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Social Entrepreneur

Social Entrepreneur

Author: Tony Loyd: Business executive and mentor to social entrepreneurs

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Social Entrepreneur exists at the intersection of profit and purpose. We tell positive stories from underrepresented voices, focused on solutions.
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Top Twelve Popular Podcasts 2018, Elizabeth Sarquis
Global Gaming Initiative provides a suite of tools and services to make it easier for game developers and publishers to produce and monetize games for social good. Note: Between now and the end of the year, we’re counting down the top twelve popular podcast interviews of 2018. It is a people’s choice award, determined by the number of downloads. This interview originally aired on February 12, 2018. Elizabeth Sarquis was born in a small town along the Magdalena River in Colombia. When Elizabeth was five years old, her family moved to the US. Growing up, she went to school in the US and spent time her summers in Colombia. Elizabeth says “It struck me, when I would see children on the streets begging. Then I would go back home, and I would have everything. It didn’t make sense to me.” As an adult, Elizabeth worked in nonprofits focused on children’s issues. During the 2008 financial meltdown, Elizabeth observed how difficult it was for nonprofits to raise funds. And, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, she noticed that there was a wide gap between the money raised and the impact of those funds. “I knew something had to change,” she says. “I wanted to create a model that used technology, which I love, and create an impact.” In 2010, Elizabeth’s 14-year-old son traveled to Ecuador to volunteer with a nonprofit. Her son told her a story about a boy he met. The boy did not have transportation, and therefore, did not attend school. Elizabeth’s son challenged her to help. Around this same time, Elizabeth found herself playing Angry Birds for hours. She thought, “Can’t we figure out a way to use games, tied to impact?” From this thought cam Global Gaming Initiative. Global Gaming Initiative is a mobile game company that creates games and aligns them with social impact. They are a cooperative. They work with game developer who wants to create social impact through their game. Global Gaming Initiative is a BCorporation. They have been selected as a “Best for the World” company two years in a row. Global Gaming Initiative was not successful right away. They hired eight engineers and animators, spent months on the game, but it was not commercially successful. “We didn’t bring marketing in soon enough,” Elizabeth explains. “At that time, it was a bit more of the wild west in the app store.”   One of Global Gaming Initiative’s first successful games was Sidekick Cycle, a competitive retro arcade game that positions players in a race against time. Profits from in-app purchases and advertisement go towards bicycles for kids. The game is popular and has provided lots of bikes. However, parents began to push back on the content of the advertisements. To help control the types of ads that are presented on their games, Elizabeth and her team created Jukko. Jukko connects game players with socially-conscious brands. Jukko is scheduled to launch around April of 2018. Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Elizabeth Sarquis “You can make games and you can have an impact.” @elizabetsarquis, @GGInitiative “You have to surround yourself with a network of people who believe in what you’re doing.” @elizabetsarquis, @GGInitiative “Get involved in your community.” @elizabetsarquis, @GGInitiative Social Entrepreneurship Resources: Global Gaming Initiative: https://www.globalgaminginitiative.com/ Global Gaming Initiative on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GlobalGamingInitiative Global Gaming Initiative on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gginitiative Jukko: https://jukko.com Jukko on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myjukko Jukko on Twitter: https://twitter.com/myjukko Free Bikes 4 Kids: http://fb4k.org Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
Top Twelve Popular Podcasts 2018, Elisa Birnbaum
In the Business of Change features stories of changemakers who use the power of business to address society’s most pressing problems. Note: Between now and the end of the year, we’re counting down the top twelve popular podcast interviews of 2018. It is a people’s choice award, determined by the number of downloads. This interview originally aired on May 24, 2018. Elisa Birnbaum is the publisher and editor-in-chief of SEE Change Magazine, a digital publication of social entrepreneurship and social change. You may recall her interview from June 2017. Elisa has a new book out, In the Business of Change: How Social Entrepreneurs are Disrupting Business as Usual. The book highlights how social entrepreneurs are using business savvy to create change in their communities. Elisa tells stories from a wide range of sectors, including employment, food, art, education, and social justice. Each chapter focuses on lessons learned and measurable impact. The book provides practical tips for starting and scaling a social enterprise. Social Entrepreneur Quotes by Elisa Birnbaum: “It’s part storytelling and part lessons for those who want to start their own social enterprise.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “It’s for the average person who wants inspiring storytelling.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “Look at all of this amazing work being done.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “I wanted to provide a broad spectrum of people doing things in different sectors.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “The book has actually been on my mind for a long time.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “It’s good to tell stories in different medium.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “You want to get these stories out there in as many ways as you can.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “This was a lot more strategic.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “There were a couple of chapters that ended up changing.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “You have to be flexible.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “Social entrepreneurs are taking a bigger role in systems change.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “I didn’t start writing until I had a contract.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “I had a book on my mind for many years.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “People don’t get to see the grit, the passion, and the work that goes into it.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “These stories, I find so inspiring.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag “I enjoyed the process more than I imagined I would.” @ElisaBirnbaum @SEEChangemag Social Entrepreneurship Resources: Book: In the Business of Change: How Social Entrepreneurs are Disrupting Business as Usual: https://amzn.to/2ILp2OA Elisa Birnbaum’s previous interview on Social Entrepreneur: https://tonyloyd.com/storytelling-platform-social-entrepreneurs-elisa-birnbaum-see-change-magazine SEE Change Magazine: http://www.seechangemagazine.com SEE Change Magazine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seechangemagazine SEE Change Magazine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/seechangemag SEE Change Magazine on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seechangemag In the Business of Change podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/in-the-business-of-change/id1214748429 Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
Top Twelve Popular Podcasts 2018, Mondo Davison, The Black Tech Guy
Mondo Davison, known as “The Black Tech Guy,” is on a mission to inspire a generation of black youth to pursue a life in tech. Note: Between now and the end of the year, we’re counting down the top twelve popular podcast interviews of 2018. It is a people’s choice award, determined by the number of downloads. This interview originally aired on January 15, 2018. African-Americans make up a little more than 11 percent of the US population. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, only 2.1% of businesses with at least one employee were owned by African-Americans. In the tech sector, the statistics are worse. According to CB Insights’ data on VC investments, only 1 percent of VC-funded startup founders are black. Mondo Davison, known as “The Black Tech Guy,” is trying to close that gap. When Mondo was a child, people would ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up. Mondo always said he was going to play professional sports. When they heard this answer, folks would often ask, “What’s your Plan B?” This bothered Mondo. “Is there anybody besides my dad that believes in this Plan A?” When Mondo grew up, he went to the University of Tennessee and tried to walk on. “I got crushed,” he says. He went to Florida A&M and had a similar experience. He eventually graduated from college and became an educator. Mondo worked in a school district with a high rate of poverty. When he asked kids what they wanted to be when they grew up, many of them said that they were going to play professional sports. “I didn’t want to be that adult that said, ‘What’s your Plan B?’ Really it was, what can I do differently? That’s when The Black Tech Guy was born. Can I build this persona of this Black Tech Guy who is doing awesome things in tech, so that I can compel a young mind to go into tech as their Plan A?” In January 2010, Mondo had a moment of synchronicity. “I was sitting at home, and I was flipping through channels. I came across this one-hour special on CNBC called Planet of the Apps.” Mondo thought to himself, “Let me go into this space. Let me see if I can do something.” Mondo explains, “That’s how I got into tech. Right after I watched that series, I invested my whole self into tech.” Early Setbacks Things did not go smoothly for Mondo. “For the next five years, I did everything wrong,” he admits. “I didn’t understand what best practices were.” Initially, Mondo sought out business advice from those who were experienced in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. However, their advice did not fit. “Bringing a tech startup to market is completely different than building a traditional business.” At the time, Mondo felt like he had to get his business idea perfect before launching. “That was so wrong, and I ended up wasting $50,000.” Mondo wishes he would have had someone to show him the way to build a tech startup. “I had nobody to help me navigate this space. I didn’t know anybody who had been through the tech journey to even ask.” Mondo describes his first big mistake. When he built his first app, he was ready to launch, when he discovered a competitor. “I essentially stopped and didn’t go to market. I invested a bunch more money on ‘How can I make my thing cooler?’” He added several new features without feedback from the marketplace. “What I learned moving forward was, it’s not about the bells and whistles. How do you get that minimum viable product to market and then execute your product to the best of your ability?” Building Knowledge and a Tribe Eventually, Mondo found an online course from Stanford University that spelled out how to launch and iterate a tech startup. And, in another moment of synchronicity, Mondo came across an organization called Graveti. Graveti’s mission is to make Minnesota a promised land for people of color in tech and entrepreneurship. “We all met at a time when we needed each other, Mondo says. “It just organically happened.” Graveti became a peer group with whom he could share his struggles and learn from others. Mondo does not regret making mistakes and learning. “My mission is to inspire and motivate black boys to go into tech. If it takes me to learn through $50,000 worth of mistakes, that’s a small price to pay. When you realize why you were put on this earth, you wake up every morning, and you have this drive because you have this North Star you want to accomplish, life is just different.” Shifting Business Models The first few apps that Mondo built were focused on a monetization strategy that depended on a million or more users. Today, he focuses on consumer pay business model. He is currently focusing on two new projects: Shortiez and SafeSpace. Shortiez is a digital library of culturally relevant content. Mondo’s goal is for kids of color to see themselves reflected in the stories they read. SafeSpace allows the user to notify anyone within three blocks to respond as a witness when interacting with law enforcement. SafeSpace was built in collaboration with Software for Good, whose goal is to make the world a better place by building great software for companies doing great things. Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Mondo Davison “I only own The Black Tech Guy shirts.” “You can get an MVP to market and just test, iterate.” “It was just a lot of crashing and burning.” “It’s not a mom-and-pop shop where you have to take down all the bricks.” “We built this brotherhood.” “We all met at a time when we needed each other.” “I call us this family of founders.” “I have domain expertise, working in that space for seven years.” “There are limited to no books that are culturally relevant in the classroom.” “I couldn’t find any book that had a person of color on the cover. Fast forward 25 years, and that’s still the case.” “So many schools have this problem.” Be innovative. Try something. Be risky.” Social Entrepreneurship Resources: Mondo Davison, The Black Tech Guy: https://www.theblacktechguy.com/ Shortiez: http://www.shortiez.us/ SafeSpace: https://www.safespaceapp.com/ Mondo Davison, The Black Tech Guy on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theblacktechguy/ Mondo Davison, The Black Tech Guy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheBlackTechGuy Mondo Davison, The Black Tech Guy, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBlackTechGuy/ Mondo Davison on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mondodavison/ Graveti: http://www.graveti.com/ Software for Good: https://softwareforgood.com Planet of the Apps CNBC series: https://www.cnbc.com/planet-of-the-apps-a-handheld-revolution/ Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
Top Twelve Popular Podcasts 2018, Meghan French Dunbar, Conscious Company Media
Join Conscious Company Media’s World-Changing Women’s Summit and discover ways to take your leadership, your workplace, and your impact to the next level in a rejuvenating environment amid the redwoods of Santa Cruz County. Register today and save 10% when you use the code WCWS_TONY_10. Note: Between now and the end of the year, we’re counting down the top twelve popular podcast episodes of 2018. It is a people’s choice award, determined by the number of downloads. This interview originally aired on April 28, 2018. Meghan French Dunbar grew up in the mountains of Colorado. She saw early examples of how to run a business. “Both of my parents started and operated their own small businesses and were incredibly supportive of everything my brother and I did,” she explains. She was driven to succeed from an early age. “I was an achiever. I idolized my older brother and was obsessed with excelling in all sports, especially soccer and basketball. I was always driven to achieve academically as well and saw everything as a competition.” Meghan also saw the importance of making a difference in the lives of others. She says, “My mother is an occupational therapist and works with kids with severe disabilities. When I was young, my mom took me to work with her often and had me watch children my age who were struggling with very sincere challenges. It planted in me a deep desire to want to help.” Eventually, Meghan discovered the power of business to do good through her work at the Environmental Defense Fund. And she deepened her sense of purpose while attending Presidio Graduate School. After graduation, Meghan edited magazines. However, the work did not go well. One evening, Meghan and her friend Maren Keeley talked about an idea for a magazine that focused on purpose-driven businesses. It was a fateful conversation. Three hours after Meghan and Maren had this conversation, Meghan lost her job. Meghan and Maren decided to launch Conscious Company Magazine. But there was a lot to do. They cold-emailed a list of influencers and, to their surprise, most of the people they approached agreed to be interviewed. To fund their first run of the magazine, they launched a Kickstarter campaign. They hoped to raise $50,000. Unfortunately, they fell short of their goal. Because of Kickstarter’s all-or-nothing model, after all of Meghan and Maren’s efforts, they received none of the pledged money. Instead of giving up, they decided to try again on Indiegogo. This time, they succeeded in raising $20,000. Their first issue of the magazine was picked up by every Whole Foods in the US. “From there, we got the word out by hustling,” Meghan explains. “We sent magazines to every conference we could think of, we attended as many events as possible, we sought speaking opportunities, and did anything we could to tell people about our work.” Meghan admits that they did not get everything right. “The biggest thing right out of the gate was not focusing more on marketing and sales. We also totally overestimated our growth in the first two years, which threw off our projections.” Still, they kept moving forward. “We continued to push for distribution in more retail stores and added Kroger, Barnes and Noble, and many more. In 2017, we added events to our product line, and that helped us get the word out even further.” Conscious Company Magazine has firmly established itself as the authority in the conscious business movement. The brand has continued to grow beyond the magazine. Today, Conscious Company Media is the first multimedia organization in the United States that specifically focuses on purpose-driven business. In addition to the magazine, they produce the annual Conscious Company Leaders Forum and World-Changing Women’s Summit. The Conscious Company Leaders Forum will take place June 6 through 8 in Scotts Valley, CA. Social Entrepreneur Quotes by Meghan French Dunbar: “The path was insane.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “This is what I was put here to do.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had a lot of love.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “I always wanted to help.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “They were telling us, don’t even think about going into magazines.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “I saw this collaboration between environmental groups and companies.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “I was hooked.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “I went in open and curious.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “It was one of those questions that change your life.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “Things unfold if you start taking steps in the right direction.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “At that moment, the sky was falling.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “It was the gut-check moment for me.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag “I viscerally remember walking into Whole Foods and seeing our magazine.” @MegFrenchDunbar, @ConsciousCoMag Social Entrepreneurship Resources: World-Changing Women’s Summit (Use code WCWS_TONY_10 for an extra 10% off): https://events.bizzabo.com/2019WCWS?promo=WCWS_TONY_10 World-Changing Women’s Podcast: https://consciouscompanymedia.com/world-changing-women-podcast/  Conscious Company Media: https://consciouscompanymedia.com Conscious Company Magazine: https://shop.consciouscompanymedia.com Conscious Company Leaders Forum: https://consciouscompanyleadersforum.com Conscious Company Media on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ConsciousCoMag Conscious Company on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/consciouscomag Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
Top Twelve Popular Podcasts 2018, Jessica Jackley
Jessica Jackley and Reza Aslan are exploring what it means to live in an interfaith family. Note: Between now and the end of the year, we’re counting down the top twelve popular podcast episodes of 2018. It is a people’s choice award, determined by the number of downloads. This interview originally aired on February 1, 2018. The first week of February is Interfaith Harmony Week. Given the heightened friction between religious groups, this celebration of interfaith harmony is crucial. Each year, religious leaders engage in a dialogue based on two common fundamental Commandments; Love of God, and Love of Neighbor. Jessica Jackley is best known for her role as a co-founder of Kiva.org. Kiva is the first peer-to-peer microlending platform. Anyone who has an internet connection and a credit card or PayPal account, you can go to Kiva.org, browse the profiles of entrepreneurs who need a small loan. These loans are often just a few hundred dollars. You can chip in. You can lend $25 toward that loan need. Over time you get repaid. Since Kiva.org launched a little more than 12 years ago, the site has facilitated over $1 billion in loans.  Millions of people in developing countries run microenterprises, from a fisher, to a dressmaker, to someone running a kiosk in a small village. For those entrepreneurs, microloans can be an important source of capital to help them to grow and sustain their businesses. “It’s not as if a lot of folks don’t know how to lift themselves out of poverty,” Jessica explains. “They just don’t have access to the right resources to do so.” A Strained Relationship with Poverty and Business “I’d always had a fascination, and a little bit of a love-hate relationship with the idea of poverty and the poor, as it was presented to me by a lot of well-intentioned organizations,” Jessica says. Nonprofits, NGOs, and people who came to her church painted a picture of sadness, hopelessness, and desperation. These stories made Jessica feel guilty, shameful and panicked. “The role that I was supposed to play was to respond by giving money,” Jessica describes, “letting these organizations go do ‘the real work.’ And then they’d come back and ask for more. “That pattern of hearing the sad story, respond by feeling awful and freaked out, and then reaching into my pocket to give whatever spare change I had so that I could go on with my life…that wasn’t a cycle that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, it made me feel distanced from people who are living in poverty. It very much otherized them. So, this sort of separation happened early on in my life.”  When Jessica attended college, she studied philosophy, poetry, and political science. She avoided business classes. “I thought ‘business is bad. Business is about taking, and I want to be one of the givers’…I even thought, ‘entrepreneurs are the worst. They’re the gain leaders for starting businesses.’” In a moment of serendipity, Jessica’s first job after college was as a temporary employee at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “I felt like I was sleeping with the enemy,” she jokes. However, she quickly realized that she was surrounded by people who wanted to use the power of business to solve the problems that mattered to her. In the Fall of 2003, Dr. Muhammad Yunus gave a guest lecture on campus. Dr. Yunus pioneered the idea of microloans. “It was this real ah-ha moment for me,” Jessica explains. “It shifted things. He talked about the poor in a way that didn’t make me feel terrible. It didn’t feel like there was an agenda to have me play this very limited and particular role in this story.” “It made me think that I could begin my great work in the world the way he had, by sitting down with people and listening to them very carefully.” Jessica reached out to several people, including Brian Lennon, who at the time was running Village Enterprise. Brian gave Jessica the opportunity to come to East Africa and to learn from local entrepreneurs. Village Enterprise provided small grants to people in poverty. Jessica saw first-hand how small amounts of capital could make a big difference. Many of the people who had received grants were ready to start and grow a business, but they needed microloans. Jessica returned to the US to share her idea about giving microcredit loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. She spent many months shopping the idea and gaining feedback. She points to this time as her one small regret. “I took too long waiting for the world to give me permission,” she says. Finally, she partnered with co-founder Matt Flannery, built a website, and returned to East Africa to profile entrepreneurs. In April 2005, Kiva made it’s first seven loans for a total of $3,500. By September of that year, all the loans were repaid. Kiva.org was on its way. By 2010, Jessica left Kiva.org to launch a new company, ProFounder. ProFounder was a crowdfunding platform for small businesses in the US to raise investment capital. The company folded after a little more than two years. Jessica moved to the Collaborative Fund where she remains a Venture Advisor. Today, she is a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. The Role of Faith in Jessica Jackley’s Journey Recently, Jessica has been speaking out more on the role that her religious belief system has had on your life. “Some of the concepts, principles, and the practices that were embedded in me at an early age have allowed me to pursue the things that I believe in…I think of entrepreneurship as, you dream things up, you imagine them, and then you make that real. It’s very much a faith-building exercise.” “I have always felt like my life was tied to something bigger than me. I’ve always felt connected to a higher power.” However, Jessica worries a little about talking about her faith. “It can alienate some people,” she says. Nonetheless, when she looks back at her work with Kiva.org, she says, “I believe I was called to do that.” Rather than practicing religion as an exclusive system, Jessica and her husband, Reza Aslan, practice religious inclusion. Reza is a practicing Muslim. He is also a writer whose books include God: A Human History, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, and Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization. “We have an interfaith marriage and an interfaith family,” Jessica describes. They try to expose their children to a breadth of religious beliefs. “We try to do world religions 101 at home. Our little nickname for that is Home Church.” Jessica and Reza also try to instill a depth of spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, and community. Jessica admits that they don’t have their interfaith practice perfect yet. “We’re learning as we go,” she says. Jessica and Reza are documenting what they are learning on their interfaith journey, hoping to be helpful to other interfaith families. Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Jessica Jackley “It’s not as if a lot of folks don’t know how to lift themselves out of poverty.” @jessicajackley “It made me feel distanced from people who are living in poverty.” @jessicajackley “I thought ‘Business is bad. Business is about taking, and I want to be one of the givers.’” @jessicajackley “He talked about the poor in a way that didn’t make me feel terrible.” @jessicajackley “I took too long waiting for the world to give me permission.” @jessicajackley “I have always felt like my life was tied to something bigger than me.” @jessicajackley “We have an interfaith marriage and an interfaith family” @jessicajackley “We’re learning as we go.” @jessicajackley “The majority of new marriages are interfaith.” @jessicajackley “Start doing something. There’s always a step that you can take.” “Pay attention to what is speaking to you.” @jessicajackley “There are small things you can do every single day to start you on your journey.” @jessicajackley “Don’t be embarrassed about those small beginnings. Just start doing something.” @jessicajackley “Pick your thing and commit.” @jessicajackley Social Entrepreneurship Resources: Jessica Jackley: http://www.jessicajackley.com Jessica Jackley on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessicajackley World Interfaith Harmony Week: http://www.un.org/en/events/interfaithharmonyweek Kiva: http://www.kiva.org Village Enterprise: http://villageenterprise.org Reza Aslan: http://rezaaslan.com Book: Clay Water Brick: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least: http://amzn.to/2GEi4dp Book: God: A Human History: http://amzn.to/2nxXC5f Book: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth: http://amzn.to/2EvcVUs Book: Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in the Age of Globalization: http://amzn.to/2FAjXqh Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
Top Twelve Popular Podcasts 2018, Lulu Cerone, LemonAID Warriors
LemonAID Warriors is a youth empowerment program that gives young people the tools they need to turn their compassion into action and raise funds and awareness for causes that they care about Note: Between now and the end of the year, we’re counting down the top twelve popular podcast episodes of 2018. It is a people’s choice award, determined by the number of downloads. This interview originally aired on March 3, 2018. Lulu Cerone was an entrepreneur from an early age. At the age of six, she opened her first lemonade stand. At first, she used the money to buy toys or candy. But her mom made a suggestion. Why not use the profits to help someone else? Lulu looked into it and found an animal shelter that needed the funds. “This crazy thing happened,” Lulu said. “This crazy thing I was doing with my friends took on this whole new meaning. It became a lot more fun. My friends and I became more engaged. We felt like what we were doing was meaningful.” Lulu became interested in community service. However, she had a hard time finding opportunities to serve at a young age. Most organizations require volunteers to be 16 to 18 years old. She found a few opportunities through her school. Her parents tried helping her to find opportunities. Lulu explains, “It’s hard to know how to raise effective global citizens as a parent.” In 2010, when an earthquake struck Haiti, Lulu was ten years old. She says, “That was the first time I was aware of a global tragedy. I remember being online with my mom and looking at pictures of kids whose lives had been completely changed by the earthquake. I had this strong urge to help.” When Lulu went to school, she challenged the boys to a Boys vs. Girls LemonAID fundraising competition. Her fifth-grade class raised just over $4,000 in two weeks. This early success has had a ripple effect. “I found it spinning out of my control quickly,” Lulu says. She looked back at what worked with the Lemonade stands and came up with the bigger idea – PhilanthroParties. A PhilanthroParty is any gathering with a social purpose behind it. Lulu started an organization, LemonAID Warriors to spread this idea of youth empowerment. She wrote a book, PhilanthroParties!: A Party-Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back. “This is such a simple idea, but people latched onto it,” Lulu says. “There is power in simplicity.” Lulu has attracted partnerships for her business. She partnered with Mattel and Forever 21. She was recognized as a L’Oréal Woman of Worth. She is currently a freshman in college as she continues to develop her nonprofit. Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Lulu Cerone “Growing up, I had a passion for community service.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “Young people can get involved.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “They can do it in fun and simple ways that integrate social action into their social life.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “That’s when I had my first PhilanthroParty.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “It was the first time my friends and I felt like we could be agents of change.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “I did not set out to start a nonprofit organization.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “This is such a simple idea, but people latched onto it.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “There is power in simplicity.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “LemonAID Warriors is youth-driven and community-based.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “It was incredible being in eighth grade and having Mattel looking to me.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior “See yourself as an important agent of change.” @Lulucerone @lemonaidwarrior Social Entrepreneurship Resources: LemonAID Warriors: http://www.lemonaidwarriors.com/ Book: PhilanthroParties!: A Party-Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back: http://philanthropartiesbook.com L’Oréal Women of Worth:https://www.lorealparisusa.com/women-of-worth.aspx Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
Social Entrepreneur Live, Part 4 with Caroline Karanja, 26 Letters
26 Letters helps organizations put data and action behind their equity initiatives. A recruiter for a Fortune 500 company once told me, “Minnesota is one of the hardest places to recruit people to. It’s also one of the hardest places to recruit people from.” Once people experience Minnesota, it’s hard to leave. And no wonder. Nineteen Fortune 500 companies call Minnesota home. The startup scene is strong. The annual Twin Cities Startup Week attracts thousands of people. Look at almost any ranking of states and cities, and you’ll find Minnesota near the top. The Trust for Public Land ranked Minneapolis first in large city park systems. And in second place, just across the river is St. Paul. Minneapolis was ranked by Redfin as the best city for cycling. US News & World Report has created a cottage industry of ranking lists. They rank Minnesota second overall among the 50 states. Minnesota is #2 in quality of life, #3 in opportunity, #6 in infrastructure, and #7 in Healthcare. Minnesota ranks #13 in education. 58 of America's best high schools are in Minnesota. And yet, women and people of color can have a much different experience in Minnesota. For example, the website 24/7 Wall Street produces an annual report on racial disparities. This year’s report ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul as the fourth worst metropolitan area for black people. According to the report: While the 6.0% white poverty rate in Minneapolis is far lower than the comparable 10.6% national figure, the 32.0% black poverty rate is above the 26.2% national figure. Additionally, the typical black household in the area earns $31,653 a year, just 41.5% of the white median household income of $76,208. Disparity in homeownership is even more stark. The 24.6% black homeownership rate in the Twin Cities metro area is less than a third of the 75.8% white homeownership rate. Closing the Equity Gap in Organizations Most Minnesota business leaders I meet seem to be aware of this problem and want to do something about it. They realize the importance of creating an equitable, inclusive, engaging, and productive workplace. But that requires three things: Measurement of the current status of equity in the organization. A set of goals. A plan to get there. That is where 26 Letters comes in. 26 Letters is a data insights and analytics startup that helps organizations recruit, retain, and grow top talent in today's workforce. They provide education and training with a data-driven approach. 26 Letters Co-Founder Caroline Karanja explains, “A lot of times, we have these great panels and discussions. What are we going to do to narrow the education gap? What are we going to do to retain more professionals of color and women? What we do is come in and help you figure out what that means for your organization. What we want to do is help organizations put data and action behind their equity initiatives.” “When we look at what our cities are going to look like in the next two years, and then the next twenty years, we’re talking about more people of color, more immigrant communities. More and more of those folks are walking into our workforce and our classrooms.” To help organizations understand their current state of equity, 26 Letters provides an assessment. This helps organizations to find the key areas for improvement. 26 Letters provides Software as a Service with consulting. 26 Letters is part of the inaugural cohort of Lunar Startups. Social Entrepreneur Live! This interview is one of four conducted on the evening of October 10, 2018. The event was called Social Entrepreneur Live! It was hosted by Acara, a program of the Institute on the Environment and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The event was part of the Twin Cities Startup Week. Special thanks to our guests, Acara, the University of Minnesota, and those who came out to see us live. Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Caroline Karanja: “What we want to do is help organizations put data and action behind their equity initiatives.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “At an organization level, we’re able to help put together initiatives to address the systematic challenges.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I have the weirdest journey.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I ended up teaching myself to code to help destress.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I’ve always been interested in technology.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I wanted to work in the social justice space.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I got my first consulting gig working around Girls in STEM.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I started getting more coffee dates talking about employee inclusion, hiring, and diversity.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I ran Geekettes for a while.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I did Hack the Gap.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I had one person who had a three-page job description in ten-point font.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “One side of the plan is to help folks expand their network.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “The data will always tell you where you’re at.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “Those numbers don’t say anything positive, but then that gives you the opportunity to address it.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “Technology makes things scalable.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “I put myself in opportunities where I found myself trying new things and learning new things.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “If you start something, then you’re running it, and you have to figure out how to run it.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo “It is 100% bootstrapped.” @Caroline_Karanj @26LettersCo Social Entrepreneurship Resources: 26 Letters: http://www.26letters.co 26 Letters on Twitter: https://twitter.com/26LettersCo Lunar Startups: http://lunarstartups.org Geekettes Twin Cities: http://www.geekettes.io/cities/twincities Hack the Gap: https://www.hackthegap.com 24/7 Wall Street, “The Worst Cities for Black Americans”: https://247wallst.com/special-report/2018/11/09/the-worst-cities-for-black-americans-4/ Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
The Power of Telling Your Secret, with Aneela Idnani Kumar, HabitAware
HabitAware makes Keen, a smart bracelet to help manage Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs). For 20 years, Aneela Idnani Kumar had a secret. She spent her life in shame and embarrassment. One day, unexpectedly, her secret came to light. This moment transformed her life, and in the process, helped thousands of others. Aneela grew up in a somewhat atypical Indian American household. “My parents came to this country in the 1970s with $500 and one suitcase. They made their way to upper middle class. My mom broke away from tradition as a dentist with her professional practice. In contrast, my father worked primarily from a home office and was in charge of house cleaning. He also made a pretty mean chicken and rice. Both of my parents provided solid examples of making it together as self-made entrepreneurs.” As a child, Aneela was often described as soft-spoken or shy. “Now I recognize I had anxiety,” she explains. “We just didn't have the words for it back in the 80s.” Aneela loved math, science, and art. She had a few close friends. However, she says “I never really felt like I fit in. I spent my alone time with the TV as my babysitter. I preferred the sidelines to the limelight.” As an early teen, Aneela had a secret. She suffered from a debilitating mental health disorder that resulted in compulsive hair pulling. The condition is called trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is a mental condition that fits into the general category of Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs). BFRBs are a debilitating mental health disorder. Behaviors may also include skin picking (dermatillomania), and compulsive nail biting (onychophagia). These behaviors may result in baldness, skin lesions, and missing fingernails. Shame, guilt, and fear of judgment prevent people from discussing BFRBs. Therefore, BFRBs share the odd combination of being common yet very misunderstood. This was Aneela’s experience for 20 years. “I hid for a very long time,” Aneela says. “Some people think it’s a choice. It’s not. It’s automatic. It’s very trance-like.” In her third year of marriage, Aneela’s husband Sameer noticed that her eyebrows were missing. So, he asked her what had happened. “After what felt like hours of being like a deer in the headlights, I said, I have trichotillomania, which is the medical name for the hair-pulling disorder.” Sameer encouraged Aneela to see therapy, which she did. “It was super helpful,” she says. “One day I was sitting on the couch watching TV and started pulling in my moments of boredom. He grabbed my hand to gently take it away. I just wanted to punch him,” she laughs. She turned to her husband and said, “I wish I had something that notified me, that wasn’t you.” As she said this to Sameer, “I put my fingers around my wrist. That was the ah-ha moment for this idea.” Soon afterward, Aneela and Sameer connected with Kirk Klobe. “He tweeted about something,” Aneela says. “I looked at his profile, and it said Hopkins, MN.” Sameer and Aneela invited Kirk to join them at a hack-a-thon put on by IoTFuse. It was there that they met John Pritchard. Together, the team developed a prototype. This prototype eventually led to the formation of their company, HabitAware, and their first product, Keen. Keen allows users to retrain their brain by vibrating when it detects a specifically trained behavior. The vibration interrupts the behavior, brings the user into awareness, and allows them to make healthier choices. At first, the team used 3D Printers and hand-soldered circuits to build prototypes to test. They found testers among their families and friends. They found that the prototypes worked. “It gave us enough confidence, we decided to make a beta version,” Aneela says. As they were gaining confidence, they attended an event at the University of Minnesota. The speaker was the Managing Director of HAX, the world’s first and largest hardware accelerator, based in Shenzhen, China. The Managing Director encouraged the team to apply for HAX. They did and were accepted. “That’s when we said, it’s time to quit jobs, and it’s time to move to China.” They were in China for four months. “HAX provided us with mechanical engineering support, graphic design support, industrial design support…they were really an extension of the team.” In another moment of serendipity, Aneela attended the Graveti Summit where they keynote speaker happened to be Arlan Hamilton, the Founder and Managing Partner at BackStage Capital, a VC fund investing in underestimated founders. After meeting Aneela, Arlan decided to invest in HabitAware. More recently, HabitAware won a total of $100,000 in prizes at the MN Cup. They won $20,000 as the minority entrepreneur with an innovative business concept. This award was sponsored by the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) and JP Morgan Chase. HabitAware also won $30,000 in the High-Tech division; and the $50,000 overall grand prize. To sell the first products, HabitAware ran a pre-order campaign. They advertised through Facebook. “When people find out they’re not alone, they go searching for people like them,” Aneela explains. “They go to Doctor Google and Facebook, and they find one another.” Today, people order the Keen device on the HabitAware website. They also have international distributors. HabitAware has been featured on TechCrunch, The Washington Post, Prevention Magazine and more. Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Aneela Idnani Kumar: “My parents moved to New York in 1975 with $500 and one suitcase.” @ak310i @HabitAware “I used to play office instead of house.” @ak310i @HabitAware “Now I recognize I had anxiety. We just didn't have the words for it back in the 80s.” @ak310i @HabitAware “I hid for a very long time. Some people think it’s a choice. It’s not. It’s automatic. It’s very trance-like.” @ak310i @HabitAware “After what felt like hours of being like a deer in the headlights, I said, I have trichotillomania, which is the medical name for the hair-pulling disorder.” @ak310i @HabitAware “I learned by doing.” @ak310i @HabitAware “We started nights and weekends. We invested in ourselves.” @ak310i @HabitAware “How can we leverage our brand voice to make a change?” @ak310i @HabitAware “If you have an opportunity to work at an advertising agency, it is entrepreneurship.” @ak310i @HabitAware “Mentorship is something that I don’t actually believe in. It’s about building relationships with people you trust.” @ak310i @HabitAware “Fundraising is about the dollars, but it’s also about the emotion. We have friends and family who believe in what we’re doing.” @ak310i @HabitAware “In Minneapolis and Minnesota, a lot of people have had a hand in it.” @ak310i @HabitAware “Be open to learning. Be open to failing. Be open to finding the lesson in the mistake.” @ak310i @HabitAware “Every closed chapter opens the next page.” @ak310i @HabitAware “Sometimes you have to choose, which is the greater problem?” @ak310i @HabitAware “I was running myself into the ground.” @ak310i @HabitAware “Look around and see what problems are in the world and try to solve it.” @ak310i @HabitAware Social Entrepreneurship Resources: HabitAware: https://habitaware.com HabitAware on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HabitAware HabitAware on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/habitaware HabitAware on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HabitAware IoTFuse: https://iotfuse.com HAX Accelerator: https://hax.co Graveti: http://www.graveti.com Arlan Hamilton: https://twitter.com/ArlanWasHere BackStage Capital: https://backstagecapital.com MN Cup: https://carlsonschool.umn.edu/mn-cup Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
Celebrating the Gifts of Femininity, with Amy Stanton and Catherine Connors, The Feminine Revolution
The Feminine Revolution is a new book that boldly declares, feminine values are powerful. Run like a girl. Fight like a girl. Throw like a girl. Author Catherine Connors notes, “If you finish any sentence with ‘like a girl,’ it’s rarely a positive one.” And yet, as she and co-author Amy Stanton have discovered, in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, feminine qualities can be superpowers. Connor and Stanton explore the gifts of femininity in their new book, The Feminine Revolution: 21 Ways to Ignite the Power of Your Femininity for a Brighter Life and a Better World. Chapter by chapter, they dare women to be emotional, own their intuition, and show their weaknesses. As the title implies, “Tapping into your femininity in a meaningful way can truly change your life,” says Stanton. This book guides women and men through an understanding of the power of feminine virtues. “It’s not just important for women and girls to be in touch with those values, but it is for boys and men as well,” explains Connors. “While writing this book, I had both my daughter and son in mind.” The Feminine Revolution is about more than women’s equality. Equality starts with women recognizing their unique strengths. According to Connors, “If we want to get to an equal world, we have to start with ourselves.” “Who thought that crying could be described as powerful?” Stanton adds. “Being mothering can be powerful.” Chapter by chapter the authors take on taboo topics such as being agreeable or being controlling. They show how, in a rapidly changing world, feminine traits are leadership traits. A Unique Femininity Amy Stanton’s journey to this book started several years ago. Stanton is a business leader who specializes in marketing to and building brand for women. She leads a woman-owned business. And yet, she was struggling with what it meant to be authentic and sensitive at work, while also being a powerful leader. As her thoughts formed, she gave a TEDx talk. “I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go and watch it,” she laughs. Still, the seed of an idea was there. She knew she was on to something and she knew she was not alone. A mutual friend introduced Stanton to Catherine Connors. Connors describes herself as a writer, an entrepreneur, an activist, and a mother. She blogs at the website Her Bad Mother. Her work includes leadership positions at Disney and Babble Media. She has also published academic research on the place of women and girls in the history of social thought. When Stanton and Connors met, “We ended up talking for three and a half hours,” Connors recalls. They each had a passion for the power of femininity. They each had a unique, sometimes opposite viewpoint. Instead of being discouraged by their different perspectives, they saw it as a gift. Stanton explains, “We want to spark a conversation among women about what authentic femininity means to each of us.” As they co-wrote the book, each author took a chapter that made them feel uncomfortable. They leaned hard into what it means to cry or to dance. It was in this discomfort that they learned the most. That is what they encourage the readers to do. They challenge the readers, “Find the chapter that makes you feel the most resistant and start there.” The Feminine Revolution is available today. Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Amy Stanton and Catherine Connors: “Tapping into your femininity in a meaningful way can truly change your life.” @amykstanton @femrevolutionbk “I had both my daughter and son in mind.” @herbadmother @femrevolutionbk “It’s not just important for women and girls to be in touch with those values, but it is for boys and men as well.” @herbadmother @femrevolutionbk “This is about celebrating our gifts.” @amykstanton @femrevolutionbk “If we want to get to a more equal world, we have to start with ourselves.” @herbadmother @femrevolutionbk “If you finish any sentence with ‘like a girl,’ it’s rarely a positive one.” @herbadmother @femrevolutionbk “We ended up talking for 3 ½ hours.” @herbadmother @femrevolutionbk “Feminine values are powerful.” @herbadmother @femrevolutionbk “Who thought that crying could be described as powerful?” @amykstanton @femrevolutionbk “Being mothering can be powerful.” @amykstanton @femrevolutionbk “Some people resist the idea of femininity because they think it’s a step backwards.” @amykstanton @femrevolutionbk “We want to spark a conversation among women about what authentic femininity means to each of us.” @amykstanton @femrevolutionbk “I’ve asked myself, what’s the feminine approach? How can I bring grace to this situation?” @amykstanton @femrevolutionbk “For me, it was me broadly understanding my own femininity.” @herbadmother @femrevolutionbk “Find the chapter that makes you feel the most resistant.” @herbadmother @femrevolutionbk Social Entrepreneurship Resources: Book: The Feminine Revolution: 21 Ways to Ignite the Power of Your Femininity for a Brighter Life and a Better World: https://amzn.to/2JEQBKw The Feminine Revolution website: https://femininerevolutionbook.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/femininerevolutionbook Twitter: https://twitter.com/femrevolutionbk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/femininerevolutionbook Amy Stanton, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amykstanton Amy Stanton, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amykstanton Amy Stanton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/amykstanton Catherine Connors, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/herbadmother Catherine Connors, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/herbadmother Catherine Connors, Twitter: https://twitter.com/herbadmother Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
Social Entrepreneur Live, Part 2, Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa
Señoras de Salsa makes bold, authentic Mexican salsa that generates income for Latina women. Latina women suffer from the largest pay gap of any group. According to the latest report from the US Department of Labor, the average median weekly earnings for a white man is $1,004. In that same period, white women earned $825, or 82% of a white man’s earnings. Latino men earned $722, or 72%, while Latina women earned $612, or 62%. Danielle Wojdyla, Founder of Señoras de Salsa, cares deeply about this issue. “We don't all have the same opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she says. “Women get messages all the time, direct and indirect, of not being enough. Not strong enough, not smart enough, not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not good enough, and on, and on.” To help close the wage gap and empower Latina women, Danielle launched Señoras de Salsa in 2017. Señoras de Salsa generates profit through their fresh refrigerated salsas. According to Danielle, “We created a sustainable business model that can support fair wages for the work done.” But their impact goes beyond wages. Danielle says “We foster a positive and safe work environment. We use mindful leadership, positive reinforcement, and team building to support each other.” Danielle’s Path to Purpose Danielle’s family history shaped her sense of purpose. “My grandparents on my mom's side moved to Minnesota after WWII. They came from Poland by way of Germany and concentration camps and forced labor camps. They survived some of the worst of humanity, only to come out with an amazing sense of compassion and love for their fellow human.” As a child, Danielle was immersed in a rich cultural experience. “I was born in Minneapolis. My dad joined the Navy after I was born, so we moved every three years. As a kid, I had the chance to live in Cuba, Texas, Chicago, and Puerto Rico. I learned to speak Spanish in Puerto Rico and certainly developed an affection for Latino culture. “My neighborhood and friends were very diverse. I lived with black, Hispanic, Asian, East Indian people. Part of our parents' jobs was being respectful to each person. If you or anyone in your family created problems, it could be directly reported to your parent’s job. It wasn't until coming back to the civilian world for college, I slowly recognized with disillusionment that the world is not this way. I know that humanity has the potential to behave differently.” Her experience in the Girl Scouts also influenced Danielle. “I am an only child. Without brothers or sisters to bond with and having to move every three years, Girl Scouts became a constant in my life. I think Girl Scouts strongly instilled in me a deep love for nature and the environment, respect for every living person, and a responsibility to make the world a better place than I found it.” Food Finds a Way As Danielle entered the University of Minnesota, her love of food led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Agronomy and Food Science, followed by a master’s degree in Applied Plant Science. After graduation, she went to work for General Mills. “For seven years, I was a food scientist,” Danielle explains. Though she learned a great deal, she says, “That didn’t fill me up. At the end of the day, I was working for the shareholder.” She left her corporate job to go to work for a small nonprofit as their Director of Social Enterprise. “Being a new role, I had to help define what was in scope and out of scope. I developed some important relationships from my experience.” Danielle trained adults with barriers to employment. Through her work, she met Latina women who were struggling to make a living. When Danielle was laid off from her non-profit job, she wanted to continue to work with three Latina women she had met. “I had heard about a new opportunity called Maker to Market,” Danielle recalls. Maker to Market is sponsored by Lakewinds Food Co-op and The Good Acre kitchen and wholesaler. “I told the other women about the opportunity and asked them if they were interested in giving a salsa business a chance. They said yes. We applied and were accepted!” In the Maker to Market accelerator program, Danielle and her co-founders learned about the business of food from ingredient sourcing to sales forecasting. They learned from mentors and hands-on experience selling in stores. To launch Señoras de Salsa, Danielle had to finance the business. “I sat down and had a discussion with my financial partner, my husband, about what starting a business could mean for us. He was very supportive of leaning on his income and benefits so that I could fund this opportunity.” More Sales, More Impact Señoras de Salsa has an impact by how they staff, empowering Latina women. They also create an impact by how they source ethical, organic, local, sustainable food. Their impact is only limited by how much they sell. “Sales power reinvestment and growth, which is slowly built. This limits our team size,” Danielle explains. “We are working on growing our sales to be able to both grow our hours in the kitchen as well as pave the way for the potential to scale to larger methods of distribution and manufacturing.” Danielle sees another challenge to growth. She understands the importance of storytelling, especially in a social business. “The challenge is, how do you share the story of the business and the women in a way that is respectful of their lives and privacy?” Despite these challenges, Señoras de Salsa continues to grow in volume and recognition. This year they received a grant from the UN Global Shapers. Benefiting from the Ecosystem “The food ecosystem in Minnesota is awesome,” Danielle says. She received mentoring from Kelly McManus of Dumpling & Strand; Brenda Langton of SpoonRiver; Jill Holter at Lakewinds Co-op; and Emily Fortener at The Good Acre. She has also received coaching from other social entrepreneurs such as Amanda LaGrange of TechDump. Danielle has been inspired by social enterprises such as Women's Bean Project, Homeboy Industries, and Two Betty's Green Clean. She is also encouraged by the success of food companies such as Seven Sundays, Dumpling & Strand, Mazaah, and Sin Fronteras. And now, with the investment from Global Shapers, Danielle has discovered a new network of support. The Reward is in the Journey “On the days that we are all in the kitchen, making salsa together, this is pure enjoyment,” Danielle says. “Sure, it can be tough work. Picking up fifty-pound boxes of tomatillos, stirring big pots of simmering tomatoes, standing on our feet for hours at a time is not easy. But we get the chance to talk about our lives, to laugh, to feel the camaraderie. And at the end of the day, we feel proud of ourselves because we did all the hard work, a group of strong Señoras.” Social Entrepreneur Live! This interview is one of four conducted on the evening of October 10, 2018. The event was called Social Entrepreneur Live! It was hosted by Acara, a program of the Institute on the Environment and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The event was part of the Twin Cities Startup Week. Special thanks to our guests, Acara, the University of Minnesota, and those who came out to see us live. Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Danielle Wojdyla: “The pay gap for Latina women is the largest of any group.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “We don't all have the same opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “Women get messages all the time, direct and indirect, of not being enough.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “I wanted to create a business model where we could make a product and it would be able to pay a fair income.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “I know that humanity has the potential to behave differently.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “Girl Scouts became a constant in my life.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “We are enough. It’s really important to have that reminder.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “It was a little bit of serendipity. The next week I heard about an incubator called Maker to Market.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “The salsa we make is awesome.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “Network, network, network.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa “I walk around with a lot of privilege.” Danielle Wojdyla, Señoras de Salsa Social Entrepreneurship Resources: Señoras de Salsa: https://www.senorasdesalsa.com Señoras de Salsa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/senorasdesalsa Señoras de Salsa on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/senorasdesalsa Maker to Market: https://makertomarketmn.com Lakewood Food Co-op: https://www.lakewinds.coop The Good Acre: https://thegoodacre.org Global Shapers Minneapolis: https://www.globalshapers.org/hubs/minneapolis-hub Acara: http://acara.umn.edu Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book  
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Comments (2)

Trudi Lawrie

fantastic. glad to have found you. can't wait to learn more

Oct 10th
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Tony Loyd

Trudi Lawrie Thanks, Trudi. I'm glad you found us too. :-)

Nov 19th
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