Starting the New 2016 with a story about my favorite type of entrepreneurship, that is social entrepreneurship. It is by far my favorite, because these entrepreneurs are putting their efforts, time and skills to bring innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems.
I’m humbled to have the opportunity to share the story of my dear Finnish friend and social entrepreneur Amanda Sundell. She is the Founder of DROPP, a social enterprise that goes by the motto: Let’s save the Baltic sea!
“Cleaner environment is what drives and motivates me. People here in Finland do care about the environment a lot and two years ago when I was starting, I was thinking about how to make it easier, so that everyone can get involved in protecting the Baltic Sea. DROPP seeks to do its bit to save the Baltic Sea and mobilize both individuals and corporations to get involved in this work as a part of their everyday lives and routine operations. By choosing DROPP, a sustainable Baltic Sea friendly spring bottled water, each person and company can be a part of the effort to protect the Baltic Sea. We have partnered with the University of Helsinki, where we are gathering more information about how polluted is the Baltic sea, how the climate change has affected this region and then we can move onto campaigns about raising awareness. We have also established partnerships with more than 100 partners and distributors in Helsinki and we are working hard to broaden the geographic sphere, where by spring time we would like DROPP to be accessible nation-wide and also spreading to the nearby countries.It is very cool to see how by a consumption we could make a difference and it is not only the public sector that should care about the environment. We need everyone to get involved and collaborate.” – says Amanda.
Since she has been doing this for almost two years, I was interested to find out what were the obstacles regarding managing a social enterprise and what is most satisfying for her about doing this type of business.
“In Finland, social enterprises are not that common and usually it all goes under the practical Corporate Social Responsibility. So maybe, one of the main obstacles was establishing a social enterprise and explaining how this will work and that no other company donates 100% of their profit for the cause. Other than that, is when you need to find the right partner, in my case the right distributors and retailers, especially for the following period when we will expand. In Finland, you can see that double bottom lined companies strive for profits, but also help in cleaning the Baltic sea. Others do it by giving a donation, which is also fine. In addition to that I can proudly say that the most satisfying moment for me was when we were able to make our first donation and actually show that each and every one of us, can make an impact on a daily basis. So, to anyone thinking about tackling a social problem, I would highly suggest that you need to be genuinely interested and committed to that issue. Share your idea, get support, make some initial contacts for potential partnerships, then go for it. Planning it or thinking about it, it’s good, but you need to try it out and make it work.” – Amanda explains.
I am personally very proud of the work that she is doing and how genuinely committed she is for the cause. So of course I am going to support this initiative and you should too. We should all help out and live in a cleaner environment. About this particular environment, do not forget to get your DROPP water when in Finland and check out all the different ways in which you can get involved on their web site. To Amanda, I congratulate you in taking the matter in your hands and I wish you and your social enterprise success… Let the donations flow continuously.
Supporting it all the way from my hometown! Looking forward in meeting other social entrepreneurs and sharing their stories. Til then, subscribe with your e-mail, because the next #StartUpSelfie from Helsinki is coming sooner than you expect 🙂