On The Up

Mosquitoes in the room: Five inspiring micro firms proving you’re never too small to make a difference

Hannah Wilkinson | 11 April 2016 | 8 years ago

make a difference
No firm is too small to make an impact
if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito, the DalaI Lama is reputed to have once said. Business Advice highlights five inspiring micro businesses punching above their weight and proving him right.

(1)?Canvas Coffee Shop

This Portsmouth-based micro business was founded by a former IBM consultant and looks like a standard trendy coffee-destination from the outside but behind the faade it is an enterprise with a mission: to help those recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism by training them as baristas and offering them work experience.

(2)?Tom Cridland

At the age of just 25, menswear designed Tom Cridland has already seen his clothes worn by Daniel Craig, Ben Stiller and Robbie Williams. The secret to his success? Sustainability. In a targeted attack on the throwaway-orientated clothing industry which comes second place to oil production in the environmentally unfriendly stakes Cridland’s garments are guaranteed to last for 30 years.

(3)?Unforgettable

Founded by James Ashwell in response to his experience caring for his late mother when she was suffering from dementia, Unforgettable is a platform for discovering and buying products to help those suffering from the disease, as well as accessing advice and a forum for sharing experiences with other people impacted by dementia.

(4)?Bella Kinesis

This young ethical sportswear brand has a dual mission of increasing the confidence of the women working out in Bella Kinesis garments and helping females facing very different struggles in India. For every item sold, the company’s founders have pledged to pay for a woman in rural India to receive a business education.

(5)?Freedom Bakery

Currently based inside HMP Low Moss, which is home to 800 short-term offenders, Freedom Bakery sells artisan breads and cakes to the public and small cafes, providing prisoners with vital new skills. Founder Matt Fountain is currently crowdfunding to expand his business beyond the prison walls and start offering cookery classes to the public.

Interested in starting an ethical business? don’t miss our interview with eco-tycoon Dale Vince.

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