Social enterprise is the broadening of the purpose of a private enterprise to include supporting the interests of its local and/or global community. It really means going beyond a purely private profit motivation in the way we do business. It has grown steadily in the US and private companies have been eager to forge social enterprise relationships or evolve their own models in order to reap the rewards associated with social responsibility in today’s marketplace. The next step is to really light a match under the explosive power of consumer spending and allow consumers to make knowledgeable and responsible decision about how they spend. We at Ethix like to imagine a world where a tiny fraction of every dollar swiped finds it way into health, education, sustainability and all manner of public interests. And remember, when you are out and about spending money, think about how and where you do that. It makes all the difference in the world!
We’re all here because of our Chief Executive Officer’s vision and purpose. He envisioned the very financial institution that he has worked for many years, the merchant services industry evolving into an ethical solution to the economy. This was an unbelievable thought at first when the large banks were crumbling our US economy and making headlines doing so. He believed that we could remove the greed and run a business with good intentions and transparency. This would gain the trust back from the people and with our fair, low rates save them money and help the success of America’s small businesses. On top of it all, we give 25% of our revenues to non-profits of the merchant’s choice. Talk about power to the people!
Steve has great ideas no doubt, but is also a spiritual man that leads us in our business and social purpose. He is welcoming and a real leader with an abundance of knowledge and positive energy to share. He welcomes each new sales representative and make himself available to the entire Ethix team with weekly live broadcasts, forums and more. Follow Ethix and the team on our website blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to see how we are helping communities and broadening our social impact.
Brian perfectly fills the position of Chief Technical Officer here at Ethix. His wealth of knowledge, experience, sensibility and compassion for the “dumb” questions keeps us all working with confidence that we are in good hands. Like all of our other team members, Brian is incredibly valuable in his department and all the other areas that we finagle him into. Brian maintains the computers, phones, office equipment, website, forums, live webcasts, newsletters, and even the marketing material and e-tools that many will see or use. He has been called a web guru, marketing genius but most importantly he is “our tech guy.” Thankfully his tech knowledge is paired with his creative ideas that help build and improve our growing company. So, technically speaking we’re not just lucky to have him, we’re thrilled!
Ethix is based in the Jack London District of Oakland. As soon as we opened our offices we reached out to the local neighborhood association, The JLDA to see if we could support them in their fundraising for the application to be a Business Improvement District (BID). This is a great example of how our Community Partnership Program works. The JLDA has already spent time and effort building relationships with local merchants and working with them towards the goal of becoming a BID. They have done a great job of building a community of committed residents and business owners who want to see the neighborhood improved. We are developing a relationship with them and have added the Ethix Program to the ways in which they can raise money to support their area. We have started reaching out to local merchants with the JLDA’s advocacy and support and requesting that those merchants designate the JLDA as the recipient of their 25% donations. The association will benefit from a residual income stream to pay for programs that benefit the merchants. The merchants benefit from lower fees and neighborhood improvement that does not cost their business any extra money and the residents benefit from a cleaner, safer and more vibrant local business community. By converting fees that would traditionally disappear onto the balance sheet of large financial institutions into funds for community improvement and development we are strengthening the ties between businesses and the neighborhoods they are in. I think that is pretty cool and I am excited to see this program used all over the country by neighborhood and merchant associations that want to save money and raise money using Ethix.
All of us at Ethix Merchant Services are eco-friendly and love local business helping the planet. We think the Bay Area based company, Tesla is doing amazing things worth sharing. So, check out the image of our awesome website displayed on the new Tesla Model S. This is a brand new luxury electric car that rivals Mercedes and BMW for class and comfort. We were amazed with the speed, looks, handling and especially the fact that it is all electric!
Thanks for paving the path to the future of eco-friendly cars and commutes Tesla. We’re proud of what you are doing here in the Bay Area to help the planet as a whole.
We are dedicated to the organizations doing good in communities and worldwide. We support them like you do, by choosing merchants that donate to charities, getting our cars washed by school kids, buying cookies from scouts, writing checks annually to causes, donating toys for the holidays and more but as a company we do something unheard of… WE DONATE 25% OF OUR REVENUE TO NON-PROFITS AND CAUSES! If you are one of these organizations or are an advocate for them you should read on.
Use Ethix to process your credit cards – Join as a non-profit and…
- Reduce fees you pay on credit and debit card donations
- Receive a monthly 25% rebate on Ethix fees
- Raise money by introducing Ethix to your community of donors
We are here to help by providing printed material and email templates to reach your supporters and introduce Ethix as a way to donate more to your cause at no cost to them. These donations come from the 25% donation of our revenue that we make in fees from each merchant account. This donation will be a monthly, residual check that you can count on for the life of each merchant account, which means years of income for your organization.
Call us to sign up!
This week we had the opportunity to talk about Ethix with a group of students from The San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking. They were looking for innovative companies to use as the subject of 30 second ads that they are creating as part of their course work. We are eagerly awaiting news on whether we got selected for the project but in the meantime they asked us some great questions that got me thinking about some of the principles that were foundational to Ethix and that inspired us to launch the company. One of the questions was “Why is Ethix a for-profit company?”
Answer is Yes!
Ethix is a social enterprise. Enterprise as in a productive endeavor in the private sector and social as in thinking beyond our bottom line in the way we do business. I have a huge amount of respect for all the work that is done and the impact that is created in the non-profit sector but I had a different vision for the company I wanted to help build. There are a lot of reasons for this but these are the highlights.
Philanthropy isn’t enough! On a very basic level, the idea that we should support the health, well being and education of the majority of our citizens through government spending or donations is running out of rope. If the fact that this model is broken is not enough to convince you, think about it like this. Should our social, educational and community needs be reliant on “left over” money that drops out of the private economy in the form of charitable donations. There is something wrong with that. Companies all over the world are learning that they have a vested interesest in the health and education of their customers and employees. It is part of their bottom line. Doesn’t it make more sense to move towards a more integrated economy that promotes the creation of private wealth while contributing to the broader social economy on which it depends to thrive?
We have a point to make… Seriously! The financial service industry is chock-a-block with revenue models that baffle consumers and charge huge sums in fees and murky charges with very little value or accountability. Merchant services is one of the worst offenders here. We want to prove that it is not simply possible, but profitable to repurpose these models and make them transparent, ethical and socially responsible. Possible to the tune of 25% of our total revenues at Ethix and profitable to the tune of… Well. We will find out and keep you in the loop but things are going great.
Business is Social. We think that the distinction between business and social needs is false. Businesses do better in thriving local communities. We are in the business of reconnecting businesses with social needs in their local areas in a way that does not cost them a dime and actually saves them money.
Making Money… is great. We think so and our sales people think so and the non-profits and community groups that benefit from our Ethix Program agree.
Who is Ethix?
We are a committed team that love what we do. We are focused on giving back to our communities in our spare time. We are joined by a National sales team that are knowledgable, experienced and have passion for giving back and paying forward.
Why join as an Ethix merchant?
We will lower the credit processing fees you pay and give 25% back to a good-doing organization of your choosing.
How do we beat other’s rates?
Our motto is “fair & transparent” and our pricing structure reflects exactly that. We have no hidden fees and provide the simplest statement possible. We charge the interchange with only .25% plus $0.10 per transaction. Our sales reps can provide the saving range you can expect while signing up to be an Ethix merchant.
Why do we do this as a company?
We believe that is is crucial to fund organizations that do good work in our communities and it is important for us to be a socially responsible business.
How can we afford to do this?
We aren’t afraid of rolling up are sleeves and working hard. With over 12 years experience in the business, we negotiate on your behalf AND keep a much smaller percentage. We believe by doing this hard work we will not only build stronger communities, we can sustain our business through the word of mouth of our merchants and the organizations we help support.
- If you are a merchant, sign up for an Ethix account, processing your credit/debit cards and choose your non-profit you will to support.
- If you are a Non-Profit or Charity you can have Ethix process you credit cards and save money with lower processing fees and receive funds back from the fees you pay. Then suggest Ethix to your supporters to raise more monthly funds.
- As a consumer, choose businesses that are socially responsible, support charities and use Ethix as their merchant service provider.
- We need your help to spread the word about Ethix. The more merchants that work with us, the more organizations we can help.