Here at Schoolrunner, we often have team members flying around the country to attend interesting conferences on both education and edtech. Being the data-dorks that we are, we love taking notes on all the things we see and learn at these talks.
Recently, the ladies of Schoolrunner spent the day at the WILD Summit – a daylong conference featuring Women Inspiring Leadership Development. It was an action-packed day, heavily attended and true to its promise of inspiration.
I had the opportunity to attend a couple of breakout sessions, and of course I scribbled down some notes for those of you who weren’t able to make it. Hope you find some inspirational tidbits here as well!
FOR PROFIT AND FOR GOOD: IMPACTING SOCIAL ISSUES IS OUR BUSINESS
Stephanie Cox, Anke Corbin, Grace Leung Shing, and Katie Wise. Producers: Ann Stewart Zachwieja and Cory Nickerson
Katie Wise is a doula, childbirth educator & birth advocate, as well as the founder of Yo Mama Yoga, and co-owner of the prenatal and family yoga studio the mama ‘hood:
Approach to business:
- Doesn’t have one, but goes for the ballsy approach even when she has no formal training. Has never written a business plan
- Saw that yoga teachers and doulas were getting paid very little, and being shafted by traditional yoga studio models (no time/space for socialization, lack of community feel). This inspired her to open her own studio, which quickly became successful, and eventually merged with a larger company
- Do what you love, and stay true to your ethics, value, and vision
- If you create something and it’s not up to snuff, step out and create what you love
Anke Corbin is the founder and CEO of international marketplace Globig.co:
Approach to business:
- Takes a global view. Believes that Giving comes back to you (both in business and in personal life)
- Saw a need for mentorship and created it. Began providing resources, expertise, and connecting people around the world. Was able to get mentored as well as offer mentorship
- When first starting out, set aside a percentage of the company for giving back to the community. Know that this giveback will eventually become larger and will matter
- pledge1percent.org: Pledge 1% is a corporate philanthropy movement dedicated to making the community a key stakeholder in every business. Pledge 1% encourages and challenges individuals and companies to pledge 1% of equity, product, and employee time for their communities
- Hire people who agree with your philosophy. Both globally and locally
- Build giving back into the DNA and foundation of your business
Stephanie Cox has a 15-year history leading technology and consumer goods companies in conflict zones and emerging markets spanning food security, water and sanitation, clean tech, and micro finance sectors:
After spending time in emergency/disaster zones, Stephanie realized that buyers and suppliers of aid relief products and services were not able to connect easily and quickly enough to provide adequate relief. She decided to create an international marketplace that connected buyers and suppliers in order to facilitate international aid relief.
Grace Leung Shing has worked in stock trading, portfolio management and most recently in venture capital. She is the founder of StartWise, a crowdfunding platform that enables companies from any industry to be listed and to get discovered.
Grace used to think that the best way to create change was to work hard, and then donate money. Then she began to see that social impact companies weren’t getting funded by venture capitalists. This inspired her to create a company where anyone can contribute to social impact by investing in it. In this model, everyone wins – the investors get back revenue, the companies get funded, and social impact is thus created. Grace advises entrepreneurs to set up the foundation of their company in a way that’s true to their initial vision, in order to remove from the table the need to change or cater to the wishes of their investors.
- Necessity is the mother of invention
- Creating great things because you see a need and no one else is filling it – ‘I’m Gonna Fix It’
- If you make a bad employee, then create your own business!
- Do your life’s passion
- You don’t have to start your own company to make a difference: volunteer, find other ways to effect change. (Grace calls creating change from the inside out “Intrepreneurship”)