Social Change Nation's Podcast | Make a dollar AND a difference

Hey Change Nation, we are back with our series featuring the ‘Best of SCN’! This series is focused on taking you back to some of our early days in podcasting and sharing the inspiring and challenging stories of our early entrepreneurs! This week we are featuring an entrepreneur who found his calling and purpose for changing the world through entrepreneurship. CEO and Co-founder of EdenWorks, Jason Green, was able to use his background knowledge of bioengineering and physical sciences to create a sustainable, healthy way for growing food in urban cities. Just like his mantra says, “Everything that we know is broken, suboptimal, and so we must start from scratch.” This is exactly the mindset Jason used to develop his vision of rooftop gardens in cities as a way to provide more healthy sustainable food options! Check into the podcast below to learn more about his story and how EdenWorks operates!

 

Show Notes:

  1. Who is your Hero?

-Elon Musk

 

  1. What is one tool you would recommend to others that has helped your business grow?

-Welding! Helps to build new farm prototypes and products.

 

  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

-The challenge vs. opportunity. There is no such thing as a bad experience, everything is an opportunity to learn.

                                   

  1. What is the one thing everyone can do right now to start changing the world?

-Everything you think you know might be wrong. You have to challenge everything you hear and that seems obvious to learn more. Everything is bound for change in reality.

 

Direct download: Jason_Green_EdenWorks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:08am CST

Hey Change Nation, we are back with our series featuring the ‘Best of SCN’! This series is focused on taking you back to some of our early days in podcasting and sharing the inspiring and challenging stories of our early entrepreneurs! This week we are featuring an entrepreneur whose social business model actually provides the gift of clear sight to those with vision impairments! Founder of Panda Sunglasses, Vincent Ko, speaks about the start of his social venture and how it is impacting the sight of the world! Panda Sunglasses creates unique, hand-crafted sunglasses that then provide medical eye exams and prescription glasses to the vision impaired through the buy-one give-one model! Vincent also introduces us to an eye-opening quote that can inspire any entrepreneur to accomplish their goal of a social venture business model. Check out more of his story and the impact of Panda Sunglasses in the podcast!

 

Show Notes:

  1. Who is your Hero?

-Tony Shea, a guy who ask is there a better way and how can I do something different.

  1. What is one tool you would recommend to others that has helped your business grow?

-MOT- Most Important Task. Technology and other distractions can keep you too busy, but if you limit yourself to five most important tasks to complete you will be more productive!

-The Producerati.com - an online tool that allows you to collaborate with others through working for 25 minutes than taking a 5 minute break.

  1. What is the best stress relief for you?

-Traveling! It is the best “tool” to help you re-focus, experience new things, and learn more about your business and yourself.

 

  1. What is the one thing everyone can do right now to start changing the world?

-”There has to be a better way.” -Start asking yourself if there is a better way to do something and eventually you will start finding solutions and new ideas!

 

Get in touch with Vincent and his team: zookeeper@wearpanda.com

 

Direct download: Vincent_Ko_of_Panda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am CST

Hey Change Nation, we are back with our series featuring the ‘Best of SCN’! This series is focused on taking you back to some of our early days in podcasting and sharing the inspiring and challenging stories of our early entrepreneurs! This week we are featuring an entrepreneur who is not only a pioneer to many other startups and change agents, but also is one the individuals who has helped shape and inspire me to become more involved in the ‘social good’ space. Get ready to meet... Jared Angaza! This guys has devoted countless hours to serving others and finding innovative ways to adapt as changes occur in social good and social business! From a young age, Jared has loved telling stories in order to connect with others on a deeper level. He seeks to inspire others through his creative agency and blog writing, while also helping others tell the story of their entrepreneurial journey. Check into the podcast below to hear great advice from a seasoned change agent with a fire for social change that will get you even more excited about your own journey ahead!  

 

Visit Jared’s website HERE!

 

 

Show Notes:

  1. What is the best book you have ever read?

-The Art of War   

  1. What is one tool you would recommend to others that has helped your business grow?

-Dropbox, Redbooth (task management), and Evernote!

  1. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

-My parents have always taught me to believe in myself, the power of one, and the interconnectivity of the world. Also, love deeply to everything and everyone.

  1. What is the one thing everyone can do right now to start changing the world?

-Expect that the dreams you have and the movement that you want to make is actually going to happen. If you move with that in mind, dream big, and believe it can happen, that is how big movements are started. Believe it can be done and it will be done!

Direct download: Jared_Angaza_talks_Change_Agency.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm CST

Hey Change Nation, we are back with our series featuring the ‘Best of SCN’! This series is focused on taking you back to some of our early days in podcasting and sharing the inspiring and challenging stories of our early entrepreneurs! This week we are featuring an entrepreneur who found a new use for an old product- a great way to be innovative! Co-founder Zach Holzapfel and his team realized that by implementing a social mission into their business, they could not only impact consumers of the product, but also others in the world who need resources for a better livelihood, thus, Mission Belt was formed! This company has the one belt that can give you a perfect fit every time. How you ask? No holes, no size requirements! The belts innovative design allows a new way to wear an old product without showing wear and tear! Even better yet, for every belt sold, Mission Belt donates $1 to the Kiva foundation, a peer-to-peer non-profit organizations whose mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty! Check into the podcast below to learn more about Mission Belt!  

 

Show Notes:

1. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

-Be your authentic self. Be authentic!  

 

2. What is one magazine you recommend we should all subscribe to?

-The Economist -great ideas for businesses to keep moving and look for new ideas and ways to do things!

 

3. What is your favorite thing to do for a fun escape?

-Hitting up any body of water, river, lake, or pool and just chill out.

 

4. What is one tool you would recommend to others that has helped your business grow

-Google Docs!

 

5. What is the one thing everyone can do right now to start changing the world?

-Be a producer. Pay your own way and help someone else along the way. You can’t get anywhere waiting around for something to happen, you have to go out there and make it happen!

 

Direct download: ZAch_H_of_Mission_Belt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:13am CST

Last week in social entre 101 we talked about crowdfunding. (if you missed it, click here to check out the audio version) If crowdfunding platforms are an amateur sport, venture capital is where the professionals go to play. That’s not to say you shouldn’t explore this option as a new startup, but it is a game that is played by a vastly different set of rules than the crowdfunding game. If you’ve never heard of venture capital before, it’s essentially where someone (or some business) has a lot of free cash to invest.  They then give you that cash so you can build a product, pay salaries, market, or anything else you need to do to get your business off the ground.  In exchange for this cash infusion, the investors will want to take a percentage of your company.  That percentage will vary depending on the amount of money invested and how generous the investors are. 
 
Make no mistake, venture capitalists are primarily in this game to generate big financial returns for themselves. This means they’ll only invest in you if you convince them that you have a good chance of building a profitable company. Fortunately for us, a new generation of socially minded investor is entering the market.  These cats will still be giving you money to get a big financial return for themselves, but they are also genuinely interested in the social impact you will make. 

One of the biggest benefits of venture capital will come in the form of mentorship.  Because these investors have an interest in seeing your company succeed, they will usually come on board to mentor you as you grow your cause-based business. When you are negotiating with them, you’ll have the ability to propose the terms on how much mentorship will be involved.  In my opinion, the mentorship and networks created by a strong investor relationship can be even more valuable than the money itself.  If you go after venture capital, be sure you build mentorship in as part of the agreement.

Important note: My mission in this section is to talk about the unique needs you’ll have as a social entrepreneur seeking venture capital.  But I’m not a venture capital expert; you need to get your hands on more exhaustive resources if you go down this road.  I recommend The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital by Andrew Romans.  It’s a proven resource that’ll get you all the tools you need to understand the world of venture capital.  Another great book on the subject is: What Every Angel Investor Wants you to Know by Brian Cohen.

Once you have that understanding, you’ll be happy to know that there are venture capital funds out there specifically geared toward finding and funding cause based businesses like ours.  Let’s have a look at the top five:
 
Note: this list is constantly growing, so I keep all my resource lists up to date atwww.socialchangenation.com/resources/
 
1.) Acumen Fund – This is one of the best known cause driven investment funds out there.  It’s also one of the more competitive, but if you’re working to create social good in Latin America, Africa, India, or Pakistan, you can’t beat having these cats in your corner.  Even if you’re not going to be working in these regions, I’d highly recommend reading up on Acumen because they have some great resources and insight on social enterprise investing.
 
2.) Investors Circle – This is the largest and most active investor in early stage social entrepreneurs.  I also really like that they serve as a ‘matchmaker’ of sorts to pair social entrepreneurs with investors that best fit them.  With $200 Million invested in over 300 social ventures, these cats are definitely worth looking into.
 
3.) Good Capital – Investments primarily focus on ventures that seek to create innovative, market based solutions to poverty and income inequality. They are especially notable for their network of mentors and investors who can help you not only with cash, but with guidance. 
 
4.) City Light Capital – I really like this crew.  Many of them were traditional financial advisers who were deeply impacted by the events of 9/11. Those events caused them to shift gears and start investing in resolving society’s most pressing problems. The result is a caring team of investors who have a nose for sniffing out entrepreneurs ready to make a dollar AND a difference.   
 
5.) Skoll Foundation – This foundation isn’t atraditional venture capitalist, rather, they tend to issue grants (which don’t take a portion of your company), below market rate loans, or some combination of both.  Better yet, Skoll is one of the best known names in Social Entrepreneurship.  Their network is phenomenally robust, but be ready for increased competition.

Let me know as you have questions on this, and keep it real.

P.S. If you haven't checked in with me in awhile, hit reply and get me a quick update!

-Josh
@joshschukman

Direct download: Venture_capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am CST

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