NEWS RELEASE Contact: Maureen Futtner
InterScholaTM Voted One of Bloomberg Businessweek’s
Top 5 (#2) Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2012
San Francisco business is only Bay Area-based company in List’s Top Five
July 25, 2012 (San Francisco) –InterSchola, a San Francisco-based small business that manages sales of surplus goods for school districts and other local public agencies, was voted number two in Bloomberg Businessweek’s competition for America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs of 2012. Bloomberg solicited readers’ suggestions, narrowed these down to 25 for-profit social enterprises, and then asked readers to vote for their favorite. In one month, more than 7,500 readers cast votes. Among Bloomberg’s criteria for making the list were: scope, impact, and a company’s ability to sustain itself.
InterSchola was founded in 2004 as a way to help public school districts and other public agencies maximize the value of their unused surplus assets via online auctions. The company, a certified B Corporation, has helped public agencies earn over $15 million from the sale of surplus goods. The sales also divert over three million pounds of goods from landfills each year. InterSchola serves one-third of school districts in California and has a foothold in five other states.
InterSchola’s CEO Melissa Rich notes that, while recognition such as this from Bloomberg Businessweek provides important visibility for her company, she hopes more school districts get the message that there is an easy and successful way for them to save and earn money from their idle surplus goods. Rich says, “InterSchola handles the process from start to finish, determining what will sell, getting approvals from officials, posting descriptions, and ensuring buyers get what they bought.”
Nancy Sirko, Director of Purchasing at District School Board of Collier County, Florida and a long time InterSchola clients says, "Prior to using InterSchola’s services, we held bi-annual surplus sales and the expenditures involved for the money that was made, was cost prohibitive for us. InterSchola has not only eliminated the costs associated with the arranging and manning of our own sales, they’ve managed to move many items, that in the past we could not."
Founded in 2004, InterSchola, a California-based social enterprise, partners with school districts to facilitate the public sale of used or no-longer needed goods via a robust online auction marketplace. Whether selling surplus buses from one school district to another at an affordable price, finding new uses for used food service equipment through sale to a small business in the local community or finding a non-profit buyer for a 24-foot planetarium dome, InterSchola provides a unique service that helps raise money for a district’s general fund.
InterSchola’s work has been recognized by numerous organizations and publications. In 2010, the San Francisco Business Times named the social enterprise one of the Bay Area’s Fastest Growing Companies. Also in 2010, the company was recognized by the SF Chamber of Commerce with a distinguished Ebbies Award. Further, InterSchola CEO Melissa Rich has been honored as 2011 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year by San Francisco’s Women’s Initiative and as Outstanding Woman in Business for 2012 by the city of San Francisco. The company has been featured in such publications as the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Diego Union Tribune the Fresno Business Journal, the Glendale Daily News, NBC Bay Area’s Class Action television program and CBS-5’s Eye on the Bay, among several other media outlets.