We explore new tools and structures for starting, growing and funding businesses. We change the narrative around entrepreneurship and what a founder looks like. We help businesses to be a positive part of economies and societies. We balance profit, people and planet.
"The current technology and venture capital structure is broken. It rewards quantity over quality, consumption over creation, quick exits over sustainable growth, and shareholder profit over shared prosperity. It chases after unicorn companies bent on “disruption” rather than supporting businesses that repair, cultivate, and connect.
Many well-reasoned think pieces have been written about the gaping chasm between the world we need and the world that exists. Today, we want to provide the seeds of a solution — and to encourage founders, investors, foundations, corporations, and their allies to organize around it.
We believe that developing alternative business models to the startup status quo has become a central moral challenge of our time. These alternative models will balance profit and purpose, champion democracy, and put a premium on sharing power and resources. Companies that create a more just and responsible society will hear, help, and heal the customers and communities they serve.
This new movement demands a new symbol, so we’re claiming an animal of our own: the zebra.
- To state the obvious: unlike unicorns, zebras are real.
- Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other.
- Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.
- Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.
The capital system is failing society in part because it is failing zebra companies: profitable businesses that solve real, meaningful problems and in the process repair existing social systems."
Excerpts from the Zebra Manifesto "Zebras Fix What Unicorns Break"
By bringing people together across the world who feel the same. By finding the shining examples that light new paths for others. By exploring how we can co-opt and change the structures and tools that we already have to deliver different outcomes.
We'll open up a new space each month for a different topic, which we'll explore together through meetings and discussions. But rather than a series of events, think of it as building a library together - not just a library of resources like books, articles and podcasts, but of our thoughts, feelings and connections. Join the Zebras Unite in Scotland space to get started!