Social entrepreneurship is not just a fad that is here for a little and will leave within a few years. It is here to stay. Being able to provide a product or service and simultaneously giving back and providing support or assistance to a cause is something that is at the forefront for many entrepreneurs. One of these entrepreneurs is Omar Aqel who came up with the idea for his business GIV Mobile when he was participating in local charity events. At the time, he had already co-founded a company in the mobile service industry that provided no-contract wireless service. It was at these events that Aqel saw an opportunity to fuse the no-contract wireless service with giving back.
Hearpreneur had the opportunity to speak with the founder of GIV Mobile about his business, social entrepreneurship and future trends in the mobile industry.
Why did you start your business?
My business partners and I started in the wireless industry over 11 years ago when prepaid and no-contract wireless was in its infancy and we knew we could do it better with our prior experience in retail and distribution. Over the years we always tried to promote a culture that gave back to the community in ways like participating in food and toy drives, hosting volunteer events at our local food pantry or simply donating to local causes. Years ago, we decided that we wanted to do something more and launched GIV Mobile in May 2013 with the hopes of marrying the two ideas; affordable wireless and giving back.
What do you see as future trends in the mobile services industry?
The future of the wireless industry will entail no more contracts. While wireless carriers have often controlled what phone a subscriber would use, how a subscriber would receive service or how much they paid etc., the industry will flip with subscribers having the control. They will choose what carrier, how much they want to pay and what phone they want to use. It's great and we're happy to already be offering subscribers many different options when they join the GIV Mobile community.
How did you come up with the name GIV Mobile?
Well, both the brand name and logo represents “giving.” The logo itself refers to “the hand that gives,” so it made sense. GIV Mobile, a mobile service that engages and encourages you to give back.
How does this business give back and support charities? Why is that important?
The premise of the brand is that GIV Mobile will donate 8% of every subscriber's monthly plan up to 3 charities of their choice. Our goal is to have a website where both subscribers and potential subscribers have yet another place to learn about some amazing non-profits, their work, different causes and even how they might be able to further their volunteer opportunities. We feel that this is a part of our responsibility and service as a way to give back. We want to use something as personal as someone's cell phone to participate in the overall good of the world, 8% at a time. We truly believe that everyone wants to do good wherever possible. We're just trying to make it a little easier.
What do you do when you are not working on your business?
Most of my time away from the office is spent with my family, playing golf or working in the yard.