Amidst the doom and gloom, positive stories are emerging from the pandemic, demonstrating that a time of crisis can also act as a catalyst for good things.
A new batch of bold, ethical entrepreneurs who are determined to make a positive impact through their business have been inspired to launch and just hearing their stories makes us feel hopeful for the future of business.
Below are three businesses which began during the pandemic and who have put purpose at their centre.
PlantSavers is a new social enterprise which saves plants from going to waste, whilst raising money for good causes.
When the UK went into lockdown, the nation turned to gardening. In fact, Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society saw a five-fold rise in queries for gardening advice on its website. However, although demand was high for flowers and houseplants, lockdown meant plant nurseries had to close, and thousands of plants were due to be thrown away. Three entrepreneurial friends saw this as an opportunity to save millions of at-risk plants whilst keeping plant growers in business. Employing family and friends they launched PlantSavers. ⠀
Since April, PlantSavers have achieved some incredible milestones including:
Although lockdown has eased, PlantSavers are continuing their mission to minimise waste and drive sustainability in the horticultural industry, whilst making buying plants simple, affordable, and ethical.
FFSB was created and launched in lockdown by four school-age students: Frank, Finn, Sebastian, and Béla. Their GCSE’s were canceled and they wanted to use the time they now had to make a difference, do their bit to fight COVID-19, and “learn a little on the way”. ⠀
Working together through Zoom and with some help from the fashion brand Baukjen, they launched a collection of reusable face masks, ethically handmade in a family-run, small factory using 100% leftover cotton fabrics and cut-offs. It’s a simple solution but done ethically and with a social conscious at the heart of their business. ⠀
Aware that young people’s mental health was in crisis, they decided to raise money for YoungMinds, donating 10% of sales to the charity.
Chris Crocker has launched Good Koffee, the first range of coffee Kombucha drinks in the UK. ⠀
When the West End shut down in March, Theatre Technician Chris took the decision to turn his kitchen-table drinks company into a full-time business. In the first few weeks of lockdown he took the time to define the purpose of his company whilst working night shifts at Tesco. His aim was to offer healthy coffee drinks, to encourage connection through an alternative way of social drinking and also do some good!
The coffee he uses is grown by an empowering, co-operative of women-only producers. But he wanted to give back to a good cause. After some research into how he could sustainably and legally do this, he signed-up to Work for Good and donates to Create London, a charity dedicated to finding new ways for the creative arts to benefit people in towns and cities. ⠀
Although Chris admits it’s a scary time to launch a company he has not let the Coronavirus crisis hinder his ambitions and in just six months he has new stockists, and is about to launch a third product range of Sparkling Coffee Drinks in flavours inspired by his travels around Vietnam and India. ⠀