064, Amanda LaGrange, TechDump | Social Impact Without Being a Startup Founder
Social impact does not necessarily require you to be the founder of a social enterprise. Amanda LaGrange is living proof of that idea. Amanda spent more than seven years at General Mills, including time as a Senior Financial Analyst.
Today, Amanda is the CEO of TechDump. TechDump refurbishes and recycles electronics, and in the process they create jobs for adults facing barriers to employment, especially those who have spent time in the justice system. TechDump accepts anything with a cable, cord or battery that is not a home appliance.
Amanda brings her background in corporate finance to bare on the challenges of scaling a social enterprise.
Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Amanda LaGrange:
“It takes a certain skill set for a founder to pass on the baton. “
“It wasn’t necessarily that I birthed the idea, but I’ve definitely been a huge part around growing and scaling it.”
“Scaling a social enterprise is one of the most difficult things, because you have to create infrastructure at the same time you’re growing your top line.”
“The United States is home to 5% of the world’s population, and yet we incarcerate 25% of the world’s incarcerated people.”
“We use 25% of the world’s resources and the [Environmental Protection Agency] reports that we’re only recycling 25% of electronic devices used by consumers.”
“There’s no person that’s wasted. There’s no material that’s wasted.”
“There’s value and transformation is definitely possible.”
“In the state of Minnesota last year, 50 million pounds of electronic waste was collected for recycling, so you can just imagine how much is sitting in people’s basements.”
“At TechDump last year, we recycled 5 million pounds.”
“From our founding in 2010, we’ve been 98% self-funded.”
“50% of our current income comes from the sale of refurbished electronics.”
“The more electronics we take in, the more people we can employ.”
“About half of our customer base is from the commercial side.”
“There’s no clear direct path to be a social entrepreneur.”
“Join a [nonprofit] board. You get to practice skills you can’t practice in your day job.”
Social Entrepreneurship Resources: