Free for all


Shoes for Tomorrow or better known as TOMS is indeed one of the world’s most progressive and internationally recognized companies that has found a way to incorporate the giving nature of a Non-profit into the savvy business model of a for-profit company.

Although the idea of „One for One“ is quite groundbreaking for the Mid-Twenty-First-Century, TOMS did not create this business model; they rather created a new form of it. This concept included a unique shoe that would be sold in the market with a background story that is still just too difficult to resist. The customers of TOMS shoes are not only infatuated with the heartwarming story of the creator, Blake Mycoskie, who was inspired to create TOMS during his adventure to South America where he saw the Argentinean children playing football without shoes, but also with the impact they will be making in this world simply by purchasing this product.

My TOMS!! (One of many)

These consumers no longer need a sales associate to tell them they are beautiful with every pair of shoes they try on; instead they feel the beauty within themselves knowing that they will be able to help create a better life for someone who truly needs it. I will also have admit it does help that they are quite comfortable and stylish, therefore influencing customers as well, but ultimately the innovative way of giving back keeps theses costumers coming back for more! Unfortunately, not everyone can have a profession where giving is at the upmost importance of the priority list, but judging by the success of TOMS, does this business model of service and profit seem to be the „future business model“ or just an impractical phase?

TOMS is referred to first and foremost during a majority of conversations about giving back, but what other successful businesses come to mind when referring to this topic? Certainly a plethora of Non-profits cross my mind, but there is a tremendous difference between the two. An example of one that may be a tad unfamiliar, but represents a similar idea is IVHQ. IVHQ stands for International Volunteer Head Quarters. You can only guess where this lovely organization is located!

The central office is located in New Zealand and was created by a backpacker who found it very expensive to volunteer abroad through other companies. Taking a true entrepreneurs initiative, he designed a program that would make it cheaper for anyone who wanted to take on the challenge of volunteering abroad. Since then IVHQ has placed 55,915 volunteers, including myself, over the course of 10 years into different countries to help and serve others in need while also creating one of the most successful volunteer companies in our world today. This is just one example of another prosperous giving and for profit business model that I have had personal experience with, but if only two companies come to mind, could this really be the model for the future?

My Monks in India

Business models and concepts seem to follow the trend of time and behaviors of the people in society during a specific period of time. Companies may have to ask themselves several questions over the interests and buying behavior of consumers like: Will consumers be interested in this product now and in the future? Are they more environmentally aware? Are they more concerned about upcoming technology? The companies and entrepreneurs who prosper can essentially predict these consumers‘ behaviors, putting a product on the market that will appeal to their ever-changing interests. In this day and age, I believe companies like TOMS and IVHQ can be successful because of how the concept of giving back has become a bigger priority in our day to day lives, but I also believe that companies who try to copy this model will find it hard to be just as successful as either company. One idea of giving back is tremendous, but once you see this slogan everywhere, it becomes more common and quite old over time! Keep an eye out for companies who use this idea in a different sector of business and maybe you will be able to create a prediction of your own.