Barn Raising for Social Enterprise: You Can Help Build Your Favorite Companies Barn Raising for Social Enterprise: You Can Help Build Your Favorite Companies
Barn Raising for Social Enterprise: You Can Help Build Your Favorite Companies
Steve Jobs famously said to then-CEO of Pepsi, John Scully, "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?" Jobs wanted Scully to come run Apple, and the tactic worked. The transition from an industrial era mindset to a technological one proved too alien to Scully, and in the decade that he ran Apple, its share price increased at just a sixth of the pace of Pepsi’s.
Steve Jobs also famously said that he wanted to leave a “dent in the universe” before he passed on. Having turned Apple around to become the most financially valuable company on the planet shortly before he died, it’s hard to argue that he failed to make the impact he wanted. Jobs, through Apple, surely changed the world. But criticisms of Apple’s environmental record, human rights violations, and unethical business practices have to make us wonder whether it’s possible to leave your mark without causing great collateral damage.
You undoubtedly have heard of social enterprise, and maybe are a social entrepreneur yourself. You know that doing the right thing can increase profits, and that new models of financing social innovation (like crowdfunding), are replacing bank loans, venture capital, and public markets.
A true social enterprise, by most definitions, includes equal care for people, planet, and profit. Which means that it’s not acceptable to make transformative technologies for people living in one country, if it means exploiting workers in another, or harming the environment.
Social entrepreneurs never think to themselves “do the ends justify the means?” That’s because they are instead thinking about how to solve problems in a way that the ends are the means. When there is true alignment of people and planet, then profits tend to flow rather quickly. Take for example This Shirt Helps, a for-profit t-shirt company that exceeded its Crowdfunder goal just 56 hours after opening a campaign:
But changing entrenched systems often requires a more complex business model that takes years to develop and prove out. WE’VE Artisans is a perfect example. Once you watch the video, it’s clear why Peter Thiel and Joi Ito got involved early on. It’s equally clear once you scan WE’VE’s slide deck that these luminaries (and their money and influence) will not be what scales this enterprise.
What brings social enterprises to scale is communities coming together to barn raise, both online and offline. This is why Crowdfunder has teamed up with GOOD, TED Fellows, X PRIZE Foundation, Social Enterprise Alliance, and many other partner communities to create the world’s largest online/offline live pitch event for social enterprise. You can participate right now and make a difference, from the comfort of your armchair.
Dozens of sustainable, for-profit social enterprises from around the globe are vying for a spot in the Finals where they will be pitching in front of over $100 million in capital to scale their impact. The Judges need your help in deciding who is worthy of a spot in the Finals, and ultimately which ones will get funded. Here’s how you can help:
- Click here to find the social enterprises you believe in and want to support.
- Click Follow Company on the top right of each company profile you support.
- Click Share Company to spread the word and scale your impact to your social network.
Go here to add supporting social enterprise business to your "To Do" list.
How a 17th Century Bible is Helping to Revive a Native-American Language One human language may die every 14 days, but the ancenstral tongue of M.I.T.-trained linguist Jessie Little Doe Baird won't be one of them.
Thank You For Caffeinating The dirty secret behind your favorite soft drink America’s $75 billion love affair with soft drinks has less to do with flavor than a specific, notorious ingredient.
Zinc Shortage May Be Exactly What Alternative Currency Movement Needed The skyrocketing value of a mineral challenges the world's antiquated reliance on mints, metals, and mines.
Artist Nick Cave Puts Racism on Display A new exhibition turns infuriating historical ‘black objects’ into learning experiences.
Commuter Capital The Future of Daily Travel A by-numbers look at the future of getting to work.
Why You Will Soon Be Building Your Home With Hempcrete As hemp and cannabis gain cultural currency, a new approach to construction emerges.
Put on a Fake Mustache for Mexico’s Independence Day Each year in mid-September, Mexicans gleefully celebrate their nation—and it’s a far cry from Cinco de Mayo.
More than Guns and Oil An art collective picks up where the Libyan revolution left off In post-Gaddafi Libya, an audacious few look to re-ignite the nation’s creative impulse.
A Love Letter to DC by Svetlana Legetic A Love Letter to Washington, DC by Brightest Young Things' Founder, Svetlana Legetic
Is the New ‘Meet the Press’ Just Politics as Usual? Chuck Todd tries to reboot the 67-year-old news show for 2014 with goatees, tattoos, and a glimmer of hope.
Art in the Trenches A contemporary artist introduces viewers to soldiers’ wartime practice of turning artillery into artifacts
Finally, Buckwheat Soba Porn Watch the first videos from MAD4, the culinary world's most provocative gathering.
The Daily GOOD
Get our daily dose of information and inspiration. Sign up Now ›