Small Businesses Can (and Should) Do More to Align with the SDGs
Two small businesses make SDG alignment work for them
Founded in 2010, Uncommon Cacao connects small farmers in Central America and the Caribbean with chocolate companies looking for traceable ingredients. By working closely with farming communities on transparency, efficiency and quality, the Berkeley-based startup is able to offer growers a highly competitive price for their cacao—outpacing even local fair trade collectives—and it provides premium product to cult-favorite labels like Videri Chocolate Factory and Dandelion Chocolate.
With a core team of fewer than 10 people, Uncommon Cacao is an early mover on the SDGs. It was among the first group of 16 startups to participate in Unreasonable Goals, an SDG mentorship network spearheaded by the impact entrepreneurship accelerator Unreasonable Group. “SDG alignment was a natural decision for us,” Emily Stone, co-founder and CEO of Uncommon Cacao, told Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “We are a registered public benefit corporation and have a clear mission-driven focus to our business.”
To avoid overextending its lean team, Uncommon Cacao focused on two SDGS that are a clear and natural fit for the business: eliminating poverty (SDG 1) and decent work (SDG 8). The company committed to publish all pricing across its supply chain to further align with these goals and boost transparency. “We believe transparent pricing is a first, big step toward greater equity,” co-founder Maya Granit said in a statement last year."
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