HOW TO START A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE | READ: CHAPTER ONE


It's nice to receive an invite. Especially when it's to something that is changing reality (cool!). Daniel Flynn, the co-founder of Thankyou™, has written you a personal invitation to be part of their movement, in his first book – Chapter One.

Before we continue, I want to acknowledge the lavish piece of cardboard that this book arrived in – it took me at least ten days before I could put it in the bin. Instagram and pinterest have heightened our appreciation of aesthetics, and our standards will only lower once #unrealisticflatlays and #toomanyhouseplants stop being such relatable hashtags. The book comes at whatever price you want – it’s sold on a ‘you name it’ basis, and all the profits go straight back into funding the future of Thankyou™.

Daniel describes this book as the first part of their journey, but I’d characterize it as one beautiful scribble that has led them to success. The introduction is heavy – informing us that 1.4 billion live in extreme poverty, a heart wrenching statistic that points at all the brokenness and sadness in this world. The World Bank defines extreme poverty as those who are living on less than US$1.25 per day, not including other measures of poverty, such as abolition of human rights, deprivation of freedom, and the inability to make meaningful choices that improve the current situation.

But what Daniel says next prompts you to keep reading:

“What we don’t often consider, is the six billion that don’t live in extreme poverty.”

And together, as monster consumers, we’ve got enormous buying power. Thankyou™ exists 100 per cent to fund projects that help – profits from their water range go towards funding clean water, profits from their body care products go towards funding health and sanitation, and so forth.

The book is mostly filled with outrageous ideas that by some means, worked. Most of them are accounts of marketing campaigns, such as banners hanging from a plane and social media takeovers, that helped get Thankyou™ products space on supermarket shelves. It is a humble account of one the biggest social enterprises in Australasia, that uses every failure to encourage people like us not to give up. 

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Julie Irwin, a business professor, writes: “Consumers are likely to be especially brand loyal if their deeply-held values are engaged in their purchasing.” Of course, Thankyou™ has nailed this - they have a feature called 'Track Your Impact,' where you can enter in the code on the product you bought and it shows you what projects/people you've contributed to. Although ethical consumerism is a hard market to break into, Daniel and his team have given over $4.6 million in the eight years they have been going.

That's a lot. That's what happens when a 19-yr-old asks, "what if that were me?", and that's why you should read this book and be inspired by the writing on the front cover: you have the power to change stuff. 

YOU'RE WELCOME FOR THE MID WEEK MOTIVATION BTW.

Mads xx


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