In a previous post, we discussed social entrepreneurship and its merits. Today, we’re going to look at social entrepreneurs and social enterprises that have been successful in creating social change through commercial initiatives. Through persistence and boundless dedication, these individuals and organizations have proven that there is profit in integrating social patronage with your business goals.
RingCentral hopes that these examples serve to inspire entrepreneurs – new and veteran, young and old – to pursue big ideas that can make the world better.
SEKEM – With a name that essentially means “vitality from the sun,” this Egyptian company has certainly lived up to its promise by continuously encouraging social, personal and environmental development. Since SEKEM was founded in 1977 by Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish, a pharmacologist, it has:
Amul – Founded in 1946, Amul was established initially as a reaction to unfair milk trade practices in India, inspiring local and marginalized farmers to form cooperatives independent from trade cartels. With the notable help of Tribhuvandas Patel and Verghese Kurien, the Amul cooperative model became so successful that it was eventually replicated all over India in 1965. Amul has since:
Fifteen – Founded by English celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in 2002, Fifteen started out as an ambitious effort to offer disadvantaged youths (aged 18-24) a means of creating better futures for themselves through the art of good food. The restaurant initiative was named for the 15 young people who originally entered apprenticeships under this program. Since the first establishment opened, Fifteen has:
Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company – Named for Ladakh, one of the most beautiful and fascinating places in northern India, the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company is a travel agency made up of female trekkers and travel guides. It was founded by accomplished Ladakhi trekking guide Thinlas Chorol in 2009, defying trekking industry conventions that heavily favor Ladakhi males. Over the last few years, the Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company has:
Jaipur Rugs – Starting out in Jaipur, India and currently operating from Atlanta, Georgia, Jaipur Rugs is a primarily focused on producing high-quality and socially responsible floor coverings. Founded by NK Chaudhary in 1978, this company elevated the art of knotted carpet weaving by nurturing it at the grassroots level and empowering local artisans by directly connecting them to the global market. Thus far, Jaipur Rugs has: