Business for good, sustainability and fair trade should be principles that guide our every day decisions. We started Laughing Man Coffee because we believe in the power of business for good.
When we teach our children about using business for good, and when these principles become part of our mindsets and ingrained in the way that we do business, then we have really accomplished something. We believe that youth can make a huge difference in their communities and around the world, especially when they work together. We want to inspire the next generation. We hope you are inspired by this story and will join us.
Anissa Patel and Esme Venton, two nine year old girls from Massachusetts, teamed up with nine of their friends this spring to start a small business and use their profits to raise money for causes that they care about. In just one month they raised an astounding $3,300 for charity.
Here's what the girls had to say about their experience:
By Anissa Patel and Esme Venton
We are a group of 11 fourth-grade girls at a school in Massachusetts, and we decided to start a business to raise money for causes that we care about. Each one of us works hard and contributed to the founding of our business.
The process was pretty challenging but also a lot of fun.
At our first meeting, we were excited and wondering what it would be like to set up a business. We all really hoped that our business would turn out well. This was a pretty important meeting because it planted the roots of the business. We had to decide the name, our products, and our causes.
Because we started our business in the spring, we decided to name our business "Spring into Action." Our group decided to sell spring flowers and cookie mix in a jar. It was really hard to decide which organization to give to, as we all had a lot of causes that we care about. We decided to donate to three charities:
• JB's Keys to DMD: Our team member Caroline has a little brother with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). He will be in a wheelchair by the time he is 10 and we wanted to help support research to cure DMD and to support our friend. You can watch a video about JB below.
• The Jimmy Fund because we wanted to help kids with cancer.
• World Connect because we wanted to fund a girl's empowerment camp in Senegal.
Before we could give out the products, we had to assemble them. Our business required delivery of supplies and finished products, so several moms played a key role in helping us. We put together an assembly line, and when we were done there were over 100 cookie mix jars. We sold bunches of Daffodils but, as products, we had to make them presentable, and so we tied over 100 bunches of flowers with beautiful spring ribbons.
After we had completed delivering our orders, we added up our revenues, our costs and our total profit, and we had made more than $3,300. WOW! We were so happy and felt really good being able to help out with the causes that we care about.
We would like to do a business for each season, and maybe re-invest some of the profits toward our business, so that we can keep raising money for good causes. It was a really fun challenge, it helped to strengthen our business skills, and it's really fun knowing that we are able to help other people.
The Spring Into Action team: Back row: Anissa, Kelsey, Emily, Esme, Annabelle, Julie. Front row: Caroline, Jackie, Francesca, Laura. Missing: Ava.
Esme and Anissa were among hundreds of youth who have joined the Pledge your Profit campaign. This summer, Laughing Man Foundation and One Hen Inc. have teamed up to inspire more youth to start businesses for social good.
Laughing Man was co-founded by actor Hugh Jackman, and entrepreneur David Steingard, to fulfill their vision of using business as a force for good. Profits are given back to causes that they care about via the Laughing Man Foundation. One Hen Inc. is a non-profit that equips youth to start small businesses and inspires them to use their business profits to help others.
The Pledge your Profit campaign challenges youth to:
1) borrow a small loan from a teacher or parent to start a small business;
2) run their business for 30 days;
3) and donate their business profits to support a cause they care about.
We hope that you will join us in the Pledge Your Profit Challenge! When you register here you will get all of the information that you need to start your small business and register your profits.
The Pledge Your Profit (PYP) Prize!
Once you've completed your PYP project submit a one-page blog about the business you developed, the charity you supported, and why it is important to you.
The prize for the winning team will be:
1. Laughing Man Foundation will match the first $500 of the winning team's donation to their charity of choice
2. The winning blog will be posted by Hugh Jackman on his social media and featured on the One Hen website!