Minnesota Beer Maker Turns Business into Social Enterprise

Dec 16, 2011 10:06 AM ET
Campaign: CSR Blogs

Posted by Vikas Vij

Jacquie Berglund's beer brand, Finnegans, is popular among liquor stores and bars throughout Minnesota. The interesting part is that Berglund uses a part of the profits to buy fresh produce to support local farmers and distributes it to the needy people. Berglund's company has yielded over $220,000 in donations to charities already.

In the Twin Cities, Berglund's business stands apart because it is driven not by turning a profit, but by giving back. Berglund had established the company 11 years ago in her sister's basement, and it has witnessed a 30 percent annual growth since then. The business is largely run with the help of a number volunteers and board members who are recruited by Berglund. The Summit Brewery in St. Paul, MN produces the beer.

Originally, Jacquie used to distribute the profits made by Finnegans to multiple charities in Minnesota. However, she gradually realized through research that giving directly to charities was not making the kind of social impact she was looking for.

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Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.