Hop Compost: Maintaining Environmental Accountability with Growth
(9 pages of text)
Hop Compost (Hop) was a Canadian start-up that took food scraps destined for landfill and converted them to an organic, highly nutrient compost using novel, licensed technology. The company was approaching the end of its first year and facing two decisions. First, it had to decide whether to pursue third-party accreditation for its environmental and social impact. The accreditation would demand time and money but could help Hop with its growth plans. Second, the company’s founder wondered how to position Hop’s environmental and social impact to appeal to potential investors, who would be primarily interested in financial returns.
This case is positioned for both senior undergraduate courses and graduate courses to facilitate discussion of the common challenges of social enterprises and impact investing. This case can also be used in executive education or in business programs for entrepreneurs. After completion of this case, students will be able to
- evaluate the opportunities for a start-up to remain true to its social and environmental values while scaling and raising significant capital;
- understand the challenges in building a strong corporate culture in a social enterprise;
- create a strategy to profile Hop’s value in affecting externalities; and
- evaluate how a social enterprise approaches investors whose traditional value is financial return.
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Canada, Small, 2016
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