How To Design A Triple Bottom Line Organization: A Start-Up Case Study

Bernhard Schroeder, Alex DeNoble


In today’s business environment, where success for a start-up company is measured by early revenue and profit, it can be quite challenging to design a triple bottom line organization (people/planet/profit) from the very beginning. We present a case study of a U.S.-based start-up firm and discuss its early challenges, developmental processes, and current success as a triple bottom line firm. The company’s founder and CEO, with no initial product, distribution, or revenue strategy, sought to develop a company that could provide the marketplace with a valuable product while also staying true to a corporate vision of positively affecting less fortunate people. Our analysis of the case suggests that the founder’s vision, passion, transparent communication, and leveraging of partners’ resources were key elements in building the firm. We draw implications of our case study for the designers of future triple bottom line organizations.


Triple bottom line; social entrepreneurship; social responsibility; start-up organization; organization design; sustainable business; people/planet/profit

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ISSN: 2245-408X

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