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From Business Entrepreneur to NonProfit Entrepreneur

Linda’s Business Blog is an ongoing conversation about all things business…mostly.  I’ve digressed from time-to-time, written about a vacation or two, done a book review or two -but always relevant to what I’m doing.  In January – hopefully – I’ll not only write about vacation again but the process of buying a fruit tree.  Tomorrow I’m going to write about a small, tiny even, business owner’s reaction to the differences between China’s cultural outlook on national economics and the United States’ cultural outlook on national economics.  However, today is today.

I’m writing a book  whose working title is, “Your Presence on the Internet-A Beginners Guide for Home-Based Business Owners.” [What do you think of the title?] In there I have four definitions that are relevant to what follows:

  • An Entrepreneur – someone who organizes a business venture and assumes the risk for it…you put up the capital and all the risks is yours; all the benefits are yours, also
  • A Small Business Owner – a small business is…independently owned and operated, with a small number (1 to 10) of employees and relatively low volume of sales [this is relative of course]
  • A Business Leader – the capacity to establish direction and to influence and align others toward a common goal
  • An Innovator – act of introducing something new

I’ve met someone who meets all these definitions and who has done something exciting beyond the day-to-day of business.  Leah Oviedo is a California businesswoman.   Her business, Mercado del Mundo, is [from her website]: “…in business since 2006, selling Women’s Clothing, Men’s Clothing and Accessories, Fine Art and Organic Products from around the world! Our goal is to support artists and cooperatives that have a positive impact on the world!…”

Leah has a heart for reaching out and created Investing In Women [from that website]:

  • “…Investing in Women is a place for Empowering Women through education and appreciation. The goal of this site is to invest in Women around the world from big cities to remote communities…Our main goal of Invest In Women will be to give information and access to resources and issues concerning women today.  We also have a micro grant program for women business owners in the USA…”

Investing In Women was created in the spring of last year [2008] and on November 9 of this year awarded its first micro grant to a woman-owned business, The Underground Railroad To Success [URS]. From the press release that Leah sent to me:

  • “…The recipient of the award is Tanisha Cunningham, founder of The Underground Railroad to Success (railroad2success.com). The URS is a non-profit that provides a service to foster children aging out of the system to live independently as adults while becoming an integral part of society. This is great for foster children and also has a positive affect on our society as a whole…The recipient of the award is Tanisha Cunningham, founder of The Underground Railroad to Success. The URS is a non-profit that provides a service to foster children aging out of the system to live independently as adults while becoming an integral part of society. This is great for foster children and also has a positive affect on our society as a whole….”

There is an old saying that “even one person can make a difference” and the examples of Leah Oviedo and Tanisha Cummingham are proof of that saying.  I think it’s a lesson that illustrates that:

  • none of us should feel that we cannot help in some way to make this world a better place
  • that just because our business impact might be small does not mean we cannot make a great impact socially
  • change starts with an idea

The new year, 2010, isn’t that far off now.  If you have a business – of any size – do you have somewhere in your business plan some kind of “giving back” to your community or the world-at-large?  It doesn’t have to be money, we all have other resources: time, talents and gifts that we can share.

 

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4 Responses

  1. Generally I do not post on blogs, – but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

  2. I know this is really boring and you are skipping to the next comment, but I just wanted to throw you a big thanks – you cleared up some things for me!

  3. Thank you for your comment. I believe that giving back to our community is something we all should give thought to when working on a business plan. – Linda

  4. There’s never anything boring about having someone take notice of something you’ve written and I never skip comments. Thank you for your kind words. – Linda

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