A little more than a decade ago, two Iraqi American siblings were vacationing at the Grand Canyon when they decided to create a tea company that prized art and social justice.
Today, Numi Organic Tea in Oakland is the leading brand importer of fair-trade certified teas in the United States.
For co-founder Ahmed Rahim, the desire to build a people-focused company came out of his experience as a child growing up in Cleveland, the son of Iraqi immigrants.
Social entrepreneurs, those organizations and individuals who work to improve major social issues, don't have the networks and financial systems of traditional entrepreneurs, Sally Osberg, president of the Skoll Foundation told a Stanford MBA audience. Like Ginger Rogers dancing in a 1940's musical, they face the same issues as traditional entrepreneurs, but must do it backwards in high heels.
If you didn't know what Fair Trade was five years ago, you certainly do now. As the label becomes ubiquitous, CEO Paul Rice is taking the standard into new industries and to new heights.
If you've swigged Honest Tea, eaten a spoonful of Ben and Jerry's, or sipped on a Starbucks drink, chances are that you've consumed a Fair Trade product.
January 12th, 2010 marks the day that a 7.0 magnitude quake killed or injured thousands of Haitian people and left nearly two million people homeless. It was the day the earth shook, the day that changed everything in the small, colorful Caribbean nation of Haiti. Amidst chaos and devastation, the people have held strong, and are working to rebuild their lives a little bit each day.