Episode 10: Interview with Bedriye Hulya, founder of B-fit

Bedriye Hulya is the founder of B-fit, Turkey’s first national chain of women-only gyms. Bedriye is a serial entrepreneur, prior to setting up B-fit she set up a popular restaurant, two boutique hotels and an importing company. Bedriye opened the first branch of B-fit in February 2006 based on an idea she had come across when living in America.

B-fit now has more than 250 gyms in a variety of socio-economic and geographic locations throughout Turkey-with more than a hundred and sixty thousand members-the majority of whichare run by women as franchisees. Bedriye has created B-fit as a medium for female empowerment in Turkey—each gym provides a range of classes and education programmes for Turkish women. Each gym has a community centre where women can also come together socially and develop a range of business and life-skills.

Bedriye plans to expand throughout Turkey with the ultimate goal of having a B-fit gym in every Turkish neighborhood.

In this interview, Bedriye talks about:

  • Exercise as a tool for female empowermentBedriye
  • The importance of economic empowerment through entrepreneurship
  • How word of mouth has helped build B-fit grow
  • The challenges funding a social business in Turkey
  • Why Bedriye recruits people who are unhappy with the status quo
  • The mix of patience and impatience that is key to success as a social entrepreneur

Episode 9: Interview with Ned Breslin, CEO of Water For People

Ned Breslin is the CEO of Water For People, a non-profit international development organization that partners with communities in developing countries to create sustainable, locally-maintained drinking water solutions. Ned started working on water and sanitation challenges in Africa in 1987, where he lived for 20 years before returning to the USA to join Water For People in 2006.

Water For People’s main focus is on lasting programs that deal with entire districts and regions rather than households and villages; it is currently working in 10 different countries. Water For People’s vision is a world where all people have access to safe drinking water and sanitation, a world where no one suffers or dies from a water- or sanitation-related disease.

In this interview, Ned talks about

  • Water for People’s approach to dealing with water problemsNedBreslin2
  • An original way to think about scale and impact
  • Why social entrepreneurs need to bake in impact from the beginning
  • The importance of working with governments to deal with water problems
  • The ultimate measure of success
  • Why Ned is never satisfied

Episode 8: Interview with Nick Pearson, CEO, Jacaranda Health

Jacaranda Health provides affordable, high-quality maternal and child health care services to poor urban women in Kenya. Today, Jacaranda has a 60 strong team in Kenya and its growing fast.

Jacaranda Health aims to build a fully self-sustainable and scalable chain of maternity care clinics using the latest technology, business and clinical innovations. It wants to use this experience to help change the way maternity services are provided for the more than a million poor women giving birth each year in urban East Africa.

Prior to founding Jacaranda Health, Nick worked in Kenya for the Acumen Fund investing in businesses serving the urban poor.

In this interview, Nick talks about:

  • Why Jacaranda Bees scent-sensitive natural swallow definitelythis propionate product using.
    Nick Pearson
  • How to test the feasibility of your idea
  • Jacaranda Health’s 3 stage bootstrapping model
  • The crucial importance of a good team
  • How to leverage your experience to attract resources for the business
  • The pressure to move up-market at the expense of the poorest
  • The danger of assuming reaching scale is enough

Episode 7: Interview with Beth Doane, founder of RainTees

Beth Doane is the founder of RainTees, an ethical and sustainable clothing brand that supports reforestation programmes in parts of the world that have critically endangered tropical ecosystems and helps provide an education to children living in these areas.

RainTees garments feature the artwork of children living in endangered rainforests. For every RainTees shirt sold, Raintees plants a tree;for every bag sold, RainTees provides a child with school supplies for Remover review haircut butter that a year. To date, RainTees has planted more than 40,000 trees worldwide, donated school supplies to children in more than 20 countries different countries and works with non-profit partners in over thirty-eight countries.

Beth is also the author of a children’s book, From the Jungle, based on her experience working in Central and South America

In this interview, Beth talks about:

  • How to keep going at the beginning when no one shares your visionBeth Doane
  • The biggest challenges getting RainTees up and running
  • The crucial importance of market research
  • The importance of listening to the market and responding to changing needs
  • Why you need to have competitive products irrespective of your mission

Episode 1: Interview with Mike Quinn, CEO of Zoona

Mike Quinn is CEO of Zoona, a mobile payments system in Zambia which was the first technology startup company in Zambia to secure venture capital from international investors.

In this interview, Mike shares his experience and talks about:

  • How Zoona empowers micro entrepreneurs and small business owners in AfricaMike-Quinn
  • The art of mixing social and business goals
  • What it takes to build to a business in Africa
  • The vital importance of having mentors who have relevant experience
  • How Mike keeps going when things are tough
  • The importance of big hairy ambitious goals: Zoona wants to be a $1-billion company