bcorp

145, Ted Barber, Prosperity Candle | Opportunities for Women to End Poverty

Prosperity Candle is creating opportunities for women to end poverty. Can a meeting over coffee and cannoli change the world? For two years Ted Barber and Amber Chand met once every few weeks in a café in Northampton, Massachusetts, trying to come up with a way to end poverty. Both were busy working around the world, so they knew something about the conditions on the ground. Over these two years, they began to narrow in on their criteria for success. They wanted to work in post-conflict zones. They wanted to work with women, because, as Ted told me, “Dollar-for-dollar, investments in women result in greater change over time, than [investments]…

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105, Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab | Business as a Force for Good

What if we could utilize the power of business as a force for good? What would that make possible? Jay Coen Gilbert knows how to scale a business. As a cofounder of AND1, he grew the company from selling t-shirts out of the back of a car to a global basketball footwear and apparel brand worth over $250 million. When he sold the company in 2005, Jay took the time to think about his experience. He and his friends Bart Houlahan, and Andrew Kassoy met with purpose driven businesses to talk about the potential of business as a force for good. Based on these conversations, they recognized that, just because a company…

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101, Kat Taylor, Beneficial State Bank | Beneficial to All, Harmful to None

Can a bank be beneficial to all and harmful to none? Does your bank do only good and no harm? Do you know? Beneficial State Bank aims to bank in a way that is beneficial to all and harmful to none. It’s more than a platitude. They proactively measure themselves against goals such as how many affordable housing units they have financed, how many kilowatt hours of clean energy their loans have produced and how many millions of dollars they have loaned non-profits. Kat Taylor and her husband set out to create a business that would do social good with a sustainable business model. So far, they seem to be…

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096, Lee Wallace, Peace Coffee | Fair Trade Coffee from Smallholder Farmers

Smallholder farmers grow more than half of the coffee consumed worldwide. Imagine if you will, that you are working at a non-profit in Minnesota, focusing on public policy. The phone rings, and the person on the other end says “Hello. This is the Port of Los Angeles. We have 38,000 pounds of green coffee with your name on it. How would you like to pick this up?” You know nothing about coffee or roasting or retail. What would you do? That is exactly what happened twenty years ago at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. In today’s Social Entrepreneur, Lee Wallace, the Queen Bean of Peace Coffee tells us…

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082, Miriam Haas, Down To Earth Markets | Farmer’s Market as a BCorp

Farmer’s markets play an important role in our food ecosystem. Miriam Haas has been tinkering with the model of the Farmer’s market for more than 25 years. There’s so much to love about Miriam and the story of Down to Earth Markets. We talked about Farmer’s Markets as a tool for economic development, especially in abandoned town centers. Miriam refers to farmer’s markets as local community-scale businesses that sell neighbor to neighbor. We talked about local produce as an alternative to the industrialization of our food. We talked about eating clean, local and organic. I also found it interesting that Down to Earth Markets has found a way to scale…

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082, Miriam Haas, Down To Earth Markets | Farmer’s Market as a BCorp

071, Founding and Funding, Part 2 | Jesse Finfrock, Morrison & Foerster

Founding and funding a social enterprise requires several practical steps. In today’s episode of Social Entrepreneur, Jesse Finfrock of Morrison & Forester walks us through these steps. With their headquarters in San Francisco, they see a lot of startups take off and other blow up. What makes the difference? Keep in mind that Morrison & Forester is a global firm, working across a global network of 17 offices located in key technology and financial centers in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Their clients include some of the largest financial institutions, Fortune 100 companies, and leading technology and life sciences companies. Jesse works with Morrison & Forester in their impact…

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071, Founding and Funding, Part 2 | Jesse Finfrock, Morrison & Foerster

069, Michael Pirron, Impact Makers | How to Scale a Social Enterprise

If you want to know how to scale a social enterprise, Michael Pirron of Impact Makers might be someone to ask. Not only is his company recognized as a “Best for the World” B Corporation, they are also on the Inc. list of Fastest Growing Companies for five years in a row. And, they have been listed as a Best Places to Work. That’s a combination that piques my interest. Impact Makers is a for-profit Virginia benefit corporation that is owned by two non-profits. In 2015, Impact Makers gifted ownership of the company to two organizations that support philanthropy and community development: Virginia Community Capital and The Community Foundation Serving…

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069, Michael Pirron, Impact Makers | How to Scale a Social Enterprise

059, Servane Mouazan, Ogunte | Empowering Women Social Entrepreneurs

Servane Mouazan grew up in Britany, France. From an early age she was motivated by social and environmental justice. “It was very diffuse back in the day” she told me. “I just wanted to help.” And help she does. She has been described as a force of nature and as a social entrepreneur with a generous spirit. Today Servane runs Ogunte. Ogunte is a Community Interest Company (CIC) and a Benefit Corporation (B Corp). Ogunte supports women social entrepreneurs by enabling them to learn, lead and connect. Ogunte creates an ecosystem of coaches, mentors, peer support and technical assistance. They have supported over 5200 women social entrepreneurs through business coaching,…

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059, Servane Mouazan, Ogunte | Empowering Women Social Entrepreneurs

047, Sammie Rayner, HandUp | Social Good in Your Neighborhood

When it comes to social good, we often think we have to do something world-changing. In his book All the Trouble in the World, P. J. O’Rourke said Everybody wants to save the earth; nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes. If you think about it, that’s human nature. We love the grand gesture, the transformational speech or the disruptive technology. In the meantime, we pass homeless people on the street and we wonder what to do. I understand this feeling well. I’ve often been torn while thinking about how best to serve: do I give a homeless person cash, perhaps enabling them to practice alcoholism? Or, do I…

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047, Sammie Rayner, HandUp | Social Good in Your Neighborhood

046, Laurie Lane-Zucker, Impact Entrepreneur | Public Benefit Enterprise Zones

Public Benefit Enterprise Zones is a new idea with old roots. Laurie Lane-Zucker has had a long and interesting path to Impact Entrepreneur. He was the Executive Director at the Orion Society, a highly respected environmental organization and publisher of Orion magazine. In 2007 he launched Hotfrog, a Founding B Corporation, a GIIRS Pioneer Company, a Founding Member of Mission Markets. Laurie is also the founder and manager of the LinkedIn group, Impact Entrepreneur, with nearly 10,000 members from more than 150 countries. (If you join right away, you could be the 10,000th person!). Impact Entrepreneur was recently recognized as one of the “Best LinkedIn Groups for Small Business.” Recently,…

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046, Laurie Lane-Zucker, Impact Entrepreneur | Public Benefit Enterprise Zones