The Rise of Social Venture Funds

So many goodies in this article about the rise of social venture funds:

This year, socially conscious venture funds are ramping up at an unprecedented scale. At least seven new and follow-on funds billed as mission-driven investment vehicles are on track to raise about $750 million this year

“It’s really peaked in the last six months,” says David Chen, founder of Equilibrium Capital, a planned $200 million fund focused on the cleantech and wellness sectors. Since he began raising the fund last fall, Chen has seen a marked increase in interest levels from investors of all stripes in the social venture asset class.

The rise in social venture comes as institutional and accredited investors are putting significantly more money into so-called socially responsible investment (SRI) vehicles. Today, roughly $2.71 trillion—or 11% of assets under professional management in the United States—are now involved in SRI, according to the Social Investment Forum, a trade group.

via Venture Capital Journal.

Debating Bill Gates’s theory of philanthropy

Check out Creative Capitalism blog:
Creative Capitalism: A Conversation is a web experiment designed to produce a book — a collection of essays and commentary on capitalism, philanthropy and global development — to be edited by us and published by Simon and Schuster in the fall of 2008. The book takes as its starting point a speech Bill Gates delivered this January at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In it, he said that many of the world’s problems are too big for philanthropy–even on the scale of the Gates Foundation. And he said that the free-market capitalist system itself would have to solve them.

BUILD: Summer Intern and Manager Positions

BUILD’s mission is to provide real-world entrepreneurial experience that empowers youth from under-resourced communities to excel in education, lead in their communities, and succeed professionally. By supporting students in developing and actually running their own small businesses, BUILD puts entrepreneurial education far beyond the classroom into a tangible context. BUILD students come from neighborhoods where the high school drop-out rate ranges from 50% to 70%; yet, to date, 100% of BUILD graduates have graduated from high school and enrolled in college. Interested candidates can learn more about the organization at www.build.org.

Go here for more information.

Calling All Social Entrepreneurs: 2nd Annual Social Venture Network Innovation Awards Applications Now Being Accepted

Social Venture Network (SVN), the country’s leading network of socially responsible entrepreneurs, announced today that it is now accepting applications for the 2nd Annual SVN Innovation Awards. The Innovation Awards program supports the “next generation” of socially responsible business and nonprofit leaders by providing them access to the people and resources to help develop their ideas into successful enterprises.

“SVN is again inviting the next generation of socially responsible entrepreneurs to apply for the Innovation Awards,” said Deborah Nelson, Executive Director of Social Venture Network. “Last year’s winners were extremely impressive and have since expanded their impact in creating a more just and sustainable world. For some, the SVN Awards provided a launching pad for their success. We look forward to welcoming this year’s winners into the SVN community”

SVN is accepting awards applications from June 1 through July 15 at www.svn.org/awards. Twelve finalists will be selected by the SVN judging panel and announced in August. The finalists will go through another round of judging, and then the judges will select a smaller group of Innovation Award winners in September.

The Innovation Award winners will receive a free one-year membership to SVN as well as registration and special recognition at the invitation-only SVN Fall 2008 Conference from October 23-26 at the Estancia La Jolla outside of San Diego, California. The winners will be honored in a special ceremony on October 25th, and will have the opportunity to share their work with an audience of successful socially responsible business leaders, investors and nonprofit leaders. The Innovation Award winners will be promoted for a full year on the SVN Website and in media outlets. The winners will also be partnered with select SVN mentors, who will give advice to the winners and make helpful introductions throughout 2009.

Last year’s ten Innovation Award winners included, among others, Tom Szaky, CEO and Co-Founder of TerraCycle, and Priya Haji, CEO and Co-Founder of World of Good.

SVN is a member organization with nearly 500 CEO’s, investors, and nonprofit leaders who are running the country’s most cutting-edge socially responsible businesses and nonprofits. Since 1987, SVN has inspired a community of leading business and social entrepreneurs by nurturing the growth and prevalence of socially responsible investing, sustainable economies, fair trade and organic/eco living. SVN champions this effort through member-led initiatives, sharing of tools and best practices, the SVN Book Series and bi-annual conferences that strengthen and empower its members to work together on behalf of this shared vision.

2nd Annual Innovation Awards Eligibility Rules
To be eligible for the contest, applicants must currently hold positions as C-level executives (CEOs, executive directors, founders, etc.) of businesses or nonprofit organizations implementing an idea that is having a positive social or environmental impact on the business sector. Eligible applicants will have started implementing their new idea fewer than five years ago. The application process includes providing thoughtful answers to several essay questions and presenting relevant metrics describing the enterprise or organization. For an Innovation Award application, complete program information, and additional information about SVN, please visit:http://www.svn.org/awards.

More Affinity Search From Microsoft: Search And Give

One of the most exciting developments we’ve had in the last year was the success of our inaugural Search and Give program where your queries helped to raise more than $250,000 for local schools and non-profits.

By signing up at http://www.searchandgive.com/, consumers can start donating one cent per search to more than 100,000 schools and 900,000 non-profit organizations worldwide every time they use the Live Search to find whatever interests them. People can also convert tickets they’ve earned playing games on Microsoft’s Live Search Club, at http://www.club.live.com/, into donations for those same schools or charities.

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