Minnesota

The Bold North

These Minnesota changemakers are part of the problem-solving capital of the new economy. They define what it means to forge north.

This Social Entrepreneur is Changing the Story of Human Trafficking, with Stephanie Page, Stories Foundation

Stories Foundation is committed to resourcing the rescue and restoration of human trafficking victims through education, advocacy, and microgrants Between 600,000 and 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. 80% are female, and half are children. Can this story be changed? Stephanie Page thinks so. Stephanie grew up in a safe and happy home. “I grew up in a close-knit family,” she says. “I am the oldest of 4 children, two boys, and two girls. I was a high achiever and a people pleaser. I loved my friends and being social. I loved the church. I loved my family. I was an avid reader.” Starting when she was…

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Fueled by Prize Money, These Social Entrepreneurs Are Striking at the Root of Poverty, with Leeore Levinstein and Jesse Abelson, Vetiver Solutions

Vetiver Solutions is a for-profit social business that is alleviating poverty and malnutrition for subsistence farmers in Haiti. Haiti is the poorest country in the northern hemisphere. 2.5 million Haitians live in extreme poverty. Two out of three live on less than $2 per day. 100,000 Haitian children are acutely malnourished. Jesse Abelson first started traveling to Haiti in 2013 as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) with Project Medishare. Between 2013 and 2016, he traveled there five times. “After seeing countless deaths due to poverty and malnutrition, I decided that I wanted to work to tackle the problem at the root,” Jesse explains. “There is only so much I can…

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Hope, Cookies, and the End of Relationship Violence, with Junita Flowers, Junita’s Jar

Junita’s Jar donates a portion of their profits to end relationship violence. One year ago, Junita Flowers said, “Clarity comes while you are working.” And, she is always working. So, it comes as no surprise that she launched a new brand, Junita’s Jar. They offer new products, including 3 oz snack packs. She has a new overarching message, #HopeMunchesOn. And her new job title is “Hope Muncher in Chief.” Still, she remains true to her mission. She brings hope to women experiencing relationship violence. “Junita’s Jar is focused on creating meaningful conversations that foster education and awareness around relationship violence,” Junita explains. A portion of profits from each purchase of…

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When Vision Meets Purpose, with Susan Elwer, Hands & Feet

Hands & Feet creates apparel with inspiring messages and donates 50% of the profits to end childhood hunger. In the US, 13.1 million children struggle with food insecurity. The mission of Hands & Feet is to help end childhood hunger in the United States. According to the company’s Founder, Susan Elwer, “We accomplish this by donating 50% of the profits to our local non-profit partners who are working to end childhood hunger in the United States. There is enough food available in the United States for everyone. The issue is how do we get the food into the hands of the people who need it and at the right time?”…

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Five Impact Entrepreneur Fellowships Up for Grabs, with Mary Rick, Impact Hub MSP and FINNovation Lab Collaboration

The Impact Hub Minneapolis – Saint Paul and the FINNovation Lab have teamed up to create a new impact startup incubator. Now they are offering five $50,000 fellowships. Social Entrepreneurs have a new place to gather. The Impact Hub Minneapolis – Saint Paul (MSP) has teamed up with the FINNovation Lab to occupy a new space at FINNEGANS House in Minneapolis’ East Town District. The Impact Hub MSP will focus on co-working, collaboration, and events. FINNovation Lab is providing venture services for impact entrepreneurs. According to Mary Rick, CEO at FINNovation Lab and Impact Hub MSP Collaboration, “Our mission is to inspire, nourish, and scale inclusive impact enterprises, entrepreneurs, and…

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The Stories that Change Us, Jackie Biederman, Changemaker Podcast

Changemaker Podcast tells social good startup stories, inspiring life lessons, and unexpected ideas. Why do people and businesses want to learn to tell stories? According to Jackie Biederman, host of the Changemaker Podcast, “That’s how we’re wired as people. We want to tune in to stories.” Stories move us. They take us out of our logical brains and help us to connect with one another. When people hear stories of social good, they are engaged, informed and inspired. Because social entrepreneurs are everyday people like you and me, when listeners hear their stories, they see themselves as possible changemakers too. The stories inspire people to act. Listeners are more inclined…

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Used Bikes, Big Impact, with Calla Martin and Mary McKeown, Express Bike Shop

Express Bike Shop is a learning lab where young people develop the habits and skills for work. Today might be a good day to ride a bike. In fact, almost any day is a great day to ride a bike. Biking can be fun. It’s great exercise. It reduces your carbon footprint. The environmental impact of manufacturing and maintaining a bike is far below that of a car. The only thing better for the environment than a new bike is a used bike. And the only thing better than a used bike is a used bike that provides jobs for young people with a barrier to employment. Express Bike Shop…

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Create Talks that Move the World, with Sally Koering Zimney, This Moved Me

This Moved Me helps purpose-driven changemakers speak with confidence, clarity, and authenticity so they can create talks that move the world. Moments become movements when meaning can be transmitted from one person to another. Whether it’s the #MeToo moment, or a new era of civil rights, important ideas are spread from person to person. Humans are fortunate that we have language to convey these important ideas. However, unfortunately, many of us have preconceived ideas about what it means to speak in front of others. Many of these ideas are unhelpful. That’s where Sally Koering Zimney comes in. Sally is an award-winning speaker and a presentation coach. She helps people create…

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Science and Our Relationship with Nature, with Bonnie Keeler, The Natural Capital Project

The Natural Capital Project is developing practical tools and approaches to account for nature’s contributions to society. As Bonnie Keeler grew up in Eagan, MN, she loved to explore Minnesota’s natural wonders with her family. “My mom was a master at relationships,” Bonnie recalls. “One of the things she taught me was, how people are at the center of everything. Every problem is essentially a problem of relationships. Science can take us part of the way there, in terms of providing the appropriate knowledge base. But when it comes down to actually making change, that’s all about relationships.” Today, Bonnie is a lead scientist with The Natural Capital Project. The…

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Find Your Funding, Part 1, Jeff Ochs, Venn Foundation

The Venn Foundation uses Program-Related Investments in surprising new ways. This week, we’re kicking off a two-part mini-series how to fund a business that does social good. We did something similar in April 2016 in a series called Founding & Fuding. In May 2017, Ned Tozun generously shared the story of how he and co-founder Sam Goldman funded d.light. Next week, Cathy Clark is going to be here to talk about CASE Smart Impact Capital, an online resource to help social entrepreneurs figure out how to find the right capital at the right time. This week, we’re talking to Jeff Ochs of the Venn Foundation. Jeff is an experienced entrepreneur…

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