Young Entrepreneurs, Giving Back

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Investing in East Africa

The e-mail marketing company iContact operates under what its founders call the “4-1s” corporate social responsibility business model. The company gives 1 percent of equity to the iContact Foundation for future investment, 1 percent of its employees’ time to volunteering, 1 percent of its services pro bono to nonprofits in North Carolina, and 1 percent of payroll (roughly $150,000) to charity. Co-founder Ryan Allis (pictured) is also an active investor in start-ups and businesses in East Africa; co-founder Aaron Houghton volunteers regularly for Habitat for Humanity. The company also just achieved B Corporation status, a growing trend by which companies write corporate social responsibility into their articles of incorporation or other bylaws.