Posts Tagged ‘RyanHarb’

The classroom is a place that we go to learn and to gain inspiration. I have learned about the following 5 businesses during my studies at Royal Roads and they have managed to do just that, Inspire.

GAP Adventures, Bruce Poon Tip

GAP Adventures was founded in 1990 in a garage on the west end of Toronto. Since then Gap has come a long way. Led by their charismatic leader Bruce Poon Tip, GAP has grown to be the world’s largest adventure tour company in the world. They now operate on 7 continents, have over 27 offices worldwide and boost revenues in excess of 120 million annually. However, it’s not only GAP’s overwhelming success that captured my attention, it was their values and culture.

They have built their business model around education, community, sustainability and responsible travel. I have never seen any travel company do as much to give back than GAP Adventures.

TOM’S Shoes, Blake Mycoski

“One for one” For every pair of shoes bought, a pair is donated to a child in a developing nation. All shoes are made in fair-trade factories and from 100% recycled materials. In just 4 short years Blake’s company has grown and over 400,000 shoes have been given to children in need. My hope is that they will continue to grow and to continue to do what what it is that they do, “Use the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good”.


This one gets credit for just simply sticking it to the man. They copy popular branded shoes, but make them in fair-trade factories, out of recycled and organic materials.  They then wholesale to independent shops assuring that the money earned stays in the local communities. One other cool fact, Blackspot is an open brand, meaning that it is usable by anybody, for any purpose. They have done this solely to give people more option than just the conglomerate brands.

Modrobes, Steven Sal Debus

I’m not only giving Steve a shout out because he is a personal friend, but because he is doing something that more companies should. Some of you may remember Modrobes and some may not, but if you were of a certain age in the late nineties, chances were you owned a pair. Now, Steve is back. This time with a line of sportswear made from 100% recycled bottles. The garments look great and if not told, you would never even know. They still have the same comfort level that Modrobes have always been known for.  However, Steve isn’t stopping at recycled garments. This spring he will be officially relaunching Modrobes from his new store on Queen St. West, Toronto which will also be constructed from 100% recycled materials.

University of the People, Shai Reshef

Shai Reshef is doing something truly special. He has created the first free online university. He is being backed by the UN and has recently formed a partnership with Yale University. UoPeople is still in it’s early stages, but support for this program has been huge. Hundreds of academics from around the world have offered to volunteer their time and the list of students wanting to enroll grows daily.

“I’ve made enough money. Now, it’s time to give back.” – Shai Reshif


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