The misconception of most corporations is that they are greedy and shallow, in fact, in the year 2016 companies all over the country donated an estimated 19 Billion dollars charitable causes. The practice of donating to communities by companies is nothing new, however, sometimes simply signing a check just doesn’t do. One particular company, however, has not only given back in a monetary sense but has had a team of employees that take action in their communities as well. Stream Energy, an energy provider that contracts associates to become in a sense their own boss. Associates built a network within their communities and offer people fixed rate energy and or mobile plans.
One of the many reasons why Stream Energy has become a leader in giving back to the community has been because of the close relationships that their associates have with their customers. “Stream Cares” a branch of Stream Energy provides countless of aid to those in need such as the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that devasted the Texas coast and left thousands without basic necessities such as clean water, toiletries, and a warm meal. Stream Energy also partners up with other organizations to be able to provide as much aid as possible. One of the passion projects for Stream Energy associates has been Hope Supply Co., a Dallas based project that brings warm food, money and other essentials to homeless children. In addition, they fundraise to be able to purchase over 1,000 tickets to bring homeless children from all over Dallas to a waterpark and experience a day of fun, an event that might otherwise not have the opportunity to have.
Other companies are taking note, in fact, many CEO’s are urged to create foundations in order to not only give back to the community but also earn their respect. A valuable asset when unforeseen events happen within the company such as scandals or a bad year. There is no doubt that Stream Energy has begun a revolution in giving back to the community.
Many of the greatest entrepreneurs in history are known today due to their willingness to do things and take on risks that others could not or would not face. David Zalik, the founder and CEO of GreenSky , is a good example. Zalik, 44, risked literally everything he had more than 12 years ago to found the company that today ranks as one of the most important firms in the fintech sector. It was Zalik’s unique combination of certitude, willingness to take big risks and, somewhat paradoxically, deep business conservatism that have defined the success of GreenSky .
Now, as the company mulls an IPO that some analysts are saying may be worth as much as $10 billion, the world is watching to see what the next step for GreenSky will be. But as many who have closely observed the firm over the course of its history will point out, the GreenSky business model itself has not changed much from its earliest days. It has just proven to be so versatile that the company appears to be doing radical new things when, in fact, it is simply applying the same solution to a wide variety of different industries.
Big moves for a small company
When Zalik first conjured the idea behind GreenSky based on his years of working in the home improvement business, he had difficulty finding a bank willing to lend him the startup capital needed to get his venture off the ground. Eventually, this problem became intractable. Desperate, Zalik effectively reverse mortgaged his entire $12 million commercial real estate fortune and poured every cent of it into his new business.
This risky all-in move at a time when his company had barely registered as a corporation would prove to be one of the best bets in American industry over the last two decades. By 2018, GreenSky was worth in excess of $4 billion. Zalik’s vision of creating a seamless way to provide retail-level bridge financing for big-ticket items has been roundly vindicated. GreenSky’s soaring valuation provides evidence of how farsighted Zalik’s original bet really was.