social entrepreneur

Mission Driven Monday--Kristen Witzel

Meet Kristen Witzel!

What makes your heart happy?

Meet the Founder and Executive Director of KidsBoost! Kristen is a mom and former hospital Child Life Specialist who turned her passion for generosity into an opportunity to mentor kids taking on service projects to raise money for the organizations that matter to them. In this episode, we talk about how the challenges of being a single mother and how being an entrepreneur helped her find meaning and purpose in the work she was clearly meant to do.

We both have kids who just finished fifth grade and are about to embark on the adventure of middle school. I think it’s interesting how ideas percolate over time, building tension, and ultimately inspiring us to take action.

As moms, we want to pursue our dreams and also do ALL THE THINGS. Is it possible? Kristen says she spent years living off peanut butter and a prayer. She’s working to build a culture that values working parents as they raise kind and generous kids while using their own gifts to give back to the community.

You don’t want to miss this incredible story.

Important links from this episode:

Does your kid have an idea for a project they’d like to pursue? KidsBoost would love to help!

KidsBoost: Creating a sustainable cycle of giving by equipping kids to serve others

The Moment of Lift : How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates

Big Magic: Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Mission Driven Monday--Kitti Murray

Meet Kitti Murray!

“Can we have coffee?”

We hear this phrase so much, it's become a bit of a cliche. Coffee is the conduit that supercharges so many new relationships. For Kitti Murray, the connection between good coffee and good stories became the impetus for the dream of a lifetime. She's the founder of Refuge Coffee, the most welcoming place on earth, in the city that's been described as the most diverse square mile in America. Where bigotry and hate and prejudice might have found a foothold, instead neighbors find shelter and love and support. Refuge provides a living wage to a dozen employees. That original question: "What if?" was answered with a resounding, "Yes, we can."

I've had a chance to experience Refuge Coffee firsthand, and if you ever find yourself in Atlanta, I hope you will too. Our differences make us beautiful and our shared stories create connections that cannot be broken. Thank you, Kitti, for following your mission, not the madness.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
— James 1:27

Important Links from this Episode:

Refuge Coffee

The Grit and Grace Project

Giant Worldwide Leadership Coaching


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Mission Driven Monday--Sarah Sasson

Meet Sarah Sasson!

Are you a risk taker?

That was the question I asked Sarah Sasson, Founder/Executive Director of Kula Project, an organization that provides industry training, business investment, and life and leadership skills in Rwanda. When I first met Sarah, she was a jet-setting woman on-the-go, with one foot firmly planted here in the United States and one straddling the ocean and chasing her heart to the faraway beauty of Rwanda, Africa.

Today, the incredible fellows of Kula Project are building profitable businesses, raising healthy families, and sending their children to school. It didn’t happen overnight, but rather over many, many years of fostering strong relational ties and empowering leaders—young and old alike.

In this episode, Sarah and I talk about the highs and lows of running a nonprofit, celebrating wins, and enjoying hobbies that have their own measurable results. I asked Sarah if she was a risk taker because I've always felt like she was a girl who knew how to take adventure to the nth degree. You know what? She's just like you and me. She's following her mission, not the madness, and that has made all the difference in the world.

Important links from this episode:

Check out the beautiful photography on her site! You can even sponsor a budding entrepreneur. And if you’d like to buy some of the yummy coffee produced by the Kula fellows, you can do that here.

Ready to take it to the next level?

It’s time to DREAM BIG!

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Mission Driven Monday--Brin Enterkin

Meet Brin Enterkin!

Brin is one of the most brilliant young leaders I have ever met. She’s more than 15 years my junior, but I wish I could sit across from her in a coffee shop and just take in all her wisdom. She knows how to build and transition organizations, she leads with authority and humility, and she cares deeply about the legacy she leaves behind, a rare trait in such a young woman.

Our conversation is long, but worth every minute! You will learn from Brin. You will be inspired by Brin. You will wish you lived in Boulder, CO, so you could accompany Brin on one of her famous board meeting hikes through the Colorado Rockies. Get out your journal because you’ll want to take notes on this one: Follow your mission, not the madness.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
— African Proverb

Important Links from this Episode:

The African Soup: Equipping Teachers, Engaging Students, Empowering Communities

The Watson Institute: Training ground for next generation innovators and social entrepreneurs

The Lion’s Thread: Dashing ties for a bold audience; “Look good, do good.”

Book: Mere Christianity

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