Ben & Jerry’s spends about a fifth of its marketing budget to reach 10 million “fans”on social media. But technology is only the tool. Ben & Jerry’s keeps its fans close by speaking truth to power.
Author: Brad Edmondson
“Regulation crowdfunding” is a lot like Kickstarter, with one big difference: When you send money through Wefunder or SeedInvest, you get stocks or bonds instead of CDs and thank-you notes.
“People are starting to realize that serious journalism in big cities could actually go away,” says Terry Egger, publisher and CEO of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “We need to find new ways to deliver news.”
When faced with a tough financial decision, Harpoon Brewery opted not to sell to a large investor, and instead put almost half the company into an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Two years later, with Harpooners at the wheel, the company is growing — and its founder is now a champion of ESOPs as a solution for craft brewers nearing retirement.
Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani yogurt, made headlines late last month when he gave 10 percent of the company’s stock to his 2,000 employees. It was an extraordinary act of generosity for a man who owns a business with annual sales of $1 billion. It was also smart business management.
Many publicly-traded corporations are like dinosaurs, says author Gerald Davis. They cannot keep up with changes in hiring, sourcing and technology. They are becoming obsolete, he argues, and it’s time to think about what’s next.
“If you’re divesting from bad companies and you believe they’re going to fail, why not go further? Why not short them?,” asks Dale Wannen, founder of socially-responsible hedge fund Sustainvest Asset Management.
Sure, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT “bathroom law” is terrible. So is the new Mississippi law that allows businesses to refuse service to gay people. But the swift negative reaction to these laws says a lot about where the country is going.
“People are approaching the task of running social enterprises in different ways. Several different forms are available in the U.S., and other countries have even more,” says Rob Esposito, an attorney who co-launched the interactive Social Enterprise Law Tracker.
“We regularly get calls from highly qualified job applicants who have heard about us and want to work for us,” says Adam Goodman, the third-generation owner of Goodmans Interior Structures. “They don’t even know if we’re hiring. They just want to be part of what we’re doing”
“The law is impractical and unworkable,” corporate lawyer Michael Hutchings says of benefit corporation legislation. The permissive alternative to a benefit corporation law is called a social purpose corporation (SPC), but opponents say this classification doesn’t go far enough.
In the last few years, six for-profit colleges have re-chartered themselves to become benefit corporations, with a dual mission to pursue a public benefit while also making a profit. Are they greenwashing?
Open Corporates was created by two open-data activists with the goal to get the URL of every company in the world and make their financial disclosures public and searchable.