Brandale Randolph is a social activist and entrepreneur who is working to alleviate the cycle of poverty through business. He runs the 1854 Cycling Company, a company that employs those who are most at risk of living in poverty – specifically, mothers with criminal records. He also runs Project Poverty, a non-profit aimed at reducing poverty. Brandale discusses the power of business to give back to society and break the cycle of poverty.
- Brandale tells the story of his trajectory from hedge fund broker to social activist, and how he found purpose through social organizing against poverty.
- The 1854 Cycling Company is named after the first meeting of the Anti-Slavery Society on July 4th, 1854. Brandale locates the inspiration for his business in this history of social activism, and the purpose of supporting women leaving prison.
- For women leaving prison, the re-offending rate is lower than men, but their poverty rate is much higher. Brandale asks: are they really free if they are living in such poverty? Who is going to stand up for these women in the way people stood up for enslaved African Americans? The 1854 Cycling Company is a small piece of that puzzle.
- Kevin and Brandale discuss the challenges that The 1854 Cycling Company has faced due to stigma against formerly incarcerated people, and the importance of preserving the humanity and futures of these women and their children.
- Can a for-profit business operate in a way that makes even more impact than a non-profit? Brandale says yes – businesses actually have more ability to create meaningful impact.
- What does effective leadership look like? Brandale says that effective leadership allows people to do what they do best, and supports them through this process.
- You can support The 1854 Cycling Company by visiting their website, Facebook, or Instagram!
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