Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The future of business? Let's hope so.

In the early days, when the three of us were sitting round every evening plotting, planning and dreaming what Unchained could be, we felt the belief growing in us that the best way to solve social problems was by applying a bit of business thinking.

We did our fair share of research and nobody seemed to do what we hoped to do with Unchained. It's only lately that the whole 'social entrepreneur' thing has become sizzling hot - of course there is the chance that I'm just super-aware of the seemingly incessant coverage it's getting in the press right now.

Last week, the Society pages of The Guardian were all about people doing good through business. I picked up a copy of Harpers Bazaar (not my usual read) on a flight yesterday and its supplement was all about 'Fair Traders' - women who were making it big in ethical business. I got cosy with the mag on my flight back to London reading about women who I hugely admire: Ella Heeks of Abel & Cole and Safia Minney, the founder of People Tree.

And then of course there's my favourite story of all: Tom's Shoes. What a lovely, simple, genius idea. Blake, if you're reading you're a big hunk of humanitarian, entrepreneurial love. The shoes sell for $30 (or thereabouts) and when you buy yourself a pair, a second pair gets shipped to kids in South America.

Watch the first drop off above.

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