Social entrepreneurship—whereby motivated individuals draw upon business techniques to provide innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems—is a hugely expanding area, both in Los Angeles and around the globe. Many up-and-coming young professionals are finding ways to connect with the public at large in the name of a greater good. Here are just a few that piqued our interest.
Led by co-presidents Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof, Baby2Baby provides low-income children ages 0-12 with diapers, clothing, and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. By distributing to more than 85 nonprofit partners including homeless and domestic violence shelters, children’s hospitals, and Head Start programs, Baby2Baby will serve over 100,000 children this year.
The Giving Keys
Created by Caitlin Crosby to assist those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles, The Giving Keys is a nonprofit organization that employs these individuals to make necklaces and other jewelry out of repurposed keys. Their classic necklace, originally inspired by a New York hotel room key, led to many other necklaces and bracelets—all of which, like The Giving Key itself, exist to offer hope, encouragement, love, and inspiration to all.
Started in 2011 in memory of founder Brett Novek’s father, David Novek, good hYOUman offers retail and consumer merchandise. Good hYOUman’s uniquely soft garments are manufactured entirely in Los Angeles. A portion of the proceeds from one of their collaborations, the BE FREE Collection, will be donated to The A21 Campaign to help end human trafficking.
Founded by Justine Lassoff and Katie Bogue Miller, LOVE GOODLY is an e-commerce platform that delivers curated trial boxes of the best nontoxic, eco-friendly products available. The company began with the idea of voting with one’s wallet for more conscious brands. Every purchase on LOVE GOODLY has a helpful icon beside it so shoppers can support the causes most dear to their hearts.
The Movember Foundation is a leading global charity committed to raising funds and awareness to promote men’s health. Led by Executive Director and CEO Adam Garone, the Foundation invests in key problem areas to fund breakthrough research and initiatives that can improve men’s health. Best known for its annual month-long Movember event each November, to date the Foundation has grown 4 million mustaches, raised $559mm in donations, and funded more than 800 programs in 21 countries.
A former marketing executive at Facebook and Pepsi Co., MyIntent Founder and CEO Christopher Pan originally developed MyIntent.org as a nonprofit project that encouraged wearers to empower themselves with the words of intentions they chose to have engraved on personalized bracelets and jewelry. After being worn by some of the entertainment industry’s influencers such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Rihanna, MyIntent has found its niche not only in social enterprise but also in men’s and women’s style and accessories, resulting in high style that catalyzes meaningful conversation as well.
A global design, strategy, and foresight consultancy, verynice gives half of its work away gratis to nonprofit organizations. Helping build more than 500 brands in various sectors worldwide, verynice works with a diverse clientele including Unicef, NASA, Kaiser Permanente, Facebook, and MTV Networks among others. Founded by Managing Partner and Global Strategy Lead Matthew Manos, the verynice team of 350-plus designers, developers, and strategists has provided pro-bono design and consulting services to over 350 nonprofits spanning 40 countries and six continents.
Waves for Water
Waves for Water, founded by Jon Rose, works on the frontlines to provide clean water to communities in need worldwide. Partnering with leaders and strategic partners to make global change, their mission is simply to get clean water to everyone who needs it—especially the impoverished millions who die every day because they live in nations without established filtration systems.