Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship News

The Rise Of America’s Millennial Entrepreneurs

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – What actually makes entrepreneurship grow? That’s probably the most important challenge in economics globally. In America, entrepreneurs and the businesses they start are at the very core of the economy. Startups and growing firms provide opportunities for workers and drives innovation forward.

Vitae London: The Watch Brand with Heart

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Will Adoasi, the entrepreneur behind the philanthropic watch brand Vitae London, is set to launch his Season IV, a unisex range of watches that is backed by Sir Richard Branson.

40% Of Women in Nigeria Run Their Own Business but Need Support

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Nigeria is the leading economy in Africa right now. It’s also an exciting place to be a woman entrepreneur—a place where 40% of the women run their own business. However, it is not always easy to run a business, as the country has its difficulties and challenges.

Sustainable Brands Detroit 2017 Confronting Challenges, Building Bridges

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — Here are some more takeaways from Sustainable Brands17 Detroit.

If we are to realize any kind of vision of a sustainable society, we must confront the idea that truth is negotiable. As author and consultant Andrew Winston said, “We need a working democracy, checks and balances, a free press.” We need the truth.  But what is the truth? For scientists and judges, the truth is found in facts. For most of the rest of us, the truth lies in the stories we choose to believe. As Upworthy’s Jennifer Lindenauer said in her “Trust is Tribal” talk, “facts fade, stories stick. Donald Trump tells stories that stick even though they are lies.” Why do they stick?  How does a liar get away with calling the bastions of journalistic integrity fake news? According to Lindenauer, it’s because the opposite of fake is authentic. Trump may have a myriad of deplorable qualities, but he is authentically Trump, and for better or for worse, for many, that authenticity begets trust. What that means for us is that we need to confront self-serving lies, with authentic stories of a sustainable future, that people will trust.

In 1987, Ronald Reagan said, ‘trust but verify,” with respect to a nuclear-arms deal with the former Soviet Union. Author Andrew Zolli described an ongoing effort by Planet Labs to take a complete, high-resolution picture of the entire Earth every single day. This will allow us to not only verify, but discover countless things that are happening on Earth, both as a result of human activities and the everything-else that we refer to as nature. For example, the images were able to detect a rapidly expanding illegal gold mining operation in Peru. As a result of the discovery, the operation was quickly shut down. While some might consider this type of truth and its consequences a form of “burdensome government regulation,” most of us would applaud it as a win for the planet. These photos could also be used to track deforestation, the growth of electricity, agricultural productivity, the growth or decline of deserts, rivers and lakes, the expansion of refugee camps, and with the help of sophisticated algorithms-- the loss of carbon due to land use changes. All these facts, could be used to fuel new and urgent stories that could potentially cut through the ideological fog. For example, as Zolli said, once we have a price on carbon, we can put a value on the forest that is being lost every day. At a time when EPA administrators are making policy that could impact the future of the entire biosphere, based on rumors and amateur science, such as the notion that there was a leveling off of warming over the past two decades, we need to verify before we can trust, as a number of scientists just did.

Sustainable Brands Detroit 2017 Looks For and Finds Common Ground

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — At the onset of Day Two of SB17 Detroit, the thinking behind the conference title, “Redefining the Good Life,” began to reveal itself. A subtext running through the event, like an underground spring, has been the notion that the polarization of our society has become a major barrier to the achievement of a sustainable, flourishing future. That’s why a number of workshops on topics such as “Breaking Through Gridlock,” and “ How to Have Difficult Conversations: Building Bridges in a Divided Country,” are being presented, acknowledging and attempting to address this challenge. The data presented by Solitaire Townsend of Futerra, and later by others, offered some hope that this challenge could  potentially yield.


According to Harris poll data, taken across generations and political parties, all people essentially agree on the fundamental constituents of the good life. These consist of the following four elements: balanced simplicity, meaningful connections, financial independence, and personal goals. If we all want the same things, it will be far easier to come up with a plan that we can all agree on—it’s only the “how do we get there” part that needs to be resolved. That’s not exactly a walk in the park, but its far easier than if we’d all wanted different things.


Solitaire also shared a pertinent quote from the Bard, “All things are ready if our minds be so,” and an invocation of what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Erica Parker of Harris, carried the story forward with the thought that “If you are not disrupting, you will be disrupted.”
Sharing more data, Parker said that 71% of adults today said that their lives were different than their parents, while 45% said it would be different for their children. As consumers, 51% believe that companies care, though 65% feel that products do , to contribute to a better life. At the same time, while 65% feel that they, as consumers, can influence companies, only 28% say that they have actually tried.


Chris Coulter of GlobeScan and Raphael Bemporad of  BBMG shared results of another survey in which 16,000 people from around the world said that these were the four primary elements of a good life: health & well-being, financial security, meaningful relationships,  and a sense of purpose. Note the similarities to the other poll.  So what’s the problem? For starters massive income inequality, lack of access, and a disconnect between, “aspirations and capacity.”
Oxfam reported that the wealthiest eight people on the planet own as much as the  lowest 3.4 billion people. Trust in institutions is very low. So what to do?

The Very Special and Different ‘Bloom Project’

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – We know that today, there are so many items that can be upcycled, from paper to plastic to clothes, but it’s rare that we hear about flowers being given a new lease of life.

Women’s Economic Forum in Delhi Gives Women From Around The World a Platform

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – With two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population being female, and countless girl children not receiving a basic education, supporting women in developing countries is vital to helping overcome critical social issues such as poverty and unemployment. By supporting women in society and giving them access to equal opportunities such as an education, jobs and health care, everyone benefits.

Tony Chocolonely’s Chocolate Is Changing The Business of Chocolate

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Chocolate is one of the most popular and widely consumed products in the world, with North America devouring the lion's share, followed by Europe.

Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge: Inspiring The Next Generation Of Investment Models

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge is a competition encouraging teams of MBA students to create institutional financial products that tackle social and environmental problems. Nearly 200 students from 37 schools in 29 countries submitted proposals this year.

Peru: 40% Of Businesses Are Owned By Women

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Peru is one of the best countries in South America for women entrepreneurs, as 40% of businesses there are owned by women. Yet these women face many challenges in growing their businesses, from lack of access to capital, to networks, education and training, and a culture of entrepreneurship.

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