The Earth Group
The Earth Group is an Edmonton based social enterprise that exists entirely to provide food, water, and education to children globally. They do this through a worldwide agreement with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) that sees The Earth Group donating 100% of their profits to WFP to fund school meal programmes. They are in fact the only products in the world to bear a United Nations logo!
We asked co-founder, Mat Moreau some questions about his Edmonton Made business. Here's what he had to say:
When did you start your business and why?
We started our business in 2005 with the goal of providing water aid to the most impoverished ares in the world.
Why did you start your business in Edmonton?
We’re born and raised in Edmonton and are proud Edmontonians. The city and business community has been remarkably supportive over the years and this will always be home.
Finding people to sell our product. Our space is dominated by Coke Pepsi and Nestle who protect shelf space fiercely.
What was your biggest challenge in the early days of your business? What is your biggest challenge today?
The challenge largely remains the same. It’s all about sharing our story and educating consumers that their every day purchases truly can affect positive change in the world. If we have even two minutes to share our story though, we almost always find great success.
Did you/do you have a ‘support network’? What does that look like?
Family and friends are the number one support network, especially in the early years. As we’ve grown, we’ve had tremendous support from EO/YPO, local and provincial government, and of course our partner the United Nations World Food Programme.
Are there any particular resources (local programs, blogs, webinars, video series, forums, books, etc.) you used to help scale/develop your business that you’d recommend to small businesses?
There’s a wide array of trade shows which are excellent opportunities to share your story and communicate with the public. It’s a great opportunity to learn what really resonates with people and what consumers are looking for.
Is there a piece of advice you would like to pass on to other Edmonton Made businesses?
Persevere! You can’t let up with the forward momentum and the second you do someone will be there to fill your void.
Is there an Edmonton Made business you’re cheering on?
We’re so lucky to say that we can’t begin to list the number of incredible businesses we’ve met and partnered with. Passionate, humble people putting it all on the line to realize their dreams. It inspires us to keep doing our thing.
At your size, do you still feel your business is “Edmonton Made”? In what way?
Absolutely. We had some painfully tough years that are always fresh in our memory. We learned some wonderful lessons in those times, and looking back it was the ability to reengage with the Edmonton community that’s brought us to where we are today.
Anything else you would like to share about your Edmonton Made story?
We’re so lucky to call Edmonton home. The obstacles we face here in Edmonton so often pale in comparison to what people are enduring in so many areas of the world. We believe it’s so important to never take for granted what we have here, and to do our best to give back to people who need it most.