Improving Lives One Data Point At A Time
Arming social impact decision makers with evidence has never been so important. Still, some organizations are afraid of what they might find. The nonprofit Per Scholas has dived into data, and the results have increased its effectiveness at improving people’s lives.
Q&A: Preparing students for the job search with Melissa Kraft, Associate Director Business Career Services
Preparing students for a successful career is one of our greatest joys as an institute of higher education. Whatever path our students choose, we want to make sure they graduate ready to have an immediate impact on the job market and their industry. Melissa Kraft, associate director of Business Career Services at the David Eccles School of Business, took [...]
Stop Hating On Millennials
Hating on millennials seems to have become a popular pastime, but it’s one we simply don’t understand. Check out the incredible work many of our millennial students are doing with Sorenson Impact and see how they are changing the world for the better.
When Calvin Pape interned at the Sorenson Impact Center in Salt Lake City in May 2018, his capitalist mindset was hard-earned. Between having to work part time jobs from when he was 14 and being raised by divorced parents busy with their own lives, “It wasn’t all flowers and unicorns growing up,” he says. It taught the 20-year-old David Eccles [...]
The Social Impact Revolution Is Here
There is a quiet revolution afoot. It may not be as loud as the technology revolution—but some experts predict it will be just as transformative. Its reverberations are being felt across executive boardrooms, foundation offices, statehouses, and start-ups. And it’s fundamentally shifting the way investments are made, policies are penned, funds are endowed, and careers are chosen. This movement, which has been dubbed the Impact Revolution, advances a vision of doing well while doing measurable good.
Impact investing is "the next place" according to our founder, Jim Sorenson. We sat down with him to talk about what got him started in the social impact sphere and where he sees it heading in the future. Q: How did you first learn about impact investing, and what attracted you to it? A: Before impact investing, I was an [...]
Liberty and Justice: A Social Impact Story
Inspired by the Women’s Peace Movement that ended Liberia’s ravaging civil war, social entrepreneur Chid Liberty — who was born in Liberia and raised in Germany and the U.S. — returned in 2010 to start the first fair trade apparel manufacturing company in Africa: Liberty & Justice. After a devastating outbreak of Ebola that virtually shut down the country and lost the company millions of dollars in contracts, see how Liberty and his workers pivoted their business model and kept the hundreds of precious jobs that Liberty had worked so hard to create.
Liberty & Justice is obviously having a huge impact on its community in Liberia. But the company has also changed [...]
Venture capital has long been seen as the go-to funding source for startup companies, fueling disruptive innovation with multi-million dollar [...]
Liberty and Justice Timeline
First Liberian Civil War
Results in a controversial election of warlord Charles Taylor.
Second Liberian Civil War
Women in Liberia engage in a number of movements and protests, including the formation of “Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace.” This leads to the election of Liberia’s first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was the first female elected head of state in all of Africa.
Starts Liberian Women’s Sewing Project
The Liberian Women’s Sewing Project begins as a tiny start up in the basement of Chid Liberty’s family’s basement, a building that had been taken over by the military during the civil wars. The project was founded on the basis of “fair-trade,” which focuses on good workplace practices, environmental impact, and corporate transparency while maintaining the importance of making profits and being a successful business.
$40 million in contracts
By 2014, Liberty had secured $40 million in contracts to start Liberia’s first garment manufacturing factory.
Ebola outbreak causes state of emergency
Ebola outbreak causes state of emergency, takes the lives of 5,000 Liberians, and the factory is forced to shut down. This pushes Liberty & Justice to the brink of bankruptcy, but local employees preserve business and maintain commitment. Most large contracts with American companies are lost during this hiatus in production.
Liberia declared Ebola-free
World Health Organization finally declares Liberia to be Ebola-free.
Launched one-for-one model, UNIFORM
Liberty & Justice decides to use excess fabric from unfulfilled past orders to launch a one-for-one model, UNIFORM. For every piece of apparel sold in the U.S., the company would donate a school uniform to a child in Liberia who couldn’t afford it. The company raised funds on Kickstarter and reached its goal of $50,000 in five hours.
- Currently have 90% female workforce
- 49% of company is owned by workforce
- 303 employees as of 2016