William Kamkwamba

Student and entrepreneur

Masitala, Malawi

It only took 20-year-old William Kamkwamba a library book, some blue-gum trees, discarded bicycle parts and an inspired idea to become a sensation in his home country. Kamkwamba, who lives in a small African village in Malawi, began building windmills at age 14, after he had to drop of out high school because his family could not afford the tuition of $80 a year. Now his family has three windmills on their property, supplying power to their home for the first time. Since then, Kamkwamba has offered his assistance to others, helped build a windmill for his local school and worked on powering his entire village.