Having your business certified as a ‘B’ Corporation isn’t an easy task. It requires a clear social mission and commitment to “use business as a force for good”. Link2Feed is so dedicated to demonstrating their commitment to changing the world that they have undergone the rigorous B Corp Certification process, which includes an initial assessment and bi-annual recertification. Why have they set such a high bar for themselves? The answer lies at the heart of their underlying idea: to “feed change”.
Link2Feed believes that food is a catalyst for changing someone’s life – more specifically, that with clean, accurate data, Food Banks and social agencies can have a long-term sustainable impact on the people they serve. The core Link2Feed system is a database with the capability to not only collect information but to also do sophisticated reporting. Link2Feed has worked closely with food banks across North to create technology that is changing lives. Over 750, 000 unique individuals via 1,850 organizations throughout North America have been assisted through Link2Feed. In addition to being a requirement for every food bank in Ontario and Nova Scotia, Link2Feed is used by countless organizations across Canada and the US.
The concept started as a side-project for the Sarnia-based Innivity Marketing Group, in partnership with the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association back in 2010. The response was so positive, and the impact so evident, that in 2012 an “off the shelf” version was launched allowing others to benefit from its’ success. In addition to the original Link2Feed program, a second product was launched this year to provide inventory tracking capabilities for smaller agencies. The 10 member team at Link2Feed continues to work closely with The Inn of The Good Shepherd, where staffs also act as volunteers to stay connected to the needs of clients and agencies alike. Both the product and the mindset of the company are community driven and the emphasis on effecting change is at its core.
Knowing where to find help as an entrepreneur is as important as ever. For more than 10 years, Link2Feed’s Founder and CEO Rob Dawson has benefitted from the support and unique opportunities offered to entrepreneurs through the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation. His experience has been wholly positive: “SLBDC provides entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to gain great insight and direction on your business while also being able to offer various levels of funding support. Through this support, I have been able to start new business and grow existing businesses as I have had the confidence in knowing SLBDC was there to assist”. These opportunities are readily available for those who are ready to take that final step.
We also spoke with Link2Feed President Emily Branton about the experience from the perspective of the entrepreneur. When asked about the biggest surprise on the road to success she offers an unexpected response, “the feeling of being part of something big- our customers are more like partners. We have the same mission, the same beliefs”. Her vision of what’s important is a guiding factor, “you have to focus on what’s in your control. Stay the course, and have faith in your plan”. Link2Feed certainly has every reason to have faith in their plan. Their fearless drive to get the product out to those who need it is the catalyst for progress that will allow Link2Feed to create lasting social change.
To learn more about Link2Feed, you can check out their website www.link2feed.ca . They can also be followed on Twitter and Facebook, and contacted by phone at 519-704-5052 or toll free at 1-855-489-6898.