Entrepreneurs, by definition, are problem solvers. Show them a really tough problem and they leap into the fray, finding opportunity where others see disaster. Entrepreneurs think they can change the world and get rich doing it.
The 50 entrepreneurs we've chosen to highlight in this, our first "green" issue, are part of a growing breed we call ecocapitalists--men and women who've chosen to train their creativity, passion, and acumen on finding solutions to the thorny problem of preserving our planet.
For instance, Ray Anderson is dedicated to making his billion-dollar textile company fully sustainable by year 2020 (he's well on his way). Michelle Kaufmann designs and manufactures the ecofriendly Glidehouse, well known among devotees of affordable modernist architecture. Eric Hudson turns used Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups into Preserve toothbrushes. Jason Salfi operates the world's only solar-powered skateboard factory. And 28-year-old Peter Corsell has just received an $18 million boost from Goldman Sachs to further his plans for Gridpoint, his energy-saving company.
We put these clever and successful entrepreneurs on the cover this month because they represent some of the possibilities of ecocapitalism. They were real sports in Michael Edward's photography studio, too. Part of their willingness to pose for hours came, I think, from the simple fact that they were really happy to meet each other and to have the chance to trade ideas (and business cards).
Magazines aren't known for their sustainable practices (all those trees!), so to put our money where our mouth is, Inc. is now publishing on recycled paper. Did I mention that it's cost-effective, too? Which brings me back to this truism: Green practices beget greenbacks. Would you have it any other way?