Episode 13 Interview with Tom Szaky, founder of Terracycle

Tom is the founder of TerraCycle, an American company that makes consumer products from waste. It all begain in 2001 with a simple idea to make an organic fertilizer from worm poo;today TerraCycle has grown into a company with annual revenues in excess of $25 million, providing free waste collection programs for hard to recycle materials-and then turning that waste into affordable green products. TerraCycle now operates in 26 countries.

TerraCycle has developed a range of volunteer-led recycling systems that enables individuals, families, schools, or community groups to establish “Brigades” to collect a specific waste stream such as coffee capsules, cosmetic packaging and recently, cigarette buts. Its Bottle Brigade program, where schools and communities can send in recyclables for cash, operates in more than 26 countries around the world. In this interview Tom talks about:


  • The economics of recycling tom szaky
  • How to leverage purpose to enhance impact
  • How TerraCycle has built a 60 million volunteer support group
  • Why social entrepreneurs need to plan for success assuming they don’t have the benefit of purpose or social impact
  • The power of partnerships to achieve impact


Episode 12: Interview with Fermin Reygadas, Co-founder of Fundacion Cantaro Azul

Fermin Reygadas is Executive Director and Co-founder of Fundacion Cantaro Azul, an organization based in Mexico that works with rural communities to develop and implement safe water services.

Berkeley, Cantaro Azul developed the first ultraviolet water disinfection system specifically design for rural households. Cantaro Azul has also developed safe water solutions for schools and communities, including a hybrid franchise called Nuestra Agua. The franchise uses a kiosk-based technology operated by local entrepreneurs under an economically sustainable model to offer an affordable and reliable safe water service.

Fermin’s ultimate goal is to enable widespread and constant access to potable water while empowering community members with ownership and control of their water sources.

In this interview, Fermin talks about:

  • Cantaro Azul’s blend of research and groundworkFerminR01
  • The importance of building a support system
  • Why social entrepreneurs need passion and empathy
  • The benefits of working collaboratively with rural communities
  • Cantaro Azul’s social franchise model that works with local entrepreneurs to provide potable water

Episode 11: Interview with Sangu Delle, co-founder cleanacwa

Sangu Delle is the co-founder of cleanacwa, formerly known as the African Development Initiative (founded in 2007). cleanacwa is a non-profit organization working to help provide access to clean water and sanitation in underdeveloped regions in Ghana. cleanacwa is currently working to bring clean water and sanitation to 60,000 people in 120 villages in the Ayensuano and Suhum districts in Ghana.

cleanacwa aims to combine academic research and business to create social change and development. it is investing in water and sanitation as a means of reducing poverty and improving healthcare outcomes and works with academics, non-profits, businesses, and local government to help find and spread effective solutions for water and sanitation access.

Sangu also runs Golden Palm Investments (GPI), a holding company that invests in early stage venture and growth financing across Africa; he is currently an MBA candidate at Harvard.

In this interview, Sangu talks about:


  • SJD high rescleanacwa’s data intensive approach to understanding what works and why
  • The importance of local education programmes to promote change
  • How cleanacwa creates efficiencies through scale and partnerships
  • Cleanacwa’s trigger education methods
  • How cleanacwa uses incentives to promote change


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