“How personal should I get?” asked Danielle Norris when we inquired as to the start of her socially conscious enterprise – Sovenco.
Norris calls herself an at-risk youth. At 16, she was assigned a case worker who was a beacon of light. Her name was Mary. When life for Norris seemed its bleakest, Mary spent 18 months guiding her out of that world and out of poverty. “She was everything to me,” says Norris.
Things changed when Danielle turned 18. Her program was shut down due to lack of funding and Mary lost her job. It was at that moment that Norris realized the injustice of the situation. Fourteen years later, one of her core values is making a difference, so that is what she sought out to do.
“With nonprofits, the biggest thing that doesn’t work is that they are not allowed to spend money on building the business. Too much time is spent fundraising instead of making an impact. Also, it’s an “us and them” model (for-profit businesses vs. nonprofits). It divides the class systems and creates inequality. There are two myths in business: that nonprofits can’t invest in overhead and that for-profits can only focus on bottom-line.” – Danielle Norris, Sovenco
Now, Danielle runs the socially conscious consulting business, Sovenco. Business owners tend to reach out to her when they are wanting more out of their life and want to have a direct impact in the community. “We like to connect them to their purpose,” she says. “We take them through an 8-step process, which is a combination of life coaching and basic business consulting. We look at business in an holistic way and add a social enterprise twist.”
Case studies show a very direct impact on the community. One client, a social media marketing company came to Norris wanting to do good and enter the socially conscious industry. When they came to Sovenco, they weren’t making any impact. Now, they are looking at hiring underserved populations.
“We are very new in the industry. Our overall goal and big vision is to bring the concept of do good businesses to regular everyday small businesses. That every small business owner can make a small impact in the world. And it creates a more fulfilling life. In general, people have an innate need to serve others directly and it’s missing in our society,” says Norris.
And that’s where Sovenco comes in.
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