A social entrepreneur’s product flops, so he finds a new way to keep his cause alive.
The first time Tyler Merrick heard about social entrepreneurship, it blew his mind. “I was from rural Texas,” he says. “I’d never heard that concept before.” Soon after, he started seeing businesses with value specific missions everywhere: Ethos Water, TOMS, Warby Parker. He wanted in. So he left his family pet food business and founded Project 7.
The idea was to sell a series of generic products and donate some of the proceeds to causes serving seven basic humanitarian needs, like clean water, hunger, and shelter. “I wanted to be Newman’s Own 2.0,” he says. First, he’d have to learn a lesson that many social entrepreneurs overlook: People may love a cause, but that alone won’t earn their money.
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