Vote for Paul Rice: Entrepreneur of the Year
Fair Trade USA's President & CEO Recognized for his Work to Fight Poverty in Farming Communities
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We are proud to announce that Paul Rice, Fair Trade USA’s President & CEO, has been selected as a finalist for Entrepreneur ® magazine’s prestigious Entrepreneur of 2012 Contest presented by The UPS Store ®. For the fifth year running, this award seeks to highlight the people and companies that exemplify the passion, drive and determination that fuel the entrepreneurial community. Paul was selected as a top five finalist for the "Established Entrepreneur" category based on his 14 years of leadership at Fair Trade USA.
Now through September 17, you can vote for Paul to become the Entrepreneur of 2012. Voting is as easy as a click of a button (no hanging chads). You can also text code 170119 to 22333 from your cell phone to get an additional vote.
So please, take a minute to show your support - we greatly appreciate it!
“Paul Rice is on the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship. By helping consumers gain a deeper understanding of how their everyday purchases affect people around the globe, Paul has found a powerful way to mobilize business and consumers to benefit millions of people in the developing world. We look forward to seeing Fair Trade USA’s impact in the years ahead.” - Seth Goldman, TeaEO of Honest Tea.
About the Entrepreneur
Paul Rice has made it made his life's mission to give businesses and consumers a way to fight poverty in farming communities through their purchases. Whether it's a cup of coffee, a bar of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream, he has given busy shoppers in the North America a simple way to make a difference with their dollar.
Paul came to Fair Trade by way of the mountainous Segovias region of northern Nicaragua, where he spent 11 years organizing cooperatives and training farmers. During his time there, Paul founded and led PRODECOOP, the country's first Fair Trade, organic coffee export cooperative, which introduced him to the transformational power of Fair Trade. Upon return to the United States, he earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and wrote the business plan for what later became Fair Trade USA, the leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America.
Since launching the Fair Trade Certified label in 1998, Paul has pushed to mainstream the Fair Trade movement and expand its impact on farmers. In partnership with over 750 U.S. companies, Fair Trade USA has helped drive U.S. retail sales of Fair Trade Certified products to an estimated $1.5 billion in 2011, enabling millions of small-scale farmers and farm workers earn more than $250MM in additional income over the past decade. Farming communities have democratically elected to invest these in social and business development projects including scholarships, healthcare, and women's leadership programs. Rice’s innovations also include expanding certification to new product categories and deepening efforts to increase consumer awareness.
About the Award
To see Paul Rice’s full business profile and video—and to vote, go to entrepreneur.com/e2012. Finalists will receive a percentage of points based on the number of online votes they receive, which together with voting points allocated to each of the panel of judges will determine the final winners.