Inspiration

These businesses are inspiring us and the next generation of blue-entrepreneurs around the world because they are both high growth and high impact.  Each of these companies is a part of a growing community from around the world, in multiple industries; the following companies embrace The Power of Blue:


Aravind Eye Care Systems – There are 12 million blind people in India, yet 80 percent of those cases could have been prevented or cured. Following the American chain store model, Aravind Eye Care System, founded by Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, has trained individuals in eye care and created a franchise system that makes care more accessible.  Aravind reports that in the year ending March 2011, it handled more than 2.6 million outpatient visits and performed more than 315,000 surgeries. The revenue from paying clients fuels growth and expansion and covers subsidies to treat the poor. Aravind says that is able to treat almost half its patients at low to no cost.

C.A.R.E. Emphasis: √ Contribute, √ Adopt, √ Reorganize, √ Engage


John Lewis Partnership - Where The Owners Do All The Work
Imagine a business with 76,500 owners — that is John Lewis Partnership, the British department store chain. They put their people first, making them partners who have a say in how the company is run and receive a share of the profits. In consequence, the company is not focused on short-term profit to placate shareholders; according to their partnership constitution, everyone involved works toward “the happiness of our members, through their worthwhile and satisfying employment in a successful business.” John Lewis even owns and runs five holiday resorts for the benefit of its employees.  The John Lewis Partnership is the largest employee-owned company in the U.K. Their focus on people is working — John Lewis employees stay with the company twice as long as is average in the retail industry.

C.A.R.E. Emphasis: √ Contribute, √ Adopt, √ Reorganize, √ Engage


Postcode Lottery - Upping The Ante
When Boudewijn Poelmann started the Dutch Postcode Lottery in 1989, he wanted the business to be all about communities raising funds and supporting organizations that advocate for a fairer, freer and greener world.
The postcode lottery model is a unique one. Individuals don’t win — communities do. If your postcode comes up as a winner, everyone in your community who has bought a ticket shares in the winnings. There have been great block parties bringing everyone together to celebrate.
More than 2.5 million families bought 4.5 million tickets in 2011, and the lottery has now expanded to Sweden and the United Kingdom, with 50 percent of the gross proceeds going to charity.

C.A.R.E. Emphasis: √ Contribute, √ Adopt, √ Reorganize, √ Engage


Sales Force.com - Hey, You, Get Onto My Cloud
Salesforce.com creates software that makes businesses more effective, such as customer relationship management systems. Founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, a former Oracle executive, and expert software developers Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff and Frank Dominguez, Salesforce is among the top 50 fastest-growing companies in the world.

The San Francisco-based company draws on resources across all operations to make a difference. For example, Salesforce boasts that its system uses 95 percent less carbon than traditional computing systems: by drawing on its 100,000 client companies to share IT resources over a vast number of computers, it generates enormous economies of scale that minimize CO2 emissions.

C.A.R.E. Emphasis:  - Contribute, √ Adopt, √ Reorganize, √ Engage


Working Assets - 1.5 Million and Counting
Working Assets is not your typical communications company. While they sell credit card, mobile and long-distance services, their mission is to support peace, equality, human rights and the environment. They say that they have created a community of activists that by 2011 was 2.5 million strong.

According to Working Assets, in 2011 members generated more than 16 million calls, letters and emails advocating political change, and since the company was founded in 1985 it has helped to raise nearly $70 million for organizations working to change the world.

Working Assets makes it easy for people to make a difference just by going about their daily lives. The company donates 1 percent of monthly bill charges to organizations that share the company’s goals.

Clearly, Capitalism 24902′s time has come. Now we all need to get on with it and make it happen — quickly! Can you imagine what a different world we will live in when businesses do what’s right for communities and the environment?

C.A.R.E. Emphasis: √ Contribute, √ Adopt, √ Reorganize, – Engage


DIRTT Environmental Solutions
Based in Calgary, Canada, with operations in Phoenix and Savannah, Georgia, DIRTT Environmental Solutions is modernizing the construction industry by replacing dated, stud and drywall construction with sustainable, pre-engineered modular walls, plug and play power and data, millwork, and more. Using their interactive, 3-D ICE software platform to scope the project, the company manufactures custom, reconfigurable construction solutions using fewer resources. This cuts the cost, waste, and environmental impact of each project.

Since 2007, DIRTT has more than doubled their revenues, reaching $115 million in 2011 and added nearly 500 new high-quality jobs. This impressive growth has been mirrored by their positive environmental impact. A distributive manufacturing model allows them to drastically diminish the carbon footprint of transportation, while contributing to local, living economies. Their factories also have a footprint one-third the size of typical production facilities. All told, DIRTT has recycled over 7 million pounds of manufacturing waste since January 2011, tripling their total recycling in the past four years.

C.A.R.E. Emphasis: – Contribute, √ Adopt, √ Reorganize, √ Engage


Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products
Featured at the Clinton Global Initiative, Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products is a leading importer of organic, fair trade yerba mate, a traditional South American drink with the strength of coffee and the health benefits of tea. The company is growing fast, tripling their revenues over the past five years to reach $15 million in 2011. However, it is their innovative business model that sets them apart.

Guayaki links customer purchases directly with partner farming communities to drive rainforest reforestation and provide the peoples of the rainforest with an income and the ability to steward their land. Once a farmer partners with Guayaki, the company provides technical advice, helps manage the organic growing process through harvest, and purchases what is produced. In turn, the farmers repopulate their land with native hardwood trees and provide a living wage and fair working conditions. By matching financial growth with social and environmental impact, the company has successfully restored over 27,700 acres of South American rainforest.

C.A.R.E. Emphasis: √ Contribute, √ Adopt, √ Reorganize, √ Engage


Happy Family
Happy Family is spurring growth in the exploding market for healthy, sustainable baby food. Demand is high, as moms are responding to new products that keep their babies and children safe from the danger of pesticides. Little ones are thought to be especially vulnerable due to their small size and developing bodies. Founded only six years ago, the company has exploded, growing from just $150,000 to $34 million in revenue (helped along after being featured in this American Express commercial).

By partnering with nonprofit Project Peanut Butter, the company has managed to unite social impact with economic success. For every Happy Family product sold, the company makes a donation to help nourish a starving child with Plumpy Nut, a peanut-based paste rich in nutrients. Plumpy Nut has proven incredibly effective, with a 90% recovery rate among malnourished kids, compared to 25% to 40% for traditional programs. To date, Happy Family has provided almost 183,000 days’ supply of food for children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition in South Asia and Africa, carrying their mission of sustainably improving children’s health and nutrition to people around the world.

C.A.R.E. Emphasis:  √ Contribute, √ Adopt, √ Reorganize, – Engage

Other Inspirational Companies (for profit)
Livie and Luca Children’s Shoes
FastCompany Co_Exist

Inspiring Non-Profits
B-Corp
Children’s Musical Theater San Jose
Silicon Valley Association For Corporate Growth
Singularity University