At West Coast Green, David Hopkins, co-author of Tactics of Hope, highlights the work of some great social entrepreneurs, and offers suggestions on where social entrepreneurs can find funding. For in depth info on the social entrepreneur movement, read the book Tactics of Hope.
Lorna Li (LL): Hi There, I’m Lorna Li from GreenMarketing2.0 and here with Steve Morozumi on camera from SF enthusiast.com. We are at West Coast Green, The Premier Conference on Green Building & Innovation taking place in San Francisco, today. And I’m here with David Hopkins, who was the co-author of the great book called Tactics of Hope; How Social Entrepreneurs are Changing The World.
So David thanks for joining us today. Let me ask you this. What are two of the most interesting companies that you’ve come across that are actively solving social environmental issues but also turning a profit?
David Hopkins (DH): Oh that’s great. So there are two examples on the book that are particularly significant. One is World of Good. World of Good has recently partnered with eBay to distribute goods that are made, often by women, in developing countries who aren’t paid a fair wage for themselves or for the products that they make. And World of Good brings those products to whole foods and distribution stores in developed countries at a fair price and pays the workers a fair wage. The second one is Brighter Planet. Is new credit card sponsored by Bank of America that everytime that you swipe for your purchases, instead of investing in mileage or shopping spree, they invest in carbon offsets to help solve global warming.
LL: So I remember, number years back. I used to work at a Social Venture Incubator that was called social fusion and what we do was we work with the start non-profit and for-profit enterprises and help them get to the next level. And what are the chronic problems that social entrepreneurs face is finding funding.
DH: Once a social entrepreneur has a business plan and strategy, the social entrepreneurs should go to one of many resources. One is the school, graduate program that can nurture that idea into a real business. And the other is that if you already have a two or three year experiences in growing up business go to Ashoka, the school foundation, Echoing Green, Draper Richards Foundation and many others that are featured in resources section of our book to support and get the funding that they need.
LL: I love your reference to actually going to a graduate program or going to school because you know there’s something great about learning while you’re earning. And there’s no reason why you can’t develop a great company or a product while you’re actually in school. So thanks a lot for joining us today. If you guys are interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship or if you have a social venture concept of your own, I would highly recommend reading “Tactics of Hope” and heading over to the website and connecting with other people that also share your passions. You can go to tacticsofhope.org. Thanks a lot! This is Lorna Li from Green Marketing 2.0 with Steve Morozumi from SFEnthusiast.com at West Coast Green. Bye for now.