103, Krista Carrol, Latitude | A Company Powered by Purpose
Latitude is a for-profit creative agency, powered by purpose.
In November, 2009, Krista and her husband were in their 30s and, as she told me, “chasing the American dream really hard.” They were being financially successful, but lacked a level of meaning and purpose. It was during a trip to Haiti that they witnessed extreme poverty for the first time. In response to this life-changing experience, they decided to form a social enterprise. In order to avoid debt, Krista, her husband and two small children moved into her parents’ basement.
Their company, Latitude is a for-profit, full service creative agency. They do amazingly great work in brand design and experience design. What makes Latitude unique is that they donate 50% of their profits to help women and children in the developing world.
They work primarily with three nonprofit partners in 18 countries. They have been able to direct $2.7 million to trusted nonprofits. Through International Justice Mission, they have rescued over 2,600 people from sex trafficking and slavery. They have partnered with Healing Haiti to build a medical and dental clinic. They have built homes and an orphanage. Through their work, over 13 million gallons of clean water has been delivered. They have partnered with Opportunity International to fund several thousand microloans for women entrepreneurs. They also partnered with Opportunity International on an entrepreneurial High School in Nicaragua. Several hundred students have attended. They have provided food through Feed My Starving Children. They partnered with Matter on equipping clinics in Honduras and Mongolia. They have provided desks and supplies to schools for girls in Afghanistan.
Quotes from Krista Carroll on Being Powered by Purpose
“You need to know how to set people up for success.”
“We looked at these children who were so similar to our own children. The only difference was that they were born in a different latitude and longitude in which opportunity was scarce.”
“We have to win our business on being excellent providers.”
“We have had virtually zero turnover with our clients.”
“There’s no room for anything less than excellence and sustainability.”
“The partnership between a for-profit and a nonprofit challenges each of us to think holistically.”
“It’s a constant process of poking holes in your own plans.”
“As a CEO, I’ve come to terms with being misunderstood at times.”
“One unexpected benefit of being a company that is powered by purpose has been the incredible talent that we have attracted.”
“Limit your debt and limit the complexity.”
“Use the gifts you’ve been given to empower those who have not been given as much.”
Social Entrepreneurship Resources: