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Jordan Bowman

Jordan Bowman, BSC Associate

Current Degree Program: Undergraduate Poole College of Management – Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and a Nonprofits Studies minor.
Previous Degrees: Associate of Arts at Wake Technical Community College.
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Areas of Interest in Sustainability: Social Impact and Social Enterprises models. Looking at how executives can make a profit and make a difference. Creating collaborative partnerships across communities.

What does business sustainability mean to you? What do you think sustainability should mean to businesses?

When I think of business sustainability, I like to think of thee concentric circles. The outermost and largest circle is the “Planet”, the middle circle is “People” and the smallest and innermost circle is “Profit”. To me, business sustainability means hitting that bullseye by creating a company that focuses on all three. Some would argue that business sustainability simply relates to how a business is structured and if it’s revenue and growth models will sustain themselves over the long-run. I think this definition misses the mark because it only focuses on one of the circles and forgets about the context of sitting inside of the “Planet” and “People” circles. I believe that businesses should think about business sustainability in this way. Asking themselves: how are we affecting the triple bottom line?

What sustainability challenge would you most like to solve?

I want to help make it profitable to do good. I want to help shape and define nonprofit and for-profit structures to allow for this. I also want to make sure that our communities, institutions, and workplaces are centers for collaboration and partnership so that we can implement and revitalize the global goal for sustainable development.

Who do you admire for championing positive change through business?

Justin Senkbiel and his team at CompostNow. Quinten Farmer at Even Responsible Finance. Emily Diaz for her work creating space for transformation, connection and culture at 15Five.

Moving forward, how do you plan to use business as a force for good?

I believe that businesses should exist to serve people. Moving forward, I plan to create and scale businesses that focus on the triple bottom line and that fundamentally create value for humans. I hope to employ my business acumen to help grow the social impact sector and to support social enterprises.

What do you think are some challenges with sustainable businesses or becoming a sustainable business?

It is hard to focus on a triple bottom line. There are many businesses that fail to achieve profit, let alone helping people and the planet. Companies can be incentivized to only focus on profit and nothing else. This is especially true in startups, early-stage, and high growth ventures. I aspire to learn more about how a sustainable business focus can help orient early-stage companies towards ethical practices without hurting their bottom line.

What’s your advice for fellow students who might be interested in sustainability, but don’t know where to start?

Join the B Corp Movement here in NC. Apply to be a Social Innovation Fellow at NC State. Get involved with Net Impact and the Business Sustainability Collaborative. People in this sector are some of the most welcoming and loving people in the world. Start by reaching out! There is so much to learn here.