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Karmic Capitalist - businesses with purpose
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Karmic Capitalist - businesses with purpose

Author: iyas alqasem

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Business done right - Purpose, Values AND Profit.

In the Karmic Capitalist conversations, we talk to CEOs and founders of organisations with purpose and values at their heart. We dive into their journeys, and into the nitty gritty of what it takes to build organisations that make good and make money. Some are starting the journey, others are a long way down it, and still others still are changing direction.

But all are business leaders who believe that a successful businesses is defined by profit, purpose and values. And, oftentimes, fun.

54 Episodes
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The rise in demand for local working spaces is very visible. It's unfortunate that the category was tarnished by WeWork founder Adam Neumann, whose fortune is dwarfed only by the lack of ethics displayed in building it. But it doesn't need to be so.An alternative would be to start to consciously build workspaces not only based on a pound per square foot and the distance to the nearest Waitrose, but rather on the basis of the communities in which they're located, and how they can best serve an...
A company that makes lawyers wealthier? On the Karmic Capitalist podcast?Have I sold out?Stay with me. This law company, Aria Grace, intentionally does the following:It offers a legal service on a par with the large law partnerships for less cost to its clientsIt pays the lawyers nearly treble the portion of the fees than in traditional firmsIt donates ALL of its profit to charityIt tackles the lack of diversity in the legal professionLindsay Healy has created a truly disruptive model f...
"Move Fast and Break Things" is a terrible way to be anti-racist.This Karmic Capitalist podcast episode is FULL of gold.I talk to Javaughn and Jamey, VP of culture and CEO respectively of Agilian.com, a technology consulting firm that has absolutely nailed anti-racism and diversity to its mast.When, to his enormous shame, Jamey was shown data that the black female execs on his team were paid significantly less than the white male ones, and it was not attributable to performance, he raised the...
Helping big companies be good, and good companies get bigger.Not quite EdenLab's motto, but not far off it.In this episode of the Karmic Capitalist podcast, I talk to Leo Rayman, founder and CEO, about his journey from agencyland to EdenLab - accelerating positive and sustainable ideas and the people who come up with them.Leo's premise, and the underlying one of EdenLab, is that with over 3 billion people working for companies worldwide, we should be harnessing the power of companies to help ...
A founder who doesn’t see himself as a salesman, targeting purpose-led companies that don't identify that way, to tackle a problem that people don't think exist.Recipe for success...And exactly what Tom Greenwood did with Wholegrain Digital, the company he founded and which, in sustainability stakes, was a way ahead of the curve.Tom's concern for the environment started when it was still very much a minority sport. Certainly long before it became mainstream to talk about it, let alone make it...
Very few businesses have the level or resonance and commitment from founders more than those whose origins came from personal tragedy.MyBabble was born after founder Faisal Shaikh's father sadly left home and didn't return. It transpired later that unknown to anyone, his dad had been dealing with loneliness.Faisal is a trained and practising psychiatrist, and was aware that this is a huge problem that needs a variety of different and complimentary approaches.Hi approach through the company he...
"How can we collectively increase the quantity and quality of giving to nonprofits, to charities, so that they can raise more awareness, raise more funds, deliver more impact in their communities?"If there's a question that defines Lightful's work, I think Vinay shares it in this.My guest on the Karmic Capitalist podcast this week is Vinay Nair, co-founder and CEO of Lightful. Lightful uses technology to accelerate impact in the social impact sector.He'd just returned from an uplifting confer...
From the high-stakes financial environment of the now defunct Lehman Brothers ("buy-and-sell in its most aggressive manner") to putting on an exhibition of some of the most ethical and long-term thinking brands.That’s the varied journey which my guest, Hussein Allawi, has been on. He took plenty of lessons from those early days, days which he found very lacking in purpose, but which have informed how he's now actively pushing a sustainability agenda.Hussein is the co-founder and CEO of Fronti...
"If going to a TGO gym can help unlock your potential not only for your life, but for your community, for your planet, that's the end game."Georgie Delaney MBE isn't short on a big vision. But critically - she's also not short on taking action.It was wonderful to talk to her about setting up and growing The Great Outdoor Gym Company (TGO). From a seed of inspiration seeing outdoor gyms in China after the Beijing Olympics, to high level backing in the London 2012 Olympics, to now having more t...
So you're running an ethical agency. A criminal organisation posing as a listed company - let's call them Belgian Australian Tobacco - approaches you."We fund an 'anti-smoking education programme' along with some of our other friends. But the challenge is that it's not as easy to find us on the web as it is lung cancer charities. We need your help to rank better."The programme, as it says on the tin, is to educate people against smoking.Do you take the business? Critically, *how* do you decid...
This episode of the Karmic Capitalist tells the story of a company that stayed true to its mission while undergoing a substantial pivot, and a founder who left his own comfortable path in pursuit of his passion.For sanitation!Thomas Fudge was so incensed by our misuse and abuse of water that left his job in product design and marketing and went back to uni to complete a masters and doctorate in sustainability.He then combined his newfound expertise with his passion for engaging with the water...
From Chris Froome to wellness in your office.That's the journey that Phill Bell and Paul Smith undertook to co-founding ART Health, a company that helps employees and employers to improve workplace wellbeing using evidence-based techniques.It was fascinating to have Phill join me on this edition of the Karmic Capitalist podcast to share the story.Phill is a sports scientist. He earned his PhD in Exercise Physiology, and landed what would be a bit of a dream job working with international athl...
There’s a moral case for your company to give equal opportunities for your team regardless of gender (or background, or sexual orientation, or ethnicity, etc). And there’s a business-performance one in terms of the improved decision-making that results from cognitive diversity.But although we are without a doubt making progress, it can feel slow.Recruiting women into senior roles is welcome. But we need to go much deeper if we're to systematically right the balance.For me, one of the key acti...
Giving to charity is one of the easiest ways to do good. But have you ever wondered what impact your donation actually has?Enter my guest on the Karmic Capitalist podcast, Rachael Murray, founder of a company appropriately called Making Impact Matter (MiM).Making Impact Matter helps charities figure out how to measure impact. But doing the work has more outcomes than just measurement.Figuring out how to measure impact is essential to secure funding. So MiM's work helps charities get more fund...
I remember in the early 90s being told to staple my photograph to any CVs I sent out applying for work. I'm no George Clooney, so I wondered why. I later found out it was so that people who only had my name to go on would see that I wasn't Pakistani!So offensive at so many levels. If I were Pakistani, why would that be a problem? What if I were a white Pakistani? How about that I'm not Pakistani, but my name is still a Muslim name?We've come a LONG way since. But we're still in the foothills....
When it comes to sustainability and human rights, Fashion has earned a terrible reputation. And mostly for very good reason.But there are some shining examples who are showing what good can look like in the industry.One of these is pre-owned luxury fashion retailer Sign of the times.The original Chelsea shop was founded to media buzz in the 1970s. Antonia Johnstone trained there before founding her own shop in Berkshire.And in a wonderfully circular story, some years later she went on to buy ...
You’ve just moved from one end of the planet to the other. You’re pregnant. And you want to be working. What do you do?It’s a sad indictment on how the workplace still treats pregnancy that for my guest on this #KarmicCapitalist podcast episode, starting a company seemed a more plausible route than finding employment.But start a company while pregnant is what Steph did. She started marketing agency, Hello Earth, and early on set about specialising on companies with a focus on purpose and sust...
"Create wealth like a Capitalist, distribute it like a Marxist." Here's what that looks like...Simon Biltcliffe believes that Capitalism is a great way to create wealth, but is terrible at distributing it. And Marxism can't create wealth for toffee, but has great principles for distributing it.Adjust for externalities, and there you have the principles on which Webmart was founded and operates. Webmart delivers marketing solutions. It competes not only on quality, but by identifying ways...
We have a bit of an employment paradox in the UK. As Matt Powell, the founder and CEO of Breaking Barriers, puts it "We have a government that is anti-immigration, and an economy that needs immigration to function at its capacity."That's the gap, the gap between refugees that have made it to the UK and the unfilled jobs in the UK, that Breaking Barriers helps to fill.Matt was always an entrepreneurial spirit. It was when that entrepreneurialism met his passion to help those at the receiving e...
What do you do if the prevailing business model is very clearly saying one thing, yet your values and what the world needs are in diametric opposition to this?That's the dilemma that faced my Karmic Capitalist guest on this week's podcast, Seán Wood CEO of Positive News."Bad news sells".We hear this mantra because it's commercially true.But as Seán says, we've reached peak negativity. And negativity can be disempowering. It leaves people feeling impotent, that it's too late, there's nothing y...
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