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Cambridge native launches around-the-world tour to aid social change

Jordan Anthony Swain

Serial entrepreneur Jordan Anthony Swain’s work might span continents, but his story is one with local roots: after all, he started his first company in Cambridge at the age of 14.

The 26-year-old Cambridge native turned down a full scholarship to study medicine, instead moving to Los Angeles to work as a model. He then took on writing, with his work appearing in Vogue, Vogue Italia and GQ. Swain is also the co-founder of Parajin Media and publisher emeritus of the brand’s flagship Vanichi Magazine, all before the age of 30.

But his latest venture, nonprofit organization Bradford Swain, is truly a millennial entrepreneur fairy tale.

“It all started with seven words on Instagram,” the Bradford Swain website explains. “A direct message that would mark the beginning of an exponential business partnership. ‘Love what you’re doing internationally, let’s connect.’”

With that message on Instagram, Swain joined forces with fellow entrepreneur Adam Bradford, a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Young Leader Award, and the pair launched the nonprofit last May.

Business as a force for good

After three months of trading, Bradford and Swain expect a turnover of £1 million in their organization’s first year, according to a press release. As the Bradford Swain website explains, the organization operates a multifaceted portfolio that includes media, marketing, branding and business consulting services.

The pair seeks out other entrepreneurs and non-profits with sustainable initiatives that drive social impact. In their first year of existence, Swain and Bradford have already worked alongside Google and the Virgin Group, per their website.

According to Swain, the organization’s driving theme is social entrepreneurship, or the crossroads between profit and philanthropy.

“Social entrepreneurship is really about using business as a force for good, and our mission is all about helping people to be able to do that,” Bradford explained in a phone interview.

“Normal entrepreneurship is all about finding ways to make money and make profit, and social entrepreneurship is also about making profit, but what a social entrepreneur does with that profit when they finish is invest it into a social cause,” he added.

Making global connections

Travel is also an integral part of the organization’s business model, Swain asserted; the pair recently took their work on the road for a year-long journey across all seven continents.

“Travel shapes our perspectives; it shapes our work as entrepreneurs,” he said in a phone interview. “So we decided to really put our money where our mouths were in regards to discovering what social entrepreneurs are doing around the world, what challenges they face, what triumphs they face.”

The pair wanted to meet local entrepreneurs and see firsthand how culture and traditions play into the issues facing communities abroad, he added.

“The goal is by the end of the one-year, seven-continent world tour, we will have a lot of data to be able to design programs and create partnerships to then implement exponential change,” he said.

According to Swain, the nonprofit’s mission is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, a list of 17 initiatives that include ending poverty, making cities sustainable and ensuring the availability of clean water and sanitation worldwide.

“We’re really looking to empower and connect with local entrepreneurs on any of those sustainable development goals,” he said.

And as for the trip’s timing, there is no better time than the present, according to Swain.

“As a social entrepreneur, and for entrepreneurship overall, there has never been a better time in the history of humanity to leverage the power of technology, enterprise and the ever-connected global market to solve the most pressing issues facing modern humanity,” Swain said.

Culled from Wicked Local.

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