The premise behind Question Box is that many barriers keep most of the developing world from taking advantage of the wealth of knowledge available through Web search engines, said Rose Shuman, the service’s creator. That could be a drag on economic development.
From the New York Times:
“In the last two years, China’s corporations have become much more aware of philanthropy and social responsibility and are putting a much higher priority on it,” said Zhihua Yan of Z. H. Studio, a media and marketing consultancy in Beijing. “They are striving to innovate ways they can give back to the community.”
Donations in the country soared last year to 107 billion renminbi, or $15.7 billion, three times their level the previous year, according to a recent report by Jia Xijin and Zhao Yusi at the NGO Research Center at Tsinghua University in Beijing. About $11 billion of that went to relief efforts after the May 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
Vittana is an early-stage non-profit startup bringing student loans to the developing world through the power of person-to-person microfinance. We are a different kind of non-profit: we are designed from the ground up to be scalable, cost-effective, and just get things done. We are an Internet startup, we just happen to be in the business of creating good instead of creating money. Vittana is headquartered in the historic Pioneer Square district of Seattle, WA.
VillageReach, the Seattle-based social enterprise that increases access to healthcare for remote last mile communities, and the Foundation for Community Development (FDC), a Mozambique non profit that strengthens the capacities of underprivileged communities, today announced that the Oasis Fund, a European commercial investment fund specializing in social entrepreneurship, has committed a $1.375 million investment in VidaGas, a VillageReach-FDC-owned propane energy company.
Interesting article on social investing–
The application, which is based on Salesforce, comes out this fall and is being tested by more than 50 non-profits and charities. It tracks what a more conventional investor might look for — revenue, return-on-equity and assets and liabilities. But it also follows less traditional metrics that a non-profit user can design, like school drop-out rates for an education program or mosquito bed-net sales. Acumen will offer it for free to non-profits and work out other financial arrangements with some of the larger foundations.