Working for a Higher Purpose: Conscious Capitalism

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    Today’s blog focuses on Conscious Capitalism. As we enter the holiday season of good will towards all, your purchases and investments play a part in creating a world of peace and well-being, or greed and exploitation.

    I want to spotlight three companies who are helping build a better world: World Reader, Root Capital, and SoleRebels

    Are your investments creating the kind of world you want to have?

    I’ve written several blogs about the importance of supporting companies who walk the talk of the Triple Bottom Line (people, planet, profits). These companies truly believe in Corporate Social Responsibility.

    As you grow your retirement funds, consider the social good that is created by the companies in your portfolio. Ask about the impact of your investments….. beyond your financial ROI.

    Think about this- What good is saving a lot of money for retirement if the world you live in is less safe, more volatile?

    If you don’t support conscious businesses, Will you need to earn even more money to pay for healthy food, clean air and clean water in the future?

    Are you supporting businesses whose mission serves a higher purpose?

    Root Capital coffee lady

    Eradicating Illiteracy

    David Risher was an executive working at Amazon.com when they were developing the Kindle. He had an ephiphany on a trip to Ecuador. He saw a library in a remote village where most book orders never arrived. His vision was to provide books to remote villages around the globe by going digital. Risher left his job at Amazon to pursue a higher calling. Through a pilot project with funding from USAID in Ghana, he was able to demonstrate the potential of putting ebooks into the hands of children easily.

    Worldreader has wirelessly distributed more than 721,129 African and international e-books to children in 9 sub-Saharan African countries. http://www.worldreader.org/about-us/our-mission/

    Soleful Vision

    Founded in 2005 with her brother and husband, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu creates sandals made from recycled tires.“Everyone today is concerned about reducing carbon footprints, which is great. But at soleRebels we also believe that people around the world want much more from the brands they are buying”, says Bethlehem. “I also want to emphasize that a company like ours can build scalable community-based businesses that allow people to have well paid jobs, while creating market-leading products and preserving the environment”. Bethlehem was invited by President Clinton to be one of the panelists at the Clinton Global Initiative (http://solerebels.ethiovision.com/).

    Sustainable Farming

    William Foote left a lucrative job on Wall Street to help farmers and coffee growers in Latin America. While working in Mexico he saw a need for creating a thriving financial market for mid-range agricultural businesses, those too big for microlending and too small for other global funding. Built on the idea of microlending, Root Capital is a social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America. His company lends capital and delivers financial training, and strengthens market connections for smaller farms and agricultural co-operatives (http://www.rootcapital.org/our-approach).

    Remember socially responsible companies next time you adjust your stock portfolio or retirement funds. It’s a powerful way to put your money where your values are.

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    Dr. Linda J. Ferguson writes about business ethics, corporate social responsibility and spirituality at work. Read her books, “Path for Greatness: Work as Spiritual Service” and “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand: Awakening Soul Consciousness in the New Millennium” for more ideas on these themes.