The Shambhala Business Network matches conscientious buyers with Shambhala businesses that believe in basic goodness and are working to create an enlightened society.
On the whole, I would like to develop some kind of communication system between sangha members so that we are consolidated in our business adventures altogether.
- Choygam Trungpa, Rinpoche, Ratna Society Talks IV, June 1981
The Shambhala Business Network is a volunteer project led by Fred Meyer and Matthew Bellows. The idea first came out of a Yun retreat with the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as a concrete way to connect and grow businesses. Our current advisors and consultants include:
Robert Reichner: Minister of Finance and Software CEO
Mark Whaley: Kalapa Media
Wendy Friedman: Minister of Decorum and Retail CEO
Michael Gayner: Executive Director of Shambhala Mountain Center
Myra Woodruff: Executive Director of Karme Choling
We are working to build a two-sided online marketplace that matches conscientious buyers with Shambhala businesses.
In a world where everything is available online, conscientious shoppers are looking for businesses that offer products and services that stand out from the generic Amazon listing. The incredible success of Etsy, an online marketplace of homemade arts and crafts that generated over $300 million in revenue last year, is one of many proof-points. For a segment of thoughtful consumers, the narrative and the experience is as important as the product itself.
There are approximately 1,000 businesses owned and operated by the 10,000 members of Shambhala. Many are part time service providers, some are full time sole proprietorships, and some are teams of tens or scores of people. All of them are united by one idea – people are basically good. Almost all of those 1,000 businesses, whether they produce a product, or provide a service, whether they are full time or part time operations, are trying to create enlightened society one customer and one employee at a time.
We propose to build the Shambhala Business Network to connect these conscientious shoppers with businesses owned by members of Shambhala International.
The Shambhala Business Network (SBN) will provide a comprehensive directory of businesses that believe in basic goodness and that are working to create enlightened society. For shoppers who care about the merchants they buy from as well as the products they receive, SBN will provide a rich listing, organized by type, location, and other categories of ethical businesses that they can support.
How it Works
“On the whole, we should regard money as mother’s milk.”
Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, Ratna Society Talks IV, June 1981
For current dues paying members of Shambhala, SBN will provide an easy way to support the business efforts of sangha members. The Executive Directors of Shambhala Mountain Center and Karme Choling have both already said that they would direct their purchasing agents to make SBN their first stop when ordering materials for their centers.
At the moment, we are volunteering our efforts to create the SBN project. There are no fees or revenues for SBN.
Once the network is established and it is generating value for both businesses and shoppers, there are many opportunities for expansion. SBN could expand to offer online merchant services, job boards, website and online shopping cart features, barter currencies and much more.
We hope to add revenue-generating features to SBN around our first anniversary of launch. We will consider vendor subscriptions and enhanced listing fees, per lead fees or transaction revenue shares, and other revenue generating mechanisms.
The Shambhala Business Network will be incorporated as a for-profit B Corporation under the laws of Delaware. SBN will donate 100% of its profit to Shambhala International.
This project is in its early stages, but is gathering great support. If you have questions, comments, concerns or offers to help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.