On a lighter note, choosing meaningful and joyous holiday gifts. . .



As the leader of a social enterprise, I try to make sure that everything we do is in some way connected with social good. The term “virtuous circle” is overused, but the day today business choices really matter to big goals like social justice. How do we choose who runs the website, which associations shall we join, and on which boards shall we serve? All of those decisions either contribute to or take away from a more just world.

And my favorite decision is how to acknowledge our clients with modest year-end gifts. This year, we chose two creative (and fun) social enterprises as the source for gifts for clients. I’m proud to highlight them here and tell you a little about each vendor:

Candles by Amina Ahmad: Amina’s lovely, exciting company, Handmade Habitat, makes beautiful, eco-friendly soy candles in her workshop in D.C. She gives a portion of her profits to Friendship Place, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization that helps people
experiencing or at risk of homelessness to attain stable housing and rebuild their lives, so that everyone has a place to call home.

Chocolates by Ismael Neggaz: Ismael’s amazing chocolate enterprise is called Chocotenango, a local D.C. business that buys its beans directly from a coop of 80 farmers in the Dominican Republic. In the past five years, Chocotenango won 14 international chocolate awards—and it just won the Silver Medal in the International Chocolate World Finals in Florence, Italy. Chocotenango gives a portion of its profits to Ecologic Development which works internationally on issues of environmental sustainability.

I invite you to consider how conscious gift-giving has the potential to create a better world for all, especially this time of year.