Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bená Burda on Sustainable & Ethical Entrepreneurship

What: Bená Burda on Sustainable & Ethical Entrepreneurship
When: Friday, December 5, 2008, at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Mountain BizWorks, 153 South Lexington Avenue, Asheville NC 28801
Why: Learning opportunity for entrepreneurs and sustainability activists.

Bená Burda, founder of Maggie’s Functional Organics will share her
experience in building a nationally prominent brand upon a model of
sustainable and ethical business at Mountain BizWorks. Burda will
describe the growth of the company a line of corn chips into one of the
country’s best-known makers of organic cotton clothing. Entrepreneurs
and others will learn of the challenges and surprises that Burda
encountered while developing fair trade imports, organic cotton fabrics,
and competing in the global textile market.

Burda hopes to foster a revival of textile manufacturing in North
Carolina through her involvement with Opportunity Threads, a startup
cut-and-sew operation in Morganton. The Maggie’s Organics product team
worked with this new employee-owned business to create a line of sock
monkeys and other whimsical animals using irregular socks that would
otherwise have gone to waste processes. Says Burda, “So far we are
selling every piece that they are able to produce. Our plan is to keep
'scaling up' this and other projects like it, while we design high
quality, unique products and offer them to a widening consumer base."

Burda’s presentation was organized for local entrepreneurs by
MountainBizWorks, the regional microenterprise development organization,
and FastTrac WNC, which offers entrepreneurial training for high-impact
enterprise. Burda is visiting Western North Carolina to attend a
community open house at the Opportunity Threads facility in Morganton on
Saturday, December 6.

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