Each month, the Center for Social Enterprise Development (CSED) publishes an article about a local social enterprise, showcasing its social impact within a specific focus area. June’s focus is social impact related to health. Below this article, please view a list of all local social enterprises committed to this focus area.
When Sarah Irizarry’s husband was diagnosed and treated for cancer at a relatively early age in 2003, the couple quickly came to the realization that life is short and they wanted to make a difference in the world. Living in Cincinnati at the time, they started to attend Crossroads, a church that focuses on outreach, and began to volunteer and get involved financially. The church runs programs focused on South Africa, India, and providing the right tools for the working poor in Cincinnati.
Through their volunteer work, the couple discovered their mutual passion centered around feeding the hungry, and the positive results that stem from meeting this very basic need. As a result, over the past 10 years, Sarah and her husband have invested in changing lives by sponsoring children through Compassion International. Through the simple gesture of providing hot meals, this couple has witnessed the transformation in young individuals that allows them to dream, gain hope and become leaders within their own communities.
Sarah and her husband moved to Columbus in 2011, and started to invest locally in providing meals to those in need through the LSS Food Pantries and Faith Mission, which are both run by Lutheran Social Services. Separately, during a meal-packing event for Stop Hunger Now (a global nonprofit organization that provides meals to individuals in more than 70 developing countries, such as Haiti and El Salvador), Sarah had an epiphany that she could, in fact, create a business model and products that would help people improve their lives from a nutrition standpoint, and integrate her passion for providing hunger relief.
Driven by her mission to end hunger and her extensive business experience in brand management, Sarah left her corporate career behind and created THRIV3 LLC in October 2015 as a way to alleviate hunger through entrepreneurship. Her first product to hit the market launched mid-April 2016, under the brand name activechange™ probiotics, which helps reduce bloating, gas, constipation and IBS symptoms.
Why probiotics? Sarah is well-versed in the statistics and the science, bringing almost two decades of brand management expertise with many of these years in nutritional products. She understands how improving health through the use of probiotics helps improve the quality of life for many individuals suffering from day-to-day digestive issues to the more chronic, including IBS, Colitis and Crohn’s disease.
“Those who have digestive issues are sometimes bound by being close to the nearest bathroom and tend to limit excursions and outdoor activities with their loved ones,” Sarah said. “A probiotic can help regulate the digestive system.”
Unlike other probiotics, activechange™ contains the recommended bacillus coagulans strain, a well-studied and tested probiotics strain that is resistant to heat and stomach acids, and has been tested to survive all the way into the small intestine, where, in combination with prebiotic fiber, it actively reproduces and flourishes. Other probiotics may have high CFU and strain count, but if they can’t survive heat and acid, these probiotics are mostly dead by the time they reach the small intestine.
“There are more than 70 million individuals in the U.S. alone who suffer from mild to serious digestive conditions,” said Sarah. “With the increase in sugar, salt and fat in people’s diets from processed foods, along with artificial sweeteners, the result for many is anything from bloating and lethargy, to irritable bowel syndrome.”
A healthy digestive system normally includes 80 percent good bacteria, and 20 percent bad bacteria. The bad bacteria feed on these unnatural foods and take over the good bacteria in an individual’s system, leading to the host of digestive issues activechange™ can help curb.
Activechange™ also comes with another big benefit – with every purchase, four meals are provided to those in need through Stop Hunger Now.
“My goal is to provide one million meals in one year through activechange™,” said Sarah. “With each additional product line we introduce to the market, we will add another million meals to our goal—leveraging our business model to create compounding impact.”
World Hunger Day was May 28, and with that Sarah has started to promote activechange™ and launch campaigns to boost sales and raise awareness. After only five weeks of having her product available on Amazon (and with very little promotional efforts), she estimates her impact at approximately 400 meals.
Visit activechangenutrition.com to purchase activechange™ and learn more about the exact impact that a purchase will make in terms of meals provided to those in need. Click here to learn more about Stop Hunger Now.
Central Ohio’s Social Enterprises Dedicated to Health
CSED maintains a directory of social enterprises throughout Central Ohio. We are in the process of developing at-a-glance profiles for each social enterprise, intended to inform consumers, funders, impact investors and individual donors of investment-worthy causes. Here are the social enterprises we’ve identified to date with a special focus on health. We encourage you to learn more, consider supporting these organizations, or inform us of additional social enterprises that share this focus.