“The deepest test of a 21st century business isn’t just whether it glitters, but whether it can create thick value, that endures, benefits, and multiplies: whether it matters.” ~Umair Haque
Cultivating Capital is a consulting and publishing firm specializing in helping small business owners to make their businesses more sustainable.
I started Cultivating Capital because I firmly believe that business can be a force for good in the world.
We’re all acutely aware about the problems that our society faces, but the solutions aren’t always evident. After being in the nonprofit trenches for a few years as a program director with the Red Cross, I realized that the nonprofits didn’t have the resources to truly effect change, nor could we rely on the government to do so.
To really bring about the change that I want to see in the world would require harnessing the power of business. This was my motivation for going back to school to get an MBA in Sustainable Enterprise, starting my own business, and focusing my services on helping other business owners interested in sustainability.
At the same time, I know it’s not always easy for busy business owners to figure out the best way to align their business with their values.
How do you implement sustainability initiatives while maintaining your-day-to-day operations? How do you allocate scarce resources and staff time to sustainability? How do you authentically communicate your values to your customers? How do you decide which initiatives make sense for your business and prioritize accordingly?
These are all questions that I hear when talking to business owners.
In recent years, I’ve become intimately familiar with how small businesses are embracing sustainability:
- As a Green Business Consultant with the Alameda County Green Business Program, I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses throughout the county that have implemented green initiatives.
- As the owner of a Certified B Corporation, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and learn from sustainable business leaders across the country.
- As a Board Member and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Business Alliance, I’ve spoken to countless business owners and advocated on behalf of local, independent businesses.
- As a Sustainability & Marketing Manager, I’ve been on the front lines of implementing sustainability initiatives at a small business.
What I’ve learned is that, contrary to how the mainstream media portrays business as the problem, there are many business owners who have good values and are working hard to align their business with their values.
Can business be used to make the world a better place? Absolutely. Is it always easy? No, not necessarily. But nothing that is worth doing usually is.
If you’re interested in joining this movement of small business owners just like you who are making their businesses sustainable, I invite you to learn more about what you can do.