From the Web: Walmart invests billions to buy from women-owned businesses – but is it enough?

Women-owned suppliers make up just 2% of the retailer’s global purchases – but Walmart will join Coca-Cola, Pepsi and others in committing to buy more.

Walmart announced Wednesday it has achieved its goal to buy $20bn worth of goods and services from women-owned businesses in the US over five years. The company also conceded that it’s failed to reach another goal set around the same time: to double the amount of products and services sourced from women-owned companies outside of the country.

The mixed success shows the challenges for big companies to narrow the gaping gender gap. While Walmart’s initiative has doubled the amount of money it spends with women-owned suppliers, it’s still only 2% of the retailer’s global purchases. Yet that’s twice the global average retailers spend with women-owned businesses.

Learn more (via The Guardian) >>

From the Web: This Ice Cream Is Made From Food Waste

The Portland-based Salt & Straw is releasing a new series of flavors crafted exclusively from food that otherwise would have ended up in the trash to bring attention to all the good food we throw away.

The ice cream is a rich, off-white color, streaked through with warm brown apple butter that cuts the sweetness of the spiced-rum-flavored cream. Kim and Tyler Malek, the cousins behind Salt & Straw, have made a name for themselves selling offbeat takes on classic staples; their chocolate ice cream is laced with marshmallow fluff, and their strawberry holds hints of honey balsamic vinegar and black pepper.

Learn more (via Fast Company) >>

Career Tips to Write Home About

This post was written by Aditi Datta, SEMBA ’17

When I was growing up and I’d come back from school, my dad would always ask me: “So, what was the best thing you learned?” This quickly became a running joke in my family, leading my dad to ask the same question when I come back from vacation, after reading a news article and most recently – reaching another milestone in my SEMBA journey.

Tonight, I called my dad and patiently waited for him to ask me what new things I learned today. To his surprise, I started talking about the Alumni Career Panel, which brought together current SEMBA-ites and alumni from cohorts 1 and 2. The goal of the event was for the alumni to provide honest, practical feedback around finding a job and landing the right job.

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Sustainable Condoms from Soil to Sale

This post was written by Leah Perkinson, MPH and SEMBA ’17, and originally appeared in Impakter. It has been adapted for the SEMBA Review

In The Photo: Sustain Condoms Photo Credit: Sustain Natural

Are you looking for a sustainably produced, non-toxic, GMO-free, Fair Trade certified condom? Sustain Natural, the natural sexual health and wellness product supplier, has you covered (literally). In addition to selling condoms, this Vermont-based startup manufactures water-based, organic personal lubricants and chemical-free post-play wipes.

Sustain’s condoms are also nitrosamine-free. Nitrosamines are a class of carcinogenic chemicals that are in products like cosmetics, tobacco, fish, beer, fried foods, meats and rubber. During sex, condoms can leach these chemicals which can be absorbed into the body. Although nitrosamines from condoms contribute to a small percentage of our overall exposure, there’s no reason for them to exist in condoms. In fact, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund recommended that condom manufacturers minimize the presence of nitrosamines.

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From the Web: Business students willing to sacrifice future salary for good corporate social responsibility: study

More than 90% of business students in a study on corporate social responsibility said they would be willing to sacrifice some percentage of their future salary to work for a responsible employer. A surprising number of 14% are willing to sacrifice more than 40% of their future income to do so.

However business students who were also employed full or part time were willing to sacrifice less of their future income than other participants. Those employed made up more than 60% of participants (30% occupying management positions).

Learn more (via The Conversation) >>

From the Web: Tesla moves beyond electric cars with new California battery farm

The California Battery Farm project is part of Elon Musk’s plan to help transform the power grid. Located at the Mira Loma substation of Southern California Edison, this is the biggest battery farm Tesla has built to date. Southern California Edison will use the battery farm, which has been operating since December and is one of the biggest in the world, to store energy and meet spikes in demand – like on hot summer afternoons when buildings start to crank up the air conditioning.

Learn more (via The Guardian) >>

From the Web: Ship Owners Save $3 Billion of Fuel with Biocide-Free Marine Coatings

Ship owners and operators have saved $3 billion of fuel and 32 million tons of CO2 by using AkzoNobel’s biocide-free marine coatings, according to the paints and coatings company.

AkzoNobel says these combined total savings, achieved since the Intersleek technology was first introduced 21 years ago, were calculated by comparing the fuel saving performance of Intersleek to each vessels’ previous hull coating system. They estimate fuel cost at $300 per ton.

More than 5,500 vessels have been coated with Intersleek products over the past two decades.

Learn more (via Environmental Leader) >>

Tackling Sustainability Through Food: How a Burlington Restaurant is Making a Difference

This post was written by Margaret Arzon, SEMBA ’17

In SEMBA, we are encouraged to connect and learn from other social entrepreneurs that are currently driving business to create a social and environmental good. As part of an assignment for our Entrepreneurial Leadership and Mindset class with Dita Sharma, my classmate Julie Allwarden and I sat down with the owner of Pingala restaurant, Trevor Sullivan, to talk about what inspired his business.

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A Recipe for Quick Creativity

This post was written by Adam Berry, SEMBA ’17

What can we do when we need to be creative, but it’s not there? We’ve all had it, be it writer’s block, artist’s block, entrepreneurial block, etc., the dreaded block is a creative type’s worst nightmare. What if we had a way to break through this block that was fun, easy, and took less than 10 minutes to complete? It may sound crazy, but I shared a tool with my SEMBA classmates this March that touched on all these requirements. I call it On Demand Creativity.

The alternative uses task, as it is more commonly named, was created by J.P. Guilford in 1954. At its very core, the task looks at an everyday object and aims to discover alternate uses for that object. For example, a paperclip’s primary use is to bind papers together. A paperclip may alternately become a ring, necklace, or earring. Within eight minutes, alone or in a group, one can look for as many of these uses for a paperclip, or other object, as possible. The aim is number of ideas generated. As a byproduct of looking for the highest number of alternatives, creativity starts to flow. Questions are asked: how many paperclips am I allowed? Can I manipulate them? How much time am I allowed to make the new object? Is it just me or can many people work on this? Over time, assumptions are either created or shattered, and in this brief timeframe, our minds open up to new possibilities and our proverbial creative juices get flowing.

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Iqbal Quadir: Increasing Productivity through Connectivity

This post was written by Brett Spusta, SEMBA ’17

“Connectivity is productivity,” a mantra which has guided entrepreneur Iqbal Quadir to put cell phones in the hands of over 100 million Bangladeshi people. A country once thought to be synonymous with poverty is now seeing unprecedented economic growth due, in part, to the success of Iqbal Quadir and his venture, Grameen Phone, a micro-loan based company which allows those at the base of the pyramid access to modern communication. Iqbal, who is a SEMBA advisory board member, visited the SEMBA class as part of the Entrepreneur in Residence series. He proved to be a model of the disruptive and visionary values that SEMBA represents. He demonstrated that capital is not the source of innovation and development; rather, development is the source for capital.

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