Sunday, April 14, 2013

Micro-Investments | Transforming Business, Changing Lives

Sometimes it's hard to write about ideas and topics you simply don't give a shit about. I applaud anyone who does this for a living, as it is the equivalent of telling a blues musician to play classical music for eight hours a day. I choose to believe that readers are for the most part aware of skill and passion one puts into their writing. Passion is something that is hard to synthesize, and usually a "smart" reader can tell when a writer is not being genuine.

As I often remind myself, people want quality not quantity - yet, as I try to keep this blog active I am sometimes posed with the challenge of coming up with creative and interesting ideas that readers will enjoy reading, but also that I enjoy writing about.  

That said, I am actually really interested in the power and change that micro-investing sites can have on transforming ideas, lives, and history. Sites like indiegogo and kickstarter work to break down the barriers that existed when creative people had great ideas, skill, and ability - but little to no financial support.

Cause let's be honest, it's almost impossible to convince investors or banks that giving fifty-percent of the profits to charity is a good idea, but companies like Me to We located in Toronto actively practice this philosophy. Other responsible businesses like TOMS are flourishing. TOMS has run a "one for one campaign" since their inception in 2006. The program gives a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. TOMS sold over 10,000 units during their first year in business. TOMS is now a multimillion dollar company that has donated hundreds of thousands of shoes to children in need, possibly close to the millions at this point. Any person who continues to believe that there is no market for investing in sustainable or responsible businesses simply has their head in the sand.

However, the power for businesses to succeed is no longer completely in the hands of those who are motivated by greed, money, and profit margins. It is now up to the public, who can foster small donations to businesses and ideas they personally believe in or care about. The most beautiful part about sites like kickstarter or indiegogo is that the investors receive something in return for their financial support including involvement in the project, meaning this isn't charity. This is opportunity in the making.

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