America’s First Billion-Dollar Social Enterprise?
Monday, August 25, 2014
I was shocked and deeply moved when I heard the news this morning – Bain Capital is purchasing 50 percent of TOMS, the One For One shoe, eyewear, and fashion company that for eight years has been giving products to kids in need for every product a person buys. The TOMS business model was revolutionary at the time of its inception, and helped inspire an entire army of companies that have built social good into the core of their business model. But it’s not just the fact that TOMS received an investment from Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital that was so important – it’s the fact that Bain’s investment now values TOMS, a social enterprise, at $625 million dollars.
The United States has not yet seen a billion dollar social enterprise (though France’sGroupe SOS is now a billion dollar social enterprise). TOMS is now almost two thirds of the way there already. For a moment, just imagine the kind of amazing social impact a company can achieve when operating at a billion dollar level: