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Zipcar Founder: Having a Social Mission as No.1 Is Not Enough to Make You a Success

Social entrepreneurs won’t be successful if they first think about their mission to make the world a better place.

That’s a bit of a contrarian view in the booming space of social entrepreneurship.

But Robin Chase, the founder of car-rental company Zipcar, says that the only way she was able to make a dent in the number of cars on the road was to use technology to develop an option for people who want to drive that is cheaper and more convenient than owning a car.

Since launching Zipcar over a decade ago, Chase started a newer transportation-alternative company, Buzzcar. The France-based company allows car owners to rent out their cars by the hour. Zipcar and Buzzcar are both “platforms of participation,” where technology enables users to trade resources to minimize negative environmental impact. sat down with Robin Chase at The Feast social innovation conference in New York City last fall. Watch this video to hear her talk more about how social entrepreneurs should think about growing their businesses. 


Zipcar Founder: Entrepreneurs Have to Build a Collaborative Economy, or Else

For Social Entrepreneurs, What Comes First: Business or Mission?