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Beyond the bottom line

By: Jasmine Budak, Financial Post Magazine

Rumeet Toor is part of a growing number of entrepreneurs combining profit and charity

The idea that capitalism and social causes can co-exist may be anathema to some, but a growing number of businesspeople are using their corporate savvy and innovation skills to address sweeping social or environmental issues alongside the traditional business goal of generating profits. It’s called social entrepreneurship, a 30-year-old term that is still gaining awareness even by those who practice it. “I had to Google it,” says Rumeet Toor, owner of Jobs in Education, an online employment board that also helps fund her Toor Centre for Teacher Education, a teacher’s college and general training facility in Kenya that opened earlier this year. “I didn’t even know what a social entrepreneur was until someone asked me to give a talk about it.”

Definitions aside, Toor is a textbook example of someone using use her skills and earnings as an entrepreneur for a broader social purpose. A year after Toor bought Jobs in Education in 2004 as a 21-year-old undergrad student at the University of Toronto, she decided that her business model would include two bottom lines: profit and social impact. “Businesses can fail,” she says. “I wanted to create a legacy beyond my company, something I could be proud of.”

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Source: http://www.nationalpost.com/Beyond+Bottom+Line/3938657/story.html#ixzz17SqvJRdB


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