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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Clark

Why a zebra?

There is a growing movement towards businesses who's mission is not to grow exponentially whilst making a lot of cash in the process. Many new and existing business are asking themselves whether there is an alternative path - perhaps a more genuinely sustainable one which uses alternative business models and funding schemes? And one which does not come with the continuous need to raise huge amounts of equity in an attempt to become the next great unicorn. And so the term Zebra business was born.

Zebra companies are characterised by doing real business, not aiming to disrupt current markets, achieving profitability and demonstrating it for a while, and helping to solve a societal problem. Mara Zepeda, CEO and co-founder of Switchboard, explained in 2017 that zebra companies are both black and white: They are for-profit and for a cause and they are gaining momentum with organisations such as Zebras Unite now working across 6 continents.

Zebra by Design will strive to live by the same aims as other Zebra companies, balancing profit with purpose and addressing social and environmental challenges.


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