GoodCompany Ventures, a team of social finance investors and start-up experts, today announced the launch of a business incubator targeting entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to unmet social needs. The program will provide facilities, mentoring and access to a network of capital sources to qualified entrepreneurs whose business models offer investors an attractive mix of financial return and social impact. The program will culminate in a venture fair where companies will pitch their ideas to investors.
What in the world does a comment about national security and civil liberties have to do with business or social enterprise? “In my study of highly successful leaders, I feel the most common theme, the most universal characteristic, is a form of thinking characterized by President Obama’s sentence,” Martin said. “Given a choice between two unsatisfactory outcomes,” a stellar leader finds a third way. He doesn’t choose. Instead, he “has the capacity to find a solution superior to either of the available options.”
Jacqueline Novogratz tells a moving story of an encounter in a Nairobi slum with Jane, a former prostitute, whose dreams of escaping poverty, of becoming a doctor and of getting married were fulfilled in an unexpected way.
I found this article interesting:
Staying Late: Comparing Work Hours in Public and Nonprofit Sectors
Results indicate that managers in the nonprofit sector tend to work longer hours compared to state managers and that work hours are mitigated by external organizational ties, perceptions, and work histories.
Mary K. Feeney
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs
University of Georgia
American Review of Public Administration, 2008
A Target Analytics study shows that people who go online to donate to charity for the first time often do not return to the Internet to make later gifts.
“People are asking us all the time why we don’t reduce mailing costs and save paper with online fund-raising, but the simple fact is that people come online to give a gift once and don’t repeat,”
Link to NYT.
The Engineers for Social Impact Fellowship is a unique program that connects top engineering talent to credible social enterprises driving market-based solutions to development in India. It serves a dual need: matching talented students with worthy social enterprises and increasing awareness of for-profit approaches to development.
The Engineers for Social Impact (E4SI) fellowship program has commenced its second annual rigorous recruitment process to match the most talented ten undergraduate students from fifteen elite Indian engineering schools with partner social enterprises that focus on development by means of sustainable for-profit entrepreneurship. E4SI fellowships promise to be highly entrepreneurial in a way that combines the best of consulting, technology, and social innovation. Fellows will gain unprecedented access to the development sector as they work with leading social entrepreneurs, attend leadership workshops at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, and pitch their ideas to thought leaders as they join an outstanding cohort of exceptional young leaders.
Please see this press release (PDF) for more information.
Deadline: April 17, 2009
The Gleitsman Program in Leadership for Social Change encourages individual commitment and leadership by recognizing the exceptional achievement of those who have initiated positive social change. We seek those individuals whose vision and courage inspire others to join with them in confronting and challenging injustice.
As we begin our search for nominees for the 2009 International Activist Award, we invite you to advise us of those individuals whose efforts you feel should be recognized.
The 2009 International Activist Award will honor those who have struggled to correct social injustice in the world (US activists are the focus of our award in alternate years). The honorees will receive $125,000 and will receive a specially commissioned sculpture designed by Maya Lin, creator of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. The award is not presented posthumously, nor is it granted to groups or organizations.
Please complete this nomination form and forward it with supporting materials to us postmarked not later than APRIL 17, 2009. The honoree for the 2009 International Activist Award will be announced in the summer of 2009 and must be available to travel to Cambridge, MA for the award presentation in early fall.
Atlas Service Corps seeks nonprofit leaders from around the world to apply for their 2009-2010 fellowship positions in Washington, DC and Bogota, Colombia. All expenses are paid in this prestigious, fellowship program, including a living stipend, health insurance, visa, travel, training, and a $2,500 end of service award.
Applicants must have 3 or more years of experience in the nonprofit sector, a college degree, fluency in English (and Spanish if applying to volunteer in Colombia), and a commitment to returning to their home country after one year.
Candidates from outside the U.S. are placed at outstanding host organizations in Washington, DC including Ashoka, Asian American LEAD, CentroNía, Grameen Foundation, TechnoServe, GlobalGiving, and Population Action International. Candidates from the U.S. are placed at organizations in Bogota like Give to Colombia and Oxfam GB. In addition to volunteering full time at their host organizations. Fellows are enrolled in a management development training program and join a growing network of nonprofit leaders from around the world.
For more details about eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit: http://www.atlascorps.org/apply.html and watch a short video about the application process here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx63RKbqoKY .
If you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2009.
A guest post from Ann Logue, author of Socially Responsible Investing for Dummies.
Social Investing and the Modern Market
By Ann Logue
Social investing is a fine idea: investors get to flex their capitalist muscles to help fund companies that are changing the world while pressing companies that are a little less than perfect to improve their policies. As I write this, though, it’s early 2009 and capitalism is a mess. Businesses with great ideas are having a hard time attracting shareholders and lenders because everyone is so darn scared!
Of course, the name of the game is buying low and selling high, so a beat-up stock market can be a great opportunity to buy into companies that meet your social objectives and that also are likely to do fine once the economy settles back into its groove. How do you find these? Start by knowing what your social goals are: is your interest the environment? Human rights? Religion strictures? That will affect the universe of companies that you will want to look at.
Then, you want to go to the financial statements and news reports to see how the company is responding. Is it cutting back its work on green technologies in order to save money? Or is it expanding its efforts because it has some cash, sees where the markets are going, and knows that its competitors are a bit weak?
As a general rule, the companies that will get through this recession best are those that have little debt and a lot of cash and equivalents on their balance sheets, as those companies will be able to do the best. Likewise, families that have little debt and good savings will also fare better than their profligate neighbors!
If you aren’t up to doing the research on specific companies, the many socially responsible mutual funds and exchange traded funds are available at bargain prices because the securities in them have been beaten up. (There are exceptions, mainly funds that target Muslim investors and thus have no exposure to bank stocks. Alas, social investment is no protection against market forces.)
Finally, the low prices on so many stocks are going to force changes in transparency. The federal government, which has become a de facto shareholder in many banks, is raising questions about executive compensation. (Hint to CEOs: if your company needed a federal bailout, you did not do a good job.) Those hedge funds, private equity, and investment firms with money to invest may look at troubled companies and press for changes that lead to a more sustainable business for decades to come.
If you don’t have money to invest right now, at least pay attention: this bargain-basement market will create interesting events for socially minded investors who want to watch and learn.
Standard & Poor’s launched its S&P U.S. Carbon Efficient Index, designed to measure the performance of large cap U.S. companies operating with a low carbon emissions footprint.
The index, which currently has 362 companies gleaned from the S&P 500, are selected using calculations from Trucost Plc, an environmental data gathering organization.