Be More Like Canva | Inspirational Women-Led Businesses…That Give Back

by | Apr 29, 2022 | blog, Business Planning, mindset

One of the themes of my work as a strategist is supporting women. 

It’s so important that I developed the idea into a holistic strategy for my book, She Rules: What You Didn’t Know Is Holding You Back In Business.

There are many ways to support women. 

This week, I want to talk about two. Support women-led businesses and businesses that fundamentally improve women’s lives.

I wanted to make this post after reading a Forbes article about Canva. They truly are bringing to life the message “support the change you want to see in the world”.

Read on to learn more about Canva’s amazing work, and similar women-owned businesses trying to make the world better.


I love Canva and have used it to create graphic designs for many years. I love Canva even more after learning about its mission. 

Melanie Perkins is the co-founder of Canva. She’s written much about their pledge to give away more than 30% of their wealth (valued at $US12-billion) to the Canva Foundation and other charitable causes.  

  • Canva first plans to donate $10-million to a not-for-profit called GiveDirectly; they distribute money to vulnerable families in South Africa. 
  • Canva also joined Pledge 1%. A movement to donate time, money, equity, and resources to schools and charities. 
  • Melanie also committed to planting a tree for each print-order Canva fulfills. That’s been about two million trees as of now!

Canva’s donation pledges outdo the value of Australia’s largest private foundation by more than three times! Melanie’s response? “We believe there is enough money and enough goodwill in the world to solve most of the world’s problems.”  

It’s amazing to see this company solve a need in the market and work to serve others, too!


The shapewear company Spanx is another one of the few companies valued at $1 billion founded by a woman. And she’s used her wealth to give back for a long time.

For over sixteen years, Sara Blakely (the founder of Spanx and the Spanx Foundation), has donated millions to charities. The majority are charities that empower underserved women and girls. 

Some highlights of her philanthropy journey include:

  • Sara Blakely is the first self-made woman billionaire to sign The Giving Pledge, promising to give at least half her wealth to charity.
  • Spanx has given $100,000 to the Atlanta Girls School entrepreneurship program, which provides venture capital to new businesses. 
  • In 2020, she created The Red Backpack Fund and donated $5 million amongst 1,000 women-owned small businesses affected by COVID.

How amazing is that


Jovana Mullins started her very first business venture, Alivia, in the middle of a pandemic. 

Alivia (which stands for Jovana’s core values: Awareness, Love, Inclusion, Voice, Individuality, and Acceptance) is a social impact fashion brand. It raises money for disability-focused non-profits.

Jovana’s mission is to create space in fashion for those with disabilities. That includes:

  • Each garment has QR tags that tell the story of the developmentally disabled artist who helped create the fabric design. The clothes are made in partnership with Spectrum Designs, which employs people with autism. 
  • Alivia pays the artists to license their work and donates 10% of every sale to the artists’ not-for-profit art therapy program.  
  • They have cast models with Down syndrome in their brand photoshoots. Jovana wants to increase the representation of people overlooked by traditional media campaigns. 

It’s so exciting to see a woman take her love for volunteerism and social work and turn it into a successful business!


The Worthy Co., and its parent not-for-profit, The Net, are a packaged deal. And so are their co-founders, Sarah Bowden and Melissa Ice. 

The women helped survivors of sex trafficking with recovery and rehabilitation over the last decade via The Net. 

Then, Sarah and Melissa decided to help the survivors post-rehabilitation by founding The Worthy Co. 

The Worthy Co. is a not-for-profit candle and jewelry business created with a mission in mind:

  • They employ women from The Net. This helps the survivors earn money, build their resumé, and join holistic programs.  
  • 100% of every sale (right down to candle-making classes) helps women of The Net – over 1,000 survivors have been helped since 2012.
  • Sarah and Melissa offer many services, including: court support, professional development classes, trauma recovery programs, and survivor-led yoga. 

It’s extraordinary to see two women create a social enterprise like this, and help so many other women achieve economic independence, too. 


Women who want to rejoin the workforce often face an uphill battle. Julie Sullivan and Carolyn Cesaro founded Ground Up PDX to do something about it.

The two women combined their passions of female empowerment and healthy eating. They built a nut-butter business that teaches job skills to women starting over in life. 

Ground Up PDX is the first step towards Julie and Carolyn’s vision of a nationwide employment training program for disadvantaged women. Currently:

  • They partner with local not-for-profits who help women facing addiction, incarceration, and homelessness. Ground Up PDX has an open hiring model for every woman, no matter their background.
  • Women develop their confidence during a 6-9 month training program. They learn skills ranging from sales and marketing to commercial kitchen processes. 
  • Positions are flexible and part-time to accommodate women’s housing and childcare arrangements. Julie and Carolyn provide professional references and support as women transition to long-term employment outside the company. 

When we support each other, we can achieve great things. I’m excited for Julie and Carolyn and for the many women they empower along the way.


I’m proud to celebrate International Women’s Day throughout this month and share so many inspiring stories with you.

And I’m proud to see the amazing things that women can do for society when we build our wealth resources. 

Looking for more women-led businesses to support? I’ve got 99 more (literally):





P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your business:

1. Grab my Guide & Workbook to keeping your cool and making money- even during a global pandemic!
Can you make money, grow your business, and survive a pandemic all at the same time? The quick answer is yes.  — Click Here

2. Book a free strategy chat
You can grow your business bigger than you imagine possible, even during a pandemic.  Here’s what will happen – we will chat about your vision for your biz, where you are right now and any challenges you are facing.— Click Here

3. I’m looking for a few specific people to join me for my live training, where we will spend 90 minutes a week for 90 days to exponentially grow your business.

Just send me a message with DOUBLE in the subject line to get more details.