b-corp

Advocacy Through Industry, with Raan and Shea Parton, Apolis Global

Apolis is a socially motivated lifestyle brand that empowers communities worldwide. Brothers Shea and Raan Parton grew up in the privileged surroundings of Southern California. To ground the brothers in reality, their parents traveled with Raan and Shea. Seeing how the rest of the world lived afforded the boys a perspective shift. This early experience of diverse cultures made them comfortable enough to eventually move from the passive role of tourist to participant: “The most rich way to experience places or cultures is to be working there and to be part of it.” By the time Shea was in high school and Raan in college, they shipped their first orders…

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Social Entrepreneurship: An Introduction

Social entrepreneurship is, in its simplest terms, the utilization of business practices to fundamentally change the most intractable issues of our time. Having said that, I feel like I should quickly add, “But wait! There’s more!” In recent years, entrepreneurs of all types have profoundly altered the marketplace. Companies like Dropbox, Airbnb and Red Hat have transformed their industries. What if we could utilize the incredible power of startups to permanently change the landscape of social and environmental issues such as climate change, food security and access to clean water? That’s what social entrepreneurship does. Definition of Social Entrepreneurship Bill Drayton, Ashoka founder and CEO seems to have coined the term social entrepreneur. According…

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Social Entrepreneurship: An Introduction

034, Russ Stoddard, Oliver Russell | How to Build a Purpose-Driven Company

Russ Stoddard of Oliver Russell has been building purpose-driven brands for 25 years. Purpose matters. 90% of U.S. consumers say they would switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality, according to a study conducted by Cone Communications. In another study conducted by World Federation of Advertisers and Edelman, 60% of people said that they are actively seeking brands with a sense of purpose. And, according to Deloitte’s 2015 Millennial Survey, six out of 10 Millennials said a sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer. Russ Stoddard of Oliver Russell builds brands for purpose-driven companies. He’s…

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034, Russ Stoddard, Oliver Russell | How to Build a Purpose-Driven Company

030, Jeffrey Hollender, Sustain Natural | A Systems Thinking Approach to Greater Good

If Jeffrey Hollender’s name is familiar to you, it would not be surprising. As the cofounder of Seventh Generation, the author of a half dozen books, and a frequent speaker on using business to do good in the world, he’s a natural fit for a conversation with Social Entrepreneur. But he did not come on the podcast to talk about his past accomplishments. He’s busy taking a systemic approach to his latest business Sustain Natural. Through Sustain, Jeffrey is connecting the dots between condoms, hunger, health care, poverty, and climate change. Yes, that’s right. I said condoms…and lubricants and wipes. All of which are fair trade, organic and sustainably produced. And,…

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030, Jeffrey Hollender, Sustain Natural | A Systems Thinking Approach to Greater Good

025, David Reiling, Sunrise Banks | Empowering Underserved Communities

According to Sunrise Banks’ CEO David Reiling, “The culture of Sunrise Banks is all about mission and innovation.” If you pull his statement apart, you’ll notice three components: culture, mission and innovation. These are the magic ingredients that have allowed Sunrise Banks to be recognized as a “Best for the World” company. Sunrise Banks has been recognized on many levels for their purpose-driven innovation. They are a certified Benefit Corporation (BCorp). Their parent company was one of the first Minnesota Public Benefit Corporations. And, they are a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), one of only 100 banks in the US. They focus on underserved communities. More than 60% of…

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025, David Reiling, Sunrise Banks | Empowering Underserved Communities

013, Jim Smith, MadiDrop | From Academic Researcher to Founder

When I say “early stage entrepreneur,” whom do you picture? A hungry young person in a hoodie, eating Raman noodles and cranking out code? While this might be the prototype, more and more social entrepreneurs are looking more like Jim Smith. Jim is an academic and a scientist. He spends most days in deep research and in the classroom at the University of Virginia. However, thorough a series of synchronous events, Jim was jarred into the world of hands-on entrepreneurship in some of the most underserved communities of the world. Jim Smith is an advisor and serves on the board of PureMadi, where they developed a sustainable, ceramic water filter….

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013, Jim Smith, MadiDrop | From Academic Researcher to Founder

003, Luni Libes, Fledge | The Conscious Company Accelerator

At 37 years-old, Michael “Luni” Libes had just completed his fifth successful tech startup. Looking for a way to support his fellow entrepreneurs, Luni became a mentor-in-residence for Pinchot University’s MBA of Sustainable Business program. After watching graduates struggle to launch their mission-driven businesses, Luni founded Fledge, the Conscious Company accelerator. Each year Fledge runs a program with seven mission-driven, for-profit companies. With six cohorts completed, Fledge has 39 graduates from ten countries, one-third of whom are in Africa. Each company is making an impact on some of the most pressing challenges of our times. In this episode, Luni shares: The story of how he started Fledge The difference between…

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003, Luni Libes, Fledge | The Conscious Company Accelerator

000, Introduction, Social Entrepreneur | Episode Zero, My Journey to Social Entrepreneurship

For several months, I have been behind closed doors, creating the first episodes of this podcast. Since I knew nothing about podcasting, I have learned everything from scratch. The results are not perfect but as Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn has been quoted as saying, [spp-tweet tweet=”If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”] This is the “getting to know you” episode of the podcast Social Entrepreneur. In this initial episode, I tell the story of how a woman in Kenya, who simply wanted to get the best price for her chickens led to the founding of this podcast. I’ll describe what…

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000, Introduction, Social Entrepreneur | Episode Zero, My Journey to Social Entrepreneurship