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Cause and Effect

Lisa Knoppe Reed has a very unique work force. "They feel lucky to have a job, and I feel lucky to work with them," she says.

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This story appears in the February 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Her company, Art For A Cause LLC, employs people with mental and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and . "We don't employ them because we feel sorry for them but because everyone deserves a chance to work, and they do a great job," she explains.

Knoppe Reed, 45, started the company, which creates and sells hand-painted tools and furniture, in her kitchen in 1998. She had just left the corporate world and was looking for a career that could make a difference in the lives of others. During her time off, she started painting furniture and tools, selling them and donating a percentage of the proceeds to charities.

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