Coffee Gives More Than Caffeine

Amavida Coffee and Tea is an importer, roaster, and purveyor of Organic and Fair Trade specialty coffees. “Amavida” was born from a combination of Spanish words for love, “amar,“ and life, “vida.“  Their goal is to build meaningful relationships with coffee farmers, suppliers, employees and the environment, while sourcing premium Fair Trade Coffee beans and serving delicious beverages to customers. 

The company is a Certified B Corporation and Florida Benefit Corporation, known as a B Corps.  During the November Coffee and Conversations, Jennifer Pawlik, Project Coordinator and Benefits Officer for Amavida shared her experience with the application and evaluation process in which a company must undergo to gain B Corp Certification.   

B Corporations redefines success in business.  Certified B Corporations meet high standards of social and environmental responsibility.  Companies that strive for this certification are a part of a collective movement to do “business for good.”  See more to Become a certified B Corp. 

Effective July 1, 2014, Florida joined the growing number of states that permit special types of for-profit corporations to pursue substantial public interest goals at the possible expense or deferral of profit maximization.  The legislation allows companies to form either a benefit corporation or a social purpose corporation, each having unique criteria.  See article in the Florida Bar Journal.  

Businesses that strive to implement a core value of giving and global social responsibility may find that becoming a Florida B Corp a solution to ensuring a sustainable model.    

Pivot Points May Lead to the Right Direction for Entrepreneurs

Identifying “Pivot points” for an entrepreneur is often a strategy that comes out of necessity.  When the first business model doesn’t work, the team pivots to plan B or C.  Randy Shepard has had to make several pivots in his entrepreneurial journey as the founder and CEO of RSAE Labs.

During the November Speaker Series, Randy discussed that pivots could change nine different things in the business model:  customer segment, channel, revenue model, pricing, resources, activities, costs, partners, and customer acquisition.   “There are always unpredictable, and uncontrollable factors affecting market conditions,” and such factors has impacted his career in monitoring and tracking innovations.

It does not have to be a risky decision, but rather a calculated change that can foster growth.  Randy emphasized that it is best to make one pivot at a time rather than make several at once.  So when the first plan fails, consider that as an opportunity that can pivot the direction of the business and possibly result in positive gains.  

Practice makes school microsociety business pitch perfect

Learning how to communicate clearly to your market is one of the most important goals of an entrepreneur.  Rising Leaders Academy (RLA) students have started their training early in life by learning how to deliver a solid pitch for their business. The experience is part of a collaborative curriculum that the BIC is developing along with RLA.  Students at the school have been refining their business plan in preparation for a school-wide marketplace in which they can spend crew cash that they have earned throughout the year.  The students practiced how to introduce themselves, their business, the problem they are solving, and the cost of their product or service costs. To complete the task took less than a minute.  

Entrepreneurial students learn strategies from local business leader

Gulf Coast State College students and local entrepreneurs had an opportunity to hear firsthand from Patrick Leonpacher, Chief Operating Officer of Jellyfish Health.

Leonpacher served as the featured speaker for the BIC’s Coffee and Conversation held in late October and in November’s Enlightened Entrepreneur series.  He shared lessons learned about how decisions to hire, diversify and expand are a part of a very sensible business strategy.

When hiring, a key question Jellyfish asks themselves is, not only does this person have the talent needed, but does this person fit the culture of the company? For many organizations, the decision to hire a new person is a commitment that involves onboarding time, training and additional monetary expenses.  Hiring is considered an investment and it is important for a company to understand how it helps grow the business.       

Diversifying and expanding are also decisions that businesses continue to face. Companies struggle with whether it is best to increase spending to support a new market or direct resources into growing the existing market.  Leonpacher discussed how Jellyfish Health understands how important it is to focus limited resources where sustainability and profitability are most attainable.