Climate adaptation, preparing for the effects of climate change, often gets overlooked in sustainable business discussions. However, it presents some powerful and innovative opportunities for entrepreneurs. If you look only at the photos of my new favorite blog, you’ll see two smiling women gallivanting across the USA: dipping their feet in the sea, hitching rides on golf carts and literally hugging trees. But look a little closer and read the posts, and you’ll soon realize this is not a frivolous cross-country jaunt. Kirsten Howard and Allie Goldstein embarked on the Great American Adaptation Road Trip to explore how businesses, municipalities, communities and individuals are preparing for the repercussions of climate change.
Starting a social enterprise in a region that has experienced genocide may be considered crazy by some and selfless by others. But few recognize that these regions can offer sound business opportunities that can benefit communities and catalyze positive development. Zachary Kaufman, author of Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities, shares his experiences in helping found the first public library in Kigali, Rwanda.
Steady access to capital is still a long ways off for pioneering local food entrepreneurs in Detroit. However, cooperation amongst entrepreneurs and mounting advocacy for innovative business structures are bringing secure funding into the horizon. DETROIT, United States – Detroit’s local food pioneers are transforming the fallow landscape and bringing nutritious cuisine to eager restaurants and families all across this notorious food desert. Despite demand from the community, many of these entrepreneurs are struggling to secure capital. The path to stable funding is complex and subjective, but enormous strides can be made with better enterprise planning on a micro scale and policy advocacy for alternative business models on a macro scale.
When I met up with Mechai Viravaidya at his restaurant Cabbages and Condoms in Bangkok, he walked the grounds with an ease of familiarity, showing me elaborate sculptures, figurines and lamps all made out of colored condoms.
He posed for a picture next to one of his favorite decorations, a rendering of the Mona Lisa that offers a reason for her wry smile: two condoms tucked in her folded hands. The restaurant, an open-air courtyard flanked by lush plants, also features educational posters and interactive games such as a safe sex roulette wheel. The condom theme is not just a gimmick. Cabbages and Condoms is one of many social enterprises founded by Mr Viravaidya, a public health advocate and entrepreneur known for his compassion, commitment to health initiatives and rural development, and daring sense of humor. Mechai got his start in 1974 when he founded the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), aiming to slow Thailand’s rapid population growth and alleviate strain on resources and communities.