One for One – Social entrepreneurship

I had the opportunity to hear the owner of TOMS Shoes speak about social entrepreneurship.  Social entrepreneurs recognize a social problem and use business principles to organize, create, and manage ventures to bring social change.

Understanding that countless children around our world have never owned a single pair of shoes, TOMS Shoes was founded on this fundamental principle: For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will provide a pair of new shoes to a child in need.  One for One.

Picture this: If the world were a village of 100 people, 1 has AIDS, 3 are slaves, 14 are illiterate, 20 are malnourished, 23 drink polluted water, 25 have no shelter, 30 are unemployed and 40 have no shoes.

TOMS One for One business model allows the customer to become the contributor.

Below is a list of 4 things that are foundational to TOMS Shoes :

  • Sustainability is critical.  You must have something in place in order to sustain your mission.
  • Giving is essential.  It not only feels good but is a good business and life strategy.
  • People want to be part of something bigger than themselves.
  • There is value in partnership.

I thoroughly enjoyed this session.  It was powerful and informative.  The speaker was down to earth and approachable. It was short and simple, yet very sensible.  And his name isn’t Tom, it’s Blake!

Please visit to find out more about TOMS shoes or to purchase and become a part of the One for One movement.

~ Cheryl Luke