The business world is something that I’ve always found captivating. It conjures up images of powerful men and women in suits, brief cases in board rooms, and sexy offices with beautiful views. It is, to say the least, a compelling image.
There is, however, a shadier side to the business world. We’ve all heard the stories of Martin Shrekli marking up drug prices for profit, oil companies causing ecological nightmares, and financial firms that only work to benefit their investors. That’s not the world I want to enter, and if I’m going to even consider joining the business world, then I need to know that there are companies out there that make a positive impact.
Therefore, without further ado, here are five awesome companies that are making profit while doing good for the world!
Founded in 2003 by former AIESECer Vishen Lakhiani (woot woot!), Mindvalley works to radically disrupt the world of education by making educational resources available online, and therefore, practically everywhere. Interestingly, their curriculum isn’t something you’d find in the average school - you won’t find any math tutorials being offered here! Instead, their authors write on topics of personal growth, health and fitness, spirituality, productivity, mindfulness and more. This is probably due to Lakhiani’s personal life experiences - in an interview with Mixergy, Lakhiani talked about how self help books made him what he is today, more than an engineering degree ever did.
Mindvalley serves over 3 million people worldwide through Mindvalley Academy and various apps and platforms - and they’re currently valued at over $40 million! Mindvalley is changing the world of education, and through that, the world..
Serengetee is an apparel start-up company, started out of a college dorm room by Jeff and Ryan, two students who met while studying abroad through a program called Semester at Sea. They are a brand centered around fabric. All of the fabric used for their various products, from tee shirts to bags to camera straps, are bought from artisans in over 25 countries around the globe. In an interview with Elite Daily, Ryan talks about how his study abroad experience inspired the company: “Jeff and I traveled together in most of the countries, so we were able to witness together the everyday hardships that occur in developing countries. This led us to become determined to find a way to possibly help out on a larger scale.”
Serengetee is currently valued at upwards of $20,000. In addition, ten percent of their profits are donated to a variety of grassroots causes with the goal of not just helping the artisans, but their communities as well.
The motto of Serengetee is ‘Wear the World’ and by wearing the world through Serengetee, you’re helping to change it.
Started by Adam Braun, Pencils of Promise is a global education organization with a unique business model. They combine the heart of a non-profit with the principals of a for-profit business. The outcome? What Braun likes to call ‘For-Purpose.’ They build schools, support teachers, and provide water and health programs in Ghana, Guatemala, Laos, and Nicaragua, with the primary purpose of improving literacy rates.
100% of donations go directly to help educate children around the world. It’s through special events, corporations, foundations and private individuals that PoP is able to cover their operational costs, in 2015 their for-profit revenue was $471,122. As of December 2016, they have served over 35,000 students and built 380 schools. They are truly impacting the education of thousands of students world wide.
Bain and Co is a global management consulting firm. They work with everyone from large multinational corporations to non-profit organizations to help them make better decisions that correlate into sustainable success.
However, Bain and Co isn’t just committed to helping their clients better themselves. They’re committed to helping solve some of the world’s toughest social issues - so committed that they have a separate website devoted entirely to their social impact. They do this by working with nonprofits, government entities and private sector companies to bring about change. They also provide social impact experiences for their employees such as volunteer experiences and an extensive externship program. This externship program allows employees to go abroad. For example, one senior consultant went to India for several months to help with the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
They have worked on consulting projects with thousands of clients and have an impressive revenue of over 2.1 billion to show for it! It’s their commitment to positive social impact, however, that’s most impressive.
My Sister is an apparel company, started in May 2015, with a mission to “prevent sex trafficking, educate communities, empower the population, provide after-care for survivors and offer growth opportunities to at-risk women through the sales of our statement-making, ethically-sourced apparel and accessories.”
Just one month after they opened, they hosted a fashion show and raised over $12,000… in under 10 minutes! However, they do more than just donate money. They donate accessories such as hats, gloves, and socks to women in need as well as work to provide employment opportunities for survivors of sexual exploitation.
Ten percent of all profits goes to non-profit partners to help with educating the public, prevention and intervention of sex trafficking,and after-care for victims. Some of the organizations they work with are MN Girls are Not For Sale and Maiti Nepal. Their goal is to fight sex trafficking one shirt at a time and that’s exactly what they are doing.
Want to intern for some awesome companies like these? Go to https://opportunities.aiesec.org/gt