Meet the companies tackling nine of humanity's biggest problems -- and making millions saving us from ourselves.
Problem #3: Hunger and Malnutrition
Problem #3: Hunger and Malnutrition
The background: More than 850 million people live in a state of hunger.

The solution: Nutriset, a private French company, has a hit on its hands. Plumpy'nut, its patented nutritional supplement, was distributed to an estimated 500,000 children last year - double the number in 2005 and up from just 120,000 in 2004. One 3-ounce packet delivers 500 calories. Plumpy'nut is a thick brown paste made from ground peanuts, sugar, and powdered milk, fortified with vitamins and minerals. Plumpy'nut isn't perishable and travels easily.

The payoff: Orders from big buyers like Unicef helped Nutriset's sales topped $25 million in 2006, up from $6.5 million in 2001. Nutriset reinvests 80 percent of its profit - or about $2.5 million during the past year - into developing new products, and the firm is partnering with entrepreneurs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Niger to produce Plumpy'nut locally.

The opportunity: With no direct competitors and so many hungry people on the planet, Nutriset's future growth looks certain. Sometimes the best solution to a big problem is a small one.

Global Warming

Oil Dependency

Hunger and Malnutrition

Dirty Air

Dirty Water

Overfishing

Epidemics

Drug-Resistant Infections

Waste Disposal
8 technologies to save the world These futuristic projects promise to make the world greener, while making entrepreneurs some green. (more)
Blog: Can tech save the planet? Are green entrepreneurs the answer to our problems? Tell us what you think by posting a comment on the Green Wombat blog. (more)
101 Dumbest Moments in Business Business 2.0 Magazine's 7th annual look at the year in bungled layoffs, customer-service snafus, executive follies, and other madness. See all 101. (more)

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.