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First startup taking TN for-profit benefit option is Style-oriented
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Barrett Ward

NEWLY INC., which will launch this spring in the home goods sector, has not only become the first company to register under the State's new for-profit benefit corporation (FPBC) charter option, but apparently aims to contribute to what we'll tentatively call Nashville's budding Style sector.

Barrett Ward told Venture Nashville today that his Nashville-based company, Newly Inc., was "definitely" intentional about becoming the first company in the state to adopt the FPBC charter, which protects the for-profit business from shareholder pressure to maximize profits at the expense of the company's social mission.

For Venture Nashville's earlier full report on the new law, please click here.

Newly plans to launch formally in May in the "home goods" sector, Ward said, deferring comment on details til closer to launch. The company's Newly.com site is not yet active.

Ward also confirmed that his closely related social-entrepreneurship company, FashionAble, is in the apparel and fashion industry.

On its crisp website, FashionAble says, in part, that it works "with women both locally and globally, who have overcome challenges ranging from prostitution to addiction to a lack of opportunity."

Ward's LinkedIn indicates substantial prior experience in efforts focused on Africa-oriented relief, development and sustainable businesses for women.

In 2014, Barrett and others were recognized by a charity affiliated with GQ Magazine as Leaders in the context of important causes.

Ward and others were chosen for that honor by an advisor board including Jenna Bush Hager, contributing correspondent of NBC's TODAY and chair of UNICEF Next Generation; Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of charity: water; Blake Mycoskie, founder and chief shoe giver TOMS; Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; and Darnell Strom, executive of CAA Foundation.

He earned his bachelor's in Japanese language and literature at Indiana University-Bloomington, in 1995. He and his wife lived in Ethiopia several years, according to earlier media reports.

Since VNC's exclusive reporting on the FPBC option here, a number of Nashville executives have declared their intent to become Public Benefit businesses.

Among those are entrepreneur Marcus Whitney, the president of Jumpstart Foundry and a former member of the founding team of Emma, whose current interests including his latest business, The Unlikely Company. VNC


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Tags: Africa, Barrett Ward, design, Emma, esthetic, fashion, FashionAble, for profit benefit corporation, FPBC, Gentleman's Fund, GQ, home goods, Jumpstart Foundry, Marcus Whitney, Newly, public benefit corporation, social enterprise, startups, women

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