When helping others is the inspiration for starting a business, the motivation to succeed is huge. Not only are these entrepreneurs in business for themselves, they're also In It for Good. In this series we'll meet social entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders and global thinkers who are working to make the world a better place.
Names: Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez
Business: Sword & Plough, a for-profit social enterprise
Launched: January 2012
Location: Denver, CO
What they do: Sword & Plough is a veteran-owned, social impact fashion brand that works with American manufacturers that are veteran-owned or employ veterans. They incorporate repurposed military surplus into bag and jewelry designs, and they donate 10% of profits to veteran organizations.
The impact they’re making: Since 2012, Sword & Plough has helped support more than 65 veteran jobs. They are also reducing waste and minimizing their carbon footprint by reusing tens of thousands of pounds of military surplus materials in their product line. The company is also committed to strengthening civil-military understanding. Through their products, social media, email, blog and public speaking opportunities, they’ve worked to educate others about the value that veterans provide.
Why they do it: Emily, a former U.S. Army Captain, says, “While I was attending the U.S. Army Airborne School I learned how many of my fellow soldiers hoped to get out of the army and transition back into the civilian workforce, but they worried about their job prospects. I knew then that there was an opportunity to bridge the civil/military divide.”
“Growing up in a military family, we would see huge piles of surplus either burned or buried, and that memory really stuck with us. I love that we have this awesome opportunity to make a positive impact on the world with our idea. We know that all of the time and effort and thought we put into our work (even though it can be non-stop at times!) is going to turn into something tangible and positive for a lot of people.
Emily and Betsy turned a childhood observation into a successful social enterprise. What ideas do you have for turning a profit while also helping the greater good?
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