Q&A With Chuck Slaughter, Living Goods Founder And CEO

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Test ideas quickly and cheaply, and remember that widespread social impact cannot be accomplished alone. Those are two pieces of advice from one of Schwab Foundation’s social entrepreneurs of 2013, Chuck Slaughter, the founder and CEO of Living Goods.

Slaughter was joined by 23 other social entrepreneurs, including Ashoka Fellows Njideka Harry of Youth for Technology Foundation, Rebecca Onie of Health Leads, Cybele Amado de Oliveira of Chapada Institute, and Anshu Gupta of Goonj.

We caught up with Slaughter to get his take on scaling-up, disruptive innovation, and how social entrepreneurship can impact international development in the years to come.

How did you get your start as a social entrepreneur?
Someone once said entrepreneurs are born, not made. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but it definitely holds true for me. I started my first business as a teenager and failed at a few more before I found success. I’ve always believed in the power of business to improve lives. My latest venture, Living Goods, just happens to fall in the current parlance of “social” entrepreneurship.

What are your secrets to scale?
Our goal at Living Goods is to deliver impact at game changing scale. There are two parts to that. The first is proving that systems like ours can be profitable. We’re on the path to sustainability, but commercial viability is our long-term goal. The second is to facilitate widespread replication of our model and methods.

Source: Forbes (link opens in a new window)