Allow us to introduce…

November 13, 2018 / no comments

We are dedicated to helping create a thriving world. We believe business is the key to getting there. Business has helped us make the social, environmental, and economic messes we’re in today – and it can be instrumental to getting us out.

“It’s just business” has been struck from our vocabulary. We’re calling each and every business into its responsibility to be a good citizen. And, we believe with our full hearts that this is possible without compromising profit. To think otherwise is just a failure of imagination.

Guru has built a reputation as an innovative creative agency. But as we approach a new year, we are excited to re-introduce you to our intent and services. After working at the nexus of business and impact, we’ve recognized a need and in 2019 are launching the world’s first cloud-based impact management system to more effectively and efficiently help brands to define, implement and expand their impact.

We call it MAHA.

MAHA multiplies and amplifies an organization’s impact efforts through:
  • Impact Strategy Documentation
  • Individual and Team e-Training and Certification
  • Values-Aligned Advocate and Influencer Connector
  • Impact Campaign Generator

Our focus at Guru has always been to stoke the fires of a passionately purposeful brand at the center of a business. We help organizations identify, crystalize and fan the flames of this beating heart at the center of their efforts.

We then use this purposeful brand as an organizing idea for managing an organization’s rippling impact through its spheres of influence. This is the purpose of our creative work, but we take it much further – to every decision an organization makes and every point of contact with customers and stakeholders.

MAHA’s mission is to empower and connect values-aligned brands, influencers and individuals to take action on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in service of amplified global impact – a natural extension of Guru’s vision to increase joy and reduce suffering in the world.

Together, Guru and MAHA believe in the power of business to create a thriving future on this planet. And we’re counting on purposeful brands to do the heavy lifting. But it’s going to take all of us. The large and the small. The established and the start-up.

As we look toward 2019, our products and services are scaled for both ends of the spectrum: from full-service purpose branding and acceleration services for those needing custom attention, to e-learning and campaign generator resources for those just starting out.

We’d like to tell you more.

Please reach out to us to meet the new collaborators in our mix and hear about how Guru, together with MAHA, is ready to help you and your business level up as a purposeful brand in 2019.

Just Business Is Not Business As Usual

September 12, 2018 / no comments

Just Business, an investment company with headquarters in San Francisco, announced today that it has closed the seed round of its new Innovate For Good Fund. The $1.6m seed round is intended to accelerate the growth of early-stage enterprises that fit the mission of the fund to generate tangible impact while delivering a solid financial return for its investors.

Just Business is the independent investment arm of the international non-profit, Not For Sale. The investment firm is widely known for its incubation of REBBL, one of the most successful functional beverages in the USA market and a Guru client.

The Just Business “Origin Fund” also incubated Dignitá, a very successful restaurant enterprise headquartered in Amsterdam, and served as the sole investor to grow Square Organics.

David Batstone. Photo by Louise Andersen

“We are dedicated to bring more dignity to people and planet,” says David Batstone, the managing partner and co-founder of Just Business, “and the best way to do that is to embed that mission into the core of business enterprises that we believe can scale.”

The Innovate For Good Fund has identified three investment opportunities in which it plans to invest:

  • Z Shoes Organic will receive growth capital from the Innovate For Good Fund. This fashion shoe enterprise is designed around the concept of “impact sourcing,” deeply embedded in the supply chain work of the international non-profit Not For Sale to source latex and cotton from native communities from the Amazon of Peru. Not For Sale owns 5% of Z Shoes, and the company gives 2.5% of every sale to fuel Not For Sale’s work around the world.
  • Another recipient of growth capital from the Innovate For Good Fund will be Relocity, which deploys a very innovative technology and business model to reinvent corporate relocation.  Successful companies today are racing to secure the best talent, wherever those individuals might live.  Relocation services have not kept pace with needs of the mobility market. Relocity offers an on-demand concierge to meet the needs of an individual in relocation.  For every hour of billing, Relocity donates 1% to the work of Not For Sale to fulfill its mission in the community where that worker will be relocating.
  • Square Organics, a plant-based, organic snack company, is another impact company in which Innovate For Good plans to invest. The capital investment will enable the enterprise to extend its direct-to-consumer outreach to an engaged millenial audience and augment its visibility through retail channels.  Square Organics is committed to “impact sourcing” and dedicates 1% of each sale to Not For Sale.

The Innovate For Good Fund is advised by an investment committee comprised of five members, all of whom are personal investors in the fund: Batstone; Jostein Solheim, former CEO of Ben & Jerry’s and now in senior leadership at Unilever, Head of the Foods & Refreshment Division for North America; Ray Lin, a senior partner at Latham & Watkins law firm; John Clair, a former director of supply chain and operations at Miller Brewing Company; and Mark Wexler, also co-founder of Just Business.

“I want to be participate in funds that have an economic mission to deliver a sustainable return to its shareholders, while at the same time being a force for good that will change the world,” says Solheim.  

The Innovate For Good Fund touts many other highly influential impact investors, including “Gagan” (Jared) Levy, the chair of the Social Venture Network/Investor Circle and founder of the impact branding agency Guru.

Given the growth trajectory of its portfolio, Just Business anticipates raising more capital for the Innovate For Good Fund in mid-2019.

“We see so much opportunity to scale change,” explains Wexler, who also serves as CEO of Not For Sale. “Great business models help us extend the benefits of capital, technology and talent to those people in the world who previously have been left out.”