Category Archives: Enterprises to learn from

Looking to learn from those who are out there taking risks and building enterprises.

Envision Good . tv

Check out They are following some great organizations and sharing ideas that empower real people.   Here is a sample video for you to try on.


iPhone app for Good the Give Work app by Samasource

Samasource and Crowdflower has given you another way to help people come out of poverty.  I downloaded the app a while back and am amazed at the forward thinking of people like Leila.  If you have a minute do simple tasks to give.  How does it work?

Samasource and Crowdflower present Give Work, their new iPhone application. Give Work lets you support refugees in Dadaab, Kenya—the world’s largest refugee site—in minutes by completing short, on-screen tasks. The refugees are training to complete these same tasks and, by volunteering to tag a video or trace a road, you will generate money to support their training as well as valuable data to help focus future training programs.  (

“We are witnessing a tremendous surge in human potential” (Leila Jara).

Hear Leila in her own words at TEDxSV

Leila Chirayath Janah of Samasource brings a fresh vision to outsourcing

Leila is the founder of Samasource a non profit social enterprise that is seeking to identify and promote small to medium outsourcing companies in Uganda, Kenya and India.  The idea is that Samasource utilize due diligence in screening smaller but deserving companies and give them a platform.  Samasource also seeks to work with organizations that can define a social benefit.

Visit the  Samasource web site and view how it works presentation.

Some overlapping information in the following videos but they are short.  I am impressed with Leila’s communication skills and her ability to convey what the organization is trying to accomplish.  Watch the videos and let me know what you think.

Interview with a young Social Entrepreneur Diana Mao of Nomi Network

fireshot-capture-2-nomi-network-www_nominetwork_orgThere are some things in this world that we try to hide from.  We just can’t seem to emotionally cope with certain realities.   Does that make them any less true?  Diana Mao is the type of person who can handle facing a harsh reality and instead of hiding her eyes she embraces those who are suffering.  She is weeping with those who weep.   Diana is seeking to harness the power of market forces to empower those who are survivors of sexual trafficking and slavery.  I know you were going to try to have  a good time today and now your thinking about something sad.  Well, you can be happy when you are a part of solutions.  In our own small part we can be a part of the solution.  I don’t know Diana all that well, but I can say one thing about her – she is joyful.  What’s not to be joyful about knowing that you are giving yourself fully to be a part of the solution to a horrific issue?  So I thank Diana for helping me to see more clearly what it means to be a human being.

The following is  a short interview with Diana Mao the founder of Nomi Network.

S E What would you like to share about your journey in establishing Nomi network.

D M The journey has been a amazing! I have met some of the most amazing people who truly believe that slavery can be eradicated in our generation! I am humbled by their efforts and excited that Nomi Network is a part of the solution. Although the journey has not been easy, my passion for God and the eradication of slavery has fueled my efforts and the late nights I spend working on the Nomi Network dream.

S E How did you decide to start Nomi network?

D M I have always had a heart for this issue but encountered it first hand where I conducted research for FINCA International and interviewed micro-finance clients who make less than $1 a day. During my visit to a remote village a father tried to offer me his daughter because he could not provide for his other children.  Desperation is the breeding ground for human trafficking. When I got back from Cambodia, I decided that I needed to take action. First, I started a “prayer for the nations” meeting, where I and other like-minded individuals prayed for Cambodia as well as other countries. Then, I decided that it was time to take action.  There was already a pool of individuals who were just as passionate as me to start Nomi Network.

S E What kinds of organization and people are you looking to partner with?

DM  1 – people who are passionate about ending human trafficking and who possess skills in marketing, product design, business development, finance and international development. 2 –  companies that aim to produce a line of slave free products – social enterprises that have the capacity and potential to produce high quality products and currently employ survivors or vulnerable women 3- non-profits that have the same vision of a world without slavery

new-picture1S E What would you like to share with other young visionaries considering taking a similar step?

D M Be ready to sacrifice – Try your best and God will do the rest – Do not take “no” for an answer – You might not see immediate results, but be faithful with your efforts and it will make a difference – Collaboration and information is necessary if we want to see systematic change – I read an article from a business school that said, “vision is what drives an organization”. You already have the hard part down: it’s the vision, so now it is just about taking action.

Interview with Drew Harding of Senai

I valued enterprise and organizations that produce valuable products before, but my three week trip to Ethiopia changed the way I look at business forever.  In the United States we talk about how we take things for granted.  Is it even possible for us to be conscious of all that we have?  Many in our country actually despise business owners.  Yes, there is greed and many other negative symptoms, but what do we have?  Going to another country and seeing needs that we are not used to seeing helps us begin to understand what we lack and what we have.  At the same time that there is a great need in Ethiopia there is also a great challenge and a great opportunity.   On returning from Ethiopia, I began looking for ways to connect back.  Through a friend I met Drew Harding ,the founder of Senai.  I was beside myself at how I could connect so quickly with Drew’s vision.  I look forward to you having the chance to learn more about the inspiring work of Senai.

The following is an interview with Drew the founder of Senai

SE  What was your favorite thing about growing up in Ethiopia?

DH  The people and the language:  there isn’t another country I have been to where the people are so radiant and hospitable.  They literally will give you their last meal if you come to visit them.  In America, we tend to  give if we have abundance, rather than giving/sharing as a part of who we are as individuals and families.  Being able to connect to the people in their native language of Amharic instantly creates friendships and breaks down any walls of communication.  This continues to draw me back to help the people of Ethiopia.

SE  Was there anything in particular that set you on the path of building Senai?

DH  Seeing the impact of water on the communities in Ethiopia from the time I was 5 years old had a huge impact on why I started Senai.  But being able to empower indigenous business, and provide safe water for communities really launched Senai, creating a non-profit that uses Social Enterprise to meet the needs of the poor.

SE  Where did the idea for Senai come from?

DH  The name came from the Amharic word “Senai” that means “charitable and blessed”  It also was  one of a few words that could be pronounce in the Western Hemisphere!  Senai was birthed out of a passion to empower people through creating and supporting economic engines to lift people out of poverty.  I have witnessed many forms of “aid”.  Empowering people to help themselves always proved to be the most sustainable, thus Senai focuses on being the impetus to creating sustainable economic growth.

SE  What kind of people and organizations are you looking to partner with?

DH  This is a great question.  One of the other reasons for creating Senai, was to not do things on our own, but through partnerships with other businesses and non-profits.  We are currently wanting to launch a Micro-Finance division of Senai, so I am looking for people interested in MFI’s and also people to help fund the creation of communities banks in developing countries.  I want to engage businessmen and businesses to partner with Senai to empower indigenous businesses in the developing world –  tracking their impact, creating sustainable change.
SE  Is there anything that you would want to share with others who are considering starting an organization or social enterprise?

DH  Start serving or volunteering where you are at, whether in school, work, or retirement.  Then as opportunities come up, connect with existing non-profits that need your expertise and help.  If a niche market develops for your own non-profit, go ahead and incorporate, but be ready for a long road of paperwork and fund raising!

For more information visit

Kiyosaki seeks involvement in book project

The book is called “The Conspiracy of the Rich”.  In it Robert is discussing our current financial issues.  The interesting twist is that he is creating a network to recruit involvement.  I am signing up to see what it is all about. 

Visit the Web Site

Why personal vision is not enough for a great business?

443085_92377787What does it take to build a great company?   I was reading Michael Gerber’s book, Awakening the Entrepreneur Within and was struck by his discussion on the personal and impersonal vision.  This discussion is  relevant to this whole concept of the entrepreneur as a servant.  Basically the personal vision he is talking about is your vision for your life.  The kind of person you want to become.  The things you want to have a do this is your personal vision.  The second kind is the impersonal and that is one that effects you and the world out side of you.  this is your vision to provide value to the marketplace and more importantly a business that can excel at it.

First the personal vision is the one you have for yourself and your own wants needs and desires.  There is nothing wrong with having a personal vision, but the question still remains, is that vision big enough to build a great company.  In our culture if we are not careful we can think the most important thing is profit and what we personally  take away.  This is what we are seeing with many of the executives that are running business into the ground and at the same time they are getting rich.  Their vision is only personal.

To produce a great company that serves life and serves people it takes what Micheal is calling the impersonal vision.  This vision births a sense of purpose and passion that has the ability to unify a group to produce great results.  What happens to the company when you reach or surpass your personal goals.  This kind of vision is just to small for the challenges that the journey to building a great company will face.  Paul Polak who wrote the book, Out of Poverty, has been speaking at the top design schools in the country and has seen an amazing amount of interest in his movement to recruit the top designers to work on product designs for those who live on less then two dollars a day.  Why would they be so excited about that?  Because their products would have a tremendous potential to raise millions out of poverty by empowering them to earn more.  We all want that important maybe even impossible enterprise that calls for something great in us to be revealed.  Think about Kennedy’s vision to  send a man to the moon.

So does profit matter?  Should you have personal goals and vision?  Of course without profit you are not building a great sustainable company.  What I am trying to say here is that it takes a big bold clear vision that benefits real people, communities and the marketplace to truly become great.  I have personal experience with this.  When I have a vision for more then myself I am motivated.  At  times I have lost passion and in hind sight I can see it was because I had reached some of my personal goals through my business and lost my way until I remembered what I was here for.  It’s really the journey that is exciting.  It’s the journey that we believe in deep down in our gut that we will fight for.  It’s this journey to a vision greater then ourselves that  convinces others to join, and not just join but to do so passionately.

The following is a video of Micheal Gerber talking about vision and the process an entrepreneur takes