The Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs

The Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs – BusinessWeek

No. 1 With 36% of the vote, online bookseller Better World Books led the pack. The 200-person company makes money selling books it gets for free from a network of individuals and institutions across the country. Co-founder Xavier Helgesen says the Mishawaka (Ind.)-based company has donated over $6 million to literacy programs and libraries around the world since it launched in 2002. “Right now, one out of seven people has the economic means to buy books from us,” he says. “If we can bring people up to levels of equivalent literacy, we’re helping our long-term business model.” Helgesen expects Better World, which has secured around $4 million in equity investment in total, to bring in $30 million in revenue this calendar year and be profitable in 2010. The company sells about 10,000 books a day.


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