Small Business Week 2019: Startup Story with Dr. Cindy J. Lin

In celebration of National Small Business Week, (May 5th – 11th) we sat down with four members to hear about their story, passions, impact, and businesses. Our third featured member in the series is Dr. Cindy J. Lin, Founder of Hove Social Good. Before founding HOVE Social Good Intelligence, Dr. Lin achieved her childhood dream of working at the US ​Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Lin has been a Hera Hub Sorrento Valley member for one year.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

My relentless belief that people want to act on positive solutions to tackle big problems. I worked for 19 years at the US Environmental Protection Agency as a policymaker, regulator, and scientist. Although I loved just about every minute of environmental regulating and protecting, I noticed we didn’t do a good job of explaining how each one of us can take daily actions to help solve our environmental and social problems. I wondered how best to connect people to their daily impact.
 
On my own journey to live a socially conscious lifestyle, I encountered challenges. For example, I started to look for a compostable kitchen trash bag that wouldn’t contribute to pollution and would be easy and sturdy to use. Based on my technical knowledge of plastic, landfills, and composting, I figured it would be simple to find the right product. I spent six hours on search engines that day looking for the perfect kitchen trash bag and company. That is when my epiphany happened. If it took someone like myself six hours to look for a sustainable product from a socially responsible company, how can I expect others to easily follow suit?
 
The everyday act of “shopping” is where we can make consistent positive impacts that add up. We can buy products that are better for our planet and community, and support companies who are directly giving back or adopting sustainable practices. Together, we can make those millions of dents on the pollution problem. But, where to go? I wanted one site where I can get credible information about companies, products, lifestyle tips and understanding of my own impact. It didn’t exist. So, we are currently creating a one-stop Social Good platform. The “Social Good Platform” will be launched this summer 2019. 
 

Who are your clients and what do you do for them?

My customers are anyone who shops for everyday products and services, and who want to use their purchase power to impact change in an easy, convenient way. We help inspire people to live a Social Good Lifestyle by connecting people to vetted companies, information on everyday products, social good lifestyle tips, technical concepts, ratings, and personal impacts from single purchases, all to help the savvy consumer make better social good decisions for their health and planet.
 

What are your business’ values? How do they align with your personal values?

I am committed to impact-driven solutions and working to make it easier for all of us to take action. The mission of Hove Social Good is to connect people with great social good ideas, actions and businesses.
 

How/Why did you choose your business name?

HOVE captures the image of a hummingbird “hovering”. It derives its name from the Hummingbird Effect which describes the phenomenon where innovation in one area leads to powerful changes in a different space. I wildly believe in connecting people and ideas to inspire change with better, data-driven, and transparent information. 

What do you love most about your work?

I love discovering, nearly every day, the growing number of people working hard to shift, change and positively impact our world by adopting sustainable practices (at all levels) or giving back to the communities in ingenious ways. I am moved by people who are working against all odds to bring a quality product to the market so they can help improve our health, environment, and livelihoods. I am overwhelmed by everyday people who seek on their own to live more sustainably or social consciously. I want to bring all of us together so we can make those million impacts count.
 

What is the biggest challenge in running your own business?

The biggest challenge is staying ahead and on top of every aspect of your business — product design, business development, marketing, maintain a happy company culture, etc. But the ownership of creating your vision is immensely satisfying. Running your own business is like riding the most awesome roller coaster ride. There are lows that make you question all manner of things and then highs that invigorate your spirit and keep you charging forward.
 

What are your/your business’ goals for the future?

Within the next 5 years, our goal is to introduce consumers to 10,000 social good companies, we will have tracked 1 million positive social good acts to show that simply shifting your lifestyle choices can create incredible and wondrous solutions towards tackling our social and environmental challenges.
 

What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?

Keep true to your big vision. Be relentless in learning from mistakes and turning them into personal or business opportunities. Try hard to pause and savor that moment when you take a step forward. And finally, when you look back at mistakes, remember to look from where you started…you’ll see how far you actually traveled.
 

Dr. Cindy J. Lin - Hove Social Good IntelligenceContact Cindy Online: LinkedIn – Dr. Cindy J. Lin Website – HOVE Social Good Intelligence Facebook – HOVE Social Good
2019-05-10T11:33:58-07:00

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