in order to elevate equity to the proposed Proactive Rental Inspection Program.Provide project feasibility and budget supported by well-developed analysis as well as lead Project Planner for the Proactive Rental Inspection Program.

Founder & CEO

Award winning SME social enterprise created to solve unemployment in townships of South Africa creating jobs for over 1000+ women (YTD) with products sold domestically and internationally. South Africa’s longest running social enterprise. Built for sustainable growth and to create societal wealth.

Retail Banking

Vice President

Raised $5.3B in 24 closed-end fixed-income funds through creating marketing strategies to launch new IPOs, analyzing feasibility for yields of offering, and managing and training team of six on closed-end funds.

Vice President - International Private Banking Group

Created and developed new products as well as advised on high net worth client portfolios. Analyst working exclusively on Initial Public Offerings around the world.

Analyst - Financial Institutions Groups

Traveled internationally to multiple Countries to conduct due diligence to assessed current and historical market conditions (specializing in emerging markets) in order to make project selection decisions regarding initial public offering of closed-end funds.

Assessed financial condition of high-net-worth clients ($100 million +) to determine appropriate asset allocation. Recommend offshore mutual funds, equity, fixed income and hedge products.


New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service
New New York University Stern School of Business
University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business

Thesis research delivered on the dissemination of information during a natural disaster, gender bias, and the effectiveness of self-powering radios as a vehicle to provide access to information where communication infrastructure does not exist or alternative energy sources are not available or affordable.

New York University, College of Arts &


Executive Education

Wharton Business School University of Pennsylvania Aresty Institute of Executive Education

Negotiating for the Competitive Advanantage
Advanced Finance & Accounting

Harvard University

Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management


PMP # 3028701 Disciplined Agile Scrum Master # 3413511


Social Impact Leader

Through the years that I have worked with Alicia at The Bread Project, she has shown a huge heart to help people in our local community and around the globe. As the passionate leader of the organization, she encouraged and motivated people, from refugees from war torn countries to senior executives, to perform and deliver excellence towards the mission. On top of providing vision and leadership, Alicia managed the operations of the Social Enterprise with great attention to detail. This included curriculum development and management of the training program, donors, and Social Enterprise operations.
Richard Hung
Consultant specialized in Operations, Management, and Process Engineering

Social Impact Leader

Lesser leaders would never have been able to accomplish Alicia’s lofty goals with the limited resources available to her and her team. Her intense dedication to our mission inspired me and my colleagues to work harder and more thoughtfully than at any other point in our careers up to that point. I know we all look back on those days in awe of what we were able to ask of ourselves and the resulting socially conscious and impactful accomplishments we made with Alicia at the helm.

Alicia’s devotion to her goals is matched only by the content of her character and I am very lucky to count her as one of my most trusted friends and mentors to date. I respect her immensely personally and professionally and know that any team she joins will have acquired a true leader and an invaluable asset.

Marc Chacon
Artisan Baker Research and Development Specialist and Consultant
Baking InstructorFood Writer

Social Impact Leader

I met Alicia for the first time at the Wharton School during an executive education course. I was and continue to be impressed by her experience, wisdom, and – most importantly – genuine concern for others. She blends high idea productivity, a relentless pursuit of excellence, and personal compassion that guarantees those with whom she works an opportunity to stay far from mediocrity to anyone embarking on the path of Social Entrepreneurship!

Lee Ellis
Owner/Broker at Ellis Insurance Associates with Farmers Insurance

Social Impact Leader

I recommend Alicia without hesitation. She is a dedicated and goal oriented professional, with well-developed sense of entrepreneurship that has transformed The Khaya Cookie Company from concept to a thriving business. Alicia cares about her relationships with customers, clients, and employees. Her talents and dedication to building a sustainable company that makes a difference in the world has been recognized widely in the media in South Africa and the U.S. Besides her many outstanding accomplishments, Alicia has created cookies that are simply delicious!

Tommy Waller
Vice President, Special Projects at Center for Security Policy

An Absolute Doer

Alicia is a master juggler of responsibilities. I have worked with Alicia not only as an Advisory Board Member of The Bread Project, but as an Instructor since the time that Alicia joined The Bread Project. I have seen her work through changes in staffing, changes in Boards and even a change in locations. This mover and shaker is amazing at getting it all done. This one person moved an entire business while maintaining everyday operations all on a shoestring budget. Alicia is phenomenal and gets the job done and I would work alongside her anywhere.

Renata Aráuz-DeStefano
Investing, Entrepreneurship, Social Impact

An Absolute Doer

Alicia and I met when my foundation (Strive for Change Foundation) was renewing a grant to the Bread Project. Alicia is a dynamo. She knows how to get the best out of her team, knows how and when to make the hard decisions and has very strong marketing skills. She has expanded the training program at the Bread Project, is working toward having this non-profit be self-sustaining and has already reached an agreement with William-Sonoma to sell pastries on their website. All of this in less than 2 years. A truly dedicated, intelligent, experienced and talented person.

Lili Rollins
Judge at San Mateo County Fair

An Absolute Doer

Alicia is a dedicated entrepreneur that has built up a great business that has tremendous potential. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to look after her clients and colleagues.

Martin Ihrig
Strategy Scholar & Academic Entrepreneur

Public Speaking

Alicia Polak is by far one of the best management and leadership speakers I have heard. She uses clear, humorous examples of where communication can break down and a simple misunderstanding in management can lead to huge losses in productivity and morale. She keeps the audience engaged and enthusiastically anticipating the next anecdote and lesson. Alicia has inspired me to rethink the way I approach management, especially how to work through communication issues and solve problems at the root cause.

Nick Jensen
Founder, Youth in the Booth

Public Speaking

Your talk was, in my opinion, the highlight of Sunday. You did such a great job of reaching the high school age group — you delivered real substantive information in a manner that was engaging, disarming and inspiring. You are a natural teacher!

Chad A. Green
Dean & Director of Community Service, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA

Public Speaking

Meeting Alicia was a rare surprise I had in New York City – and I’m not just talking about her marvelous cookies. It was a late evening on a weekday; a group of social entrepreneurs and college students were gathered at a conference room to share ideas about how to successfully launch a start up social venture. The keynote speaker was a founder for a cookie company, and frankly I didn’t expect much. A number of times before, in the field of social enterprise, I’ve heard from many CEOs how great they are for changing the world. It was different this time. Alicia talked about her first jobs and shared the struggle for a purpose that many of the students in the room felt as their graduation were approaching. She told the story of finding local ingredients for special recipe and gaining the trust from the women in the village despite of their differences. Her focus was on her fellow workers and the differences the baking made in their lives. Her story was about empowering those to decide and live a better story than all of us in the room.

That, and her cookies – especially Cranberry Rooibos – got me.

Jeongki Lim
New York University

Public Speaking

We were lucky enough to have Alicia speak for our group and share her personal and professional journey of creating Khaya Cookie Company.
Alicia brought Khaya Cookie Company to life through her engaging and interactive speaking style, transporting us all right into the kitchen in South Africa. Via her stories and pictures, our group was given the opportunity to experience the life and vision of the social entrepreneur, leaving us inspired and hungry for more. We can’t wait to have her speak for us again soon!

Lauren Albert and Stephanie Freedman
Executive Directors, Ladies Who Launch, Philadelphia

Public Speaking

Alicia Polak spoke at the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development’s Boot Camp: Skills to Change the World last spring. Alicia was an amazing speaker and a true pleasure to work with. Very interested in giving back to her alma mater, Alicia took the time to meet with me and learn the demographic she would be speaking to and the message we wanted her to convey. Alicia gave an inspiring speech about leadership and social impact. She was moving, entertaining, and informative. Our students ranked her session one of the most informative of the event. We will definitely be reaching out to her to speak at our future events.

Michelle Knopf
Associate Director, Wasserman Center for Career Development

Public Speaking

Alicia Polak served as a guest lecturer in my class on Leadership in NonProfit and Social Enterprises at the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, sharing lessons from her rich experience both as the founder of Khaya Cookies in South Africa and as Executive Director of The Bread Project here in Berkeley. My class was absolutely delighted with her, and rated her as one of the very best guest speakers they had seen.

Ms. Polak shared frank, first-hand advice and succeeded in being both realistic and inspirational. She quickly and easily built a rapport with the undergraduate students and explained the challenges associated with leading nonprofits and social enterprises in a simple and clear way, without talking down to them. I am certain that her talk inspired many of them to consider starting or working for similar organizations. Ms. Polak’s guest lecture was so well received that I have invited her back to speak to my class on Social Entrepreneurship this year.

Joe Dogerty
Professional Faculty Member at Haas School of Business, University of California
Regional Director for the Americas, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Leadership & Mentorship

It is great seeing Alicia create opportunity one bite at a time. She is a wonderful Social Entrepreneur and a very skilled CEO.

Maurice Seaton
CFRE: Senior Consultant: Episcopal Church Foundation

Leadership & Mentorship

I met Alicia during our time together working with refugees at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). I found Alicia to be an incredibly dedicated, passionate and committed Executive Director who is a multifaceted Social Entrepreneur able to multitask several critical projects simultaneously with excellent results.

Some key characteristics which best describe Alicia are:

  • Innovative and entrepreneurial
  • Hardworking and tenacious
  • Excellent project manager
  • Easily adapts diverse environments
  • Thrives in circumstances where she can work across different strata

Alicia is both a team player as a leader. She is also a dynamic speaker well versed in the topic of Social Entrepreneurship

Maurice Seaton
CFRE: Senior Consultant: Episcopal Church Foundation