As a social entrepreneur, Laura Hertz takes measuring impact seriously. Her company, Gifts for Good, aims to transform the $90 billion corporate swag industry into a life-changing force, and she can tell you just how much employment pouring candles, for example, creates for women refugees.
“Every gift comes with a story and you’re able to read the meaning behind the gift and how it’s helping to change someone’s life,” Hertz says. Purchases of clothing, food, wireless speakers, and more fund over 40 different nonprofits in 19 states and 65 countries with causes ranging from alleviating poverty to helping the environment.
It’s Hertz’s attention to detail—and her innate sense of empathy—that help her succeed as a social entrepreneur. She postponed college for two years to volunteer with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, an experience that informs her work today. And she and her employees spend time on the ground with the nonprofits they partner with. “You need to know what it’s like to be in the shoes of the people whom you’re trying to help and work with,” she says.
Hertz started Gifts for Good after earning her MBA at USC in 2016, and she now works with scores of corporations, including Capital One, Google, and Warner Brothers, to change the way they interact with the world. Recently, she was named to Forbes’ 2020 list of the top 30 Under 30 social entrepreneurs. What’s her secret? “Being community-driven,” says Hertz. “And having self-confidence and efficacy.”