Emily Dubner bakes for a living. But she has come up with a unique way to share her profits with non profit organisations by allowing customers to select who gets 15% of the net proceeds of her Baking for Good business. We think that’s pretty neat, so we’re making her our Innovator of the Week.
Emily has been interview widely (and exhaustively) since she burst onto the scene a couple of years ago, so rather than add to the barrage of questions, we’ve selected the best of her answers so that you don’t have to:
From her Under30CEO interview:
Where did the idea for Baking for Good come from?
I grew up baking and continued to bake through college and when I arrived in New York for my first job. When my mom received a gift of cookies as a thank you last winter, it got me thinking about baked goods as an alternative to flowers, and I decided to recreate the idea of a bake sale on the web. I came up with the concept of Baking for Good: an online bake sale that supports great causes, with delicious, all-natural, gourmet treats that include a 15% donation to a cause of the customer’s choice.
How do you think the idea to give 15% of sales away to charity has helped the business compared to keeping all the money?
By giving 15% of every purchase to a cause the customer chooses, we help our customers feel good about the purchases they make. Not only can customers send brownies to a friend who is sick, but they can also support a cause they know their friend cares about. People want to feel connected to the brands they support, and with Baking for Good, we’re connecting in a very real way by supporting causes our customers are passionate about.
From her Savvy Sugar profile piece:
via Baking for Good
What did you learn from your previous job that helped you start this business?
My previous experience helped me with the ability to understand a problem, break it down, and figure out a solution. It really helped me structure my business idea, both in terms of understanding all the component parts and executing. It showed me how to either solve problems or reach out to others who can help.
Any advice for those who want to start their own businesses?
Start small and test your ideas on friends and family before you spend a lot. Funding the company by myself meant that I had to think about each expenditure. Your ideas are inevitably going to change as you go, so talk to as many people as you can. Also, no one is going to execute the way you would, so don’t worry about people stealing your idea.
From the Sandbox Network conversation:
What do you want to achieve in the next week, the next year, the next 10 years?
In the next week: Sell lots of spring treats!
In the next year: Continue to grow Baking for Good. Have a really awesome win, perhaps some major PR. That would be exciting.
In the next 10 years: I would love to work with other start-ups, whether my own or others that I believe in.
Now those are some positive sentiments to end with. Keep your eyes open for Emily in the future, we predict she’ll be headed in only one direction – upwards!
Would you be brave enough give away 15% of your profits when starting a business like Emily did? Do you know any social innovators that we should feature here at Nokia Connects (if you’re a social innovator yourself, don’t be afraid to nominate yourself!)? Leave us a comment, or drop us your thoughts on Twitter.