By Janine Vanderburg, President and CEO, Joining Vision and Action 

Shopping social enterprise on Valentine’s Day is a terrific way to not only say “I love you” but also to express your values.

So with everything going on in the world, has it occurred to anyone else that Valentine’s Day is exactly a week away? That hit me today, as did the thought: Shopping social enterprises for Valentine’s Day is another way of using our purchasing power to make a statement about our values and what we believe in, as well as a great way of saying “I love  you.”

By buying a gift from a business for good, we can support specific causes that we care about, while being mindful that we want to show caring for the special people in our lives–and that means–well, we want the gifts to be beautiful as well.

Here are some of my 2017 favorites for shopping social enterprise for Valentine’s Day:

  • Cards for Caring. I became obsessed with their Obsessed with Owls cards when this social enterprise exhibited at our holiday party/social enterprise fair in December. They sell beautiful cards with original photography by 16-year old Kayla, who donates all profits to organizations such as the Wild Life Sanctuary. Great gift for the nature lover lover in your life. I’m obsessed with this particular owl photo, and keep re-ordering.


  • Women’s Bean Project–A traditional Valentine’s Day gift is jewelry, and this social enterprise offers a variety of handcrafted limited edition necklaces, earrings and bracelets. With each purchase, you’re helping women break the cycle of poverty and chronic unemployment. I personally love these pendants with messages, and surely all of us this year need a reminder of the strength we have in us.

  • Hope TankEVERY item sold at Hope Tank goes to support a different cause, and if you’re the kind of person who has to shop for a gift in person, this is a great solution.


  • Mile High WorkshopMile High Workshop sews handmade totes and bags out of vinyl banners, and makes unique Colorado-themed coasters in its woodshop. Each piece purchased creates employment opportunities and provides job training for people seeking to rebuild their lives from addictions, homelessness, and incarceration.


  • TribeJVA alum and still partner in crime Sarah Hidey co-founded this social enterprise with a former roommate who is a clothing designer. This makeup bag is a beautiful and affordable gift, and you’re directly helping refugees through the African Community Center, who employ the women making these bags.


  • Knotty Tie—Another social enterprise the employs refugees is Denver’s own Knotty Ties, which has made a name for itself with its wide variety of bow ties and neck ties in all types of patterns, from vintage to modern.What valentine wouldn’t want to hit the town with this sharp red bowtie? And knowing that they were doing good at the same time?


Did we forget any others? Please let us know so we can share them with all of us who want to use our purchasing power to make two statements: I care about the world, and I care about you!

Want to start your own business for good? Join us at an upcoming training.