Etsy ‘s Game Changing Potential

How great is this article title “Etsy’s IPO id a Direct Challenge to Wall Street’s Beliefs” ?

Etsy is a Certified B Corporation that recently filed for an IPO.  As a Certified B Corporation they value and incorporate into their mission “doing good” for the environment, community, and employees.  But as a Public Company they will have to “maximize shareholder value.”

Within the article it was noted that Etsy could balance both by not only being a Certified B Corporation, but also become a Benefit Corporation.  A Benefit Corporation differs from a Certified B Corporation, in which a Benefit Corporation incorporates the socially conscious framework into the company’s legal DNA.  This will be relevant for Etsy as they try to balance their social mission and public business.

Delware’s governor introduced a legislation “to create a legal structure to let companies take into account the community, their employees, education, or the environment in addition to the interests of shareholders.” Under this structure, directors of a public benefit corporation may still keep a social mission at its core while balancing profit for shareholders.  I hope this legislation passes and Etsy continues to stay true to it’s mission even as they file to go public.

This personally interests me because as a Technology Risk Consultant I worked for public companies on their Sarbanes- Oxley (SOX) compliance.  This meant testing various IT processes to ensure that Management’s Internal IT controls were in place and operating effectively.  If the company passed they were SOX compliant and would not have to report any mis- statements.

My experience in IT SOX and my passion for Certified B Corporations (and any corporation with a social mission) has put into perspective what this will mean for Etsy and the whole country as public benefit corporations hopefully become more abundant. Balancing compliance as a public company and as a “social good” company will be a treat for Etsy, to say the least.  I hope and crossing my fingers Etsy stays true to it’s core and mission.  How they manage both will be a game changer for both sides, and show that business can be profitable and also contribute to a greater good.

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“She Turned Her Can’ts Into Cans & Her Dreams Into Plans”

She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans” – Kobi Yamada

I first read this quote on a Kate Spade item I bought, and immediately fell in love.  I used it as the background to my phone for the longest time as a daily reminder to know that I anything I put my mind into, I could do.

Disclaimer: I’ve returned from almost a 2 year hiatus as I’ve found inspiration to write again!

So there I was Fall of my Senior Year (September 2012) tirelessly networking, applying, and interviewing to find the perfect job for me.  After some talks with Professors and Advisers I determined Consulting would be the right path for me.  It would be a way for me to put my diverse background (Marketing, IT, and International) and broad interests to the test.  After about a year and a half in the corporate world, consulting for a broad range of clients (Fortune 500 – Fast Growth Technology Start Ups), a new path opened up for me.

I’ve always loved and highly talked about Certified B Corporations – for profit businesses that aims to solve a social or environmental problem.  B Corporations meet a higher standard of transparency, accountability, and performance.  This framework and certification allows businesses to incorporate the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) into its mission and daily operations.  I believe Social Enterprises (traditional business + non profit) have the power to change the world.

That is why I’m proud to announce I will be starting my dream career path as an Operations Analyst for a Certified B Corporation.  I cannot even tell you how thrilled I am to be starting the path to my dream career without having to get my MBA first (which I thought I would have had to do first).  Of course obtaining my MBA or any higher education is still in my plans.  But now I will fully be able to say I was able to turn my dreams in plans and now reality.

I hope to bring back my blogging and to continue talking about my adventure through the social enterprise, startup, and Certified B corporation landscape!

Appendix: Timeline during my 2 year hiatus

May 2013: Graduated College

June 2013 – August 2013: Philippines, Myanmar, Protiviti

September 2013- April 2015: Career with Protiviti –  business consulting firm

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2 months, 4 countries, over 26 cities later…

Note: Originally drafted in August 2012

It’s been a long two months, but a fast two months.  Mostly every summer of my life (not including high school) I left the USA to visit a different country.  It’s mostly been the Philippines but during those months I would also visit near by Southeast Asia countries like Thailand and China.  My first time going to Europe was to the Baltic Sea, visiting the Scandinavian countries (Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Russia, and Denmark).

This time around, I wanted to see every “must- see” of Europe.  I started in Munich and the Bratvia region, even went into a little but of Austria and saw a little bit of Switzerland while in Bratvia.  I took a night train to Florence, and during those couple days even saw the Chianti region of Tuscany.  From Florence down to Rome, which was the top of my destination list because I was dying to see the Vatican.  From there I flew to Paris for 4 days and fell in love with the marvelous city.  Paris to Barcelona where I stayed for a month to take Spanish classes and Spanish history.  BUT the traveling doesn’t stop there.

While in Barcelona I went to Figuerees and Cadaques in Costa Brava, Valencia the home of paella, went North to Pamplona for the opening ceremony of San Fermines “The Running of the Bulls”, flew to Mallorca for a weekend away, to Madrid to stay with my aunt for 2 weeks, Segovia, Avila (where I learned that St. Theresa of Avila is a distant relative of mine), Cordoba, Sevilla (my favorite city after Paris and Barcelona), Granada, Don Quijote de la Mancha, Toledo, and El Escorial).  To think I fit ALL of this in 2 months is crazy.

My main takeaways:

Respect:  Some Americans I encountered and observed on my trip, had no sensitivity to the culture around them.  I saw some walking around like they belonged there, without being courteous to others around them.  Just because someone doesn’t understand what you are saying, does not mean they can’t tell if you are being rude.  For example, a lot of Americans told me that they didn’t like Paris because the French are “rude.”  Contrary to belief, they actually think we are rude too.  I think I’ll take the side of the French on this one.  We are in their country, their hometown, their area.  Please when you walk into a store smile and say “Bonjour” and “Merci” it’s the simplest words.  From there you can go on with English.  Sticking with learning basic words in every country I visited, really helped me get the respect I wanted from people, and in return they got my respect back.

Food: Until this day, I find it quite interested when Americans go to a different country and complain about the food.  Of course everywhere you go isn’t going to have American food, the world does not revolve around America!  If you are going to go to different country be open to a different culture, and that means the food!

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Roma Roma Roma

I’m posting this on here since Tumblr is blocked from my hostel in Paris!

After 2 nice days in Florence wandering around the city, we made our way to Rome.  We took a train which shoud have been 2 and a half hours, but took us 6!  We got kicked off two trains because we did not know we had to get one validated and another for getting on the wrong train.  I got yelled at by an Italian ticket man until and English man (who also happened to be a police officer) came to my rescue.  We had a delicious lunch in Orvieto and finally made it to Rome.

Rome is an unbelievable city.  It is so large in general with large, immense buildings and statues everywhere.  In just 2 full days, we saw The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Santa Marie Sopa Minerva, Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore (my hidden favorite), the Vatican of course, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and the ruins.

My favorites were the Trevi Fountain, Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Marie Sopra Minerva, and the Vatican.  The Trevi we saw at night which made it that much more stunning with the gold glimmering in the night.  The Santa Marie Maggiore was nice because I got to spend my Sunday morning mass there.  It was in Italian but it made that mass even more special.  It is a papel Basilica of Rome, and I loved its adoration to the Virgin Mary.  S. Marie Sopra Minerva was beautiful as well because it was so quiet and peaceful compared to the Vatican.

I have been waiting all my life to see the Vatican.   Ever since 9th grade or so, I’ve been

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Stanford alumni fund new innovation center in Ghana

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Emerging markets are the key to unlocking the next billion users

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The American University Education and the International One

As my college career is coming to an end, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes an American University different from an American one.  

One of the biggest things is our football game culture.  Going to the University of Arizona, which is a big sports school, puts a huge emphasis on making football games an all day event.  For a game that starts at 7 pm, people begin tailgating as early as 11 am on our “Mall” (basically a huge patch of grass along the middle of campus).  People walk around and talk to other fans.  There’s a lot of food, beer, games, and team spirit.  It really brings your school together and the pride you have for your football team, even if they aren’t the best.  And that doesn’t happen at small schools or even around the World.  It’s a defining characteristic of an American school.

Besides that culture difference, there’s also the academic difference.  Now it’s no secret that the American education system is having a huge problem.  The cost of attending school is rising more than the rate of inflation (which is going to get worse as our economy feels the backlash of QE3).  But there are valuable things we emphasize here that other countries don’t.  

I spent a week at the University of Washington competing in a Global Business Case Competition.  There was us Eller students, UW Foster students, Concordia University of Canada, The University of Aukland, De La Salle in the Philippines, National Singapore University, American University Cairo, The University of Hong Kong, Tech de Monterrey Mexico, The University of Belgium Brussels, and The University of Navarra Pamplona.  

I had the unique opportunity of being on the Global Team which was myself, a student from UW, a student from NSU, and a student from the University of Koba Japan.  We had 48 hours to come up with a business case and present it to judges.  Now on our team us American students were focusing on being creative and thinking outside of the box, while our Asian team members were focusing on data and financials to back it up.  I’m not saying it’s bad, but it was nice to get a different perspective on solving this case.

Now my team didn’t make it to the final round, which is fine.  In the preliminary round we actually went against the winning team of the whole competition.  And watching the final round presentations was outstanding.  The Eller team also went to the final round, but their focus was more about being creative and confident. While the Canadian, Hong Kong, and Singapore team were not only creative but had the financials to back it up.  I saw over 100 backup slides all with financials and market analysis.  It was incredible and I’ve never seen anything like it.  

I thought I learned a lot from all my travelling, but it didn’t prepare me for this. I am fortunate enough to attend Eller and learn everything I have, but this just shows the importance of studying abroad.  Not only learning about different cultures, but from different experiences, different learning styles is important to survive and be successful in our rapidly evolving World.  

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