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Top social entrepreneurs

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High Five
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Business Week magazine selected two Portland companies for a list of America's 25 most promising social entrepreneurs.

Eleek and Sustainable Harvest have demonstrated “a commitment to using business to create a broader benefit.”

Founded in 2000, Eleek employees 12 people, and will have an estimated  2010 revenue of $1.1 million. The company manufactures lighting, sinks, and other home fixtures, using nearly all recycled materials. The magazine says owners Eric Kaster and Sattie Clark hope to catalyze a "local manufacturing" movement akin to local food, in which manufacturers reuse scrap material discarded in their communities.

Sustainable Harvest, founded in 1997, has 35 employees, and an estimated 2010 revenue of $32 million. The company buys from collectives that represent 200,000 coffee farmers around the world and sells to roasters, including  Whole Foods, Green Mountain Coffee, and Peet's Coffee. With offices in coffee-exporting regions such as Mexico, Peru, and Tanzania, owner David Griswold says Sustainable Harvest aims to bridge the gap between growers and roasters through what he calls "relationship coffee."

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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