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Posts Tagged ‘bcorps’

Fintech Company “Lemonade” Following Through on Its Purpose Driven Mission.

In the past I have posted on Fintech Companies – and highlighted a few – namely Lemonade.  Below is an update on some exciting things Lemonade is doing.

2015-11-26-13-04-02

 

But as a threshold matter:

What is Fintech?

 

According to FinTech Weekly:

Financial technology, also known as FinTech, is a line of business based on using software to provide financial services. Financial technology companies are generally startups founded with the purpose of disrupting incumbent financial systems and corporations that rely less on software.

 

The idea of a business’ purpose of “disrupting incumbent”…anything is intriguing to me.

Some systems need to be disrupted. I have previously posted my own thoughts on being a disruptive force for good.

To that point, Lemonade seemingly fits the bill. Look no further than it’s mission statement on its homepage: “Instant everything. Killer prices. Big heart.

About Lemonade:

According to its website, Lemonade is the “World’s First P2P Insurance Company” (Peer-to-Peer).

Lemonade provides Renters and Homeowners Insurance to New

Yorkers.

According to a CrowdFundInsider article: “Lemonade has positioned its platform in a David vs. Goliath battle to challenge antediluvian insurance incumbents by providing a far better service at a superior price.”

Who doesn’t root for the underdog?

Technology Driven.

Shai Wininger, co-founder and President of Lemonade, explained to CrowdfundInsider that technology drives everything at Lemonade.

“From signing up to submitting a claim, the entire experience is mobile, sim

ple and remarkably fast. What used to take weeks or months now happens in minutes or seconds. It’s what you get when you replace brokers and paperwork with bots and machine learning.”

Disruptive Force for Good.

Daniel Schreiber, co-founder and CEO of Lemonade. told CrowdfundInsider “the opportunity is unusual. Disrupting an industry that has not changed for a hundred years ”

According to an article posted by Venture Beat:

Lemonade is also setting out to combat existing models through an annual “giveback,” where it donates unclaimed money to good causes.”

Talk is cheap.  Has Lemonade followed through on its actions?

Apparently so – in a very impressive way.

 

Lemonade’s 2017 GiveBack

Lemonade posted today that its Giveback for 2017 was $53,174:

this amounts to 10.2% of its 2017 revenue.

 

The article highlighted one such GiveBack recipient: New Story

“New Story builds safe homes for the homeless, and aims to transform slums into thriving communities in the developing world.”

 

“Through the Giveback to New Story, the Lemonade community built a new home for the Quitéño family, from start to finish. Now, the Quitéño family will have a safe home to return to every day, giving them a stable foundation to improve their health, education, and income.”

 

Conclusion.

Lemonade is doing some innovative work for the social good.

I love the concept of this startup –

a. taking a risk doing something different;

b. disrupting business as usual;

c. for the good of others.

That’s social entrepreneurship at its finest.

If you are a homeowner or tenant residing in New York, this company is worth checking out.

e-mail: Jeshua@dwlawpc.com

http://www.dwlawpc.com

Twitter: @JeshuaTLauka

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Looking for Social Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders to Prosper our Local Communities

September 10, 2015 1 comment

Last week I attended an event held by the Koeze Business Ethics Initiative at Grand Valley State University. the conversation was titled: “Social Capital, Economic Diversity and Civic Well-Being in Flint and Grand Rapids

The room was packed full of leaders in the Grand Rapids and Flint Communities interested in hearing about, in the words of Dr. Michael DeWilde “what we can do to better encourage practices and policies that will help ensure a city’s…prosperity in the long term.”

I was privileged to sit at a table with Kevin Stotts of Talent 2025; Elissa Hillary of Local First Emily Loeks of Celebation Cinemas, Ellie Frey Zagel of Family Business Alliance and  Keith Maki and John Longschamp of Cascade Engineering.

These leaders are tackling the issue on a daily basis  – how do we ensure our local community’s long term prosperity?

A few take aways for me:

1. Michigan is not a B-Corp State – Why  not?

I’ve previously written and presented on Beneficial corporations (B-Corps).       27 states (excluding Michigan) allow for the formation of “B-Corporations”  Essentially, B-Corps have two purposes:

a. to create profit; and                                                                                                         b.  “create a material positive impact on society and the environment”

B-Corps also Impose heightened fiduciary duties on their board of directors – to  consider social/environmental consequences for board decisions.

Not in Michigan…

Bills that would authorize the formation of B-Corps have been proposed, but never enacted.

B-Corps are a way for businesses to instill at their most fundamental level, values that go well-beyond merely turning a profit for its shareholders.

It’s about time for another bill to be introduced (and passed) in the Michigan legislature.

2. We need more  business leaders sacrificially engaging our community. 

We need more business leaders committed to actively serving.

From Dr. DeWilde and Davis’ study, it appears that there is a correlation to a prosperous cities and cities where the business community is actively engaged in non-profit service.

Needs are all around us in our local community.  At some level, all of us who work in the business community know this. The problem is, there is often a disconnect between the conceptual problems like “poverty” “broken homes” “hunger” “substance abuse” and how we let those realities affect our daily lives.

We need more people who are willing to simply show up and engage the needs in our local community on a personal level.

I like to use my church, Crossroads Bible Church as an example. Crossroads is part of the Westside Grand Rapids neighborhood.  We have come alongside Stocking Elementary School to serve the children in that school in many ways.  Some of our members have taken to mentor students. Before then, most of these mentors knew, in theory, that there were children growing up in poverty and broken homes in Grand Rapids (even if they hadn’t experienced those situations themselves).  Now, they can put a face and a name to children in desperate need of adult role models.  We have become invested.

We need more people who are willing to just show up and engage the needs all around us.   Just show up.

3. Crowdfunding to support our local businesses.

How do we get people in our community to support local business?

Support equity crowdfunding for locally owned start-up businesses.

We know that crowdfunding has worked so well for community development. The MEDC’s matching grant program is proof of this.

Get local investors excited about owning a stake in a local business. Take an active role in bettering our community.

Questions? Comments?

e-mail: Jeshua@dwlawpc.com

www.dwlawpc.com