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SAMBAZON, Ecology Center Seeking College Students with Purposeful Business Ideas

One of the Greenhouse Initiative's inaugural winners was Carting in Sustainability — an Auburn University food recovery and distribution program that redistributes unserved dining hall food to local organizations fighting food insecurity. | Image credit: The Ecology Center

SAMBAZON — the first company to bring organic açaí to the U.S. — and The Ecology Center, a non-profit eco-educational center, have launched their second annual Greenhouse Initiative.

The Greenhouse Initiative is a startup incubator co-created by SAMBAZON (“Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon”) and The Ecology Center as a way to invest in the next generation of social entrepreneurs on college campuses and to foster purposeful business ideas working to create a sustainable future. Now through December 9, college students nationwide are encouraged to submit a short video on any sustainability initiative, new or existing, that they would like to implement or evolve on their college campus.

“We are excited to bring you The Greenhouse Initiative for a second year and open this incredible opportunity up to college students around the United States,” said Ryan Black, CEO + co-founder of SAMBAZON. “At SAMBAZON, we believe young social entrepreneurs have the power to change the world; and through The Greenhouse Initiative, we aim to inspire and encourage our future generation to act in a meaningful way. The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

In its inaugural year, The Greenhouse Initiative put out a call to student-led organizations working to create change at select universities where SAMBAZON products are served. The four winners included a vermicomposting (aka worm composting) project at the University of Riverside’s community garden, an Auburn University food recovery and distribution program that redistributes unserved dining hall food to local organizations fighting food insecurity, a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Veggie Box Subscription program that increases access to local and ethically sourced food, and an organization at the University of Southern California that aims to solve gender inequality as a solution to global warming and other pressing issues.

This year, the initiative has expanded nationally so that any college student in the United States may enter. Four enterprising students or student groups will be chosen to receive a $4,000 stipend from SAMBAZON and a 2019 spring semester mentorship from The Ecology Center to scale their program or put it into action. The winners will also receive a trip to participate in the Sustainable Brands 2019 Detroit conference in June.

Sustainable Brands® is known for bringing together diverse groups of business leaders with innovative and disruptive plans to embed sustainability into their companies,” said KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, CEO and founder of Sustainable Brands. “We are proud to support SAMBAZON and their Greenhouse Initiative encouraging next-generation social entrepreneurs to create change towards a sustainable economy. We applaud all college students inspired to submit their entries and look forward to meeting the winners at SB’19 Detroit next June.”

Interested students may visit https://www.sambazon.com for more information and to submit their video entry. The deadline to apply is December 9, 2018 and winners will be announced December 14th.


Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]


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