Florida Blog

Elevating humanity through business

Partner Event: Central Florida for Good & First Green Bank

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Register NOW!

September 6, 2018
Orlando, Florida
5:30pm – 7:00pm

Legacy Vacation Club and The Collage Companies is sponsoring an event at First GREEN Bank’s downtown Orlando office, celebrating First GREEN Bank earning the first LEED v4 ID&C Retail Platinum certification in the world! Followed by a B Corp learning session of easy-to-integrate ways for businesses to become more appealing to align with today’s generation of responsible and environmentally conscious consumers.

Mayor Buddy Dyer, Brian Walsh from The Collage Companies along with Kathy Lawson and Mike Hess from USGBC will present Ken LaRoe with the official LEED plaque. This event will also celebrate the launch of “Central FL for Good”. Inspired by the global B Corp movement, Central FL For Good is for any business contributing to the greater good.

When: September 6 from 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Where: First GREEN Bank – 250 North Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32801

Why: B Corps and like-minded businesses are leading a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Discussion will include business successes that reach beyond profits, benefit for all stakeholders (not just shareholders), and the future of this global movement among businesses taking leadership roles in solving problems.

Who: Business leaders, entrepreneurs and other change agents

Appetizers, beer and wine will be provided.

Space will be limited – this event will fill up rather quickly.

Click Here to Register for the Event

CC Blog: What You Can’t Be is a Hypocrite

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By Geoff Campbell and Aleksandra Corwin of Round Table Companies

A border wall. Abortion. Entitlement reform. Russian interference in the most recent presidential election. Gun control.

Pick a topic and it’s likely that Americans are deeply divided on the issue—polarized and separated by their interpretation of the facts, or even holding alternate sets of facts. Politics have become so toxic it sometimes seems as though Americans are living in two separate countries.

But there’s at least one place where people are setting aside their differences and uniting in harmony behind a common banner—Conscious Capitalism.

The Conscious Capitalism movement is a big tent that unites both ardent conservatives and committed liberals. It’s a place where people who voted for President Donald Trump can work with people who loved President Barack Obama.

It’s not so much that they ignore their differences as much as that they understand their common cause and respect those who are on the same journey.

“The movement is post-partisan, and it’s converging around something more important, which is ethos,” said Dev Patnaik, CEO of Jump Associates, a Stanford University professor and self-described liberal. “That ethos comes down to one thing, which is you can do good and do well at the same time. And in fact, if you do it right, doing good will do well and doing well will do good.”

Where else but a Conscious Capitalism event might you see the CEOs of Chick-fil-A and Ben & Jerry’s on the same stage? Conscious Capitalism approaches potentially controversial viewpoints with the idea that if we are in dialog with people who disagree with us and are working together towards a common goal of improving lives for the greatest number, then the discomfort of those conversations is worth the progress they inevitably precede.

“CCI brings people together from disparate backgrounds,” CCI CEO Alexander McCobin said. “We have every religion, industry, and political perspective at the table.”

He noted that at its 2016 CEO Summit, CCI put Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank, was on the same stage as Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor under President Obama and currently chair of the Democratic National Committee.

“Both of them talked about the power of Conscious Capitalism and spoke to rejecting false choices that pit people against each other,” McCobin said. In business, one of the oldest myths is that you must choose between valuing your shareholders or valuing your vendors. Every business that practices Conscious Capitalism and outperforms their competition is actively working to disprove exactly this kind of false choice narrative that is the relic of an outdated business paradigm. Conscious leaders today know that when you bring value to everyone, the business will do better overall. “That is the unifying power of what we do.”

Patnaik agreed.

“The beauty of Conscious Capitalism is that it’s one part Texas libertarians, and one part California hippies,” Patnaik said.

And that’s exactly the way he likes it.

“I’m a big tent kind of guy,” Patnaik said. “What do you care about most? Do you want to be successful or do you just want to be right?”

He said CCI events bring people together in a spirit of growth and camaraderie.

“You go to Conscious Capitalism and it’s all about, ‘How do we improve our net promoter score?” Patnaik said, referring to an index that measures customer willingness to recommend a company to others. “So it’s not all about, ‘Yay, we’re all Conscious Capitalists.’ It’s how do we improve our business?”

Conscious Capitalism creates a powerful sense of belonging for its adherents.

“You have some crazy ideas about how the world should work, and you find out you’re not alone,” he said. “You belong. Here’s your tribe.”

It’s not uncommon for members to reflect that some of their fellow Conscious Capitalists are people they might not consider tribal relatives if not for their common beliefs about the ability of business to elevate humanity. And that common purpose is a uniting force that dwarfs individual political disagreements.

“I think you can be a conservative in Conscious Capitalism, you can be a liberal in Conscious Capitalism, and you can be a libertarian in Conscious Capitalism,” Patnaik said. “What you can’t be is a hypocrite.” Everyone who is here believes wholeheartedly in finding the best ways to elevate humanity through the power of human-centered businesses.

B Corp Event: Changing Business in Florida For Good

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May 17: “Changing Business in Florida For Good:
Florida Businesses Measuring More Than Just Profit”
 
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 2018) — After a beta launch last month and still coalescing, collective StPeteForGood is partnering with a reinvigorated Conscious Capitalism Florida to present a May 17 (9:30am) panel discussion with Florida businesses “working for more than just profits.”
 
Panelists represent Certified B Corps operating in Florida: Orlando-based Clean The World, Winter Springs-based Zen Life Center, St. Petersburg-based Salt Palm Development, and national retailer Athleta. The panel will be moderated by Conscious Capitalism Florida.
 
Additionally, there will be remarks by national nonprofits 1% for the Planet and Ideas For Us, along with City of St. Petersburg small business liaison Jessica Eilerman.
 
WHO: Attendees will include business leaders, entrepreneurs, and other change-agents.
 
PANELISTS: Dirk Roskam, CFO, Clean the World  (Certified B Corp 2015) | Jared Meyers, CEO, Salt Palm Development  (Certified B Corp 2018) | Dr. Sheila Rocherfort-Hoehn, Zen Life Center  (Certified B Corp 2016) | Louisa Cisneros, Community Lead,Athleta (Certified B Corp 2018) | Moderated by Vinny Tafuro, president, Conscious Capitalism Florida
 
WHAT: What is a benefit corporation? What is a B Corp? Why do they earn Certification? How might you do it? Learn from personal journeys of top executives building businesses structured to do more than just maximize profits. For-profit businesses that are changing their communities and the world while making a living at the same time.
 
WHY: B Corps and like-minded businesses are leading a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Discussion will include business successes that reach beyond profits, benefit for all stakeholders (not just shareholders), and the future of this global movement among businesses taking leadership roles in solving problems.
 
 
WHEN: Thursday, May 17, from 9:30am to 1:00pm
9:30 – 10:00 – Registration & Networking
10:00 – 10:30 – Remarks & Introductions
10:30 – 11:30 – Panel Presentation / Discussion
Noon – 1:00 – Working Lunch, Meet-and-Greet, Idea-Sharing
 
Complimentary lunch will be provided. There is no cost for this event. Capacity is limited.
 

Conscious Capitalism Florida Summit, December 14

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Conscious Capitalism Florida was launched in Tampa in 2013 to help connect like-minded organizations and grow our community. Conscious Capitalism exists to elevate humanity through business. We believe that business can be a force for good for all stakeholders, become more profitable and create greater opportunities by following the four tenets of conscious capitalism:

  • Higher Purpose: Recognizing that every business has a purpose that includes, but is more than, making money. By focusing on its Higher Purpose, a business inspires, engages and energizes its stakeholders.
  • Stakeholder Orientation: Recognizing that the interdependent nature of life and the human foundations of business, a business needs to create value with and for its various stakeholders (customers, employees, vendors, investors, communities, etc.). Like the life forms in an ecosystem, healthy stakeholders lead to a healthy business system.
  • Conscious Leadership: Human social organizations are created and guided by leaders – people who see a path and inspire others to travel along the path. Conscious Leaders understand and embrace the Higher Purpose of business and focus on creating value for and harmonizing the interests of the business stakeholders. They recognize the integral role of culture and purposefully cultivate Conscious Culture.
  • Conscious Culture: This is the ethos – the values, principles, practices – underlying the social fabric of a business, which permeates the atmosphere of a business and connects the stakeholders to each other and to the purpose, people and processes that comprise the company.

Whether you already know about Conscious Capitalism, are interested in elevating humanity through business, or just want to learn more, we invite you to attend our planning session to RELAUNCH the Conscious Capitalism Florida Chapter. We want to know your ideas, your feedback and how a Tampa-based Conscious Capitalism Chapter can best serve this community.

Contact Sherri Sutton, ssutton@positiveimpactforce.com, with any questions or for more information.

Date: December 14th
Lunch and Networking: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Time: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Portico Café (see above)

Please RSVP by December 7th at Eventbrite.

Be sure to include any dietary restrictions, allergies, or special requests.

We hope to see you at The Portico on the 14th!

Workplace Inclusion: In Today’s Diversity Climate (Tampa Bay Program)

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Chapter Program TB InclusionAll too recently, incidents such as the Charlottesville rally have shook the nation. As individuals, we have come together as a community to support those affected. But as business professionals, many are left unsure of how to address diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

On Thursday September 28, The Conscious Capitalism Florida Chapter is hosting “Workplace Inclusion: In Today’s Diversity Climate,” at 5:30 pm at The Portico. Hear from Tampa Bay’s top experts in diversity and inclusion on how to have courageous conversations in the workplace and create an inclusive environment for all individuals. Experts will also share tools and resources available for small, medium and large businesses.

Panelists include:

  • Maureen Greene James, Human Capital Leader, PwC
  • Ashley Brundage, Inclusion Consultant for PNC Financial Services Group
  • Cal Jackson, Director, Diversity & Inclusion Global Programs at Tech Data
  • Nadine Smith, Executive Director, Equality Florida
  • Moderator: Vinny Tafuro, Chapter President, Conscious Capitalism Florida

Refreshments will be available at The Portico Cafe.

EVENT DETAILS

  • Event: Workplace Inclusion: In Today’s Diversity Climate
  • Date: Thursday, September 28th
  • Time: 5:30 – 7 pm
  • Location: The Portico, 1001 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
  • Cost: $20
  • Register Online

AGENDA

  • 5:30 pm: Registration and Welcome
  • 6 pm: Panel Discussion Begins
  • 6:40-7 pm: Questions

 

Tolerance Through Tourism

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BRINGING SOCIALLY CONSCIOUS TRAVEL TO THE MASSES

Ten years ago, two young men from traditionally-opposing backgrounds shared a common passion: Peacebuilding. Today their Wellington, Florida-based B-Corp, MEJDI Tours, takes people to historically conflict-riddled areas and other destinations across the globe, providing unique perspectives that raise awareness, tolerance, and human dignity. Their original approach has been featured in a popular TED Talk and has led to a coveted contract with National Geographic Expeditions. We sat down with co-founder & CEO Scott Cooper to learn more about this unusual enterprise…

Q: How did MEJDI Tours get started?

I’m American Jewish. My co-founder [Aziz Abu Sarah] is a Palestinian from Jerusalem. The two of us met about 10 years ago, both doing international peacebuilding and development work. Aziz did some really amazing work in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians. He was working with bereaved families, Israeli and Palestinian, who had all lost family members to the conflict, in working for reconciliation in our societies.

He ended up moving to Washington DC, where I was doing a master’s degree in Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution with a focus on Arab-Jewish peacebuilding efforts. We ended up getting connected.

In our conversations, I found that Aziz did a little bit of Holy Land tourism work on the side to make ends meet. Because many of us in the nonprofit and international development work know that we can do all this social change, but usually it’s not sustainable financially. He was doing this on the side. I was actually working in banking and financial planning, so we had very different backgrounds.

We were brainstorming one day and we thought to ourselves, “What about tourism and travel? What better way to shatter stereotypes and create social change than to connect networks of people across borders, real and imaginary.” That’s essentially what’s happening when you travel.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, a billion and a half people travel each year. We looked at that statistic and thought to ourselves, “Well that’s an opportunity. A billion and a half people are traveling every year, we’re doing peace building work… Why don’t we do this a little bit differently? I wonder if we can combine peacebuilding with travel.”

We started looking into it and we noticed that a lot of the people that were doing it would have a very focused effort in what’s called alternative travel, or volunteer tourism. We thought those were fantastic, but one thing that we knew from our backgrounds in social change and peacebuilding work was that that keeps the networks a bit small. We thought to ourselves, “What could we do on a larger scale eventually? Let’s just try and tweak the tourism model a little bit.”

We knew a bunch of Israelis and Palestinians that were friends with each other and we said, “Let’s talk to our friends in universities, churches, synagogues and say, ‘Bring your group to Israel, Palestine, the Holy Land, and we’re going to do it a little differently. We’re going to let you see the sights, we’re going to let you try the food, all this kind of fun stuff that you want to do—but throughout your tour it’s going to be led by an Israeli and Palestinian together. They might disagree on things, but at the end of the day they are friends.'” That’s how we started. We had a small network of pastors, and university professors, and rabbis that were interested in this idea and it really took off from there.

Eventually National Geographic got wind and we ended up becoming National Geographic’s sole provider of Holy Land expeditions, so when folks sign up with National Geographic they travel with us. That’s really an interesting thing from a peacebuilding perspective because through National Geographic, we reach millions of people every year, and the first thing that they see next to the Holy Land expedition is something designed by Arabs and Jews and peacebuilding efforts.

Q: How did you come up with that name?

The name MEJDI means “to honor” in Arabic. The idea of MEJDI Tours is to honor the local people, honor the local culture, and MEJDI was just the way to say that in Arabic.

Q What is the company’s higher purpose?

It’s quite an audacious goal, but we’re trying to create a better world through travel. That’s our higher purpose, and we see that materializing in every destination globally, from our local communities to the Holy Land.

We’ve done trips in Ireland and Northern Ireland. We’ve done trips in Turkey, in Egypt. We were in Syria before the war. We’ve worked in Afghanistan. We’ve taken trips to the Balkans. We’ve translated the model into different destinations, and translated how tourism can number one, meet the needs of the group, but also honor the local community.

In Israel, in Palestine, the Holy Land—that was conducted with two tour guides, Israeli and Palestinian. In some other places it’s really focusing on communities that are less focused on by other tours. We also intentionally try to work with small businesses and family-owned hotels. We try to infuse social change-makers and agents across the tourism supply chain.

We also try very hard to create programs for all types of travelers since this is why we thought ‘alternative travel’ options don’t reach enough people. So for example, a luxury traveler might want to be on the beach one day and have a spa, but then the next day, they can listen to folks in a refugee camp, and then the next day they can see kids working together in a school doing something else. We just try and mix all these things together based on our client needs and goals, so we feel like these values-based items can be infused in any type of trip. Whether it’s just a little bit, or if it’s the whole trip, you feel like every opportunity when you travel can leave a better impact. We feel all travelers – adventure, religious, luxury, educational – are interested in socially conscious travel and one of our strategic objectives is to provide travel options for them.

Q: Describe your company’s culture and how you go about crafting that culture.

We think about everybody working within MEJDI, both full time staff and contractors, and our clients, as friends. When you’re hanging out with your friends you want to have a good time. You want to be respectful. You want to have an environment that you’re enjoying and they’re enjoying. I do my best to make it fun, to tell jokes, to have that informal feel to it.

At the same time, since what we’re doing is a very serious thing, both in terms of social change and customer service, [I try] to also create the culture that we work as hard as we can.

We treat each other the way we like to be treated. We treat our customers and our partners and our stakeholders the way we would like to be treated. It’s fun. It’s hardworking.

In addition to that, I like to create a culture in which the folks working within and in partnership with MEJDI feel empowered to make decisions, because I think that’s critically important. For example, if there’s a major decision that needs to happen, say in an Israeli or a Palestinian city, I don’t want to make that decision. I want my local partners to make those decisions. And this comes from the peacebuilding point of view.

Q: How can people get in touch with you?

People can feel free to email me. Also, if they live in South Florida and want to get involved, we’re looking for interns from local tourism and business schools, but all are welcome!

Listen here to the full audio interview with Scott Cooper.

Mission-Based Business Helps People with Disabilities

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9 LESSONS LEARNED FROM A NONPROFIT-RUN SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

More than Just Business

When companies need to dispose of their office computers, certain that sensitive data is first wiped clean, they send those old PCs to ARC Broward I.T. Asset Recovery. In doing so, they’re not just protecting their client’s privacy; they’re also providing training and employment opportunities for people with learning and other disabilities.

In addition to data security (scrubbing digital info), this mission-based enterprise provides asset recovery — selling used I.T. equipment to vetted commercial buyers; and e-commerce, selling electronics through their online store. It also provides electronics recycling which, according to Julie Price, Vice President of Program Services, “really was the roots of where we started; we’ve grown into these other business lines because the industry has changed so much.”

Origin Story

I.T. Asset Recovery is one of three social enterprises spawned by ARC Broward since the umbrella organization was founded in the mid-1950s. That’s when families of children with disabilities formed the grassroots organization to keep their kids out of institutions and give them a good education.

Julie says, “As they grew older…we just continued to expand our service model and our service delivery so that we could continue to meet the employment, housing, social, recreational, medical, and other needs that individuals with disabilities have.” ARC Broward now operates in 10 locations providing 21 programs to more than 1200 individuals and their families throughout Broward County, Florida each year.

Today the organization encompasses ARC Broward Learning Institute and Culinary Institute as well as I.T. Asset Recovery, which was started in 2000. “Our mission and overarching purpose is to transform the community by providing opportunities for people with disabilities and other life challenges to realize their full potential,” Julie says.

Lessons Learned

Based on her 16-year journey establishing the I.T. Asset Recovery business under the ARC Broward nonprofit, Julie offers valuable lessons learned. “It really is about not letting the nonprofit culture get in the way of the business,” she says. “Any nonprofit that hopes to become entrepreneurial… really has to take a step back and undergo a radical set of changes.”

1. Be willing to take risks. While entrepreneurs are generally assumed to be risk takers, “That’s not how nonprofits and nonprofit boards of directors generally function,” Julie says. “They tend to be more risk averse, and for good reason: Because a board is the steward of scarce resources, primarily resources that are coming from donors, governmental entities, foundations and that kind of thing.” As a result, nonprofits shy away from initiatives until they can guarantee success, which, Julie says, is “completely opposite of entrepreneurship. Nonprofit entrepreneurs need to enter the game with a willingness to take risks and fail.” Julie likes to remind decision-makers of a quote by Ben & Jerry’s’ Ben Cohen: “To stumble is not to fail; it’s a way of moving ahead more quickly.”

2. Choose staff members wisely. “Running a nonprofit is very different than entrepreneurship, and not everyone understands that right away, so make decisions about who in your organization is really best to move this business forward. It may not always seem to be the most obvious person, but it needs to be someone who has a gut and a stomach for entrepreneurship,” says Julie. She recommends choosing staff with business knowledge such as marketing, sales and efficiencies of operations.

3. Relinquish control. “Too many layers just tend to bog things down and entrepreneurship moves quickly,” Julie says. “You’ve got to learn to be a little more nimble and flexible, and that’s hard for any organization, particularly a larger one that does have lots of layers.”

4. Understand your market. “Making sure you understand who your customers are, and thinking about customers in a business, is very different than thinking about customers in a social service context,” Julie says. She explains that donors who support their services for persons with disabilities are very different from customers who purchase computers. Another market-minded caution: “We tend to sell ourselves short [as] a nonprofit and we don’t price aggressively enough as for-profits do.”

5. Play well or don’t play at all. “When Jack Welch took over as CEO of General Electric in 1981, he asked Peter Drucker to tell him the single most important thing he could do to improve the company,” Julie says. “Drucker’s answer was really pretty simple: If your products or services are not number one or number two in the market, kill them. In other words, just stop trying to be all things to all people. He repeatedly urges nonprofits to do the same, and he refers to this as ‘organized abandonment.’

“Although it’s not easy to stop doing some things — particularly those that are really important to board members, funders, and long term employees — you’ve got to stay the course and be in it, take risks, invest where you can, and be able to make some really hard decisions. That’s contrary to a lot of what and how [nonprofits] think.”

6. Know your tax laws. To operate a mission-based enterprise under 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status, Julie says, “be really careful about ‘unrelated business activities.’ She explains that nonprofit organizations should develop business ventures that are “closely aligned with their core competencies, their strengths — really a derivative of their mission. From an IRS perspective, that’s tremendously important” so a nonprofit doesn’t “threaten or compromise the organization’s tax-exempt status.”

7. Don’t underestimate the amount of time and money you need to reach goals. “Depending on the type of enterprise, [profit] ebbs and flows,” Julie says. “This business in particular, I.T. asset recovery is a fickle business; it’s a fragile business. There are some years it goes better than others. You’ve got to stay the course, but you’ve got to have money to do it.”

Julie cites an MIT study which found that, for most companies, significant revenue doesn’t usually flow until the seventh year of operation. “We saw that in our world,” she says. “There are lots of market variables that hit us as social enterprises and you’ve got to just make sure you have the funds and the cash flow to do what you need to do.”

8. Learn how to play in the sandbox with competitors. “In the nonprofit world, we don’t look at competitors, we look at collaborators — other organizations in our community who do the same or nearly the same types of things we do,” Julie says. “We’re friendly, and we share things so readily — and that’s not how a lot of business works. So it’s getting a different layer and thickness of skin that puts you in the game a little differently.”

9. Market and brand the business’ social mission. “The only other real tactical area that we learned the hard way to really address is the area of marketing, branding the business. That’s a very different way of thinking,” Julie says. “It took us a little while to get our messaging together. You’re not just a business; you’ve got a mission component.

Oftentimes I will say, ‘I work at ARC Broward,’ and they’ll ask me what my relationship is with the organization and I’ll explain it to them. And they’ll say, ‘that’s fantastic, our business just dropped off all our computers to you.’ Or ‘I purchased something from your retail operations’ — without any context to the fact that we serve and support people with disabilities.

“You walk away and you’re like, that’s fantastic. That was really cool that there was a different touch point in the community and more people know of us because of this enterprise. But what they don’t know is the core of what we do. And so you’re always, always sharpening your message, making sure you don’t have missed opportunities.

“Any business that’s working with us really should be working with us, because, number one, the quality of what we do is great, our pricing is competitive. But first and foremost it’s supporting an organization that is serving children and adults with disabilities and other life challenges. That really is the feather in the cap, in our mind.”

Read or listen to the full interview with Julie Price, including a success story about one of IT Asset Recovery’s trainees, at www.socialimpactuniverse.com/blog

Opportunity, Education and Empathy Take Fashion ‘Beyond Fair Trade’

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Social enterprise advocate and a champion of education for women globally, Debbie Farah never expected to be known for either. However, her love of fashion and a rare job offer as a young Arab girl, that afforded her the chance to go to college, set her on a path to impact countless lives around the world. Farah launched Bajalia International Group (BIG) on HSN March 8th 2011 – the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.

BIG is a Fair Trade retail and wholesale provider of home, fashion and jewelry goods handmade by artisans in underdeveloped economies. BIG “gives women a voice around the world through jobs” and distributes through major retailers. We’re “changing the world while shopping the world,” says Farah. With manufacturing workgroups in 28 countries including India, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Haiti, “we work in some of the places where it’s hardest to be a woman in the world.”

Farah sees BIG’s purpose as “beyond fair trade” – where in addition to ensuring living wages and workplaces free of exploitation, it is imperative to ensure that girls stay in school. Farah understands the life-changing and community building impact of educating girls. She also knows that while developing economies require outside investment – only “trade over aide” will provide long-term sustained success.

With a successful career as creative director for Neiman Marcus, Farah had established herself in the high-end fashion industry. After accepting a volunteer opportunity to photograph non-profits working with women overseas, Farah began spending an increasing amount of time exploring sustainable solutions to the challenges girls faced. Her own opportunity to work at just 14 years old provided her a voice and pathway to college. Education had made all the difference.

Farah brought together her love of fashion and desire to help empower women by creating BIG as a social enterprise. The idea began as a non-profit, allowing Farah to test and experiment before launching the for-profit initiative. Today the non-profit focuses on the development of training and helping to scale the artisan work groups. BIG avoids owning the operations on the ground, preferring instead to facilitate the connection of NGOs in support of their empowerment training and life skills education mission. “Social enterprise has a much bigger meaning then ever before,” says Farah, who has been honored by the U.S. Department of State (US-DOS), for providing opportunities to global artisans. The US-DOS recognizes that in communities where money is put in the hands of women, guns are taken out of the hands of children.

Back in Orlando BIG is a diverse company of people “looking for a career that matters,” says Farah. The company often recruits from top fashion schools and has a staff that spans generations and ethnicities, providing a conscious culture of respect and creativity. For her team and in her interaction with social entrepreneurship students at UCF and Rollins College, Farah emphasizes that success is dependent on “showing up everyday and persevering and being preset everyday.” The skill most important in today’s economy? “Strategic problem solving,” says Farah. “How well do you persevere through problems.”

Retailers see value in social enterprise and are interested in better stories themselves. BIG works with retailers to be “their bridge to social enterprise,” says Farah, “to take the things they are doing and make them more valuable.” “Social mission must be authentic to be effective,” says Farah, who notes that Bill Drayton, CEO and founder of Ashoka, expects that within 15 years we will cease to use the words social enterprise. That corporations without a social mission will simply cease to exist. Similarly, practitioners of Conscious Capitalism envision a future where capitalism as a whole matures and the default model for business is to balance the needs of all stakeholders. Farah believes this future is possible and that global businesses like BIG are making significant contributions to bring this vision into focus.

CCF Partner Program + Live Workshop in Miami

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Join Conscious Capitalism Florida in Downtown Miami on Friday and Saturday July 29-30, 2016.

A program and live workshop built to show you how to have a greater impact in your industry through educational web training, an in person workshop in Miami, mastermind small groups and one-on-one consultations with business experts.

Focused on your mission and what it takes to make it happen, “Leader of the New Schools” was created by millennials for millennials with the knowledge that most work is done through the help of a team, but when you are on your own or running a small business, you do not always have the people to help you think through ideas, create a road map to grow or sustain your business or the tangible support to execute your big (and small) plans. You want to “take the leap”, but what about the wings on the way down?

Date: Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, 2016

Location: Mindwarehouse

Online Registration: Click Here to Register

Can’t attend the two day workshop? Join us for a Conscious Capitalism Florida reception on Friday, July 27th at 5 p.m. at Mindwarehouse. Free Facebook RSVP

Corporate Philanthropy with an Exponential Twist

Florida Blog
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While it’s not uncommon for companies to donate to charities, Gold Coast Coffee, which equips and supplies office breakrooms throughout South Florida, is scaling up the concept. In a new initiative, CEO-founder Tim Myette is offering to donate 10 percent of each client’s invoice to the client’s charity of choice in that client’s name. He also plans to enlist his distributors of office breakroom products across the U.S. to implement the same program. In this way, he envisions hundreds, and potentially thousands, of companies large and small giving up to 10 percent of their income to charity.

“The government is not going to be able to solve all the problems of everyone but as Americans we are very much a giving nation and giving people,” says Tim, who serves on the board of directors of two South Florida nonprofits. “So Gold Coast Coffee has decided that we are going to get much more involved in the community, not just physically but financially. We see that as the future of helping our neighbors and helping the community which will again make our country strong.”

What would prompt such benevolence now, after 35 years of business success? A deathbed conversation with his mentor. “I’d been thinking about the idea for about five years when I had a very dear friend, a local pioneer-father of the area, pass away,” Tim says, “But before he passed away I had the greatest opportunity to sit and talk with him about many things. I asked him many, many questions about this [idea] and he inspired me. With my burning desire to do something, and the answers to some of the questions I asked him, it even made it more powerful to me to go forward and decide that this is something that Gold Coast Coffee just has to do.

“My mother used to have a great statement: ‘Remember that the hearse doesn’t have a trailer hitch.’ No matter what you do you can’t take it with you. So if you’re going to do anything good you better do it while you have the opportunity to do it. That’s part of my decision.”

With an urgent resolve to propel his idea forward, Tim hired Diane Singh, former Executive Director of the Florida Association of Nonprofits, to serve as his new Senior Director of Nonprofit Outreach. “She’s already reaching out to her many contacts, and the response has been phenomenal,” Tim says. “I have had the privilege of going with her to a very small account and the next thing I know they’re not even talking about coffee; they’re talking about children and about what are we going to do for this and what are we going to do for that. It’s awe-inspiring to me to see the client get involved — and passionately!”

What inspired Diane to take on this new role? “My passion for nonprofits,” she says. “I see how hard the nonprofits work and where their desires are and what they’re trying to do in the community… They have a lot of need and this could be an Innovative way for them to have some of those needs met.” Diane says she wants the company to be seen “as a coffee service that gives back, supporting nonprofits with every cup.”

Tim sees dramatic potential in this program, especially if it were to be adopted by the greater business community. “I think we’ve hit a nerve,” he says. I think we’re just tapping into something that is probably going to be quite large. I would suggest to you that we’re probably looking at a multitude of dollars, perhaps into, not only the high millions, but even the billions. I think that money is going to be made readily available to bona-fide [nonprofit] organizations.”

Tim hopes to inspire other companies to follow Gold Coast Coffee’s lead. “Maybe we can wake up a company that makes, I don’t know, plastic boats, or fire extinguishers, or chairs. …All these companies, they’re not as big and bad as everybody would like to think businesses are. I think we have to be educating people that there are a lot of good companies out there doing a lot of dynamite things.

“I think you guys [at Conscious Capitalism Florida] have a lot of responsibility,” Tim adds. “You’ve got to get the word out there. I hope you can get more companies involved….We should have meetings with businesses to talk about things that we can do. The Chamber of Commerce is not going to take up the gauntlet for that — not that they don’t do some good things, they certainly do…but their objective is not the same as my objective. My objective is to give out money.”