Day 6 Goods for a Cause: Toms Shoes
In my work as a social worker and a business coach I support leaders to run organizations that make a difference in the world. In this season of giving, you can support one of the featured organizations in its effort to do good works.
Each organization has fair-trade certification or has otherwise established that it pays its artisans a living wage. Its products meets Western standards of taste and quality. Many of the organizations were founded by women.
Toms, which is short for “Tomorrows Shoes,” was founded in 2006 on a simple premise: with every pair of shoes that is purchased, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One.
Founder Blake Mycoskie, a 34 year old social entrepreneur is an interesting guy. Even Bill Clinton thinks so, “he is not your conventional business guy.” You can listen to Mycoskie in an Interview on NPR talk about Toms. It is worth a listen!
So why did Mycoskie choose shoes as the object of their social entrepreneurship? This is what Toms says:
*In some developing nations, children must walk for miles to food, clean water and to seek medical help.
*Cuts and sores on feet can lead to serious infection.
*Often, children cannot attend school barefoot.
*In Ethiopia, approximately one million people are suffering from Podoconiosis, a debilitating and disfiguring disease caused by walking barefoot in volcanic soil.
*Podoconiosis is 100% preventable by wearing shoes.
Those are compelling reasons. But is this idea of doing good by doing well really a viable business model? Some of the most esteemed business experts say that it is. Tony Sheldon, of the Yale School of Management says that social enterprise is “a harbinger for how to do business in the future.”
You too can be part of this exciting new way of doing business. One for one!
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We would love to hear what you think about Toms and the Goods for a Cause Holiday Blog!
p.s. I always am interested in what you think about these discussions. Please post your thoughts…your constructive criticism and support is appreciated! Sign up for my newsletter here.
Dr. Lynn K. Jones, Certified Personal and Executive Coach
Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Certified Personal and Executive Coach. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values.
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