Starting a business from the ground up in a new city is no easy feat. I started BWC Consulting when I moved from New York to Los Angeles just 8 months ago. The bulk of my 8-year New York City career was spent working in and alongside companies and social enterprises to develop their philanthropic strategy and partnership models. In that time I developed a great network and knowledge of the CSR community in NYC, which I've committed myself to doing here in LA over the past 8 months.
Through my LA client base and personal networking, I've had the privilege of meeting many incredible individuals, organizations, and companies dedicated to creating their own version of impact here in sunny Los Angeles. While still considered by many (ahem, New Yorkers) as the city where celebrity status defines you, Los Angeles has blown me away in terms of the innovation and dedication to moving our society forward.
I live on the West Side of Los Angeles in Santa Monica, near the area called 'silicon beach.' I imagine it was TOMS that spawned the true social entrepreneurship model here on the West side, coupled with the influx of New York and San Francisco transplants who are helping to bring technical chops into the entertainment capital. Regardless, it's been a treat to watch these companies develop and grow out here~ and I want to call out a few that I'm really excited about (all Benefit Corporations):
- Thrive Market, who is on a mission to democratize access to quality food
- Aspiration Finance, who believes good investment tools shouldn't just exist for the 1%
- Beauty Counter, who thinks toxin-free skin care and cosmetics should be a given and not a luxury
The concept of philanthropy is not new to LA by any means, especially in the entertainment dominated areas of Beverly Hills and Century City. All of the big talent agencies like CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and UTA (United Talent Agency) run their own charitable foundations that seek to leverage the power of their celebrities and show-business to promote worthy causes. The Entertainment Industry Foundation is probably best known for this type work, with their signature star-studded programs like Stand Up to Cancer. Although a more standard approach to giving compared to the B-Corp examples listed above, it is clear companies big and small, East and West of I-10, are doing their part to improve society here in Los Angeles.
I've been taking mental notes over these 8 months about the social impact trends I've been witnessing, and will be writing this blog on a regular basis to share out what I've been learning. My hope is that it sparks connection, education, and most importantly, inspiration.
It's a great time to be living in Los Angeles, and I'm eager for the opportunity to meet and work with more inspiring individuals looking to make an impact through their personal and professional giving.
More to come, but for now, have a great week!
Founder, BWC Consulting