LatinaLista — Though most on Wall Street are still conducting business like there was never a recession, there are some creative entrepreneurs who see that there's no turning back the clock to do business as before. In fact, these entrepreneurs are turning the traditional business model on its head.
One such pair of entrepreneurs are Texas businessmen, Salah Boukadoum and Craig Tiritilli. They founded Soap Hope in 2008 after they sold their technology company.
Soap Hope sells all-natural soaps and body care products online. Nothing too unusual about that, but what is different is that 100 percent of the profits are channelled into local, national and international microlending programs that give women small loans without asking for collateral to help them get out of poverty.
The idea is based on the company's "Good Returns" business model where "for-profit companies delay dividends by one year in order to accomplish a positive social purpose."
The expectation is that a company is rewarded, if they forego immediate profits, because the non-profits creating the micro-lending programs tell each other about the business. In turn, the word-of-mouth helps the business gain greater market visibility and all this goodwill buzz gives customers a stronger reason to purchase the products of that business over another.
Soap Hope purposely targets women entrepreneurs since women comprise 80 percent of their consumers. The company, based in Dallas, Texas, just created a one-year partnership with a Dallas microfinance non-profit that helps local entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.
Soap Hope is also now actively looking to connect with other microfinance organizations in Latin America to start spreading the same business philosophy.
If that wasn't enough, Soap Hope is a green friendly company. One of their founding principles was to use business practices that created as little impact on the environment as possible.
It ranks right up there with another guiding principle:
To give back to our world community.
(Every week, Latina Lista will spotlight a non-profit or business that is helping women, children and the Latino community. If you know of a company or non-profit that should be highlighted, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)