Dr Jeff Cornwall

Diapers with a Triple Bottom Line

Entrepreneurial Profile: Jessica Alba: The Honest Company

Jessica Alba, a successful actress, founded The Honest Company with the vision of pursuing the three “P’s” of a triple bottom line business: profit, people, and planet.  The Honest Company initially sold diapers online, but quickly expanded its product line and began selling through retail stores, such as Target and Costco.  Through its commercial success, the Honest Company has realized economic growth, which is the first “P” of a triple bottom line business.  In 2012, its first year in business, the company had revenues of $12 million.  Over the next two years, its revenues grew to $60 million and then $100 million.  The Honest Company focused on people, or social progress, by allowing its employees to volunteer more than 1000 hours to charities that support families, by donating more than 540,000 products to charities, and by establishing a program that donates a crib for every crib that it sells.  Finally, The Honest Company addresses the third part of the triple bottom line, the planet, by using sustainable, non-toxic materials for its products.[i]

[i]  Diane Clehane, “Why Jessica Alba Just Might Be Hollywood’s Smartest Mommy Mogul,” Forbes, August 3, 2014, www.forbes.com/sites/dianeclehane/2014/08/03/why-jessica-alba-just-might-be-hollywoods-smartest-mommy-mogul/.

Entrepreneur Helps Brings Clean Water

Entrepreneurial Profile: Kathy Ku: SPROUTS of Water

Kathy Ku, a graduate from Harvard University, applied the knowledge she gained during her college education to solve a pressing social problem.  Uganda has more than 10 million people without safe water to drink.  Ku launched SPROUTS of Water to provide affordable clay water filters to improve water quality and thereby help reduce waterborne illness, which is the leading cause of death among Ugandan children.  The idea for the business came to Ku when she was a nineteen-year-old volunteer at a clinic in Uganda.  Ku started her non-profit with $15,000 grant from Harvard and a donated piece of land in Kumi, Uganda where she built a ceramic factory to make water filters.  SPROUTS of Water sells its filters though local grocery stores, which agree to set up financing plans to help customers purchase the filters.  Ku is considering expansion of distribution of her non-profit’s water filters to other countries with severe water quality problems.[i]

[i]  Lane Anderson, “Social Entrepreneurs: Startups Set to Change the World,” Deseret News, July 31, 2014, http://national.deseretnews.com/article/2015/social-entrepreneurs-startups-set-to-change-the-world.html; Sara Castellanos, “Harvard Student Aims to Improve Health in Uganda with Water Filters,” Boston Business Journal, November 14, 2013, www.bizjournals.com/boston/blog/startups/2013/11/harvard-student-aims-to-improve-health.html.