Tonight as I write this post, I hope that most of you are in bed, where I plan to be in a few short minutes. Some days (like today for me) the life of an entrepreneur is jam-packed from the time you wake up in the morning to the time your head hits the pillow. It can be tough, but that’s the choice we make when we decide to go into business for ourselves, follow our dreams, and make a better future for ourselves and our families. Even so, it can at times be hard to see the forest for the trees.
Then you come across something that puts it all back into perspective.
A couple of minutes ago, I finally worked my way to the bottom of my beloved “take action” file—clients: yes, I have one too! I don’t just force it on you—when I came across a couple of redemption codes for charity dollars off the boxes of some Dermalogica skincare products I recently purchased. I decided taking care of these would be an uplifting way to end a long day, so I found my way to the website.
As it turns out, this concept is really cool.
Dermalogica has partnered with other companies and Kiva.org to make microlending as easy as a few short clicks. For each product that I purchased, I received a promo code and instructions on how to redeem it. In less than a minute I had twice contributed $1.00 of Dermalogica’s money to women entrepreneurs in Africa. They even let me specify that the money was going to Senegal—a place with many incredible young women who are dear to my heart. They then go on to advertise how easy it is to make a direct microloan on your own, for as little as $25.00 through kiva.org. (If you’ve never been to Kiva’s website, you have to check it out!) This approach is unique in that it pulls folks into the microlending process that may otherwise never find their way to this kind of organization. What’s more, it actually engages them in the process (it’s hard to describe the little rush you get from giving a small amount away and knowing it will have an enormous impact). Who knows what kind of positive impact something like this might have on microfinance!
What it boils down to is this: one company’s desire to make a difference paired with an unorthodox idea of how to get it done has transformed buying moisturizer into an incomprehensibly good deed with global impact.
It might be the late hour talking, but when confronted with this model, I actually started to tear up. In a matter of a couple of minutes I encountered so much inspiration that I was completely overwhelmed. The incredible potential for business and entrepreneurship to change people’s lives all around the world never ceases to amaze me. And how does it all start? With a good idea, and a desire to make a difference.
Do any of you have those? I think I might, and I’d be willing to bet you do too.