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Stories About Entrepreneurship

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8 Groundbreaking Startups Making the Circular Economy Look Easy
8 Groundbreaking Startups Making the Circular Economy Look Easy

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - On January 20th, one of these companies will be crowned king of entrepreneurship at The Circular Economy Awards. You’ve already met those leading the charge. So, we’re taking a closer look at the eight finalists for the inaugural ‘Circulars,' who are undoubtedly biting their nails as they wait for the announcement of the winners at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

5 Tips on Finding the Right Financing for Your Food Startup
5 Tips on Finding the Right Financing for Your Food Startup

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - What’s the next food trend poised to sweep the nation? A recent conference showcasing roughly 60 recipients of Whole Foods local producer loans revealed some candidates: Maybe a half-fruit, half-vegetable roll-up that tastes like pure fruit (as a parent, I have to say, that’s genius)? Maybe goji raw biscotti? Definitely something with minimal but high-quality ingredients or exotic origins (from an American perspective).

Obama Administration Selects 26 Communities to Foster Economic Expansion Through Local Food Projects
Obama Administration Selects 26 Communities to Foster Economic Expansion Through Local Food Projects

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - On Wednesday, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies came together to announce the 26 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP), a federal initiative providing technical support to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health and regional economic experts will work directly with the communities to develop specifically identified local food projects.

LSDC Asserts 'Green' Entrepreneurs, Such as This Year's London Leaders, Key to Future-Proofing City's Economy
LSDC Asserts 'Green' Entrepreneurs, Such as This Year's London Leaders, Key to Future-Proofing City's Economy

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A recent report from the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) asserts that socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurs are “critical” to London’s future as a world leader in the economy of the future, as the Commission unveils its picks for this year's crop of the City's most notable mission-driven startups.Green Means Business highlights why London is an ideal location for 'green' entrepreneurs to 'drive innovation, growth, and job creation'; estimating that London's low-carbon and environmental goods and services (LCEGS) sector has the potential to give an annual market value of £69bn by 2025.

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ASBC Summit Attendees Chart Path and Policies to a Sustainable Economy
ASBC Summit Attendees Chart Path and Policies to a Sustainable Economy

LEADERSHIP - The American Sustainable Business Council’s (ASBC) third annual summit Nov. 13 and 14 in Washington, D.C. brought together 150 entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors and elected officials to discuss the state of play—and possibilities—for policies that advance a sustainable economy.Founded in 2009, ASBC is a national business advocacy policy organization representing over 200,000 businesses across the nation. ASBC works on a wide range of policy issues at the federal and state level, working to advance a sustainable economy by shifting markets and policies. ASBC raises up the voice, presence and power of business to create jobs, grow business and build a sustainable US economy.

#SB14London: A Lesson in Successful Cross-Sector Partnership from HP & Kiva
#SB14London: A Lesson in Successful Cross-Sector Partnership from HP & Kiva

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - Karen Little, Director of Development at Kiva, and Ann Ewasechko, Global Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Innovation in Education at HP, discussed the great success of their joint social campaign “Matter to a Million” during a Wednesday afternoon session. Matter to a Million is a 5-year global partnership between HP and Kiva aiming to support 1 million entrepreneurs around the world through microlending and, as Ewasechko said, to empower employees to make an impact and a difference.

Lyf Shoes' Cradle-to-Cradle Creations Out to Revolutionize 'Dirty' Industry
Lyf Shoes' Cradle-to-Cradle Creations Out to Revolutionize 'Dirty' Industry

THE NEXT ECONOMY - Sustainable footwear is a hotbed of innovation right now for many apparel and lifestyle brands, who are looking to blend ever-smarter manufacturing efficiencies with material optimization techniques. But one enterprising startup is looking to take this to the next level — calling itself a “disruptive digital manufacturing revolution,” Lyf Shoes is looking to capture a slice of the market by handing the creative process back to the consumer.

#NewMetrics ’14: Leveraging the World's Brains, Wallets, Data for Solutions to Pressing Problems
#NewMetrics ’14: Leveraging the World's Brains, Wallets, Data for Solutions to Pressing Problems

NEW METRICS - There is power in the data that a crowd can provide — business- and future-shaping data. The final breakout session at Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics ‘14 conference in Boston highlighted definitions and examples of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to achieve a stated social purpose. The following four approaches to big data are exciting experiments in social change driven by the crowd.

Cura Setting Out to Create Local and Global Impact 'Through Simply Enjoying Coffee'
Cura Setting Out to Create Local and Global Impact 'Through Simply Enjoying Coffee'

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Cura Coffee Co, a San Diego-based startup, sells a direct-trade, premium organic coffee that directly connects coffee lovers with the farmers who produce it.

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RSF Launches Search for Next 25 'Social Enterprise Stars' at SOCAP 2014
RSF Launches Search for Next 25 'Social Enterprise Stars' at SOCAP 2014

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - RSF Social Finance, a San Francisco-based organization that lends money to path-breaking social enterprises, is launching a campaign Sept. 2 to find the Next 25 Social Enterprise Stars (#SocentStars).The campaign, kicking off in concert with SOCAP 2014, the world’s leading conference on impact investing and social enterprise, is designed to attract RSF’s next cohort of extraordinary, mission-driven borrowers. RSF wants to add 25 social enterprise stars to its loan portfolio over the next year.

3 Startups Offering Simple, Scalable Solutions to One of the World's Biggest Problems
3 Startups Offering Simple, Scalable Solutions to One of the World's Biggest Problems

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Wrinkled veggies. Rotting fruit. Containers that you wouldn’t dare open because of the smells that might escape. How many times have you cleaned out your refrigerator and been dismayed at how much food has spoiled? Every year, billions of dollars are wasted because of food spoilage. In fact, the EPA notes that “in 2011 alone, more than 36 million tons of food waste was generated, with only four percent of food waste generated diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting.” Meanwhile, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) paints a wider picture by noting that one-third of food produced for human consumption is wasted, which translates into 1.3 billion metric tons of food per year.

J&J Launches Tumblr Campaign to Remind Americans to Recycle in the Bathroom
J&J Launches Tumblr Campaign to Remind Americans to Recycle in the Bathroom

MARKETING AND COMMS - While 7 out of 10 Americans say they always or almost always recycle, apparently a scant 1 in 5 consistently recycles bathroom items, according to a report commissioned by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.To encourage consumers to be more mindful, Johnson & Johnson has launched Care to Recycle™, a recycling campaign that begins with a gentle reminder to recycle more items from the bathroom. It is the first recycling awareness campaign of its kind to be hosted exclusively on Tumblr.

O2E Technologies: Turning the World's Waste Into Food and Fuel
O2E Technologies: Turning the World's Waste Into Food and Fuel

WASTE NOT - Each week leading up to our SB London conference, where the winner of the SB London Innovation Open (SBIOL) will be announced on November 18, we will get to know each of our four finalists. This week, meet the SBIOL public vote winner, O2E Technologies.

Sustainable Startups Finding More Than Cash on Crowdfunding Platforms
Sustainable Startups Finding More Than Cash on Crowdfunding Platforms

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - When the principals behind Peppermint Energy decided to tap into crowdfunding in 2012 to boost their start-up solar enterprise, they found money, but they also discovered another type of equity.“What became obvious to us is that the type of people who support crowd-funding initiatives can be very helpful to vet out what is, what is not and what should be,” said Chris Maxwell, president of Peppermint. “We used our Kickstarter campaign to get market feedback, to get a bunch of people to tell us whether we are on the right track.”

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Indigenous Taps Crowdfunding to Finance Fair Trade and Supply Chain Transparency Tool
Indigenous Taps Crowdfunding to Finance Fair Trade and Supply Chain Transparency Tool

SUPPLY CHAIN - Fair trade and organic fashion company INDIGENOUS has launched an Indiegogo campaign to crowdsource funds to increase access to The Fair Trace Tool and fund social impact research with artisans and farmers to bring the story of fair trade and supply chain transparency to the consumer at the point of purchase.

F-Cubed: Poised to Save the World from Pathogens
F-Cubed: Poised to Save the World from Pathogens

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Chicago start-up F-Cubed, LLC (F3) is helping to stem the recurrence of infectious diseases across the food, health and environmental testing sectors with its disruptive invention — a portable diagnostic device that can analyze raw samples for pathogens in less than an hour.What does that mean?As an example of environmental testing, F3’s innovative analyzer can help swimmers avoid unforeseen illnesses by testing the bacteria levels within bodies of water.

Bombas Socks' One-for-One Model Helping to Warm Feet — and Hearts
Bombas Socks' One-for-One Model Helping to Warm Feet — and Hearts

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - New York-based startup Bombas Socks is poised to revolutionize the sock industry while spreading its message of pushing yourself to “Bee Better.”Two years ago, after learning that socks are the more requested clothing item at homeless shelters, founders David Heath and Randy Goldberg decided to create a company based on the TOMS shoes plan: One for One.Not only did Heath and Goldberg plan that for every pair of socks sold, they would donate one to a person in need, they knew that they needed to create the perfect sock. With all the new designs in the apparel industry in the past couple of decades, socks have pretty much stayed the same; they are more or less an afterthought. Heath and Goldberg worked to create a sock to “look better, feel better and perform better.”

Flint and Tinder on a Mission to Revive the American Cut-and-Sew Industry
Flint and Tinder on a Mission to Revive the American Cut-and-Sew Industry

SUPPLY CHAIN - It seems that starting a successful business can happen at any time and to anyone. All it took for Jake Bronstein was a look at where all his underwear was manufactured. Once he realized that 99% of all men’s underwear sold in the U.S. was produced in developing nations, he organized a Kickstarter campaign in April 2012 with a mission to change that, build a better product, and help revive the American cut-and-sew industry (a mission shared by like-minded clothing manufacturers SustainU and Manufacture NY).

California Start-Up Creates Self-Filtering Water Bottle
California Start-Up Creates Self-Filtering Water Bottle

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A Southern California-based start-up called Evo Eau says it has created a reusable water bottle that filters up to 99 percent of contaminants from municipally supplied tap water.The bottle is engineered for everyday use and does more than many of its mainstream competitors in terms of filtering out contaminants and harmful carcinogens such as Chromium 6 in tap water, Evo Eau claims.The start-up says that many filtering water bottles only conform to NSF42 standards, which only asks for filters to remove 50 percent of chlorine from water. Many do not even conform to these standards and bottled water companies are held to even fewer.

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Unilever Recruiting Young Entrepreneurs to Help Tackle Some of the World's Most Pressing Issues
Unilever Recruiting Young Entrepreneurs to Help Tackle Some of the World's Most Pressing Issues

COLLABORATION - Today, Unilever announced an international awards program designed to inspire young people around the world to tackle environmental, social and health issues. Presented in partnership with the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards, a competition hosted on the Ashoka Changemakers platform, will offer the winner the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize.

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