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Conscious Business, Crowdfunding and Social Impact Investing

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Crowdfunding thought leader Rose Spinelli and Richard Branson Award Winner Shayan Nahrvar, CEO of Raise5.com, were ready to talk about funding in the new capitalism at the Conscious Business Network last week, formal presentations in hand.

Powerpoints were quickly abandoned as they chose instead to offer basic introductions and then quickly begin to answer members' penetrating questions. "What about the migration of 'investing solely to make more money' to investing from both heart and bottom line? How real is that? What are the stats?"

Spinelli spelled out staggering statistics on crowdfunding, including its current growth at a pace of 81 percent a year. President Obama's passage of the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups), she said, helps entrepreneurs grow, hire and raise capital through online investment. Companies are now allowed to sell up to 50 million in shares before registering with the SEC and can double the current limit of shareholders to 1000... That diminishes the power and role of venture capitalists as middlemen to startups and empowers crowdfunding as a new norm for realizing dreams.

"Crowdfunding is most successful," Spinelli added, "when the campaign includes a component that has positive social impact and is an emotionally powerful proposition." This platform democratizes investment and rewards conscious business.

CEO Shayan Nahrvar presented his Raise5 digital platform whereby entrepreneurs offer discounted rates for their services, and the money collected upon purchase goes to the entrepreneur's charity of choice. Non-profits can collaborate with Raise5 to enrich their cause. Raise5 takes a transaction fee that enriches the for-profit company. It is hard to miss the emotional draw of the causes listed on the site, nor the sometimes astoundingly low rates for services offered. The win for everyone is clear.

As a business consultant and skilled intuitive who can energetically "see" and articulate clients' essential gifts, life purpose, and what is emerging for them, a vast majority of clients want to know how to connect to meaning and purpose. Professionals are seeking this whether they are successfully retired, just starting out or between positions.

Professionals have determined that personal fulfillment is now a primary motivator of work choice.

Through thousands of Intuitive Readings, I have learned that there is a new organizing principle which, when embraced as a core value, ensures richer success in the new capitalism.

That principle is trust -- trust in oneself; trust in one's colleagues; trust that the work is worthy of personal investment; and trust that thought, action and business expression make a palpable impression on the whole. Without trust, relationships are reduced to measuring competitive advantage and personal outcomes, and meaning is lost.

Finding a company culture that engenders trust as an organizing principle can start with Benefit Corporations (B Corps), which consciously apply values to the entire business process, from partners to customers to stakeholders to external environment to company culture.

Tim Frick, CEO of MightyBytes, says that in the highly competitive industry of digital platform companies, his small B-Corp added 14 new full time employees in the last year. "Everyone wants to work here because of how we treat our workers. Clients seek us out because they know we are committed to our values," said Frick when he spoke at the Conscious Business Network last year.

The new capitalism demands a values-driven proposition, a social impact intention and a consumer-transparent experience, from product and service to operations and profits. We are indeed one world and when we are aware of that and invest accordingly, shared value and meaning enrich our present and our future.