Keeping Philanthropy Within Your Line of Sight «

Keeping Philanthropy Within Your Line of Sight

I’m sure many of you have heard of the excellent non-profit company, Kiva. If you’re a little foggy, Kiva has created a person-to-person micro-lending website that gives anyone the opportunity to lend money to small businesses in the United States and internationally. It targets funding low-income entrepreneurs.

Dermalogica, a large skin-care product manufacturer, sent out a press release this week announcing the launch of a joint partnership campaign with Kiva to promote micro-lending for women through its non-profit organization, Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship (FITE).

What I liked about this story is the idea that entrepreneurship can come full circle. Jane Wurwand, CEO of Dermalogica, started her business 25 years ago with only $14,000. She worked her tail off and the company now generates over $200 million in annual revenue and has a customer base in over 87 countries. Now that her company is thriving, she has stepped down as CEO to start FITE, which will donate $500,000 to facilitate Kiva operated loans to at least 25,000 women entrepreneurs in two years.

I applaud Jane Wurwand for not losing site of her entrepreneurial roots amidst her successes. Home business ownership, whether it is full-time or part-time, can be brutal work, often resulting in bouts of single-mindedness. It affects families, time, and emotions. There is wisdom in adding a humanitarian component to a business vision because it can add a bit of solace and clarity to its purpose. Even a home-based business can add philanthropy into its line of sight. An owner may not be able to donate profits, but there is always a lot of opportunity to serve in the business’ community. Not only is this good for the soul, but it can result in positive PR. And positive PR is never a bad thing for any business. Case in point — I’ve just been gushing about Dermalogica without any prodding from them. This is good PR at work. I bet a bunch of us will think about buying their brand of wrinkle cream the next time we see their products in the store.


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