On May 5, 2021, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion between Gen Z entrepreneurs and next generation impact investors. From origin stories and overcoming challenges to the future of the impact economy, we covered a lot of ground.
We want to share that wealth with everyone!
Start by watching a replay of my conversation with:
- Bella Lam of mission-driven vegan baking mix company Coconut Whisk
- Joshua Shefner of the social enterprise Agricycle Global
- Yara Kamal of environmentally sustainable yoga brand Scoria
- Olivia Cramer, investor with The Craftory
- Jamil Wyne, investor and investment specialist
Bella Lam shares her journey from farmers markets and business competitions to six-figure business that helps fight food insecurity. She discusses how, early in the creation of Coconut Whisk, she got caught up in those business competitions and lost some focus on her mission in her attempt to get outside validation. Her lesson was that hearing no is not the end of the world. She focused on the lessons learned and moved forward.
When Agricycle and its associated Jali Fruit brand faced massive supply chain challenges, the reasons were unclear. Josh Shefner talks about how he got on a plane to Kenya, got to the bottom of the issue, increased the number of team members and solved the problem. His key takeaway was to rely on your team, but always stay involved. His focus on the company’s crystal clear mission remains true: To eradicate extreme world poverty by democratizing access to the global supply chain and create sustainable livelihoods.
Yara Kamal reveals that she always felt she functioned best as a solopreneur, but now — as one of the largest Shopify stores in Canada — she is working to expand her team in a way that takes items off her plate, but with partners she can trust. She shares how she wishes she had more support and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs when Scoria was in its early days.
Olivia Kramer and Jamil Wyne share their insider views about the impact investment landscape during the pandemic and looking beyond. Jamil summed up the conversation nicely when he noted that successful entrepreneurs are no longer only those with long track records. Younger people earlier in their careers are making a big splash and a true difference.
The event was presented in partnership with Social Venture Circle and the American Sustainable Business Council. Not only was there a lively discussion among event attendees, there were substantial and valuable resources generated.
Interested in connecting and networking with like-minded Gen Z impact entrepreneurs and investors? Fill out our simple form here and we’ll add you to the next Gen Z retail virtual meet up (date currently being scheduled)! And visit our Gen Z Impact Retail Resources page.