What if more people saw entrepreneurship as synonymous with social good?

If our dollars could go beyond our purchases and add some benefit to the world, how would it change the way we think and go about spending our money?

Well, we’re fortunate to have many visionary thinkers already pushing for a change in the way business can have a positive impact on the globe. Let’s catch up with one of these visionaries, Kenton Lee.

Image: Group of school children wearing the shoe that grows

Source: GroFive

You may remember Kenton from the article we wrote about a year ago featuring the Shoe that Grows and Because International. We suggest you take a look at that article at some point, but we’ll give you a quick refresher on his story before we get started.

19 minutes

Practicing Practical Compassion with the Shoe That Grows

Have you seen The Shoe That Grows? This genius idea is changing lives across the globe and it didn't come from a millionaire or a world-renowned inventor but a real person just like us! Here's his story!

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Kenton was first drawn to innovation by his experiences in Kenya. He met tons of kids who had either grown out of their shoes and were making do with pairs far too small, or going without shoes altogether. This gave him a “wild” idea: Why not make a shoe that could grow as the kids did?

This idea grew into the nonprofit, Because International, and a shoe, The Shoe that Grows.

As of this article’s publishing, over 175,000 pairs of these shoes that grow have been distributed worldwide. Now this great idea and the mission behind it are, well, growing some more.

From the Shoe That Grows to Expandles

As the Shoe that Grows was introduced to the wider world, people started asking if they could purchase a pair for their own children. And, after a few more years of development, Kenton co-founded GroFive.

Recently, GroFive launched their Kickstarter to get their first product to market, Expandles. Like The Shoe that Grows, Expandles grow as kids feet do, and now you can buy them for yourself! Even better, for every Expandles purchase you make, GroFive donates a pair of The Shoe That Grows to a child who needs them!

Check out their story!

If you’re interested in donating to their Kickstarter, jump over to their page where you can see their full list of rewards and check out how they are doing. They’ve had a remarkably successful start to their Kickstarter campaign already! But if you’re seeing this before August 17th, 2018, make sure you take a look and consider donating.

Supporting the people changing the world…

We reached out to Kenton Lee after we published our first article about his work a year ago. Little did we know how extraordinary a founder he really is! His genuine passion for making the world a better place, and his desire to do so in a way that makes sense for people and the environment is, to say the least, inspiring. Whenever I hang up the phone after a call with him I find myself more empowered and excited than ever to do what we do here at Ever Widening Circles.

17 minutes

Plus 1: Making a Difference with What You Have

Seeing the need and opportunity for the music industry to be a more positive force in the world, Marika Shaw and her bandmates came up with Plus 1, an organization that has changed the way the music industry and non-profits can work together.

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Kenton Lee, Because International, and GroFive, are all on a mission to do better in the world one (pardon my pun) step at a time. Recently, we were able to sit down with Kenton to discuss his story and what fuels his passion to do good in the world! Be on the look out for our upcoming podcast so you don’t miss out!

Let’s leave on a question, and maybe a challenge for those who are looking to take the next step in life in a career, volunteer position, or course of study: What if we each did more in the “relentless pursuit of better” for others and the planet? Where would we be?

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

Meet more remarkable thought leaders!

If you’re looking for more reasons why “it’s still an amazing world”, the people in this category may convince you.

Thought Leaders on EWC

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Notes:

  1. “Expandals: The ONLY Footwear That GROWS With Your Child!” Kickstarter. GroFive Footwear, 10 July 2018. Web. 20 July 2018. <https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/grofive/expandals-the-only-footwear-that-grows-with-your-c?ref=509395&%3Btoken=8b1187c1>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV