Jumping from a prestigious career to launching an untested non-profit business is a risk that few people would be willing to take. But when Andrew Hall and Jeremy Bryant found themselves uninspired at two of the top accounting and consulting firms in North America, they decided to make a change.
Driven by entrepreneurialism and a desire to make the world a better place, Andrew and Jeremy dedicated themselves to the non-profit sector. They applied the Buy One, Give One model popularized by TOMS Shoes to the restaurant industry, enabling restaurants to easily give back to their communities. When diners purchase Mealshare-marked menu options, Mealshare works with the partner restaurant to provide a meal to someone in need.
It’s a business model that people can relate to, which has allowed Mealshare to provide over half a million meals to the less fortunate, become financially viable in under 2 years and win the Small Business BC Awards’ Community Impact Award in 2014.
Apply a Great Idea in a Unique Way
Andrew and Jeremy used their background in business and a proven concept to grow Mealshare fast. They saw the potential in the Buy One, Give One business model to help restaurant diners support the less fortunate for the affordable price of one meal – a meal that they also get to eat.
Success isn’t always about creating something completely out of the blue. Sometimes great entrepreneurship begins by being inspired by a smart idea, applying it in a unique way and using your business savvy to grow.
When it comes to networking, Andrew is quick to point out its importance in the non-profit sector. Business communities are one of the most powerful tools for non-profit entrepreneurs. They can provide contacts, resources, new partners and access to organizations that believe in your cause and are eager to see you grow.
Find Strength in Every Skill
A great entrepreneur doesn’t have to be a subject matter expert. Making the most of every skill ensures that your branding, goods or services and marketing efforts are consistent, credible and reliable.
Andrew and Jeremy use all of their skills to get involved in every aspect of their business, from public speaking to graphic design. Andrew jokes, “I’m not the best at anything, but I’m well-rounded!”
The Mealshare Founders remark that the best important lesson that they learned from Mealshare was that it’s essential to just “Just go for it. Start. Try it.” Advising that entrepreneurs need to accept imperfection to succeed, Andrew says that “if you don’t look back embarrassed at your version one launch, you launched too late.”
Celebrate Your Achievements
While it’s important to stay focused on your vision, celebrating accomplishments helps keep you and your team motivated. In addition to growing across Canada, the Mealshare Founders have also been recognized by the Corporate Knights’ Top 30 under 30 List and received the Small Business BC Award for Community Impact after being in business for less than 2 years.
Andrew is especially passionate about the Small Business BC Awards. He praises the ceremonies as exciting and heartwarming, and applauded the promotional opportunities Mealshare gained with their award. “All in all,” he summarizes, “a big win!”
Small Business BC Awards Ceremony
Don’t miss out on the excitement at the Small Business BC Awards. Save 30 per cent off by reserving your Early Bird ticket now – available for a limited time only.