Capitalism and Entrepreneurship for Change

In defence of capitalism and entrepreneurs

There are many drawbacks to capitalism. But capitalism and entrepreneurship are proven to still be the best way people around the world can progress forwards.

A handful of greedy people (mainly within banks) have fundamentally created the financial mess that we are in. But what people have got to be careful of (and Im not biased!) is not dismissing every single entrepreneur out there – the restaurant owners, the street vendors, the start-ups, even the airline owners, because of the actions of the unscrupulous few.

It is through the capitalist system that people get paid, hospitals get built, innovative ideas become reality and young people get educated. Yet the way some of the press and some politicians talk, there is a danger of a complete dismissal of capitalism and a complete swing in the other direction.

Luke Johnson, a brilliant entrepreneur who also happens to be a great writer and thinker, wrote on this subject in the Financial Times recently, and I agree with him wholeheartedly.

He said: Possibly, capitalism is poor at promoting the cause and explaining its merits.

No doubt most highly successful entrepreneurs are tough individuals. Some break the rules, but damning an entire class for the high-profile errors of the few is destructive and ill-judged.

It is becoming fashionable now to try to knock entrepreneurs, the very people who are going to create the jobs of the future. Just being an entrepreneur, making a difference to other peoples lives is a tremendous thing to do, but on top of that, ideally each company should become a force for good, as I explained in my recent book. Lets continue to screw business as usual.

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TOMS: Profile of an Impact Brand

TomsTOMS Shoes, Eyewear and Clothing Are available internationally from: | | | | | |

Founded in 2006, TOMS is a for-profit company based in Santa Monica, California, that operates TOMS Shoes, TOMS Eyewear and the non-profit subsidiary, Friends of TOMS. The company was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, an entrepreneur from Arlington, Texas. Giving shoes to the same children on a regular basis is the idea upon which TOMS was started, and is what truly improves the lives of children and their communities.

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Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One, which has turned into a global movement.


“TOMS was founded on a simple premise: With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One®. With our customers and Giving Partners, we’re transforming everyday purchases into a force of good around the world.”


Big Idea:   Toms’ big idea was the “one for one concept” business model, referring to the company’s promise to deliver a pair of free, new shoes to a child in need for every sale of their retail product.  With every product you purchase from TOMS Shoes, Eyewear or Clothing we will help a person in need. One for One

  • Sector: Manufacturing & Retail
  • Niche(s): Shoes, Eyewear, Clothing
  • Revenue Model(s): Retail Sales
  • Distribution Channels:


While traveling in Argentina in 2006, Blake witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes. His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon turned into the simple business idea that provided the powerful foundation for TOMS.

Since 2006 TOMS has:

  • Given 10 million pairs of shoes to needy children in Argentina, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Rwanda, South Africa, the United States and 59 countries around the world and expects to give away 10 million more by 2015
  • Developed a network of Giving Partners in 60+ countries, including the United States
  • Grown beyond producing shoes now selling eyewear and apparel globally, including more than more than 150,000 pairs of sunglasses since 2012–and in turn has helped deliver eye care to more than 150,000 people in 13 countries
  • Created a self-sustaining business that is projecting sales of over $300M for 2013

“‘What could Toms do better?’” Blake asks…

“I’ve learned that the keys to poverty alleviation are education and jobs. And we now have the resources to put investment behind this. Maybe five years from now, we’ll be able to say it’s really good for business. But the motivator now is, How can we have more impact? At the end of the day, if we can create jobs and do one-for-one, that’s the holy grail.”  

Read TOMS Giving Report 2013 [pdf]


TOMS first officially began selling its shoes in May 2006.  The company was self-funded, from the sale of  Mycoskie’s online driver education company for $5,000…

Key Milestones:

  • Seed Capital <$5,000 - Self-Funded
  • Cash-Flow – TOMS has expanded its product manufacturing to include Shoes, Eyewear and Clothing lines under the TOMS brand and One for One Business Model and is projecting over $300 million in total sales for 2013
  • Early Win - After an article ran in the Los Angeles Times, the company received order requests for nine times the available stock online, and 10,000 pairs were sold in the first six months.
  • Giving Back – The first batch of free shoes were distributed in October 2006 to Argentine children, the number was equivalent to the amount of inventory sold: ten thousand
  • Brand Origination - The company name (TOMS) is derived from the word “tomorrow,” and evolved from the original concept, “Shoes for Tomorrow Project”


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Coaching and Training Programs for The Impact Entrepreneur

Coaching and Training Programs for The Impact Entrepreneur

The Mystic Media Group is pioneering exciting new techniques and ways to deliver inspirational and informational products to a global audience of business leaders and conscious entrepreneurs interested in sustainable business development practices that can advance people, planet, profits and global consciousness.

With the 2014 launch of our flagship trans-media publication “Impact Entrepreneurship Magazine,” we have established THE HUB for connecting with other Impact Entrepreneurs who seek to make a difference in the world we live in and be the leading endue change of conscious commerce.  Join us for curated news and information, current research findings, community memberships, corporate sponsorships, institutional alliances plus invitation only workshops and events.

2014 Impact Entrepreneur Training Programs

The Mystic Media Group in conjunction with The Mystic Media Academy and Impact Entrepreneurship Magazine has developed a unique 3-tier global outreach program, designed to inspire, inform and connect socially minded entrepreneurs and business owners around the world interested in leveraging the “Power of Blue” to grow their enterprise.

Venture-Cuest 2014  – For the Impact Entrepreneur or Soul-o-Preneur

Inspired by the 48 Hour Film Project, the Mystic Media Group’s Venture-Cuest Project is dedicated to the global incubation of Blue Businesses and to promoting those businesses around the world.  Through this collaborative 48 hour event, the Program encourages individual, visionaries and impact entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect, collaborate and take their best shot at making an impact and a profit in as short a time as possible.

48 hours after kickoff, participants must submit a preliminary problem to be solved, a preliminary product design, go to market research and positioning and present a pitch to launch a viable, sustainable business to a panel of Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists and Angel Investors.  This high-pressure event puts the focus squarely on the Impact Entrepreneur — emphasizing creativity, collaboration, contribution, market innovation and sound business development principles and leveraging the “Power of Blue” to make a difference in the world we live in.  During the weekend, participating founders and their business development teams come together to co-create something special.

Guided by our founder and visionary, Dr. John G. Locke each team completes initial phases of problem identification, market research, solution ideation, prototyping, go-to-market strategy, sustainability impact and revenue growth projections in just 48 hours.

While the time limit places an unusual restriction on the founders and their teams, it is also exhilarating, putting an emphasis on building a “true blue” sustainable, profitable business, that could actually make a significant contribution to humanity, the planet or society at large.

Blue Lotus Boot Camps – VIP Accelerator Programs For the Social Enterprise

For corporate intrapreaneurs or visionaries already working within companies who have been operational for 48 months or more, and generating at least 5% of their revenues from the sale of products or services, we offer a week long startup accelerator program designed to nurture your impact-based enterprise through it next level of growth.  Participants in this week-long boot camp will be introduced our C.A.R.E. program, and be given direct access to our visionary founder, Dr. John G. Locke. Dr. John Locke is an Impact Entrepreneur and expert in sustainable business development.  Over the last 30 years he has launched 9 of his own companies and is today the  is the Founder and Visionary CEO of The Mystic Media Group.  Dr. Locke has lectured or served on the faculties of some of the top universities in the world including the University of Southern California, John’s Hopkins University, University of Hawaii, Michigan State University, Stockholm University and International Technological University.

Institutional Alliances, Corporate Consulting and Blue-Lotus Certification
For institutions interested in moving beyond Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and proactively seeking to create a towards positive and sustainable impact in the world Dr. John Locke will work with your organization 1:1 to develop a sustainable inpact business model in line with our Blue Lotus initiatives.  Institutions are assessed, ranked and monitored for progress towards the attainment of impact-generating results that improve the world we live in.

~Together, we can make a difference.  Will you be the change you want to see?~

For more information, or to apply forone of our limited-space, VIP programs, please contact us here.

Crowd-Funded, Interest Free, Community Impact Loans for Small Business Owners

Kiva Zip and FundWell Partner to Provide Crowd-Funded, Interest Free, Community Impact Loans for Small Business Owners

Kiva Zip, a pilot program run by non-profit, provides small, crowd-funded business loans to financially excluded entrepreneurs in the United States and Kenya. Kiva Zip employs a model of “trust-based underwriting” so that small business owners can achieve social impact in their local economy. Read about some of those achievements in 2013 here!

In 2014, Kiva Zip aims to expand its program by growing the number of borrowers who access these interest-free loans. To do so, we will partner with like-minded organizations that can introduce us to new entrepreneurs who could benefit from our platform. Kiva Zip’s newest partner in this arena is FundWell.

FundWell is a small business loan-matching and financial wellness website that helps match borrowers in the United States with lenders, educates them about the right loan product, helps them prepare and submit loan applications, and improves their financial wellness and fundability in order to access more capital at lower interest rates over time.

Read More… FundWell – Kiva Zip’s New Referral Partner | Kiva Zip

Sir Richard Branson: The B-Team

The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of leaders to create a future where the purpose of business is to be a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit. Working with a global community of advisors and partners, the group seeks to catalyse a Plan B for business, to ensure the well-being of people and planet.

B Team Founders and Co-Chairs are Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz.  The B-Team‘s focus is on execution and action, accelerating and amplifying others’ efforts by undertaking specific challenges where a collective voice can make a difference.

They are joined by supporters who make up the Founders’ Circle, including Virgin Unite (initial incubator of The B Team), The Rockefeller Foundation, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Havas, Kering/PUMAVision, Derek Handley (founding CEO), Strive Masiyiwa and Joann McPike.

All B-Team members have singed the following declaration: [View PDF]

The private sector can and must redefine both its responsibilities and its own terms of success; a Plan B for concerted, positive action that will ensure business becomes a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Business is now waking up to the reality that:

If we carry on using the natural resources of the world unsustainably, they’ll quite simply run out.

With a burgeoning population, more people are still living in poverty than ever before and inequalities are increasing in many parts of the world.

Unemployment rates are at frightening levels.

Non-Profits alone cannot solve the tasks at hand, while many governments are unwilling or unable to act.

While there are myriad reasons we’ve arrived at this juncture, much of the blame rests with the principles and practices of ‘business as usual’.

These are not the outcomes we envisioned as we grew our companies; this is not the dream that inspired us.

And the overwhelming conclusion we’ve reached is that businesses have been a major contributor to the problems, and we as business leaders have the responsibility of creating sustainable solutions.

Therefore, if we leverage the many positives of business – the spirit of enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship that has helped realize improvements in quality of life and enabled technological and scientific progress – we can create an unprecedented era of sustainable, inclusive prosperity for all.

The time has come for us to play our part in finding the solutions.

That’s why we are forming The B Team.

Our vision of the future is a world in which the purpose of business is to become a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.

Our mission is to help develop a ‘Plan B’ that puts people and planet alongside profit.

Plan A – where companies have been driven by the profit motive alone – is no longer acceptable.

As business leaders, we know that what we’re proposing will be a challenge, or even an affront, to many of our colleagues and competitors.

But we’re confident that those who choose to work with us will see that in the long run what’s better for the planet and its people is also better for business.

The ultimate aim, with support, energy and ideas — and yes, constant, frank criticism — is to get millions of business leaders committed to a better way of doing business.

And before we comment on the practices of others, we ‘Pledge’ that we will ‘Start at Home’.

We will focus on ourselves, our own businesses and industries, and do our utmost to ensure we meet the principles of better business.

As members of The B Team, we will work to overcome large-scale challenges where our collective voices can make a difference.

The B-Team is made up of:

  • Shari Arison
  • Sir Richard Branson
  • Kathy Calvin
  • Arianna Huffington
  • Mo Ibrahim
  • Guilherme Leal
  • Strive Masiyiwa
  • Blake Mycoskie
  • Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
  • François-Henri Pinault
  • Paul Polman
  • Ratan Tata
  • Zhang Yue
  • Professor Muhammad Yunus and
  • Jochen Zeitz.
  • Mary Robinson and Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland are honorary members of the team, representing People and Planet.


Blossom Nnodim’s #AdoptATweep – Leveraging Social Media for Social Good in Nigeria

Blossom Nnodim is a Nigerian writer, master of ceremonies and social media enthusiast. Nnodim is passionate about the good inherent in social media, and she not only uses social media to create value, but also to spread good.

Global Voices caught up with Nnodim to discuss her #AdoptATweet campaign, the positive impact of social media, and the role of online platforms in Nigerian politics.

Nwachukwu Egbunike (NE): ”Author, blogger, compère (MC).” That’s how you describe yourself! Can you tell us about the Blossom we don’t know about?

Blossom Nnodim - "Social Media for Social Good means creating a positive societal impact using social media as a voice"  (Image used with permission)

“Social Media for Social Good means creating a positive societal impact using social media as a voice.” – Blossom Nnodim
(Image used with her permission)

Blossom Nnodim (BN): The Blossom you do not know is one that is outwardly fearless but inwardly at a crossroad between doing what is right and what is expected from the society. She deliberately sees life as a “half filled” cup despite the fact the emptiness often time outweighs the fullness.

NE: You are the creator of #AdoptATweep, a social media and entrepreneurship project. What is it all about, how did it come about and what has been the story so far?

BN: The #AdoptATweep brand came out of a desire to create as many “overlords” as possible on Twitter. I joined Twitter actively after the existing “cabal” had already being formed. At this point I realized that most Nigerians tend to take Twitter validations serious either by way of retweets or follow-backs by an assumed overlord.

The real truth about coming up with the #AdoptATweep concept was to demystify the entire Twitter concept and make regular users become celebrity users in the shortest possible time.

Following the success of the first year, the concept naturally took on a more serious approach and it was at this point that the “Twitter-preneurship” focus of #AdoptATweep was explored and the focus shifted. More details can be found here.

NE: You are an advocate of Social Media for Social Good. Can you explain what this means?

BN: Social Good is an action that benefits society. This gives a somewhat non reaching definition especially with the invention of social media. As such, the striking word in the term “social good” is the social component, which aptly conveys the “shareable” aspect of the term. Social Media for Social Good means creating a positive societal impact using social media as a voice.

Anyone with access to technology, Internet, qwerty keyboard, etc. can organize an impact reaching campaign that has the possibility of benefiting the society. Social good is the process of using social media and social-focused communities to create a positive impact on our surrounding environment.

NE: There have been fears over Nigeria’s government ramping up of Internet surveillance and, most recently, failed attempt to gag netizens. What is your take on free speech and the Internet?

BN: There is a thin line between freedom of speech and hate speech. This line is not always clearly defined and as such netizens could in a bid to break the news inadvertently share updated that could tear down instead of building up.

The Internet surveillance bid and recent attempt to “gag” citizens at first glance may seem like an effrontery on freedom of speech. Deep down, the key focus is on false information. The only challenge is on the full explanation of what false information means. If the Federal Government [of Nigeria] is both the decider on what false information is and who becomes culpable in disseminating false information, the challenge could range from intimidation of the opposition to clear cut witch-hunting.

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This post first appeared as Nigerian Blogger Blossom Nnodim Talks ‘Social Media for Social Good’ · Global Voices

Impact Investing: The New Philanthropy

Until recently the idea of both investing in a grassroots project in the world’s poorest corners and hoping to turn a reasonable profit were seen as mutually exclusive. If you wanted to help you donated to charity. If you wanted to invest you looked for a more traditional opportunity.

Times have changed. Growing investor interest in philanthropic investing is being matched by increasing opportunities for profit. 

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Teens put education, social entrepreneurship to work in winning plans

FORGING SOCIAL LINKS: Sam Steiner’s company connects teens with senior citizens to help them with their computers. He hired Amanda Miller, center, and works with Marilyn Pechter of Boca Raton. Peter W. Cross / FOR THE HERALD

By Nancy Dahlberg

1st Place: SeniorLink Consulting

For Sam Steiner, entrepreneurship is not only about making money — although he does. It is about doing something bigger than himself.

Sam’s Business Plan Challenge-winning service conquers fears, cures loneliness and brings families closer. It also has the potential of helping to alleviate teen unemployment. How’s that for impact?

The social entrepreneurial SeniorLink Consulting employs high school students to give senior citizens one-on-one help with technology, whether that is teaching them computing basics such as surfing the net or using email and Facetime, trouble-shooting more advanced issues, or helping them select computers or tablets and getting them all set up with apps and programs. Because learning technology can be intimidating in a class setting, coupled with transportation issues, he believes seniors learn best in their own environment on their own computers.

Sam, who is now a junior at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, has served more than 100 customers through his business, and has two employees. SeniorLink charges about $40 per hour for the service and the business is profitable. He hopes to continue to grow the business, particularly in other parts of South Florida, but admits that it has been a challenge finding other dedicated teen employees. “I continue to try out new employees to meet my growing client base.”

Last semester Saint Andrew’s hosted an international convention (International Round Square Waves of Change Conference) with more than 750 students from 36 countries. Sam was asked to speak about SeniorLink, as an aspect of the convention was a discussion of social entrepreneurship. He also served as a panelist discussing entrepreneurship and led break-out sessions discussing how to take an idea from its beginnings to an actual business.

Read More… via Teens put education, social entrepreneurship to work in winning plans – Business Plan Challenge –

Five Tips for Becoming a Social Entrepreneur

Investigate business incubators and be prepared to embrace constant change are among Zack Rosenberg’s top tips…

TOMS Shoes

Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver, TOMS shoes. Photograph: Scott Melcer/WireImage

What’s great about this generation is the strong belief that business can and should be done differently. We’ve lived through decades of business models that were profitable, but too often at the expense of quality or compassion. What folks such as Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, and the late Paul Newman, founder of Newman’s Own, have proven is that businesses can meet financial goals as well as have a positive, social impact.

But how to know if your idea for a social venture is a good one, or if you are the right person to make it happen? Sometimes that realisation comes unexpectedly. My turning point took place in a meeting between a large global corporation and a social media executive. They were discussing ways to capitalise on the loopholes that helped them avoid paying taxes and pour profits into another business venture. I knew then that I could no longer devote my time and energy to furthering their cause. I was determined to develop a business model that could generate profits but also make a difference in the world. That was the start of DoGoodBuyUs.

If you have an idea or philosophy about creating a for-profit business where you can do well and do good, here are five important tips to get you headed in the right direction:

1) Three approaches to building a platform
Unlike a traditional business that is structured solely for profit, social entrepreneurs can choose one of these three methods for integrating giving back into their business: a) donate a percentage of company profits b) affiliate with a cause, community, and/or charity and develop a product or service that will raise money and c) fundraise and share in the upside.

2) Understand the role of benefit corporations and business incubators
In the past few years, numerous organisations have developed to help make social entrepreneurship more accessible and successful. They can be a source of financial support as well as provide mentorship and guidance. Incubators such as The Unreasonable Institute, Civic Ventures, Conscious Labs and hundreds of others are springing up. Investigate and make yourself known.

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via Five tips for becoming a social entrepreneur in 2014 | Media Network | Guardian Professional