In the startup world, we love to talk about unicorns. 🦄 Unicorns are rapid growth startups valued over $1 billion.
The term unicorn is meant to be a compliment. However, unicorns are only defined by their growth. Not by their economical, environmental, social or ethical sustainability.
In the last years, we ended up complimenting a lot of companies that are unprofitable or exploitive or both. There must be a better way!
Enter – the Zebra. 🦓
Zebras are black AND white. They are profitable and improve society.
Mara Zepeda defined the characteristics of a zebra company:
- To state the obvious: unlike unicorns, zebras are real.
- Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other.
- Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.
- Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.
Zebra companies value profitability, they are not non-profit organizations. And they value a green, social or ethical approach to business.
Zebra companies are a win – win – win.
If you still feel that we can not have it all (the growth, the profits and the positive impact), it is time to rewire your brain and go after this limiting belief.
Check out the Zebras Unite Co-Op and read fascinating and real stories of founders making the Zebra dream a reality: https://zebrasunite.coop/