Growth sector: 'Social entrepreneurship' is trending

Mark Trumbull of the Christian Science Monitor writes: "One arena where American start-up firms’ numbers have increased in recent years, rather than shrunk, is the space called 'social entrepreneurship' – at the crossroads between profit-based growth and not-for-profit ideals of changing the world for the better." In this article he profiles Revolution Foods, a company founded by Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey in 2006. "The motive was to give American children access to healthier school lunches and, more broadly, help transform American eating habits....By 2012 they had $54 million in annual revenue and 942 employees."

Revolution Foods is yet another excellent example of social entrepreneurship in practice - a for profit business with a social mission that aligns with its bottom line. In this case, they service 1,000 schools, delivering over 1 million meals a week to 200,000 students. The majority of these schools are public and as many as 80 percent of the meals they deliver are consumed by students on reduced cost or free meal programs.

Revolution Food's rapid growth and innovative business model have been attracting attention. Most recently from Steve Case whose Revolution Fund recently invested $30 million to fund the company's expansion with aspirations of growing its sales from $100 million today to $1 billion in the United States alone. Imagine if similar ventures were launched in countries like Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, and elsewhere. Linking smallholder farmers, organic food production, and the public agencies that procure food for schools, hospitals, and the military could open new vistas for promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth along with achieving better social outcomes. (Wholesome) food for thought.

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