EMBA Alumnus Shaun Lee Launches a Social Enterprise
January 14, 2014
Business alumnus Shaun Lee, EMBA ’13 has turned an Executive MBA class project into a budding social enterprise—Truckin’ Tomato.
The Truckin’ Tomato concept is to operate a mobile farmer’s market that is dispatched to local businesses, churches and apartment complexes. Functioning as a for-profit business, Truckin’ Tomato will donate a majority of their profits to the Christian Hope Resource Center. Christian Hope Resource Center is a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency to the neediest community members in San Antonio.
Since graduating in May, Lee has raised funding from the 80/20 Foundation, formed an alliance with Christian Hope Resource Center, purchased a 30 ft. trailer to serve as the base of operations and received a truck donated by VIA to pull the trailer. He currently has a Kickstarter campaign running to fund the retrofitting of the trailer.
“My whole professional career has been in nonprofit work,” said Lee, who is the executive vice president of operations at Haven for Hope. “I wanted to figure out a way to make nonprofits more self-sustaining.”
His days are spent fine-tuning operations at Haven for Hope, while his nights are devoted to launching Truckin’ Tomato.
“My faith is the driving force behind all of this,” said Lee. “I’ve been blessed with opportunities, and I want to give back to others.”
Truckin’ Tomato will not only support local vendors, but Lee envisions the business as a way to create more jobs and job training opportunities for San Antonians.
“The EMBA program awoke an entrepreneurial side of me that I didn’t know existed,” said Lee. “This business would not have been possible without all the knowledge that I received from UTSA’s EMBA program.”
The Kickstarter campaign runs through Jan. 16. Lee’s goal is to have Truckin’ Tomato on the road and at a location near you by early spring.
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