By: Zeb McLaurin VI

January 24, 2020

Globally, there are 821 million people who are hungry. That’s 1 in 9 people on the planet. Every year, nearly 40 million people experience hunger in the United States, including more than 11 million children who go to bed hungry every single night. Yet, we’re wasting more food than ever before— 80 billion pounds a year to be exact.  According to the EPA, food waste has increased by 50% since the 1970s and is now the largest solid waste contributor to landfill. And as this food sits, it gradually rots and produces harmful methane gas, a leading contributor to global climate change.

Not only is this bad for the environment, it’s bad for the bottom line and our communities. There’s the waste of the food itself, the waste of producing the now wasted food, the waste of labor, the social inequity between people who really need food but can’t get it — and those who have too much and just trash it.

This is where Goodr comes in. We realized that hunger was not an issue of scarcity but rather a matter of logistics. In 2017, we set out to end hunger by using technology as we believe that technology and innovation have the power to solve big problems and especially hunger.

Goodr developed an app that would inventory everything a business sells and, at the end of each night, donate surplus food (that would normally go to waste) to food insecure communities. The app allows businesses to simply click on items, tell us how many they have and request a pick-up. Our platform then calculates the tax value of items being donated as well as analytics on metrics like most wasted items. The app then connects with local drivers to get this food picked up from businesses and delivered right to the door of nonprofits and people in need.

We provide data and analytics to help businesses reduce their food waste and even save millions of dollars. Our mission was simple: Feed More, Waste Less and by 2018, our clients included the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson airport, and major companies and brands like Hormel, Papa John’s, Chick-fil-a, the NFL for Super Bowl 53 and more than 200 businesses. We diverted more than 2 million pounds of food from landfills to people. This accounted for about 1.7 million meals and then we started to expand our reach to other cities like Washington, DC, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and more.

In 2019 we decided to take things a step further by collecting organic waste (nonedible food scraps), so we developed our Organics Recycling division where we either compost, feed animals, feed insects that produce fertilizer, and more! Once we collect, we take it to one of our partners who utilize the scraps in their operations. As conversations around sustainability continues to grow, we hope that both people and businesses keep Goodr in mind when they decide to embark on their journey to 0 waste.

Hunger and food waste doesn’t sleep and neither do we. Contact Goodr at [email protected] to join the fight!

By: Jane Curth, Co-Founder & CEO, FitFixNow

January 21, 2020


I’ve been a health and wellness professional for my entire adult life. I know firsthand how working on one’s own health dramatically improves quality of life, and have always looked for ways to make a real difference in the lives of others.

When we started FitFixNow, there was an obvious issue. The industry of providing continuing education to fitness professionals was almost completely offline. And the companies that did offer these products and services to fitness professionals weren’t all that different.

They had webinars at particular times, or if they offered an online course, you still had to wait to enroll, and attend at certain times. So it was technically online, but in the end, all that they gained from “online” was saving a commute. It still wouldn’t fit neatly into their busy lives.

So we decided to put together an option that would absolutely fit into any schedule. Then, they could attack the course work on any device, anywhere — and, most importantly, anytime.

But it had to go further. We wanted to rethink the nature of what we were teaching our customers.

Turning Fitness Professionals Into Entrepreneurs


The fitness industry has exploded in the past decade. You can see it in everything from gym attendance to standing desks at work, and everything in between.

But fitness professionals still struggle to make a living. Many opportunities for trainers and group fitness instructors are only within an existing system. Fitness professionals have largely been “gig economy” members long before the term was popularized.

So we asked the question, if fitness is booming, why aren’t fitness professionals reaping the benefits? That’s when we realized that fitness entrepreneurship was an essential component of becoming successful in the industry.

Seeing this need, we put together a suite of professional development courses that give fitness professionals the roadmap to success, whether they’re working at a big box gym or training clients out of their garage.

Turning Fitness Professionals Into Quality Of Life Heroes


Another need we discovered within the industry is with special populations, especially with seniors. Fitness becomes more important as we get older and experience more significant health conditions.

As such, we’ve developed courses that specifically will help trainers improve the quality of life for their clients within special populations, like those living with autism, Parkinson’s, or even teen athletes.

We think success isn’t measured in a bottom line, but rather how we empower our customers to make their own positive change in the world. 

Purpose Must Drive What You Do


When it comes to making something work as an entrepreneur, at every step of the way, it’s our values and purpose that act as the compass to finding our way in the dark uncertainty of the market. And it acts as a check on our decision making.

It’s this fundamental philosophy that pushes us to do more, to go further, and to make a positive difference in the lives of the people we touch.

Originally posted by The World Economic Forum

By: Judy Oh, Global Shaper, Atlanta Hub, BrightHouse

January 15, 2020


  • Millennials and Gen Z will be the majority of the workforce in 2020.
  • For younger generations, workplace purpose must be reflected by authentic actions.
  • Companies can examine purpose through the lens of humans’ innate psychological needs.

We are entering a new era in which the purpose of a corporation is evolving from the shareholder-centric model to one that serves to benefit all stakeholders. Corporations looking to thrive in this beyond-shareholder world must focus first on creating a purpose-driven employee experience, as employees have the potential to be a corporation’s strongest advocates and champions.

Specifically, corporations that want to succeed must engage millennials and Gen Z, as their presence in the global workforce will represent 59% in 2020.

For this new generation, it is not enough for their employers to simply have a compelling purpose. They want to see purpose lived out authentically through bold actions. As evidenced by the 32,000 French students from over 300 universities who have signed a pledge to only work for environmentally conscious companies and more than 1,000 Google employees across the world who staged a walk-out in protest of sexual harassment, misconduct and lack of transparency, they are emboldened to hold their companies accountable to their purpose.

Understanding the new generation of talent

To understand how to engage and motivate this new generation of talent, corporations need to examine their needs through a human lens. Motivation psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan found that all humans have three innate psychological needs essential for well-being: autonomy, sense of belonging and mastery.

While these needs are universal, they have new timely meaning and implications for millennials and Gen Z in the workplace.

1. Autonomy

Younger workers are looking for more decentralized environments where they can decide how work gets done. A Gallup study of the American workforce finds that 42% of millennials would switch to a job that allows them to work independently on a project of their choosing and 63% to a job that allows them flextime.

2. Belonging

Newer generations are looking for a deeper sense of connection in the workplace. A study by BridgeWorks shows that millennials and Gen Z consider their work a reflection of their identities, while a study by American Express shows that 75% of millennial leaders prefer to work with people and organizations that share their values.

3. Mastery

The new generation of talent is prizing employability above long-term employment. They seek continuous skills development and want to find meaningful growth opportunities at work. A global study by Manpower Group indicated 93% of millennials want lifelong learning, and four out of five said the opportunity to learn new skills is a top factor when considering a new job.

The lens of purpose

Purpose, which is the company’s reason for being, is the most powerful tool companies have at their disposal to meet the intrinsic needs of new talent. Purpose guides culture – providing a framework for consistent decision-making, creating connection through shared values and inspiring employees to reach their unique mastery. In order to fulfill the intrinsic needs of the new generations, companies must use purpose to reimagine the employee experience in three ways:

1. Purpose and autonomy

While the new generations crave expanded notions of autonomy, organizations cannot simply extend it without a mechanism for alignment. Purpose is the single most powerful edit point that aligns the organization. By clearly articulating and embedding the organizational purpose and the principles that uphold it, employees will be empowered with guardrails to make decisions at any level.

For example, Delta Airlines’ purpose harkened back to its founder’s philosophy of “customer service and hospitality from the heart” and inspired the “flat tire” policy, in which service agents were empowered with the autonomy to waive fees for fliers delayed by unforeseen circumstances.

2. Purpose and belonging

Purpose is a rallying cry that drives employees to emotionally connect to the company and to each other. When fully leveraged, purpose is not a static statement, but a powerful unifier and foundation for employees to understand and live their shared values.

KPMG, the international audit, tax and advisory firm, reinforced a sense of belonging within the organization through purpose-driven storytelling. In 2014, KPMG unveiled the Higher Purpose initiative, where the firm invited employees to share their own stories of purpose-driven work. It started a movement within the organization where more than 40,000 stories were shared across their 29,000 employee base, and key metrics, such as level of engagement, retention and pride, increased.

3. Purpose and mastery

To help employees prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, companies will not only need to upskill and reskill employees to meet market demand, but also personalize their learning journeys to align with their personal purpose. This means fostering a growth-mindset culture and creating opportunities for employees to elevate their strengths and passions in their day-to-day.

Under Satya Nadella’s leadership, Microsoft has used purpose to create a continuous learning culture. Microsoft’s purpose “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more” has helped embed a growth mindset in performance and development processes, shifting their focus from being a group of “know-it-alls” to a group of “learn-it-alls.”

To win in this next era, corporations must pay close attention to the unique needs of younger workers and reimagine the employee experience through the lens of purpose to deliver on those needs. Corporations that choose to act swiftly and deliberately in engaging this new generation stand to reap significant performance gains. By fulfilling the intrinsic needs of the new generations of talent, companies will enable them to unleash their full potential and be in a position to benefit from greater creativity, productivity and commitment.

Originally posted by InvestAtlanta

January 7, 2020

Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI), a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Entity created by Invest Atlanta, officially closed an $8 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) transaction supporting the Ron Clark Academy (RCA).  SunTrust, now Truist, was the investment partner on this project.

The NMTC allocation will assist with the construction of the new 42,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Ryan Marshall Performing Arts Center, which will expand the existing school building both for student activities as well as for RCA’s teacher training programs. As a result, the school will be able to serve an additional 30 students annually and train an additional 2,500 teachers annually, increases which will help make the school 100 percent financially sustainable as well as subsidize tuition for students from households earning less than $30,000 annually. The $23 million expansion will also create seven new full-time positions.

Located in South Atlanta in a formerly vacant warehouse, RCA is an innovative nonprofit middle school and teacher training facility founded in 2007 by Ron Clark and Kim Bearden, both award-winning educators. Stated on its website, RCA’s mission is to: “Deliver the highest quality educational experience where global citizens are born through advanced rigor, engaging teaching methods, and a passionate climate and culture.”

AEMI specializes in providing gap financing for projects that create jobs and revitalize Atlanta’s distressed neighborhoods.  South Atlanta qualifies as “highly distressed” based on the 2011 – 2015 American Community Survey with a median family income of 31.84 percent of the area median income, a poverty rate of 40.9 percent, and an unemployment rate of 20.8 percent (2.5 times the national average).

Currently, the school teaches 150 children in grades fourth through eighth and offers a sliding tuition scale to assist families of all socioeconomic backgrounds. As a result of the school’s huge success (100 percent graduation rate with 95 percent of its graduates attending college or enlisting in the military), the RCA developed the “Ron Clark Experience,” for outside educators to learn about the school’s unique techniques and practices. The registration fees for the training program help cover student tuitions and enable 14,500 teachers to come from around the globe and train at the school each year.

By: Nathan Stuck

January 3, 2020

It’s 2020 and times have changed in the business world. More and more every day, becoming the gold standard of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is taking on a bigger role in C-Suite conversations.

No longer does the economic philosophy of Milton Friedman – to serve fiscal shareholders above all else – dominate the landscape. Customers and employees are demanding that the corporate world serve all stakeholders, including their employees, communities, and the environment. The number of companies listening is increasing. They have begun incorporating CSR initiatives into their day-to-day business operations. But with everyone doing it, how can you make your company stand out and work towards becoming a “gold standard of CSR?”

The answer is simple, join Ad Victoriam Solutions, Goodr Co., Decisely, Rubicon Global, and 11 other Georgia based companies and have your company certified as a B Corp.

B Corps Defined

B Corps are for-profit businesses that have a proven (and certified) commitment to serving all stakeholders. They use business as a force for good, ensuring fair pay and benefits to a diverse and inclusive workforce. They also promise to be good stewards of the environment. That means they are actively serving in their communities, and believing purpose and profit can harmoniously coexist.

However, the process isn’t easy. But as the saying goes, “if it was easy, then everyone would be doing it.” But it is worth going after and here’s why: 

1. The Gold Standard of CSR: A True Differentiator

In a workforce and consumer base increasingly dominated by Millennials and Gen Z, people are demanding more than just profit from the companies they buy from and work for. Consumers and potential employees are more likely to sniff out blatant “greenwashing.” Defined by Investopedia, “greenwashing” is “an attempt to capitalize on the growing demand for products that are environmentally sound.” Simply put, it is companies claiming “they are more natural, healthier, free of chemicals, recyclable, or less wasteful of natural resources,” with no real evidence to back up their claims. 

But with B Corps, the research and investigation into the legitimacy of a company’s claims have already been performed. After the company completes the B Impact Assessment (BIA), on which a company must score 80 out of a possible 200 points, B Lab, the nonprofit accreditation body that certifies B Corps, performs an audit of a company. The handbook and its policies are reviewed, numbers are verified, and an audit is performed. Succinctly put, B Corp certification is to for-profit business as Fair-Trade is to coffee or certified organic is to milk. The B logo is seen as a stamp of legitimacy on your CSR efforts.

2. Raising Capital

An often overlooked feature of B Corp certification is the ability to seek out investments in your business. According to Forbes, “The Global Impact Investing Network’s most recent estimate for the minimum size of the impact investment market doubled to $228 billion in assets under management, up from $114 billion in 2017.” More and more investors are looking to diversify their portfolios beyond industry. They want to include companies with environmental and social goals, following global standards like the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

As investors scramble to find investment opportunities that align with their personal values, “B Corps may attract capital better than non-b-businesses,” according to an article in Fast Company. In the article, Abi Barnes, the author of “An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Going B,” published by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, alluded to the B Corps’ ability to differentiate themselves to attract these investments. He stated that “in an era of ‘greenwashing’ and misleading labels, certified B Corporations and benefit corporations help consumers identify trustworthy companies.”

3. Hiring the Best Candidates

While often labeled as the entitled “me” generation (millennials) or as out-of-touch social media junkies (Gen Z), millennials (born between 1980-1994) will make up roughly half of the workforce in 2020. And a staggering 61 million Gen Z’ers have entered the workforce since 2016. To put it rather succinctly, these are, and will continue to be, the majority of your new hires. 

And they care passionately about everything from climate change to human rights to LGBTQ to equality, and the list is endless. More importantly, according to research from Sourcing Journal, a whopping “84% of millennials and a staggering 94% of Gen Z expect companies to address pressing social and environmental issues.” And the efforts have to be sincere, as a massive majority of both groups don’t trust traditional marketing. 

Positioning yourself as a leader in the CSR space signals your authenticity to these companies. As I personally recruit and interview at the University of Georgia, I am astonished at how many candidates approach us and begin the conversation with B Corp related blogs and social media posts they found when planning which companies they wanted to talk to. Our status as a B Corp has definitely helped us recruit top talent from both of these growing generational groups. 

4. Mission Lock

One of the biggest benefits of B Corp certification for a growing company is the ability to lock in your mission. When Ad Victoriam Solutions went through the assessment, we only had eight employees. We had to implement a lot of new policies and practices. More importantly, we had to envision what we wanted our company to look like as it grew. Fast forward three years and we have almost 70 employees and our old vision is our new reality. The mission and purpose are now baked into the DNA of our organization.

When we make strategic decisions, our status as a B Corp influences our direction. Whether it is how we recruit employees to ensure a diverse candidate pool or deciding on whether we want to take on a new client based on their mission and values, our certification weighs heavily on everything we do. And knowing that B Lab requires member companies to re-certify every three years ensures we are always thinking of a decision’s impact on everyone.

The truth is, not just focusing on the bottom line has been good for business. Since Ad Victoriam started the process three years ago, we have doubled our revenue every year.

4. Best Practices, Industry Standards, and Benchmarks for Improvement

An unexpected byproduct of B Corp certification is the inspiration from the B Community to always strive for more. There will always be another B Corp doing more than you for their employees, the environment, or their community. Allowing these companies to inspire you to deepen your commitment opens the door to becoming an even better corporate citizen. Being open to measuring your company’s performance to that of others allows you to identify areas for improvement.

In an interview with Forbes, Barnana CEO Nik Ingersöll stated, “Being a B Corp has solidified our commitment to the way we run our business. They also have an amazing framework that has given us more ideas on how to become even more sustainable. It has given me a path to constant and continued improvement.”

And in an article from the Harvard Business Review, “It Pays to Become a B Corporation,” Richard Stammer, VP of B Corp Cabot Creamery, highlights the use of benchmarking to achieve operational cost savings as well as to recruit and retain employees. Stammer also points to Patagonia, who “report[ed] that certification helps promote and validate its employee-centric culture, which attracts great candidates because of the company’s reputation as a great place to work. Since becoming a B Corp, Patagonia expanded the medical, military, and paid maternity and paternity leave for regular full- and part-time U.S. employees.”

5. Walk the Walk

On top of everything, you are signaling to the marketplace that your mission is sincere and genuine. It helps potential investors, customers, and employees more easily sift through the noise and find companies that truly believe in CSR.

B Corp Certification isn’t a pledge or a commitment to simply do better. It is the etching of your mission and your beliefs in stone. As such, it requires time and commitment to achieving. But in the end, it is worth it.

Curious to Learn More?

In collaboration with B Local Georgia, GSIC will be hosting a celebration of Corporate Social Responsibility in Atlanta, Georgia on March 10, 2020. With a mix of certified B Corps, companies currently taking the assessment, and others redefining the way business gets done. The event will offer a chance to meet leaders in the CSR movement, share ideas and best practices, and get inspired.