A longstanding problem, ocean plastic has become severe in recent years, with some studies predicting there will actually be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Thankfully, there's at least one company that is working to make sure that doesn't happen.
In its first full year of operation, Ashley, Indiana's Brightmark is on track to process 100,000 tons of plastic: from grocery bags to coffee cups, if it's plastic, they want it. They convert it to wax and eco-friendly fuel with a commercial process that could revolutionize the industry--and might solve one of our most vexing environmental issues.
To hear more about Brightmark's ambitious plans, check out the new video feature from Yahoo...Read more
Posted on 11/13/2020 at 11:27 AM
When you think of the fight against poverty, a billion-dollar candy conglomerate might be the last thing that comes to mind. But as we celebrate Halloween this year, Mars, the 109-year-old privately held candy company, is actually working hard on the problem.
This isn't just good public relations, either. Grant Reid, the CEO of Mars, has made it his goal to make the company's global food-supply chain more equitable and sustainable, working with NGOs, governments and suppliers. His belief is that everyone working within Mars' supply chains--not just the employees--should earn enough to maintain a decent standard of living. And his efforts to curb destructive palm oil harvesting have reaped rea...Read more
Posted on 10/31/2020 at 09:06 AM
Like so many businesses, theaters have been hit hard since the beginning of the pandemic, and Oakland's New Parkway Theater was no exception. But while their screens are still dark, what the eight-year-old theater did have was a loyal following--and as they soon found out, that proved to be their saving grace.
Two weeks after the state shutdown, The New Parkway pivoted to a pickup and delivery food program. And the results have been surprising: while selling food hasn’t come close to replacing revenue lost from showing films, the business is surviving and moving forward.
“It’s fair to say it was an instant hit,” says Carlos Courtade of New Parkway, who sees the theater ...Read more
Posted on 10/08/2020 at 01:00 PM
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we've seen a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities. Responding to the needs of this embattled sector, public and private business leaders have invested in an emergency fund targeted to social entrepreneurs who focus on the world’s most vulnerable.
Acumen, a non-profit organization that invests in initiatives to tackle poverty, heads up the fund. Employing a radical approach divergent from their typical strategy, they use small grants and loans to create an immediate infusion of support for impacted communities.
Just one of the organizations they've helped is SiembraViva, a Colombian nonprofit that brings healthy food to people in cities, ...Read more
Posted on 09/30/2020 at 02:45 PM
While it seems like the bad news has been endless lately, it's always important to point out the bright spots when you find them. One area that has been particularly shaken up in the past several months is small business––and yet, there are some wily entrepreneurs who are coming out of the pandemic stronger and healthier.
Lisa Logan, Debra D. Williams and Sydney Perry are three of those entrepreneurs. A manicurist, a fitness specialist and a baker respectively, all three are black women and small business owners who've found a way to thrive during the slowdown. The recent Essence feature takes a look at the three of them, and the challenges they've weathered since Covid-19 began. ...Read more
Posted on 09/18/2020 at 01:15 PM
Finding care for young children suffering from ADHD, anxiety and other common issues can often be a difficult process. Naomi Allen knows firsthand just how hard it can be, having struggled with finding therapy for her five-year-old son. “It was just a black box,” she says.
Now thanks to Allen, there's literally an app for that. Spurred on by her experience, Allen co-founded Palo Alto, California-based Brightline to bridge the gap, and provide families with a virtual behavioral health solution. The Brightline app provides a portal through which children can meet with clinicians to work on problems including ADHD, anxiety, depression, disruptive behavior and more. And this week, the...Read more
Posted on 08/19/2020 at 01:19 PM
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on business throughout the world, and it continues to transform the landscape of our daily lives. Thankfully, many entrepreneurs have taken this disruption as a rare opportunity to redirect their energy toward the public good.
Operation StaySafe is one good example: they're a coalition of the leading American medical testing companies, along with healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs, 22 companies in all. They are working to create realistic, scalable solutions to the testing problem, and to increase access to comprehensive testing. Not only is StaySafe creating rapid tests accessible at home and work, they go a step further to aggreg...Read more
Posted on 07/31/2020 at 01:08 PM
After returning to work following the birth of her second child, Michele Liddle felt unfulfilled, and her work schedule was punishing. Liddle traveled sometimes three weeks a month, and still nursing, she was pumping breast milk to ship it home. Somehow, working while her kids slept, she managed to put together her dream company: The Perfect Granola. But Liddle's product wasn't the point: hunger was.
“We’ve never been about the granola," says Liddle. "We’re mission-first. The granola was something to sell to fuel my other ideas on how to fix hunger.”
And Liddle will evidently stop at nothing to fulfill that mission. She is part of the New York Farm-to-School Program, an...Read more
Posted on 03/09/2020 at 02:51 PM
When he founded nonprofit TechnoServe just over a half-century ago, Ed Bullard espoused a point of view that was downright radical for the time. Namely, that profits and poverty abatement aren't antithetical, and that the two can actually support one another.
Of course, this perspective has become almost mainstream in today's business world. TechnoServe has expanded to 29 countries, connecting big corporations with small farmers to help them prosper and grow their businesses. And they're at the top of their game: Impact Matters, which rates nonprofits based on their impact, has rated TechnoServe as the number one nonprofit in cost effectiveness for reducing poverty.
And as TechnoServe CEO Will...Read more
Posted on 01/31/2020 at 02:30 PM
For all of the transformation we've seen in the world of venture capital in recent years, evidence suggests that old ideas persist. Unfortunately, barriers still pervade the space: current figures show that women CEOs net only 3 percent of venture capital, and black women CEOs get only 0.2 percent.
As a CEO in the tech sector, Elaine Kunda experienced a modicum of success. But when she left with plans to become an angel investor, she came to learn how hard it was for female entrepreneurs to get funded.
"It was weird," Kunda says. Many women "were way more competent, capable, and further along in their businesses" than comparable men pitching for VC funds, but were routinely passed over. Kunda ...Read more
Posted on 05/20/2019 at 11:21 AM