Are you ready for Christmas?

Social Enterprises that make a difference this Christmas.
Merry Christmas

Christmas is coming and the best way to celebrate on our blog is to give a big shout out to the wonderful social entrepreneurs and innovators we have met on our journey so far. We have collected gift ideas, events & initiatives and pieces of inspiration.


  • Gift ideas with an impact


GOOD Travel membership
For someone who is passionate about travelling, what better gift than joining a community of like-minded people, all committed to having a 2018 full of sustainable and responsible tourism?

Business Activist Entrepreneur Membership
For mission-driven entrepreneurs who want to know how to make money, provoke social change and have fun, this is the best offer available online:
We attended their bootcamp in August, so we know what we are talking about!

Sheedo plantable item selection
Cotton-made paper cards, seeds, mini gardening kits… and 10% of Christmas sales will be used to plant trees: 

Advent Calendar by 24GoodDeeds
It might be a little late for this one but... who says that good deeds are only for the Christmas season? Check this out what Berlin Impact Hubbers have been doing, get inspired and take action:


mushroom funny hat

If you are in Russia, Shapka Rulit [Creative Hats] is what you are looking for. Handmade by children and old people, fun and very warm: 

If you are in Shanghai or wider China, Feyi collected the best ideas, ranging from the kit to be a perfect zero waster, upcycled bags, reusable paper gifts, homemade soaps or natural and vegan wine : 

If you are in the UK, the School for Social Entrepreneurs published an inspiring Christmas Shopping guide that is all about being sustainable with creativity at Christmas: 


  • Initiatives & events with an impact


Reverse calendar by Rubies in the Rubble 
Connecting food surplus with the people who need it most. They have been collecting one item each day since 1st December and adding it to the calendar. On Christmas Eve they will be donating it to their nearest food bank. 

Reverse Advent Calendar

24th December in Shanghai… time to celebrate!
Merry Christmas by Green Initiatives & partners.

Cat for Merry Xmas


24th December in Moscow… time to go green!
Day for separate waste collection by Delai Kulturu

Not Christmas-related but a wintery initiative which is simply beautiful:
Stenograffia run a project to make street art available and enjoyable for visually impaired people. A graffiti gallery made with Braille.
Pictures here and a video report here.

So… what are you doing for Christmas? Let us know in the boxes below!

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Food that is good for the people and for the planet

Research Topic #1

Food is one of the 3 areas we are exploring and researching on, along with urban innovation and movement sports.

Why food? Food is something that everybody needs but nearly 800 million people in the world are in hunger and around 1.3 billion tonnes of food go wasted every year.

This means that there is a lot to do about how food is produced, distributed and consumed!

At the Profit with Purpose event we attended last Wednesday at the Business and IP Centre in London, four social enterprises that work with food shared their stories and their advice @HarrySpecters @rubiesinrubble @ChangePlease @TooGoodToGo_UK


Here are some of our thoughts.

4 things to have to set up a business that makes profit with a purpose:

  1. A good idea and a strong message to go with it

  2. Passion for what you do and why you are doing it

  3. A product or a service that you will test, improve, refine and make it love by your customers

  4. A supportive network including family members to give you good recipes or smart ideas for a name, your friends to test your products and provide feedback, partners with different expertise, mentors to help you build your skills and have a sounding board, etc.


4 things to remember in the journey to social entrepreneurship

  1. Start small, dream big. You can start from your backyard room and dream you’ll become a franchise all across the UK (and beyond) .like

  2. Know your customers and your competitors. The market will lead or hinder your growth. Apps like Smaply and Experience Fellow can be really helpful for this.

  3. Work step by step. Don’t over-think what you're doing in a way that puts you off. Try, test, fail, learn and make it better. Then move to the next step.

  4. Be prepared to work hard but do look after yourself!


4 things we really liked from the four social enterprises

  1. Coherence. Prices on Too Good to Go app are capped. This way businesses are discouraged to produce food with the aim to end up in the platform. The aim is to reduce food excess, not to provide another food delivery app.

  2. Closing the loop. Rubies in the Rubble collects apples and bananas that would be thrown away each week from Virgin train’s catering service, turns them into jam or ketchup and sells the end product back to the company.

  3. Onward-thinking. Please Change provides homeless with training and an opportunity to work as baristas at London living wage - which is already commendable. They also provide housing, a bank account and support to access further employment after their six-month programme.

  4. Social Investment. Harry Specters invests 60 per cent of their profit to further the social aims of the business, and to provide social activities and opportunities for personal development for their young employees with Autism.


1 conclusion

Profit with a purpose makes economic and social impact, can go to scale and can be fun :)

How beautiful is this?

If you run a social enterprise that works with food, we'd love to learn from you!

If you run a social enterprise that works with food in Russia, Mongolia, China, Nepal or Myanmar, we'd love to visit you :)

PS: the two bottles that you see in the picture were super kindly offered to us by Julian, Managing Director at Lemonaid Beverages Ltd, another socially-minded business that we had the chance to meet at the event. Thanks, Julian :)

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