Social Driver Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Anthony Shop recently shared insights from a successful entrepreneurial career as a guest on the George Talks Business series hosted by George Washington University.
George Talks Business features conversations with notable alumni and thought leaders in the business, government and nonprofit arenas. Recent guests include David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chairman of the Carlyle Group, and Muriel E. Bowser, Mayor of the District of Columbia.
Dr. Anuj Mehrotra, dean of the GW School of Business, interviewed Shop, who earned an MBA from the GW School of Business in 2011. Shop recalled how winning GW’s New Venture Competition with his husband and co-founder, Thomas Sanchez, was instrumental in launching Social Driver in 2011. Since then, the firm has developed award-winning brands and campaigns for clients nationwide, with more than 50 team members and offices in five U.S. cities.
“When we started, we didn't know every service we wanted to offer. But we had this mantra that formed the foundation of the company: ‘The future is bright, all progress is social and the drivers make history.’ Today, we’re continuing to add capabilities that we couldn't have even envisioned because they didn't exist when we started out.”
During the interview, Shop answered questions from students starting their entrepreneurship journeys. As a founder of District I/O, the first Downtown DC coworking space, which partnered with GW, he advised aspiring leaders to join the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the Penn West Equity and Innovation District and beyond, find mentors, and bring their own skills and perspectives to the table to create mutual benefit.
In addition, Shop and Mehrotra discussed the “tech for good” movement, why companies should advocate for inclusive hiring practices and how to leverage marketing to better the world.
Shop, the founding chairman of the National Digital Roundtable, also highlighted what’s changing in the world of marketing. He shared how organizations can stay top-of-mind using Social Driver’s Three Dimensions of Digital Strategy, a framework for connecting with people through attention, intention and mention marketing.
“We're seeing brands shift more and more to focusing on their purpose and what they stand for,” Shop said. “We have to understand: Why does my brand exist? What benefit am I adding to the world? A great way to do that is to include others. So we're seeing much more of a people-centered approach to marketing.”
The on-campus and online event was hosted by the GW School of Business in partnership with the school’s Diversity Council. Watch the full “George Talks Business” interview here.