Meet Inspiring and Influential Changemakers

live, up close, and personal

Season 4, Episode 7
Learn by Doing
With Servane Mouazan, CEO of Ogunte

“Don’t stay on your own. Take one thing at a time. Really, it’s not about creating a social business, it’s about solving an issue. You’re part of a movement towards something. Whether it’s a pilot, a one-off project, a network, a movement, a profit-making enterprise, it doesn’t matter - as long as you don’t harm anyone in the process, you’re good to people, and you focus on the cause.”

> Experiment and gain experience

> Write down your experiences

> Take one thing at a time

Season 4, Episode 6
Break Down Assumptions
With Sergio Marrero, founder of Rebel Method

You have to think of everything you believe as a guess and a hypothesis that you have to test.

For example, you might initially assume that entrepreneurship is hard, because everyone says it is. Sure, impact innovation is harder than just launching “any” product, because you’re measuring layers of impact and aiming to change people’s lives, but it doesn’t have to be super difficult. Try out your idea!

Avoid starting off thinking “someone will pay for this eventually” - focus on your first customers, first. 

Also, making money is not evil. Don’t ignore the for-profit models, processes or ways of thinking - you can actually adopt them to make a big impact.

The reality is, we have one life and we can build lots of things or focus on one thing for a long time - you have to decide - what is meaningful for you to build while you’re here?"

Season 4, Episode 5
Get Your Idea Out There
With Tom Dawkins, co-founder and CEO of StartSomeGood

“I really do believe that resilience is one of the key entrepreneurial skills in any pursuit. You need time to mature, germinate, make those tweaks and course corrections around whatever you have that’s valuable and unique. We don’t just need funding - we need breakthroughs. We need awesome idea creators, idea holders ... brave, courageous changemakers looking to step forward and make a difference"

Season 4, Episode 4
Lean Into Your Skill Set
With Adam Force, co-founder and CEO of Change Creator

“Two huge lessons for people who are just starting out, or who are solo:

  1. Get a co-founder - get two co-founders if you can!
  2. Once you have proven that you can create a transaction - or before even - get mentors and advisors. When you’re not as well established it may feel hard to get people on board, but go through your network, talk to people -- your success will be streamlined and expedited substantially.  

If there’s something that frustrates you or that you’re inspired by, don’t be afraid to give it a shot.

Season 4, Episode 3
Navigating and Evolving in the Social Enterprise Ecosystem
With Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK

Networks are really beneficial. Starting a social business can be a lonely experience. Therefore, finding peers, your supporters, finding your way around the ecosystem can be catalytic - it can really accelerate your progress and development. So, recognise the fact that you are in a fortunate position, that there are lots of people that want to support you, that want see you succeed, and that will give you a leg up and a helping hand if and when you need it. Go out, build those relationships, don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be afraid to sell - because we are businesses, we are social businesses, but we are still businesses.

Season 4, Episode 2
Iterate, Experiment, and Persevere
With Neetal Parekh, founder of Innov8social

“A key learning that’s been useful? Being able to iterate and try different things. If your commitment to your mission and vision, your “why” for doing something, is changing all the time, it can be tough for that social enterprise to continue; but if you’re really synced in with that, then the “how” can look different. And if you’re okay with that looking completely different to what you expected, you can iterate, maybe try different business models, try and reach new or different audiences, and persevere until you get that golden moment.”

2018: Season 4, Episode 1
Resource Hubs for Social Enterprise Enthusiasts
With Grant Trahant, founder + creative director of Causeartist

“At the time I set up Causeartist, there weren’t many resources out there for people interested in social enterprise to discover more. I felt from day one that social enterprise was about to change the dynamic of business and of how people shop. There was no blueprint or strategy setting up Causeartist - the vision has just always been to highlight people doing amazing things around the world.”

Season Finale - HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2017
Danielle wraps up an inspiring chapter with key themes and learnings from the Show's guests throughout the year.

A summary of the highlights of 25 guests interviewed from the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. We were joined by creative, committed, resourceful individuals from: 6 product-based social enterprises; 6 service-based, network-based social enterprises; and 13 individuals who support social enterprises and social entrepreneurs. Changemakers Association, together with all of our community, is looking forward to taking strategic and effective action from applying what we learn from these inspiring connections with other social entrepreneurs in 2018. Here's to an impactful year!

Episode 25:
CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGNS  - with Muheeb Hoque, Managing Director of The Pluralist

There are a lot of crowdfunding platforms out there. We did a lot of research to find the right platform: one that aligned well with the brand and what we stand for; one that's good for people fundraising with a social cause and social message like NGOs and social enterprises. We didn't expect the connections we have been able to make through the campaign, with other changemakers, entrepreneurs, projects, and the amazing work that they’re doing. There are a lot of advantages other than raising funds!

Episode 24:
CHANGING LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS - with Kye Kocher, Co-Founder of Grand Truck Veggies

"The social-cultural element of the initiative's 'triple bottom line' is that food and culture are really netted together - a lot of this comes from the cultural landscape of, "how do we create a food system that really reflects our values as people in a global society, and in turn reflects environmental and economic needs of our society as well"? Well,
- Growing the food in a climate that makes sense
- Eating that food in a climate that makes sense, and
- Paying the prices that make sense in that climate to get good, nutritionally dense food."

Episode 23:
COMMUNICATING IMPACT with Kat Luckock, Founder of Share Impact

"Marketing & communications is the one thing that social entrepreneurs really struggle with.They lack confidence because they think they have to be an expert in it. I aim to share simple skills with social entrepreneurs so that they can share and measure their impact, by crafting their impact stories in a way that helps them connect with customers ... based on emotions, feelings, memories, values - it’s those things in an impact story that connect with people."

Episode 22:
ETHICAL BUSINESS MODELS with Henrick Saertre, Chief Online Officer of Mamahuhu Shoes

"As an ethical brand you have to be willing to talk about what you stand for. It’s about doing the right thing: we have the ethos, the guiding line of doing the right thing, and this also applies to how we do our very best to take care of our customers, partners, and people who work with us. When you figure out what it is you really stand for and you start to tell people about that, they will listen … and so you find your customers. Make sure you be the best self you can be."

Episode 21:
REDUCING SINGLE-USE PLASTIC with Lindsey McCoy, Co-founder of Plaine Products

“My first boss told me that if you keep telling the story, and tell it well, you just have to hang in there until people find you. So I think that being able to have the passion about it,  and communicate that passion, be it blog posts, be it social media, be it great podcasts, and just keep telling that story. And it takes time. That’s the hard thing about being an entrepreneur... is that it’s as much patience and perseverance as it is anything else.”

Episode 20:
SCALING IMPACT with Mike Britton, director of Goodwill Solutions

I was happy, I was financially stable … but I really wanted to create a business that could give back and that found a way to affect and support the local community”

Episode 19:
CROWDFUNDING with Tony Lloyd, host of Social Entrepreneurs Podcast

Give the brain permission to explore, to discover, to make links - we have to give our brains playtime in order to also be productive.

Episode 18:
BUILDING CAPACITY with Jo-Ann Tan, Lead Architect of the +Acumen Community

“Ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things. When you think about community, what we’ve found the most helpful is to actually set the bar fairly high. If you come into your community and expect more from them, they will give you more and probably surprise you in return. It is something we've constantly seen with both our volunteer chapters, online community, and our online course community....If you expect more, you can accomplish more together. Don’t lower the bar for your community. Be clear about what it is you have set out to achieve, and then challenge each other! In constructive ways of course.”

Episode 17:
LEVERAGING NEW OPPORTUNITIES with Chris Janssen, Founder of Textbooks for Change

"Looking 3-5 years out, it’s really hard to see what the publishing industry is looking like.... So we’re chatting about a new type of direction. Still keeping our Canadian model - it is sustainable and creates an amazing amount of impact, and we have an amazing team to running the model. But we’ve pivoted in 2 different directions. One is that in the early days, it is a nightmare for any organization who sells products online, but we have learned the shipping and fulfillment game inside out. So we’ve recently had a few organizations reach out to us to ask if we could fulfill and ship products out of our warehouse. So we’ve opened a new arm, Impact Fulfillment, to house product and handle the backend for other charities as well."

Episode 16:
BUILDING COMMUNITY with Manu & Ruxandra, Co-Founders of Babele

“In the social innovation sector, beyond a few large organizations (like Ashoka, +Acumen, Skoll Foundation, etc), it is full of small programs, accelerators and incubators, that we are slowly bringing to the platform. We try to get these organizations to work together, to exchange mentors, to exchange best practices from other organization. It’s helping interconnect all these actors, and helping create an aligned ecosystem.”

Episode 15:
VALIDATING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL with Sammy Wachieni, Founder of Crowd Farm Africa

“The thing that remains constant is that we are still working in agriculture, and we want to transform it, but in terms of the how, the how keeps on changing. And as a startup, you have to be open to all those changing things. You cannot say, this is it. It might take 2 to 3 years before you can say, this is it. The world is changing really fast. If you are static, it may actually work against you. So we are willing to be open to learn, to change, to mutate.”

Episode 14:
COLLABORATING CROSS-CULTURALLY with William + Kareen Durbin, C0-Founders of Companion & Co.

“For me it’s the personal interaction with the former refugees, and going over to their houses, and sometimes being surprised by their incredible hospitality, and being given so much food that I try my best to eat. And also going over there and seeing what they have for me. One week I’ll take over over a piece of wood to give to one of the men, and then next week I’ll come back the next week and he’s created this incredible piece of art. The first time that happened it was a real thrill for me, and I was totally inspired to keep moving and keep going.”

Episode 13:
STARTING A BRICK AND MORTAR BUSINESS with Amanda Neely, C0-Founder of Overflow Coffee Bar

“We had this sense, that we knew that we knew that we knew that this was was something that we had to do with our lives. And if we got to our deathbed and we hadn’t given it the best shot that we could, that we’d be disappointed. So every single time (and there’s been a lot) that we felt like quitting or giving up, we came back to that sense that we knew this what we were do with our lives, and the importance of it. Even for our own selves and meaning and purpose for our lives, despite all the other things we were trying to do, impact wise and changing the world, that’s kept us going through the thick and thin of things when it’s been really hard.”

Episode 12:
CREATING WITH YOUR BENEFICIARIES with Matt Dickson, Founder of Eggpreneur

“From the beginning when Eggpreneur came to mind, it took me almost 3 months. First of all, because my background is in medical sciences, pharmacy and global health, I had to move to an egg farm outside the city to be able to learn the basic skills about poultry farming, and how to understand different varieties…. Number 2 was to see how I could develop a business model that was going to be sustainable, beyond aid and beyond grants... I flew into Kenya and did a feasibility study to give me an idea of where to start in terms of locations…”

Episode 11:
AUTHENTIC SELLING with Jessica Magoch, Founder of JPM Sales Partners

“If you really do examine your beliefs, ask yourself, is that a belief that is holding you back or propelling you forward? If it’s propelling you forward, hold on to it. If it’s holding you back in any way from what you want to accomplish, then you want to work on how you are going to change that. The first thing is to look for is examples in your life that disprove what you think you believe. If you believe that money is the root of all evil, then look for examples of people in your life who are wealthy and who are not evil!”

Episode 10:
Surrounding Yourself with the Right People with Jim Verzino,
Entrepreneur in Residence of Windham Grows Food + Agriculture Business Accelerator

“The best investment I’ve made in myself was turning off the news. I either listen to audiobooks or I listen to podcast interviews like this one, that - again, surrounding myself with people who I want to emulate and take in that knowledge… to get the attitude I needed. There was this period where I knew the kind of person I wanted to be, but I didn’t know any people like that. At first, I found them on podcasts. Then once I found them on podcasts, they would give their tips of what to do, like deliver value to people you want to be around.”

Episode 9:
ETHICAL PRODUCTS with Jérôme Gagnon-Voyer + Gelaine Santiago, Co-Founders of Cambio Market

“The first challenge in terms of the storytelling marketing aspect, was getting people to understand what we do. A lot of people, when they think about products that have a story, or products that support artisans, they think about it as a charity or a nonprofit. And it’s challenge to explain that we aren’t a non profit, we are a business that operates with ethical principles, and that exists with a social mission. When we first started, we kept using the term ‘social enterprise’ to describe ourselves. And we realized quickly that no one really knows what that word means, especially in Canada where the awareness is low. So we quickly realized you can’t use those terms. At the same time, we didn’t want to say we’re like TOMS, for example, where it’s a 1 to 1 donation model. Because that’s not what we do either. We work with our partners as business partners, where we purchase the product from them, and then as we scale, they are able to scale at the same time.”

Episode 8:
BRANDING with Anne Miltenburg, Founder of The Brandling

"When you feel like you're really making a difference for someone, that's a magical moment. When we're doing these sessions, sometimes we'll uncover entirely new revenues streams, sometimes we'll discover a great way to help them cut costs, sometimes we find amazing ways to develop events to get publicity. ... When you're developing something for yourself it's really hard often to see your strengths. When someone else can come in a say like hey, let's go into the mine together, find the gold, and dust it off and bring it back up and put it in the spotlight, that's a great way of working together."

Episode 7:
FINANCIAL HEALTH with Christine Rico, Founder of CFO on Speed Dial

"My whole premise is that if you don't have a stable financial base, then you can't very fair in really delivering the social impacts that you want. ... The other thread that runs through my work is the thread of storytelling. Everybody now understand the power of story. ... The stories are often visual, and definitley verbal, but if you're running a business, the other part of the story is the numbers. If you can't look at the numbers and have them tell you a story, you're missing part of the narrative."

Episode 6:
AUTHENTICITY with Kari Enge, Founder and Editor of Rank & File Magazine

"Purpose-driven entrepreneurs see good in the world and want good for the world. That means we want good for the people who inhabit it. For the purpose-driven entrepreneur: people intrinsically matter."

Episode 5:
COMMUNITY with Tara Byrne, Founder of Under 30 Changemakers

"You can't steer a parked car. You just have to start and just go for it, no matter where you are, no matter with what you have. It's easy to think that you don't have the resources already available to you. But you do. If you're on here, you have the internet. You have an ability to literally reach out to anyone in the world and ask for their help or their support. You have an ability to sell almost anything you can think of. The limitations, and why we are personally a mental support group, is because it's getting over yourself. We put up so many obstacles to what we can and cannot do, and it's ultimately just going for it and seeing how it works out. Because no matter what you can dream up, you can achieve."

Episode 4:
MARKETING STRATEGIES with Mike Volkin, Founder of 800lb Marketing

"I see being an entrepreneur as an art form. Like a painter approaches a canvas. One of the things I do differently is approach problems and growth strategies differently. I like to look at a whole 360 degree view of a company. A lot of clients come to me and they say 'ok I have this product, I want to market it'. The first thing I look for is other opportunities to #1 help them grow that product better, but #2 help them cross-sell and up-sell given the 360 view of what they need to do. That's the art form. There's no set process. Every company is unique; everyone is different."

Episode 3:
IMPACT/REVENUES BALANCE with Ozzy Lang, Co-Founder of Green Cup

"It costs us a lot more to go with compostable cups and to offer them at the same price if not lower than a regular cup to get into these different environments. We are losing money on that. But at the end of the day, that's the mission behind this, to reduce waste. To have a good social business you need to be profitable and keep pushing forward but the reason you started your business is to provide that social gain."

Episode 2:
PROJECT MANAGEMENT with Luisa Saavedra, Founder of The Project SME

"A common mistake is I see is 'to-do lists on fire'. A project is an articulated goal with a start and a stop. It helps you strategize about what exactly your goal is, and the activity that you have to be doing to reach that goal, and how long you want to spend time on it... THAT is what gets you from A to B."

Episode 1:
INSPIRATION with Beth Palm, Founder of BAM Essentials and Social Good Impact

"I've been reading a lot about Buddhism and studying that philosophy. I think my calling is in relieving suffering. Whether thats relieving suffering of humans, or the planet, or other form of suffering. We are all suffering in some way. And so the more that I can do to relieve that suffering - that's what gets me out of bed in the morning."

With your hosts

Solène + Danielle