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[E4C54] How Mompreneurs Can Start Home-Based Social Enterprises that Change the World, Shannon Keith of International Princess™ Project

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Shannon Keith is the founder of a social business that employs formerly trafficked women in India to create beautiful women’s pajamas & loungewear – called Punjammies – which they sell to international markets online. It’s a social enterprise founded by women for women. In this inspiring interview, Shannon will share with us:

  • 3:00 – A heartbreaking experience in India that compelled her to start a social business.
  • 6:34 – The “A-ha” moment that led her to the idea of creating women’s loungewear merchandise.
  • 9:15 – Her thoughts on Human Trafficking and how it can be stopped.
  • 18:31 – Shannon’s views on how to tackle this complex problem at different levels.
  • 21:22 – The benefits of being a Hybrid type of business.
  • 23.27 – The downfalls of creating “pity-buy” products and how it impedes business growth.
  • 26:58 – Shannon’s opinion on microenterprise and how it can help solve trafficking and poverty problems.
  • 28:57 – Pro’s and con’s of establishing a business with people and profit in mind in a foreign country.
  • 31:57 – A personal story of one of the survivors from a brothel in India that deeply touched and broke her heart.
  • 35:23 – Shannon’s take on how to effectively change the world.

Download the Audio Master Class

In Shannon’s masterclass which can be downloaded in the shownotes at entrepreneursforachange.com/54, we will be diving into the nitty gritty of what it took for Shannon and her team to set up a social enterprise and NGO that creates beautiful products sold to international markets through ecommerce, while delivering humanitarian help and providing jobs to women human trafficking survivors in India. In this informative session, you will learn:

  • 1:22 – How to gain traction to discover if a business is viable and how to get it off the ground.
  • 2:54 – Where to find other organizations and tap into their resources and form a sustainable partnership.
  • 6:01 – How to perform market validation and make sure there is demand for your product.
  • 8:45 – Ways to raise money to grow to the next level of your business.
  • 21:55 – Using multiple versions of pitch decks to present to different kinds of investors.
  • 27:55 – How Shannon began to scale from distributing their products at a trunk show level to fulfill bigger orders.
  • 34:11 – Shannon’s tips to aspiring social entrepreneurs who are working on launching similar programs in the developing world.

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Mentioned in this interview

 Where to Find Shannon

Full Episode Transcript

0:55 Lorna: Hello, amazing change makers, welcome to episode 54 of Entrepreneurs for a Change. In this episode, we are bringing on the call with us, Shannon Keith, who is a founder of a social business that employs formally trafficked women in India to create beautiful women’s pajamas and loungewear called Punjammies, which they sell to international markets online. And so, not only is this a company is a social enterprise founded by women for women, Shannon is a mom of three kids and she is going to share with us how it’s possible to be able to start a home based business that changes the worlds from home.

Thank you so much Shannon for joining us. Please tell me what it was that inspired you to start this particular business because I can tell you that I am deeply moved by the plight of women in the world that are forced into the sex trade and so, I’m so glad that you’ve been able to find a solution that helps women have another form of gainful employment and dignity through a different line of work, for providing alternatives to some of the women at the base of the pyramid. I’d love to find out how you did it, so we can we learn how to do something similar with our businesses.

2:19 Shannon: Well thank you Lorna, thank you for having me. I’m just so thrilled to be able to speak with you and share this story with other aspiring and like-minded entrepreneurs out there. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

I get asked this question all the time and it’s really fun for me to be able to recount those humble beginnings and quite honestly, I am with you. I have always had a heart that has resonated for the plight of women around the world particularly those in countries that have a large gender divide and inequality and just violence against women has always been something that has really moved me and cut me to the core and particularly in India, how I was first exposed was based on a trip that I took with my husband and we were actually dedicating a freshwater well that we had had purchased for my in-law’s 40th wedding anniversary.

We were over there working with the NGO that was doing all kinds of good humanitarian work. Working with widows, and orphans, and freshwater wells and unbeknownst to us this freshwater well that we had was put in a middle of a small red light area in a rural village in India. When we went to visit the well, we were asked to stay and we’ve brought some things for the children and some fresh fruits and vegetables for the women and bubbles and toys and different things. I began asking about this village, about the people, about the women and came to find out that it was a complete village of women who were enslaved in sex trafficking and prostitution and that all of the children were fatherless and not going to school and running around and the more questions I asked, the more devastated I became and as you can imagine, I was just astounded with what I was learning right there and so right then and there, I just had this inspiration and a deep conviction really that I needed to do something to help but I didn’t exactly know what it was right at the start and as I thought through it, I thought from the really pragmatic practical standpoint that if these women are ever able to leave this horrific injustice that they’re enduring and have a second chance at life, they have to be able to provide for themselves and their children. Now they have mouths to feed and their mothers.

Most of them are illiterate and uneducated and did not have other options at all. They were either born into it, they were duped into it by promises of a job in the city, and maybe doing working as a nanny or in a hotel or something and then they found themselves here in the brothels. I had to do something to help and I had had a sales background, a corporate sales background and I was married at the time so it wasn’t as easy to help like move over to India or something. I really thought if they can make something that I could sell because that was my space, then that could be a win-win situation.

As I was looking over these women and even though they were just so sad and there was emptiness in their eyes and many were much younger than I was but seemed far more aged, they were wearing these beautiful Sarris in Indian textiles. It just struck me that that was really beautiful part of their culture. These bright, vivid colors in Indian textiles and if they could make something out of that that I can sell, then I could help employ them and we could go from there.

That’s really how it started for me. It was having a cause that was right in front of me, that broke my heart and then that I couldn’t turn away from. I just knew that after that experience, there was no way that I could look myself in the mirror honestly and not do something about it. That was the initial point of inspiration was really being faced with an issue that cut me to the core, that I couldn’t get out of my mind and then, there was a pragmatic side that there was actually something that I felt that I could do to help versus just feeling helpless or only writing a check or whatever.

6:17 Lorna: This idea to be able to sell clothing online, was that something just that came to you as an “aha” moment or did you really mull about what it was that you could possibly do for these women for a period of weeks or months?

6:34 Shannon: Right, good question. The online part was an evolution but the simple women’s pajamas and lounge wear was the “aha” moment if you will. It was really the crossroads of the beautiful textiles, something that was easy for me to sell because again, I wasn’t in fashion, so I didn’t really want to get into like high couture or something like that and something that was easy for the women to make, so fairly straight lines.

Again, these are not skilled seamstresses as of yet, so I didn’t want to overwhelm them with some intricate fashion apparel that they wouldn’t be able to master because they would maybe just get discouraged or whatever.

The simple product of women’s pajamas and loungewear really seem to make sense both from an upstart and that it wasn’t too fashion sensitive in terms of seasonality like every women loves pajamas, right? And then beautiful lovely textiles, you might order two or three. We first started just small trunk shows actually and the online sales came a couple of years later. We were just importing them and then selling them at little events or maybe in boutique, trunk shows, we couldn’t do wholesale straight off the gate because quite honestly, our product stream wasn’t as consistent, so if I fail those type of orders, that’s just now getting to a place where we’re layering on top of the ecommerce beta testing, some larger wholesale type of accounts but in the beginning, it was just more trunk shows and events.

8:05 Lorna: Well, I can’t wait to dive into the nitty gritty of what it actually took for you guys to set up a business that works with ecommerce and with these women in India and looking forward to that conversation, which you can download in the show notes at entrepreneursforachange.com/54, where Shannon will be teaching in master class on how to set up an NGO in India, but I want to dive into the core issue that you were trying to address, which is why do you think human trafficking is such a problem especially in India, because when I was a kid, when I studied history and the evolution of civilization, I thought that humans were becoming more and more evolved and enlightening as a society, and it seems human trafficking is becoming a bigger, and bigger problem, so why do you think it still occurs and do you think it can even be stopped?

9:11 Shannon: Oh, I think your spot on so many different levels that you touched on. I too was under the assumption that we were evolving as a civilization and as a species and the more I’ve been just exposed to some of the evils of the world and the sexual violence against women and children, not that that hasn’t existed in the past but because our population around the planet is also growing, the sheer numbers in which it’s occurring is just staggering and devastating.

To give you some scale, it’s a large growing problem and there’s an estimation because clearly slave owners do not register their slaves and so the best educated guess is we have are over 32,000,000 slaves around the world today, which is vastly higher than all of the combined slaves during the transatlantic slave trade and beyond. Just a number of slaves that are alive today far outnumber those at any other time in human history. It is really appalling, like you said, we can send men to the moon and deep space. We have gone to the depths of the ocean.

There’s all of these technological and scientific feats as a species that we can tout but at the end of the day, if we don’t treat our fellowmen with dignity and respect, I would argue that it’s all for naught.

One of the things is I don’t know as we have become more fragmented as a society. I think globalization is awesome on so many levels but I don’t know if that, again, I’m not a sociologist by trade but if that has played into it that we’ve become instead of really united as a community that communities used to be where people really relied on each other and with individualization and we’re also self-sufficient, if we’ve just been able to distance ourselves from our fellow humans so that when men bisects or when women bisects or whatever, they don’t really see it as ripping apart the core of their own society and their own relationships. It’s just distance.

11:18 There’s a lot of reasons that I think the devaluation of human life has really cost this atrocity worldwide and in particularly in India, it’s almost like a perfect storm if you will. One, it’s a very paint charcoal society where in a lot of ways women are second class citizens. There’s a huge gender divide in addition to that the Caste System really plays into it. When you have a system that’s really foundational upon the majority, the religious majority there which is Hinduism, so for the cast system, as you know with karma, and reincarnation, and bad karma, and what not, people who are at the bottom Caste are said to be working out their bad karma from the past life.

It really doesn’t behoove those at the higher Caste to reach down and help them out of their situation because they need to quote unquote work out their bad karma.

As a result, you have lots of people at the bottom of the pyramid as you talked about that don’t really have access to help or services within their own government. When you’re talking about a lot of other countries, they might have things like child protective services, welfare for single moms that need to get back on their feet, food stamps, access to subsidized healthcare, all of these other things that are really pretty much non-existent in India. Because it is such a familial country, they have this wonderful tight communities where they take care of each other as families but if you’re outside of that familial opportunity, then you really don’t have any safety nets not from your own family and then not from the larger government.

13:05 In addition to that, India’s rule of law can be a bit lacking and so though they have rules on the books against particularly child sexual slavery, or slavery of any kind, they’re not really enforcing those laws. There is a big breakdown when you look at bribery for civil governments, policemen, all of these. Now that’s not to say as if there aren’t wonderful, lovely, outstanding citizens in various positions within the Indian government, obviously not everyone takes a bribe and so forth, but when you have it as part of the normal part of the culture, there becomes a huge breakdown.

13:47 On top of that, when you have a country that has abject poverty, so lots of people and the millions living on a dollar a day or less, they are prime suspect to exploiters. Think about a poor family that is subsistent farmers and maybe something happens to the father. He gets bit by a snake in a fields which does happen in India and dies or has a heart attack or something. Then the mom is left with, let’s say eight kids of mouths to feed and what not. Without a father to take care of the kids, they are just really right for traffickers to come into the village and say to the mom, “Oh, your daughters are of age, I could go and get her a great paying job in the city and she could send money back to help pay for food for the siblings that’s that and the other.”

14:35 So unbeknownst to them, the girls are being sold into the brothels. The mom might think that she’s doing a good thing by providing for her family but in reality, she will never see her daughters again.

14:48 Lots of reasons that India in particular, is a very challenging country to turn the tide. One thing too that I again, not being a sociologist but just looking at the culture and having thought about this question a lot and the big elephant in the room is always the demand, right? Why are there so many sex slaves in the world? Well there’s a huge demand and huge number of people buying sex which is always the big elephant that people are talking about. We tend to focus on survivors and services for survivors which isn’t an appropriate response but let’s talk about the demand side and why there are sexual slaves in the first place.

15:24 India, being a country of arranged marriages, for the most part and not necessarily people always marrying out of love, I think men going to see prostitutes is again kind of part of their culture and for my husband and I who have courted each other, loved each other, have been married for 14 years, if I found out he was seeing a prostitute, I would absolutely be devastated that he has broken our marriage vows, broken the commitment to myself and my children, on and on and on, but if however, I was married to someone and it was arranged and I may or may not love him or I may or may not even be attracted to them, then going to see a prostitute and having sex may just be helpful for me on occasion if I don’t want to have sex with him in the first place or whatever.

16:11 There’s a lot of reasons again that India being a place of arranged marriages, not that there aren’t marriages out of love there but as a larger culture obviously; I’m making some fairly broad statements that would apply to everyone but again, men visiting prostitutes is fairly normal within that culture. You have huge concentrated red light areas for instance Kamathipura in Mumbai is a red light area of almost 100,000 people. It’s the largest concentrated red light area in the world, in a city of 14,000,000 people. Again, tons and tons of prostitutes, all servicing lots and lots of men who are buying sex.

16:56 Lorna: That is very, very complex and when I think about what it will take to change attitudes, it seems almost like a dauntingly impossible task because they’re looking at changing the practice of marriage and that in itself is going to be a huge monolithic boulder to even begin to move and this is really interesting for me because I read a book by a formerly trafficked woman called Somaly Mam, I don’t know if you ever heard of her. I think she won awards; she’s been on program free show for her tireless work campaigning against human trafficking in Cambodia.

17:44 Shannon: She is not in Nepal, right? Oh, Cambodia, okay, yeah.

17:48 Lorna: Yeah. So they actually also had an education campaign where they would go out to villages and there would be a formerly trafficked women doing a presentation in front of men and telling these men what they had to go through the beating, the slavery, the drug addiction, all these horrible things they endured to service them and it was interesting because a lot of the men didn’t know but they had never even thought about it and some of those men were actually deeply moved and cried because, it was like, wow, tire hit pavement, like, this is what’s going on underneath that act that I purchase that type of thing.

18:31 Shannon: Absolutely. I think that’s a brilliant approach and in much needed parts of this whole complex issue, as you said, there isn’t just how I like to say is like what we’re doing in terms of job creation for the women is one link in the chain and if you can think about a huge chain with lots of different links, there are so many different individuals and organizations needed to help attack the issue from all different levels. People need to be working with the Indian government to enforce their own laws on the books. People need to be working like you said to educate those in the village, so they won’t be vulnerable to the exploiters that come into their town.

19:17 People need to be working with men and the demand side of things. There is prevention, I mean, there’s aftercare, there is counseling, there are so many different angles that we need to tackle because like you said it can be a behemoth and for some people that really causes them to stand and fear in paralysis and not do anything, whereas I say, oh no, don’t do that, let’s lean it because the old adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

19:48 You don’t smile on the whole thing but together and if you’ve ever seen something like little piranhas attacking a big thing, one piranha can’t eat a huge elephant that would fall into a lake but all of us together, bonding together and doing our best work, we can definitely make a dent and really we have to. It is our moral obligation as to your point civilized human beings to not just throw our hands up in the air and turn a blind dye because I always like to say, “If it were your daughter or your sister or you, I think the apathy card would no longer be valid.” You would definitely, if it was your sister being trafficked, your daughter, you would lean in, you would scream from the mountain tops, you would do all you can do to change the situation but often when we don’t know anyone personally, we haven’t looked those people in the face, it’s a little easier to go, “Oh gosh, it’s too big, how are we going to do this?”

20:49 Lorna: I completely agree with tackling the part of the picture that you can make an impact with and so that’s why I love to focus on business because my mission in life has been to crack the code of profitable, triple bottom line business, to crack the code of what it will take to address the world’s most pressing concerns, through for-profit business solutions. I understand you guys are a non-profit, is that correct?

21:22 Shannon: We currently are to date, we’re a hybrid and we are in the process of spinning off the Punjammies which is our online ecommerce based business into the for-profit social business sector. We will in essence within the next, I am thinking six months have a split of organization with the same mission definitely working hand in hand but because as you said, I completely believe in the same thing that business has a unique role to play and that businesses have the opportunity to scale and help more people ultimately in my opinion than do non-profits for a lot of different reasons but from being in the space for the past eight years, I definitely see that we will be able to fulfill the mission by helping our women as a for-profit business than we have currently under the non-profit umbrella.

22:19 Lorna: What I’ve found really interesting speaking with a lot of social entrepreneurs is the power of setting up hybrid organizations that are both for-profit and non-profit, so indeed a lot of social entrepreneurs actually start off on a non-profit side of things because they’re motivated by the desire to address a social or environmental concern but then over time, they recognize the value of market feedback.

22:45 Is the solution that you’re providing actually number one generating a healthy return on investments, so that’s the for-profit side because even as a non-profit, you do need to generate cash flow and if you’re generating positive cash flow, then you can sync more back into your operations but in also from the perspective of, does the market actually want the service or products that you provide and that’s one of the biggest fallacies I think with just pure charitable approaches to addressing problems through handouts, for example. You don’t know if the market wants what it is that you offer that is not paying for which is getting it for free so.

23:27 Shannon: Right, and we also call, I mean the DNA really of what I set up to start was the immediately opposed to the pity buy, so to speak. I’ve been at lots of little church bazaars and different little things where people make these little handicrafts and really the market doesn’t vary but they’re like, “Oh, gosh, we feel bad and we wanna support these people,” and so we’re going to buy this whether it just goes in the trash or sits in the corner or whatever, it’s just kind of this pity buy and so we set out from the beginning even as a non-profit to say, we want our products to be beautiful and lovely and something that the market desires and can bear so that we really can scale because at the end of the day, the heartbeat of what I’m doing is wanting to give these women opportunities that they’ve never had.

24:18 They’re really highly intelligent women so they don’t lack intelligence, they’ve just lacked opportunities and didn’t, they are highly traumatized, sexually traumatized population, so they also lack trust and confidence in some of these other things. Gainful employment for me is really important and that it’s authentic and it’s sustainable and it is empowering and it’s dignity versus “oh we’re helping them” quote unquote and kind of this distance between us and them. I really see it as coming side by side, shoulder to shoulder with the women, with the survivors and doing this together and our path forward is together. When they succeed, we succeed as an organization and when we succeed in our marketing efforts, they succeed because we get to employ more women.

25:06 My mantra is really based on this aboriginal quote from Lilla Watson and it goes something like this, “If you’ve come here to save me, then you’re wasting your time, but if you’ve come because somehow your liberation is wrapped up in my own, then let us work together.” That is really my heartbeat is that we’re not coming to save these women because really there’s so much of an element as American consumers and those of us who had exploited more of the world’s resources than our fair share and all of this, our liberation as consumers really needs to be redeemed and it really is wrapped up in the liberation of helping our fellow men.

25:52 We need to get back to a place where transparent supply chains matter. We need to get back to a place where we’re not purchasing blood diamonds. We need to get back to a place where cheap electronics aren’t trumping the fact that factory workers in China and other places are committing suicide and jumping out of the window because they can’t handle the working conditions. We need to get back to a place where our garments are made slave free. We need to get back to a place we’re not eating chocolates picked by child slaves on the West Coast of Africa. I could go on and on about all of the consumer products that we’ve turned the blind eye to but anyway, that’s another probably, soap box?

26:39 Lorna: Yeah, and I know many of the audience agrees and is deeply moved by all of these concerns. I’m curious to know what your take is on how microenterprise specifically can be a powerful solution to the trafficking and poverty problems in the world?

26:58 Shannon: Yeah, I think microenterprise is the fantastic and then the last decade, we’ve really seen it go from kind of an infancy stage to a very mature space and some place it’s even a saturated space where some people think microenterprise is the end all be all to everything and I really think there is an intermediary places such as the business we’re sending at.

27:22 For instance, if you try and give a woman who’s just come out of the brothel, a microloan to start her own business, that may or may not be the wisest decision. For one, she may not be an entrepreneur and I think one of the fallacies of microenterprise as the magic bullet for everything because it’s predicated on the presumption that everyone is an entrepreneur and you and I all know that that’s not true. There’s lots of people who are entrepreneurs and there are lots of people who are employees, right? I think probably the vast majority of the workforce are actually employees and not entrepreneurs and lots of people just like a consistent paycheck for a job well done and oftentimes that gets overlooked when we look at microenterprise because again these are small loans for people to start their own businesses but not everyone is an entrepreneur and so we have to take that into account.

28:14 Lorna: How do you then build a business that has people and profit in mind in a place like India? Are there specific challenges or benefits that you’ve encountered in your entrepreneurial journey working in India and of course in your master class we’re going to get into the details of what exactly it’s going to take so be sure to check out the show notes at entrepreneursforachange.com/54 but I’d love to find out from you what the pros and cons are and whether it’s something that we might want to get ready to tackle.

28:57 Shannon: Yeah, I would strongly encourage every aspiring social entrepreneur out there to tackle it even though it is laden with lots of challenges and pitfalls along the path. The challenges are doing any sort of business cross culturally has the challenges. There are communication challenges. There are cultural misses and so on and so forth but that doesn’t mean again it’s not worth all of the efforts. The upside is there are lots of people who want jobs in these places. In terms of we’re not lacking people who want to be employed by our services for instance so there are lots and lots of people who would love these jobs whether they are survivors of trafficking or are those at highest risks for being trafficked.

29:49 On the preventative side of things, people need jobs and they need to feed their families are the bottom line. The upside is there are lots of good, wonderful people that would love gainful employment. The challenge is sometimes connecting the two and so a core value for us is really collaboration with on the ground. A lot of times they’re hybrid just like we are NGO for profit businesses in India. For instance, we really vet and partner with Indian organizations who work directly with the women that have come on of the brothels in India. So they may be aftercare centers who are actually helping in the rescue and the rehabilitation of the women because you can imagine again for us, a highly sexually traumatized population of women aren’t immediately ready to go from the brothels right to a sewing machine.

30:40 There’s usually a lag time in between where they’re just getting healthy as they’re getting a new perspective on life and they’re getting group counseling, and they’re getting medical attention and their kids are getting enrolled in school and all of these things. Once they’re physically and emotionally able to reengage and begin vocational training, that’s where we could come in and help to be a part of the solution. Again, we really value and work with on the ground Indian organizations in a very collaborative efforts.

31:15 So again, we’re not the big American coming in and doing it our way, we’re working within the cultural context of the country. I would say not only India but for people who want to work in South America or in Africa or whatever, it’s really important to have the boots on the ground presence and making sure our help is really actually being helpful.

31:37 Lorna: I would love to ask you whether you have a personal story or that you’d be interested in sharing with us of somebody that really touched you in I guess during the course, doing the work that you’ve been doing in India, is there anything that sticks out in mind?

31:57 Shannon: I do. Yeah, I do have one. There’s lots of stories I have. There are stories of the amazing partners that we have at the head of these organizations and why they even started working in the slums of India and giving up their lucrative businesses to do that. I have those heroes but one survivor story that has always really stuck with me was a woman by the name of Nemi and she was actually a Nepalese gal who was trafficked as a child from Nepal into the brothels of Mumbai and right away you can tell ethnically, she was Nepalese and not Indian and she was one of the first seamstresses that started Punjammies and worked with us and she just had this big, bright smiles, so much love for life and I remember Ina, who was the woman who was involved in the sewing center the sewing trainer if you will would always brag on Nemi and say, if everyone was a Nemi, we would be the most proficient sewing units in the world. She just had such a spark of life and such pride in her work and did such an excellent job, however, that story is a tragic one and that Nemi died of full blown AIDS at the age of 25.

33:11 It just goes to show that when the fate and the reality of these young women is that many, if not more than half I would say upwards probably 75% or 80% of the women who come out of the brothels have HIV and when they’re young and healthy enough and they’re put not anti-retro viral cocktails, a lot of them can extend their life for many years but those who never had access to medical care and come out very sick, have having HIV maybe for eight or ten years untreated, it can often go into full blow AIDS, they’re very sick and so Nemi would struggle with bouts of sickness and then of course it eventually took her life at a very young age.

33:55 Stories like that, because I knew Nemi, I looked her in the face, I hugged her, saw her, saw her work and so she is not just a number. She is a real story and a person whom I was so privileged to have the opportunity to know and love and interact with even for a short time. That’s really the reality of what we’re talking about and that’s really grounding for me because there are lots of wonderful stories of yes intervention, yes new life, but we have to remember just taking out of the brothel doesn’t erase the years of torture and neglect and abuse that they endured and then again, the ripple effects of that has long term.

34:37 Lorna: Yeah, I think also really another thing to really remember to is okay, if we decide to get into starting a social business, these are not just numbers like numbers of people, numbers of women that you’ve saved, they’re actual human beings and the lives that you’re touching are real people and your business is actually making a real difference. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I’d love to leave you with the last couple of questions Shannon, I’ve talked to so many different social entrepreneurs who are unleashing business as an unstoppable force for good and I would love to ask you, what do you think is the most effective way to change the world?

35:23 Shannon: I absolutely think the most effective way to change the world is the golden rule, treating other people and your neighbor as you would treat yourself. I think when we begin to do that whether we’re consumers or business owners or what not, when we treat people with dignity and respect, a lot of these social issues go away.

35:43 Again, when we’re leaning in, I think the best path forward and how do we solve the issues that currently exist is through job creation. Absolutely, so unleashing the force of business as you said particularly in providing jobs and just access to the economic playing field for these women is a game changer. It changes everything, I mean look what’s happened in China over the last few decades, that same thing, though it’s not a perfect system by any means, but having access to jobs and being part of this revolution needs to happen for the poor all across the world. When people have jobs, it changes everything.

36:22 Lorna: Thank you so much Shannon. What’s the best way we can stay in touch with you?

36:26 Shannon: You can check us out all in our social media sites. Punjammies.com, you can hash tag us on Punjammies’ Facebook, Instagram. Personally, I would love to reach out maybe on the notes, you can coast our website and my email, I would love to stay in touch and be a resource to any budding social entrepreneurs that I can help, happy to do it.

36:48 Lorna: Fantastic, well, be sure to post all of those resources at entrepreneursforachange.com/54. Thank you so much. You have a beautiful evening.

36:57 Shannon: Thank you for having me. Thank you so much, you too.

[END OF RECORDING]

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In Gratitude

Eric Smith of Monster Beach Studio for creating our Entrepreneurs for a Change Theme Song

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Lorna Li

Chief Evolutionary Officer at Entrepreneurs for a Change
Lorna Li is a business coach, entrepreneur and Amazon rainforest crusader, with a passion for green business, social enterprise, and indigenous wisdom. She helps changemaking entrepreneurs harness the power of the Internet to reach more people and make a bigger impact, while designing the lifestyle of their dreams. She is an Internet marketing consultant to changemakers, and works with innovative tech startups, sustainable brands, social enterprises & B-Corporations on SEO, SEM & Social Media marketing.
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