Gifts for Good: For the first time ever, Impact Hubs across the US and Canada came together for a virtual Gifts for Good Market – an opportunity to shop sustainable and ethical products this holiday season from a curated selection of inspiring makers from the Impact Hub network. Check out the Gift Guide!
Every entrepreneur’s journey is different. There is not one singular path that works for every business and the path is rarely a strait or smooth one. Impact Hub MSP is a constant resource along the way for entrepreneurs throughout their journey.
However, it often starts the same – with a spark.
For Tyler Vogel, that spark came when he traveled to Peru in 2014 as part of the Clinton Global Initiative University and Resolution Project to help develop a sustainable and responsible approach to combating Malaria. His time there sparked an interest in social impact, ecosystem building and community development.
Back in the U.S., Tyler embarked on a Master of Development Practice Program at the Humphrey school where he was introduced to the Hub through what turned into his favorite course; ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ taught by Impact Hub MSP’s co-founder Terri Barreiro.
Tyler credits Impact Hub as the inspiration for following a career in social impact. His passion and Impact Hub connections helped him build his network (and resume!), working with organizations such as Social Enterprise MSP, Global MN and the Minnesota International NGO Network.
In 2020, Tyler landed his dream job as a Community Solutions Fellow and then Impact Program Manager at Community Reinvestment Fund after being introduced to the opportunity by Terri.
Tyler continues to be a social impact changemaker and champion as a member of Impact Hub, Minnesota International NGO Network board member, Social Enterprise MSP ambassador and Director of his own social venture, Wings of the Night.
“Impact Hub is the glue that holds all the different support systems together, providing valuable resources that are difficult to find, especially after COVID. The Hub truly represents community.”
Plastics can be a hassle – they create clutter and can be confusing to recycle – plus they contribute to litter, harm water and wildlife, and have largely unknown health impacts for us.
Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to help create a plastic-free world, from learning more about plastic waste and recycling to making simple swaps to advocating for changes in your community and sharing your story with others. In February, the Impact Hub community committed to be part of the solution to reduce waste, protect water and wildlife, address climate change, and look after the health of ourselves and future generations by joining the Hennepin County Plastic-Free Challenge.
The problem with plastics
Plastics are problematic for many reasons.
Worldwide, plastic production has skyrocketed since the 1970s, and a lot of the growth has come in the form of packaging and single-use plastics. Most plastics are made from oil and gas – fossil fuels that contribute to climate change. About 4% to 8% of the world’s oil production is for plastics, and most plastics are thrown away after a single use.
Since packaging and single-use plastics are used for a short period of time and then discarded, they contribute significantly to the increasing amounts of plastic waste and litter. Although recycling can be a good option for managing certain plastic items, only a small percentage of plastic products are recycled, and many types of plastic are hard to recycle.
Unlike items made from natural materials like plants that can be composted and returned to the soil, plastics don’t go away. Instead, they break down into smaller pieces of plastic. These microplastic pieces are now found almost everywhere, including in our air, water, soil, and bodies. Plastics in the environment pollute our water, harm wildlife, and have largely unknown health impacts for us.
What we learned doing the Plastic Free Challenge
- Did you know there are seven types of plastics? The number 1-7 printed on a item tells you what type of plastic it is, but not if or how to recycle it. Plastics number 1, 2, and 5 are generally accepted in your recycling at home.
- Most plastics are made from oil and gas – fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.
- Microplastics shed from synthetic clothing and produced when large plastic items are broken down by the sun are harmful to fish and other aquatic animals. When we eat fish that have ingested microplastics, those harmful effects may be passed on to us.
- More plastic has been produced in the past ten years than in the century before!?
Tips to reduce your plastic waste
- Avoid toxic plastics (#3 – ex: cling wrap, #6 – ex: plastic cutlery, #7 – plastic packaging)
- Recyle correctly! recycling guide (PDF)
- Empty and rinse containers
- Put plastic caps on before recycling
- Don’t crush plastic items
- Don’t put plastic bags, large plastic items and single use plastic utensils and straws in the recycling bin
- Reduce plastic in your wardrobe by washing clothing correctly and repairing what you can. Try creating a capsule wardrobe and buy second hand.
- Change the way you shop!
- Change the way you eat out!
These past two months have been a great reminder of the Impact Hub’s global reach.
The Makers Festival: a Global Impact Hub event packed with interesting content, engaging speakers, and important conversations – from environmental actionable steps to the new trends of work, from experiences on inclusion action to learned lessons on access to capital.
Global Entrepreneurship Week: Each November 10 million people take part in tens of thousands of activities, competitions, and events that inspire them to act and provide them with the knowledge, experience, and connections they need to succeed.
The GEW 2022 themes include education, ecosystems, inclusion and policy to spotlight impactful voices and organizations — as well as inspiring activities — that are helping empower entrepreneurs everywhere.
Examples of events:
But we are still locally rooted!
Social Enterprise MSP and Impact Hub MSP celebrated Social Impact Week, honoring the stories of amazing companies and founders that are using business as a tool for social good.
This holiday season we invite you to eat, drink and shop local and “social” and align your dollars with your values.
Discover a Founder Story
All week long we will be sharing founder stories of businesses making an impact in our communities. Follow along on social and share your favorite social businesses to support and shop to encourage others to shop social!
Share Your Mission
All social businesses are encouraged join and use this opportunity to share about your mission and “Why Social” is part of your ethos. Let’s flood the community with amazing social impact stories throughout the week. Social Media kit available here.
Visit a Local Social Business
Grab the passport and to eat, drink, and shop your way through the holiday season. When you visit, tag participating businesses and #SocialImpactWeekMN to share!
Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
SDG 9 works to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
Infrastructure is all around us, sidewalks, safe roads, reservoirs and the supply of running water, transportation, financial, technological & data systems. All which creates more jobs and contributes to a thriving economy.
When good infrastructure is in place, entrepreneurs can make existing products or services even better.
Impact Hub Innovation
Innovation takes place everyday at Impact Hub. This month, staff members from across the world gathered for the 2022 Online Makers Festival, an opportunity to share best practices, connect and celebrate our impact.
Part of the 3-day event included the 2022 Innovation Awards featuring six inspirational projects happening across the Impact Hub network. These innovations are a great example of SDG 9 in action!
- Impact Hub Berlin: Building and opening Europe’s first coworking space fully guided by sustainable AND circular principles, being a pioneer in this industry now while still aiming for a planet positive operations management.
- Impact Hub Brasilia: Lab Financeiro is a program of Impact Hub Brasilia that is a learning technology that seeks to bring a new mindset towards money, through simple language and accessible content. Besides that our solution proposes that the beneficiaries became multipliers of the content in their communities.
- Impact Hub Floripa: Salto Aceleradora – 10 week long acceleration program, with in person classes, practical laboratories and exclusive mentorships focused on microentrepreneurs.
- Impact Hub Inverness: Rural Lives UK – Quantitative and qualitative research into the experience of financial hardship and financial vulnerability in rural Britain
- Impact Hub Istanbul: Project Zoom aimed at bringing out stories/issues that are generally overlooked, focusing on underreported issues that nevertheless might be impactful for the people they reach out to. With targeted guidance, effective network and financial support, 20 journalists and media experts had the chance to explore a different angle of their work and unveil new exciting stories.
- Impact Hub Shanghai: At the 2021 Budweiser China Innovation Hub, Impact Hub Shanghai recommended Vegatex to enter the pilot. The two parties conducted research and development on the high-value application of Budweiser lees, and successfully upcycled Budweiser lees into plant-based leather, which is of more stable quality and without the need of cleaning. This leather is the pioneering technology and has attracted the attention of many consumer brands.
When we think differently about the systems that contribute to our day to day – from how we build and design to how we teach, research and tell stories – we contribute to more sustainable growth and development.
I know it is cliche, especially as Minnesotans, to say that Summer is going fast – but wow, it is flying!
And with the end of this summer comes a few more Impact Hub goodbyes.
Our summer programs are nearing their completion, leases for our current private office tenants are almost up, several board members terms have ended and two staff members are moving on to their next adventure.
Although it is always hard to say goodbye, we know that the lessons we have taught each other and the feeling of being part of something bigger sticks with you. We are continuously inspired by the amazing people who make up the Impact Hub community. From program participants and members to staff and board, we appreciate and value you!
Goodbyes and Gratitudes
Thank you to the following board members who have volunteered their time to help lead Impact Hub MSP and make it the best it can be!
Both have been long-time supporters of our community and we couldn’t be more excited to have you as leaders on our Board.
A bittersweet farewell to staff members Stacy Reynolds and Adi Adara who are both headed to the East Coast. We will miss your energy, spunk and creativity at the Hub, but know you are on to your next great thing. Be sure to stop by and say hello to our friends at Impact Hub New York!
Finally, a huge thank you to our inaugural anchor tenants – WareCorp, Brown Venture Group and NDN Collective. What a pleasure to have you as our first private office tenants in our Stadium Village location. Your offices will have big desks to fill.
Meet our Entrepreneurship 4 Good Summer 2022 Cohort
These six inspiring entrepreneurs are working on turning their social venture ideas into reality.
“It’s a pleasure to have such a great group of passionate individuals in our cohort. They are truly working to change the world.”
– Tina Pfau-Gonzales, Co-instructor
- Munira Ahmed – Mental health services for immigrants
- Laila Orsi – Digital marketing agency for emerging businesses
- Mario Jackson – Construction apprenticeships for recently incarcerated men
- Kesha Green – Family & children’s counseling services
- Susana Rosas – Suyana Designs is committed to empowering female artisans through employment and education opportunities.
- Mary Taris – Publishing company & bookstore centering Black narratives – Strive Publishing
In Case You Missed It
Do you struggle with time management and staying organized? That’s okay—most of us do. This workshop provided simple strategies for improving your time management skills, in order to boost your productivity and efficiency, both at home and at the office.
One attendee said it was the most helpful workshop on time management she had been to in years!
The latest Supreme Court decisions regarding gun control, reproductive rights and the EPA are disturbing. Progress towards equity, peace and justice seems farther away than ever.
One of the ways to feel less helpless during times of confusion is to educate yourself and others. So this month, we are highlighting SDG 4 – Quality Education which promotes inclusive and equitable education for young people and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Why is Quality Education Important?
Ensuring young people have access to a quality education is essential to preparing the future generation. Lack of education and diminished literacy rates are linked to increased poverty, limited opportunities to participate fully in society and higher incarceration rights. According to the Governors Foundation, over 70% of inmates in America’s prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.
Minnesota has alarmingly high educational inequities. In 2019, we ranked 50th when it comes to racial disparities in high school graduation rates. (US Department of Education) Yikes. Yet, these inequities can be seen worldwide and have only gotten worse since the pandemic. Temporary school closures kept 90% of all students out of school and remote learning remains out of reach for at least 500 million students.
Sub-Saharan Africa faces the biggest challenges in providing schools with basic resources and about one-third of countries in developing regions have not achieved gender parity in primary education. Globally around 5.5 million more girls than boys of primary school age were out of school in 2018.
All this to say, don’t take your education and opportunities for continuous learning for granted! Let learning fuel action.
Here are some of Impact Hub staff and members favorite ways to practice lifelong learning. Thank you to Cogent Consulting for inspiring this list!
Some of our favorite social ventures working towards SDG 4:
This quarter’s Minnesota B Corps spotlight is on Bond & Devick Wealth Partners.
Founded in 1982 by Penny Bond, one of the first female financial planners in the country, Bond & Devick is a fee-only, fiduciary, comprehensive financial planning firm. The firm adds value to clients by creating a financial plan based on their goals and circumstances. Bond & Devick runs retirement projections that help clients define their goals and design a financial plan to help them toward achieving those goals. Further, the firm aligns clients’ investment portfolio with their values as well as implement tax strategies, review estate plans, and charitable gifting strategies.
Why did Bond & Devick become a B Corporation?
Many financial planning firms make claims that they care about their team, their clients, and the community. By becoming a B Corp we have a 3rd party who validates those claims. Our B Corp status helps us stand out from our competition and is another way we differentiate ourselves from other firms.
What has been the most rewarding part of the decision?
Increasing the awareness of the B Corp movement has been rewarding, but one of the biggest rewards has been that one of our employees found us when she searched for B Corps in Minneapolis and was really interested in working with a company whose values aligned with her own.
How is your company using business as a force for good and demonstrating a commitment to the B Corp values and mission?
We are active and vocal in the financial planning community, aiming to be an example of how our industry can do better. We have done many things to make us a better community partner by changing where we buy our office supplies, our coffee, and our furniture.
We recently moved and we worked diligently to hire local, BIPOC business owners to provide us with sustainable office furniture. We continue to be a voice for sustainable and responsible investing as a way to combat climate change but also make our society more just and equitable. We are mentoring BIPOC advisors and two small BIPOC business through our relationship with the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce. We give back to the community through frequent volunteer events both with our clients and through financial contributions.
Who are some of your role models in the business community? Who or what company can we all learn from?
Sunrise Banks is one of our role models – they were the first B Corp in Minnesota and they are a true role model on how to be a force for good and change. We also appreciate that Patagonia only provides corporate clothing for other B Corps – this is a great incentive for other firms to check out the B Corp process.
What are your goals as a B Corp and what accomplishments are you most proud of since becoming a B Corp?
Our goal is to continue to improve our B Corp score, continue to be open to new ideas and ways of doing business that have a greater impact on our community. We also advocate for B Corps by supporting other B Corps when purchasing goods as well as talking to other companies about the importance of being a B Corp in hopes they considering becoming one themselves.
This Minnesota B Corps spotlight is on Peace Coffee. Peace Coffee has been roasting fair trade, organic coffee in the heart of Minneapolis since 1996.
Why did Peace Coffee Become a B Corporation?
As a fair trade, organic coffee company from our inception in 1996, trusted authentic measures of our commitment to doing right in our business has always been paramount. In our industry, these types of coffee-specific certifications are numerous and complex, so when we learned about B Corp certification, we immediately began planning for our application. To have something that not only certifies the product you’re selling and the practices involved but also every aspect of your business from concept to community is so valuable. We jumped at the chance to be measured for our entire operation versus people just knowing we have good coffee!
How is your company using business as a force for good?
From day one, we’ve been committed to honoring the earth through organic coffee production, honoring coffee producers through fair trade, and honoring our staff and community through creating good jobs and contributing to our neighbors near and far to make our little coffee world have a big impact! To work for a company that does what it says it does and is earnest in its pursuit of doing more and getting better as we go is a true privilege.
Who are some of your role models in the business community? Who or what company can we all learn from?
Of course, we’ve always admired some of the more recognizable faces in our community like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Dr. Bronner’s, but closer to home, we love the front-and-center messaging of Sunrise Banks, the progressive and vocal leadership of The Coven (Alex Steinman and Bethany Iverson and their whole team!), the home-grown and good-natured folks at Seven Sundays just ooze kindness and value for people and planet, and we really look up to Rita Katona at So Good So You!!
Ryan Brown, Community Manager at Peace Coffee
I create engaging content relevant to the Peace Coffee mission in the digital realm. I represent Peace Coffee at events and really miss being in large groups, telling our story and sharing cups of great coffee!
Community Impact: April 2022
Each quarter, Impact Hub MSP hosts a Member Town Hall to bring the community together, share ideas, celebrate wins and hear Hub updates. A few highlights for Q2 include;
- The launch of our new website! Check it our and share your feedback here.
- 2021 Impact Report
- Now accepting interest forms for Interns 4 Impact
- Applications for Entrepreneurship 4 Good due May 20
And here is a clip from our presentation celebrating some our amazing members!
- Coconut Whisk is now selling in Target
- Hub members, past & present, join Lunar Startups Cohort 5
- Rahul, Turia
- Sabrina, SJC Body Love
- Joy, Fair Anita
- Gogyup featured in The Star Tribune
- Memorialize the Movement’s 2nd Annual Justice for George Exhibit coming up on May 21.
Watch the recording of our Q2 Town Hall.
In Case You Missed It
Wow, our community is full of talented people making a difference! This month, two of our members paid it forward by offering their talents as workshops. Learn more about Jonathan and Tamara below.
Grant Writing 101
Jonathan C.W. Jones is an educator and social entrepreneur focused on empowering people to voice their ideas, tell their story and secure resources to do good in their communities.
In this workshop he shared tools to help entrepreneurs feel empowered towards securing their next grant including;
- The basic elements of grant proposals
- “Gems” in writing and submitting a proposal
- Intro to the Template Process
- Resources to help you on your grant journey
Get a Grip on Your Business
Tamara Prato has twenty five years of experience connecting the dots. Her passion is helping small businesses. She has spent the past 15 years creating a community that celebrates growing businesses while providing programming to help them succeed.
In this workshop, Tamara introduced entrepreneurs to the six key components of a successful business. Attendees were able to walk away with a set of simple, practical tools to focus on priorities, get clear on issues and gain traction.
SDG of the Month: Responsible Consumption & Production
Responsible consumption and production is about doing more, better with less. It is about promoting a sustainable lifestyle, increasing resource efficiency and separating economic growth from environmental degradation.
Did you know that between 2010 and 2019, electronic waste grew by 38% but less than 20% is recycled!? Our global material footprint continues to rise as the world uses our natural resources unsustainably. In 2017, our footprint reached 85.9 BILLION metric tons.
Individuals and businesses need to find ways to reduce waste while making informed decisions about what and how you buy.
Impact Hub MSP is excited to partner with two innovative companies helping us contribute to a regenerative economy.
LOCAL PARTNER: Ridwell
We are excited to be partnering with Ridwell to offer a free month of service to our community! Sign up today to get on board with wasting less.
Ridwell is a grassroots organization that helps households waste less by picking up reusable and hard-to-recycle items such as plastic film, batteries, lightbulbs and more and finding new life for them. Their mission is to save as much from the landfill as possible. In just about 3 years, Ridwell members have saved ~4.6 million pounds from our landfills!
How it works
- Members receive Ridwell bin with labeled bags
- Fill Ridwell bags with batteries, lightbulbs, plastic film, and threads (as well as add-on and rotating categories)
- Drivers collect full Ridwell bags every two weeks and replace empty bags in bin
- Collected items are recycled or reused by local partners dedicated to wasting less
More info at twin-cities.ridwell.com!
GLOBAL Partner: Goodwings
As part of our Global Environmental Strategy — which, in a nutshell, aims to make sure that all our programs, events, spaces and activities become as sustainable as possible — we are collaborating with key stakeholders to tackle the climate emergency.
Following up on that commitment, we have partnered up with Goodwings to better understand, reduce and remove our network’s travel-related carbon emissions, at scale.
Goodwings is the only travel platform that calculates, reports and pays to remove its clients’ travel emissions — and now offers Impact Hub members and employees discounts on subscription-based memberships.