Profile Summary:

  • Entrepreneur Name: Terri-Nichelle Bradley
  • Venture Name: Brown Toy Box
  • Impact Focus Area(s): Education, Black Children, STE(A)M, Cultural Representation
  • Business Stage (Ideation, Startup, Early, Later, Mature): Startup
  • Year Venture Established: 2018
  • Business Type: For-Profit Social Enterprise
  • Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

The Issue

Social entrepreneurship is about solving problems. Tell us about the challenge you are focused on addressing and why it is critical that we make progress.

“The projected net worth for Blacks in 2053 is $0. That is not for you and for me but that is for the children we are creating solutions for today. Brown Toy Box produces STEAM-themed subscription boxes, children’s products and in-class experiences all designed to not only change the way Black children see themselves and what is possible for their futures, but to also disrupt, dismantle and destroy that abysmal forecast.

We are working to create a new narrative through early exposure, positive cultural representation, and access. We are using all the data we have around the science of play to counteract a systemic social crisis.”

Your Journey

Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires connections and support from a wide array of stakeholders across the ecosystem to help successfully identify, start, and grow a social enterprise.

“My journey has been a long one with a lot of significant challenges. Creating this business has been and continues to be an uphill battle, but I know that if it were easy everyone would do it. In fact, when I first launched as a direct-to-consumer subscription box, I knew I was only reaching a portion of my market- affluent Black moms who understood the importance of preparing their children to explore STEM. The problem was, when I created this business, I knew that I wanted to touch high-potential children born into in high-poverty communities. Until I figured out a way to do this, spiritually the work felt a bit disconnected. So, it really wasn’t until we expanded our business model from solely being direct-to-consumer to also working with corporate partners to get our products into the hands of young scholars in Title 1 schools that we started seeing real traction and I felt like I was really working in my mission.

One of the things that makes Atlanta so special is that once I was clear on what Brown Toy Box was going to be and how we were going to implement our solution, it feels as though Atlanta just rallied behind me in a lot of ways. I was selected as a Center for Civic Innovation Fellow, then a Civic Innovation resident funded by The Sara Blakely Foundation, and finally, I was chosen to be a part of the City of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. Because my work is so centered in improving the lives and futures of Black children, I am excited to be selected as one of the companies asked to join the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Founding 100, which starts this month. Emory has also been supportive in many ways. Just last month, I received a small but meaningful investment from Emory Impact Investment Group. The school’s social impact students worked with me to create an impact measurement tool, because one of the most important aspects of my work’s success is to collect data and quantify impact.”

Why Georgia’s Social Impact Ecosystem Matters

Being an entrepreneur is hard and it’s even more challenging when you are a social entrepreneur as your business model and / or structure doesn’t follow the same path as traditional start-ups.

“What is interesting about the social impact space is people still assume that if you are running a mission-driven business that you should be nonprofit. I have always been clear that while I support and respect so many nonprofits both locally and nationally, I didn’t want to structure my business that way. My focus is growing a sustainable and impactful business with capacity to create jobs while procuring from black and brown makers, toy designers, and self-published authors for our boxes. The more we can grow and scale, the more impact we can make. Therefore, for me, the work that folks like Conscious Capitalism, Center for Civic Innovation and others are doing around amplifying the work of for-profit social enterprises is important.

The elephant in the room is that as a Black female founder and CEO it is still difficult to gain access to the room. Luckily for me, I have worked hard to build my network, but I am very clear that I still don’t have access to all the rooms that need to hear about the work and impact of the work we are doing with Brown Toy Box. I, along with others on the front lines actually doing the work, still need to be endorsed by Atlanta’s kingmakers and that is a very small and exclusive group of who’s who. That needs to change and there needs to be more space at the table- to be clearer- more Black business social impact business leaders need to have unfiltered access to the room. I think this will do a lot to open pathways to funding, more significant corporate sponsorships, and deeper understanding.

The current conversation around innovation in Georgia is squarely centered on tech. The truth is that the social impact space is not only driving innovation in key areas such as education, sustainability, health, food justice and public health, but it is the impact and outcomes from this work that will ultimately make communities more livable, attractive to prospective companies, and will play a major role in the economic development of our state.”

Interested in learning more about Brown Toy Box, please visit:

This post originally appeared on the website of PRNewswire. 


ATLANTAMay 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) and Conscious Company Media (CCM) will host the inaugural SPECTRUM conference on June 12 & 13, 2019 at The Gathering Spot in Atlanta, GA.

SPECTRUM, made possible with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, is a two-day cross-sector convening to bring together business leaders, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, practitioners, and investors to identify ways to foster economic growth that is based on equity, diversity, and inclusion where everyone can thrive.

“The fastest-growing population of American entrepreneurs are people of color, and the next wave of innovative companies are coming from cities like AtlantaNew Orleans, and Memphis,” says Lindsay Smalling, CEO of SOCAP. “SPECTRUM is a convening to accelerate the market for these game-changing solutions and create an inclusive impact economy.”

“The conscious business movement has tremendous potential to redesign business in service of all life, but it is not as inclusive and diverse as it needs to be. With SPECTRUM we hope to create space for honest conversation and take a hard look at systemic bias that limits the best business has to offer,” said Meghan French Dunbar, CEO and Co-founder of Conscious Company Media.

SOCAP and Conscious Company Media are both part of Intentional Media, a family of media and event brands catalyzing the transition to an economy that ensures social, environmental and economic systems thrive together. SPECTRUM is the first collaboration by the two companies, which are each bringing their respective audience and experience in designing world-class convenings.

SOCAP convenes the largest and most diverse impact investing community in the world at its annual flagship conference, which has hosted over 20,000 participants since its founding in 2008. Conscious Company Media was founded in 2014 and produces Conscious Company Magazine, the first nationally distributed publication in the US to focus solely on sustainable business and business as a force for good, as well as the Conscious Company Leaders Forum and the World-Changing Women’s Summit.

“This new convening is a thoughtful and exciting continuation of the conversations that emerged during the Racial Equity track that the Kellogg Foundation supported at SOCAP17 and SOCAP18. Impact investors, social entrepreneurs, and business leaders will be essential partners to create pathways for equitable opportunity and harness the power of the capital markets to improve the lives of children, their families and their communities, ” said Cynthia Muller, director of Mission Investment at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Kellogg Foundation has been on the forefront of racial equity, establishing itself as an anti-racist organization more than a decade ago, and allocating $100 million of its endowment to mission-driven investments over the last decade. Narrative change, racial healing, and relationship building are pillars of their work.

At SPECTRUM, programming will feature provocative talks from leaders actively working on a more inclusive impact economy including Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Vice President and Artistic Director of Social Impact at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Francine Chew, VP, Impact & Responsible Investments Group at Prudential Financial; Frederick Hutson of Pigeonly; Edward Dugger III of Reinventure Capital; Jasmine Crowe of Goodr; Jessica Stago of Change Labs; Lisa Yancey of the We’s Match; and Rohit Malhotra of Atlanta’s Center for Civic Innovation. Anchor conversations on the business case for racial equity, impact investing, and conscious business, as well as a focus on accessing capital will draw on the expert networks of SOCAP and CCM.

An advisory board of local and national leaders in conversations of racial equity were engaged for initial event concept and programming guidance. SPECTRUM Advisory Board members are Andrew Brower, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Kelly Burton, Founders of Color; Courtney Counts, KTC; Elaine Dinos, Kindred Lane; Rodney Foxworth, BALLE; Marcos Gonzalez, Vamos Ventures; Twanna Harris, Atlanta BeltLine Inc.; Venus Lockett, Urban Asset Builders (UAB) Inc.; Cynthia Muller, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and Joey Womack, Amplify 4 Good.

“As the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta has always had a storied legacy of disrupting the status quo while leveraging creativity and innovation to challenge systemic and institutional barriers. Convening national thought leaders to share global best practices is absolutely critical in how we reimagine the future of cities as entrepreneurial ecosystems,  promote inclusive innovation, address the inclusion of underrepresented communities, and create new tactics of democratizing opportunity for everyone,” said Twanna Harris, VP of Brand, Content and Strategic Initiatives for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

SPECTRUM will deliver actionable insights and connections and provide concrete ways to start activating change, individually and organizationally, in a bold conversation for the field. Significant time is being allocated for attendees to be in conversation and a skilled facilitator and coalition builder, Nadia Brigham, has been engaged to guide the conversation. Nadia brings over 20 years of experience advancing diversity, equity and inclusion particularly focused on racial equity and community engagement. Together with attendees, Nadia will guide the conversation to ensure that clear objectives are established, insights are gathered, and meaningful action continues after the event concludes.

“For way too long, impact investing and conscious business have had a blind spot around the barriers to a truly inclusive impact economy,” says Smalling. “We are launching SPECTRUM to shine a light on racial equity and explore the full range of possibilities.”



SOCAP is the largest and most diverse impact investing community in the world. We convene a global ecosystem and marketplace – social entrepreneurs, investors, foundation and nonprofit leaders, government and policy leaders, creators, corporations, academics and beyond –  through live and digital content experiences that educate, spur conversation, and inspire investment in positive impact.

About Conscious Company Media

Conscious Company Media is the nation’s leading media company dedicated to purpose-driven businesses and social enterprises. The company’s flagship product — Conscious Company Magazine — was the first nationally distributed print publication in the U.S. to focus exclusively on sustainable and conscious business practices. In addition to the magazine, Conscious Company Media produces national events, such as the World-changing Women’s Summit and the Conscious Company Leaders Forum, to train business leaders to use business as a force for good, as well as an internationally distributed podcast, World-Changing Women.

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in MichiganMississippiNew Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit


This post originally appeared on the website of the University of Georgia’s Office of Sustainability.

University of Georgia MBA student Zack Godfrey is challenging business owners in Georgia to rethink their practices and consider using their companies as a force for good.

Godfrey’s Campus Sustainability Grant project connects students with businesses to help companies improve their social and environmental impact on their communities by implementing sustainable practices. The ultimate goal of this clinic is to help local businesses improve their operations and to give students tools to be able to make a difference in their careers.

The B Corp certification is granted to businesses with the “highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose,” according to the B Corp website.

To become B Corp certified, businesses must earn at least 80 points out of a possible 200. Businesses are scored in categories like workers, customers, community, and environment.

The B Corp assessment is completely free, so businesses can get assessed to see where they stand and then work to improve their scores in any lacking areas.

Godfrey’s project connects MBA and sustainability capstone students with local companies looking to improve their scores. The students act as consultants for the companies, assisting them in solving problems and pinpointing areas for improvement.

“If you want to grow and be better, we have people here in place at the university who want to plug in and help those businesses,” Godfrey said. “It’s one of the best ways a company could choose to go through the process is by engaging students who want to help.”

There are currently 13 B Corp certified businesses in Georgia, and students are working with three more Atlanta and Athens-based companies that want to achieve this certification.

The Atlanta-based companies are the Sustainable Community Solutions Network, which provides consulting for Black-owned businesses, and The Come Up Project, an organization that provides at-risk youth with support, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. The third business, the Imery Group, is an Athens-based construction company that builds sustainable, efficient homes.

Godfrey said Georgia is behind on its number of B Corp businesses when compared with other southern states like North Carolina, which has around 50 B Corp businesses.

“It’s really interesting because it usually takes somebody being a champion and saying we need to put ourselves to the test,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey sees this push from businesses that want to improve their score as necessary for not only the sustainability of businesses, but also for the sustainability of the community as a whole.

“Cutting your costs, being more efficient operationally, building more loyalty by having these programs in place that make you an attractive business, that’s how you keep your business going long term,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey hopes to engage people from all across the university to use their skill set to help with this project.

UPDATE: Goodr, a foodwaste management company based in Atlanta, became Georgia’s 14th B Corp in April 2019.


The Georgia Social Impact Collaborative (GSIC) provides resources to connect, educate and inspire stakeholders for the purpose of accelerating the development of Georgia’s impact investing ecosystem. Recently, GSIC announced the launch of the Georgia Social Impact Map (the “Map”), an interactive platform designed to connect and educate stakeholders interested in accelerating impact investing for social outcomes. Intended as a resource for communities around the state, the Map connects new forms of capital to sustaining and scaling solutions to social challenges. GSIC also provides workshops and programming for training specific groups of stakeholders on ways to leverage impact investing to achieve their impact goals.

Atlanta Lands Largest Impact Investing Conference for Foundations

Mission Investors Exchange (MIE) takes biannual conference south in 2020

On May 16, 2019, Mission Investors Exchange (MIE) officially announced to its members that Atlanta will host the 2020 National Conference. As the leading association for the field, MIE is the go-to resource for social investors to connect, access resources and build their impact investing practice. Slated to take place May 11-13 in downtown Atlanta, the convening will attract all of the leading experts in the field and highlight many of our region’s most impactful successes in the social sector.

Atlanta’s many renowned qualities put it on the short list for MIE, and with a growing ecosystem of impact investing in the state and region, the center of the south became the clear winner. The founders of the Georgia Social Impact Collaborative (GSIC) have worked with MIE’s management for years and were important resources for their vetting process. As momentum builds towards May of 2020, GSIC will continue to pull together the region’s stakeholders to support a successful and mission-driven MIE conference next year.

Though Atlanta has amazing attributes, it also tops the list of U.S. cities in the area of income inequality, which has been a major focus for MIE and its members. The conference will provide national and region leaders a chance to highlight initiatives and investments that are moving the needle on this subject and many others facing low income and distressed communities.

While most national conferences have experienced declining attendance in recent years, MIE’s popular every-other-year conference has done just the opposite, with double-digit growth. The same is expected for 2020. The conference, hosted only every two years, will bring the country’s largest philanthropic impact investors to Atlanta. Attendees will explore burgeoning trends in impact investing and participate in site tours of some of Atlanta’s neighborhoods where impactful ventures have worked with communities to change local narratives.

May 17, 2019

By: Jeff Woodward, Steering Committee, Georgia Social Impact Collaborative


The Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee disappointed the social impact community in failing to vote in favor of HB230, the Georgia Benefit Corporation Act.

Benefit Corporations are Georgia businesses that incorporate the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit for their shareholders and addressing social and environmental problems.  The business model supports new businesses with capital investment, to create high quality jobs, along with a healthier environment, stronger communities, and businesses that solve society’s most challenging problems.  Known as “triple bottom line” companies, benefit corporations simultaneously focus on maximizing returns that affect people, profit and the planet.

There are more than 1,200 B Corps across the country.  Most are concentrated in one of the 34 states that have already passed benefit corporation legislation, including Delaware (passed in 2013) and the southern states of Florida (2014) and South Carolina (2012).  Around the world, there are more than 2,500 globally across 50 countries.

In Georgia, there is a fast-moving, surging effort to coordinate and develop the market for social investment in our region. A group of nearly 400 Georgia investors, foundations, public sector officials, corporate executives as well as entrepreneurs, social enterprises and nonprofits, are part of the Georgia Social Impact Collaborative’s (GSIC) network that is helping to build investment platforms, funds and workforce development efforts using private and social capital to drive economic development and social outcomes simultaneously.

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, B Corps are riding a wave of consumer interest in sustainable companies. According to several studies, such as Nielsen’s The Sustainability Imperative, global consumers say they will pay more for sustainable consumer brands, and sales of consumer goods with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability have grown more than 4% globally, while those without grew less than 1%. Not to mention, 42% of millennials and 37% of Generation Z claim that they want to know what goes into their products before they buy.

But while consumers are clearly rewarding values-based businesses, there’s a very big catch: Consumers are not accepting brands’ social and environmental claims at face value. This means that companies must take steps to convince consumers that they “authentically demonstrate commitment to social and environmental impact build consumer trust and business value,” according to the study.

This is where benefit corporations come in.  Benefit corporations identify the specific impact that their company will have on their employees, community, supply chain, and environment, and then measures that impact and reports it to its shareholders and the general public.  This transparency, often measured against an independent third party, allows business owners, their investors, employees, and consumers to know whether the company is truly a “good” and “responsible” company, and not one that is using advertising techniques and methods of “green washing” to increase sales.

Right now, Georgia is trailing other states and needs to catch up. Until Georgia adopts benefit corporation legislation, Georgia companies wishing to run their business as a part of the impact economy, appeal to younger workers that prefer to be employed by a company that cares and makes a difference, and be able to attract the fastest growing segment of investment capital, impact funds, must go elsewhere, like neighboring states Florida and South Carolina, to incorporate. We don’t want to lose any more top business or talent for lack of legal infrastructure in Georgia, or close our doors to benefit corporations that have formed in other states from expanding to Georgia.

While the debate over B Corps this year is over, we’re already looking forward to the conversation in 2020, where five other states are currently working on benefit corporation legislation.  That would leave Georgia as one of only 11 states that fail to recognize the newest form of business.

We urge the Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee to pass legislation next session that allows these triple bottom line companies to attract new start-ups in the impact economy, and allow benefit corporations to form, thrive, and bring jobs to Georgia communities.  By following similar triple bottom line legislation in the majority of states, Georgia benefit corporation will likewise be recognized in other states that embrace such companies.

Its time Georgia found its place in the new, exploding, impact economy.


The Georgia Social Impact Collaborative (GSIC) provides resources to connect, educate and inspire stakeholders for the purpose of accelerating the development of Georgia’s impact investing ecosystem. Recently, GSIC announced the launch of the Georgia Social Impact Map (the “Map”), an interactive platform designed to connect and educate stakeholders interested in accelerating impact investing for social outcomes. Intended as a resource for communities around the state, the Map connects new forms of capital to sustaining and scaling solutions to social challenges. GSIC also provides workshops and programming for training specific groups of stakeholders on ways to leverage impact investing to achieve their impact goals.

May 7, 2019

By: John Lanier, Executive Director of The Ray C. Anderson Foundation


I wonder how linguists feel when they hear frequently misused words and idioms. Is it like nails on a chalkboard, or do they find this vernacular normalization to be fascinating? Do they ever accidentally use them, or avoid them like the plague? Do they feel a compulsion to inform the speaker of their misstep, or let the mistakes just pass by? Irregardless…er…I mean……regardless, as a non-linguist myself, I am quite tickled when I hear them pop up.

My favorite one is “I could care less.” It literally means the opposite of the intended and correct expression “I couldn’t care less.” That one is rather tickle-inducing. Runners up in my book include “for all intensive purposes” (it should be “for all intents and purposes”) and “they did a 360” (it should be “they did a 180,” as in degrees, unless you mean they did not change at all).

There is another commonly misused phrase, this time from the world of environmental sustainability, and I have to admit that I’m a bit less tickled when I hear it incorrectly utilized: the triple bottom line.

The phrase is derived from income statements in business accounting, where the last line on the page is usually the business’s financial profitability. When a business pursues a triple bottom line, it chooses to focus not solely on this measure of financial performance, but also accounts for its impact on society and the environment. Often, you’ll see a triple bottom line approach represented by a commitment to the three Es (equity, environment, and economy) or the three Ps (people, planet, and profit).

That’s all fine and well, but the problem comes when businesses think that a triple bottom line approach means that a profitable-but-harmful business practice can be excused by environmental and social side projects. Diverting profit to do a bit of good here and there is a common and unfortunate misconception of triple bottom line thinking. The correct understanding of the term is much stronger, and a much higher bar.

True triple bottom line thinking is not about doing well and doing good, but rather about doing well by doing good. Strong triple bottom line companies seek to operate in a way that creates value in all three realms simultaneously. It’s about more of all, not some of each, and it requires a business to be honest about the harms it inflicts and authentic in seeking to eliminate those harms.

I’ll give you an example from Ray Anderson’s company Interface, a manufacturer of modular carpet tile. In the mid-2000s, Interface’s engineers were trying to design glue out of the carpet tile installation process. As the commonly used method for keeping carpet tile in its place, glue had the problem of off-gassing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), thereby contributing to poor indoor air quality.

Motivated to solve this environmental and social harm, Interface developed TacTiles®, which are small one-sided adhesive stickers applied to the underside of carpet tiles. They link tiles together at intersection points and allow gravity to then hold the connected carpet in place, all without any VOCs. Further, this innovation now allows Interface to sell carpet tiles as area rugs to residential customers, increasing revenue for the business. TacTiles were a true triple bottom line innovation.

If you’d like to learn more about Ray Anderson and Interface’s commitment to sustainability, I’d be honored if you’d take a look at the following video by our Foundation.

Fortunately, Interface isn’t the only company committed to a strong triple bottom line, with businesses like Patagonia and Unilever joining the ranks. Each of these companies is proving the business case for sustainability, doing well by doing good, and representing what triple bottom line thinking is really about. That’s something that totally jives…er…I mean………jibes with me. I hope it does for you too.


The Ray C. Anderson Foundation was created in honor of the late Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), founder of Interface, Inc. During his time at Interface, Ray championed the notion of businesses doing well by doing good. It’s these noble qualities of advancing knowledge and innovation around environmental stewardship and sustainability that recognized Ray as a pioneer in industrial ecology. The purpose of the Foundation is to perpetuate these shared values and continue the legacy that Ray left behind. Through research and funding, the Foundation aims to help create a better world for future generations—tomorrow’s child. Learn more about the Foundation’s work at 

The Georgia Social Impact Collaborative (GSIC) provides resources to connect, educate and inspire stakeholders for the purpose of accelerating the development of Georgia’s impact investing ecosystem. Recently, GSIC announced the launch of the Georgia Social Impact Map (the “Map”), an interactive platform designed to connect and educate stakeholders interested in accelerating impact investing for social outcomes. Intended as a resource for communities around the state, the Map connects new forms of capital to sustaining and scaling solutions to social challenges. GSIC also provides workshops and programming for training specific groups of stakeholders on ways to leverage impact investing to achieve their impact goals, such as the workshop described below, which was attended by 30 leaders of some of GA’s top social enterprises and nonprofits.