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Rob Sobhani

Sparo online app lets shoppers 'Purchase with a Purpose'

Sparo online app lets shoppers 'Purchase with a Purpose'

After he lost a U.S. Senate race in Maryland as an independent in 2012, Montgomery County businessman Rob Sobhani looked outside the realm of public service for a way to bring about change.

Sparo, Sobhani's latest business venture, was born.

An online application, Sparo is designed to "transform the way we give and the way we buy," and works like this:

Customers of online merchants that partner with Sparo will see a Sparo bird icon at checkout. Shoppers are given a chance to select a charity, and the retailer donates a portion of the purchase to the charity, in a range from 4 percent to 10...