Podcast: Impact

102: Zoro Card – Build Credit With a Debit Card

It is really hard for a young person to their build credit. How does one navigate the complex and opaque credit rating system? We chat in this episode with Roger Morris, Co-Founder and COO of Zoro Card that hopes to help the 100 million Americans with subprime credit build credit with debit cards. Zoro Card began not as a company, but as a cause. Millions of Americans can’t access affordable credit, simply because they have never had credit in the past. Millions more are buried in debt and have no way out. Rather than help, many financial institutions profit off of people’s mistakes with hidden fees and unfair credit practices. Without good credit, everything becomes more expensive—cell phone contracts, loans, insurance rates, security deposits for utilities and rent—even job applications are affected by your credit score.
Their vision is simple, for college grads focused on building prosperous careers rather than paying off student loans, public school teachers and first responders able to afford homes, and soldiers healing from the wounds of war free from the shackles of debt – to offer a solution that’s available to everyone, regardless of their credit history. Roger was so committed to be part of this solution, that he decided to drop out of college to pursue his start-up. Learn more only on Mindful Businesses.
https://zorocard.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Mindful Businesses
Mindful Businesses
102: Zoro Card - Build Credit With a Debit Card
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100: Earnin – Your Money When You Want It

Financial insecurity can be expensive, living paycheck to paycheck and with overdraft fees, penalties, higher interest and mortgage rates. Seven out ten households in America live paycheck to paycheck. Ram Palaniappan , founder of Earnin, noticed that one of his employees had to get payday loans to pay her expenses. Though she had worked her hours she got paid only after two weeks and her bills were due now. He decided to advance her salary as soon as she put in the hours. Soon the word got around, and other employees and non-employees reached out to Ram to avail of their earned wage. He realized the inequalities in our society further accentuates the mismatch between when an employee earns and when they get paid. He started Earnin to break down the barriers of an outdated financial system, to build new solutions that work for everyone. Using the time attendance systems already in place, they are able to provide Earned Wage Access – where their users can access the money as they earn it. This helps the users synchronize their income and expenses. They offer these services without any mandatory fees. They charge a nominal $2.99, only in case of instant transfers – which is much lower than the $15 that payday loans charge. I ask Ram – how can such a business model be profitable? To hear his answer, tune in to this weeks episode.

Mentions: Prof. Ananth Iyer, Purdue University
https://www.earnin.com/
https://mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/
#fintech, #financialsecurity, #earnedwage, #mindfulbusinesses, #paydayloans,

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Mindful Businesses
Mindful Businesses
100: Earnin - Your Money When You Want It
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95: Center for Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics (CUWP) – Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics

We talk with Dr. George Huber, Richard Antoine Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and the director of Center for Upcycling Waste Plastics (CUWP) about his research in recycling plastics. His technology offers a solution to filtrate the polymer from different plastics by applying solvents solvents. Though multi-layer plastics are more complicated his technology, solvent-targeted recovery and precipitation (STRAP), is able to use thermodynamics and solvents to disintegrate them into their constituent resins. It’s a fascinating process – the key is to capture 99% of the polymer and make sure nothing is release into the atmosphere. With consumption of plastics showing no signs of abating, it is crucial to recycle efficiently to reduce the consumption of new plastics. CUWP consists of six universities, over ten industrial partners, one national laboratory, and one industry association. They also share with scientists, engineers, policy makers, business leaders, and the general public to help them make informed decisions about the costs and benefits of new technologies for plastic recycling. Learn all this and more from Dr. George Huber.

https://cuwp.org/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

Art by Xin Zou, University of Wisconsin-Madison for Hochan Chang, Min Soo Kim, George W Huber, James A Dumesic, Design of closed-loop recycling production of a Diels Alder polymer from a biomass-derived difuran as a functional additive for polyurethanes, Green Chemistry (2021) 23, 9479-9488.

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Design and Innovation
Design and Innovation
95: Center for Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics (CUWP) - Chemical Upcycling of Waste Plastics
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91: The Washing Machine Project – Let’s Engineer a More Sustainable Future

70% of the world’s population lacks access to an electric washing machine.
Hand washing clothes sounds like a simple task but for many women around the world, it poses a significant obstacle to their wellbeing and livelihood.
Navjot Sawhney was a curious child always trying to figure out how things worked. He grew up to be an engineer and wanted to use his engineering and design skills for good. He quit his secure, highly respected job at Dyson to volunteer for Engineers Without Borders Uk and Prakti (an Indian NGO). He saw his friend Divya spend hours doing household chores and he promised her that he would design and make a hand-cranked washing machine for her. He returned to Uk and after a short stint with Jaguar he went to the drawing board to make good on his promise. He designed a hand-cranked washing machine that used fifty percent less water, saved time, avoided touching the detergent and completely off the grid. By providing displaced and low-income communities with an accessible, off-grid washing solution, The Washing Machine Project’s mission is to empower women with the time to take charge over their lives. They believe that when women rise, we all rise.

https://thewashingmachineproject.org/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Design and Innovation
Design and Innovation
91: The Washing Machine Project - Let's Engineer a More Sustainable Future
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88: Amor Perfecto – Decolonizing Colombian Coffee

In this episode, we have Luis Fernando Velez founder of Amor Perfecto with whom our host Vidhya Iyer talks about their common love for a good cup of coffee – with its perfect aroma and complex flavors. Luis shares what is entailed in producing a rich and fragrant coffee. It starts from the coffee cherry picked at the exact ripeness using high-tech refractometers to find the optimal ripeness to pick each variety of dark red for one to purple for another. At Amor Perfecto each bean is hand-picked, unlike some other brands who prefer strip harvesting by machine, an efficient, affordable, but indiscriminate practice. The beans are then expertly processed and most importantly roasted close to where they are picked.

For over 200 years Colombia has been exporting green coffee beans to be roasted in consuming countries all over the world. In fact, it was illegal to roast quality coffee in Colombia until 2003. The government and the growers had been convinced that the consuming countries knew better than them how to perfectly roast coffee, robbing Colombians of additional revenues by adding value to their crop. Amor Perfecto fought to change the law and volunteered as guinea pigs to show lawmakers that their signature crop was not just for export. Grab a cup of coffee and tune in to listen to Luis’ fascinating stories.

https://amorperfecto.com/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Agriculture & Farming
Agriculture & Farming
88: Amor Perfecto - Decolonizing Colombian Coffee
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86: Forust – 3D Printing to Rematerialize Wood Waste

Every year, 15 Billion trees are cut down to produce paper, build homes, and make furniture. From this, millions of tons of wood waste are generated annually. A portion of this waste is recovered and sold to downstream markets to make particle board or wood pellets for energy. The remaining sawdust is either burned – contributing to air pollution – or sent to landfill. Though biodegradable, sawdust can be harmful to the environment in large quantities when landfilled. As it decomposes, sawdust releases high concentrations of lignin and fatty acids, which can contaminate water supplies, potentially poisoning wildlife and micro-organisms. We speak with Andrew Jeffery, Co-founder of Forust, by Desktop Metal, uses the power of high-speed, high-resolution 3D printing to give a new life to a discarded resource – creating strong, beautiful and carbon-friendly wood products from wood waste. For each tree saved, we reduce the CO2 footprint by a metric ton over the tree’s life. Learn more in our next episode.

Mentions:
Virginia San Fratello
Ronald Rael
https://www.forust.com/
https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Design and Innovation
Design and Innovation
86: Forust - 3D Printing to Rematerialize Wood Waste
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83: Rebel Nell – One of No Other Kind

This episode has two parts – in part one, we talk with Amy Peterson, the co-founder of Rebel Nell about her inspiration and motivation to start Rebel Nell. While living next to a homeless shelter in Detroit, MI, she got to learn up-close the women who lived there and their challenges. One day out on a jog she finds a piece of graffiti that she envisioned could be repurposed into meaningful wearable art. A fusion of these two ideas gave birth to Rebel Nell. Amy with her co-founder Diana Roginson started Rebel Nell in 2013 with the mission to provide employment, equitable opportunity, and wraparound support for women with barriers to employment. They seek to embolden women, to embrace their infinite strength, and to define their own future.

They partner with local organizations to seek out women who have struggled to find and retain employment. Their goal is to help the women move from a life of dependence to one of self-reliance, overcoming barriers to employment through the fruits of their own labor. Rebel Nell’s product line starts with repurposing graffiti, after it has fallen off the walls.

These are women who when hired have no background in jewelry become creative designers who make incredibly intricate and unique piece each one more beautiful than the next. In the part two we chat with one such woman – Ethel Rucker, Production Lead at Rebel Nell.

In addition to on-the-job training and guidance on how to make jewelry, Rebel Nell also provides them with life management, financial training and business education to make sure they have the confidence and knowledge that will enable them to leave homelessness/dependence behind permanently and move forward as strong independent women. Listen to this powerful story in this episode.

https://www.rebelnell.com/
To hire Ethel Rucker for your next photoshoot contact her via her website https://harteclectic.com/

https://www.mindfulbusinessespodcast.com/

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Design and Innovation
Design and Innovation
83: Rebel Nell - One of No Other Kind
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73: Unrest – Some Ideas Deserve to Go Further, Faster

We talk with Orr Vinegold, founder of UNREST, driving impact through ethical & sustainable businesses. He is hugely passionate about turning businesses into a force for good. UNREST supports founders ready to re-imagine what profitable companies can do for the planet and people. The program provides start-ups with the opportunity to take their business idea from MVP to the next level; ready to launch and solve global issues. Unrest prepares start-ups for seed funding, whilst helping them develop a world-class brand, through their partnership with award-winning Uncommon Creative Studios. Within the next 30 years, every consumer company will be mission-led. Unrest wants to be the institution that launches the most successful of these.

Unrest is a mission-driven accelerator based in London, on a mission to amplify the disruptive power of other ethical companies. Unrest empowers entrepreneurs to change the world through impactful, global businesses. The accelerator has been set up due to the desire for environmental and social change with the deep belief the solutions are in the hands of talented people using their ingenuity to build global companies.

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Europe
Europe
73: Unrest - Some Ideas Deserve to Go Further, Faster
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72: Tahmina – To Be Brave (Donate for Afghanistan)

Want to join us in making a difference? We are raising money to benefit Education Foundation for Afghanistan Inc, and any donation will help make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to me.

A little bit about Education Foundation for Afghanistan (EFFA), – founded by Prof. Zarjon Baha, Purdue University, an octogenarian who emigrated to the United States in 1982 as a refugee after the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan. He founded EFFA with the mission to promote education in Afghanistan. As a long-time educator, he believes that only education can help empower women. 100% of your donations will go to educate girls. The past two weeks’ turmoil has made his mission even more difficult. Like Michelle Obama said “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous,”  The need is immediate and urgent.  Please don’t look away. Donate by clicking on the link
https://gofund.me/ea4e1401
We talk with Sarah Jackson (whose name has been changed due to security reasons), founder and CEO of Tahmina. Tahmina is an international brand with a vision to export transformational products from different conflict regions of the world. Their maiden project is saffron and saffron-infused teas from Afghanistan. Learn more about their work through this podcast.

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Food
Food
72: Tahmina - To Be Brave (Donate for Afghanistan)
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71: Greyston Bakery – Inclusive Hiring One Person At a Time

It all started with a Buddhist and a bakery in 1982. Since then, when people say, yes, I want to work; Greyston Bakery says yes right back. It begins by trusting in human potential. Greyston Bakery has opened its doors to those who ordinarily face rejection, providing those struggling to prosper an opportunity to thrive. When people say they want to work, they give them a chance, replacing scrutiny with trust, transforming lives, and breaking the cycle of poverty – one person and one job at a time. Today, they are scaling their mission through their Centers for Open Hiring in Yonkers and Rochester, New York by sharing their experience with business leaders and guiding them in implementing the Open Hiring® model in their organizations. With their Open Hiring®- no background checks, no resumes, no interviews- they invest in people and build communities, businesses, and a better world. Because it’s not someone’s past that matters — it’s their future. We talk to the compassionate and driven Joe Kenner, President and CEO of Greyston Bakery. Come and listen now!

Greyston Bakery is proudly Kosher and B Corp Certified.

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Impact
Impact
71: Greyston Bakery - Inclusive Hiring One Person At a Time
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