A Pizza Shop to Peaceful Fruits: What’s the Connection?

Margo Schmiederer, Marketing Intern at Peaceful Fruits

It began in an office space located above a pizza shop nearly 10 years ago- now, with an endowment greater than the GDP of a small country (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/274859), the Gates Foundation has the kind of market power once reserved for governments.  But Bill and Melinda Gates are changing the ‘giving game’ by using their foundation, and the $42 million behind it, to power a new trend in philanthropy- social entrepreneurship.  The Foundation has projects ranging from improving health care and education to ending poverty.  This, my friends and readers, is the future of entrepreneurship, giving, and the world. 

 
Everyone starts somewhere, even if it involves pizza

Everyone starts somewhere, even if it involves pizza

 

So what’s social entrepreneurship all about anyway? 

Social entrepreneurship uses business techniques and ‘private sector approaches’ to find solutions for social, cultural, or environmental problems.  Basically, a social entrepreneur comes up with a business plan that addresses both a market need and also a social problem.  So, for-profit, but for-good at the same time. If you haven’t heard about this yet, you will (tell everyone you heard it here first) Social entrepreneurship is a growing trend that’s attracting new talent, money, and attention as it creates jobs, grows the economy, and ultimately changes the world. 

 
What a Google (hey Bill Gates) image search will give you for social entrepreneurship. Social Entrepreneurs = Stair Masters

What a Google (hey Bill Gates) image search will give you for social entrepreneurship. Social Entrepreneurs = Stair Masters

 

You may have seen on our Facebook or Twitters pages that Peaceful Fruits founder Evan has increasingly been doing events where he spreads the word about social entrepreneurship.  Just last week, he spoke with kids at Old Trail School about our mission here at Peaceful Fruits and how anyone with enough drive and passion can help solve a social, cultural, or environmental problem- while still making a profit.

 
Evan at Old Trail School

Evan at Old Trail School

 

Us? You could say Peaceful Fruits takes an ‘all of the above’ approach: By selling healthy slow-dried snacks made from harvested acai (social), we aim to provide economic opportunity for the tribes in the Amazon Rainforest in order to 1. protect the tribes, their families, and their cultures (cultural) and 2. protect the Amazon Rainforest from deforestation, which can be an unfortunate result of lack of economic opportunity (environmental). That’s why we were recently recognized as one of the top social enterprises in Northeast Ohio by the Cleveland-based business accelerator, SEAChange. See Evan's winning pitch, below.

 
 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or just an average Joe catching up on some blog readin’, consider a problem that’s important to you- how would you address it? 

All big ideas begin somewhere, whether in the Amazon Rainforest collecting acai fruit or above a pizza shop, take a second to think how you can join the growing group of people committed to making a living while also making a difference. 

And finally, as a consumer, you should consider supporting social entrepreneurs and their businesses as they’re changing the world and can use your help!  

Keila Hamed