Tag Archives: Brown University

Runa – A sustainable beverage business from the Ecuadorian amazon

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A few weeks back I wrote about Cuyana an interesting social impact business model with a Quechua name.  I recently came across another such company listening to a Good Life podcast. This one is called Runa which means “human being” in the native language of the Andes.  It is a perfect name since  Runa, is a Brooklyn, New York based agribusiness with a grounded human-centered approach to profitably and sustainably make a difference in the world.  It does this by providing alternative livelihoods for indigenous Kichwa people in the Ecuadorian Amazon while at the same time providing the US market with a healthy new caffeinated beverage alternative called Guayusa. Runa has grown quickly from its small beginnings of importing the tree-leaf using personal luggage and doing homemade packaging and distribution to family and friends.  Today it can now be found across the United States, most notably in the popular Whole Foods supermarket chain.  In doing so its approach of bringing business ethic to social work has been praised by Richard Branson’s in his book Screw Business as Usual and its founders have even made their way onto Bloomberg TV. Read on to find out more.

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