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 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:

The Mind Trust Accepting Applications For Education Entrepreneur Fellowship

We are pleased to announce that The Mind Trust ( is accepting applications for the second cohort of its Education Entrepreneur Fellowship. Dr. Michael Bitz was recently selected as the first Education Entrepreneur Fellowship recipient, and will use the Fellowship to launch Youth
Music Exchange (YME).

The Fellowship, a nationally unique incubator for transformative education ventures, offers promising education entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop and launch their break-the-mold education ventures and the support necessary for success. Fellows receive a full-time annual salary of $90,000 for two years, benefits, and customized training. Fellows who opt to live in Indianapolis will also get office space at The Mind Trust.

Interested candidates may apply online at Statements of Intent are due September 5, 2008. Fellowships will be awarded by December 1, 2008.

Additional information on the Fellowship is attached. You can also visit our website at or contact us at or 317-822-8102.

About The Mind Trust: The Mind Trust’s mission is to dramatically improve public education for underserved students by empowering education entrepreneurs to develop or expand transformative education initiatives. The Mind Trust is currently in the process of selecting its first cohort of Education Entrepreneur Fellows. The Mind Trust received 146 Statements of Intent from applicants with a rich array of experience and backgrounds from all over the country. In addition to the Fellowship, The Mind Trust also has a Venture Fund which has invested $2,885,000 to bring Teach For America, The New Teacher Project and College Summit to Indianapolis, where The Mind Trust is based.

AmeriCorps Week Is Here

AmeriCorps Week is a recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible.

AmeriCorps Week provides an opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, grantees, program partners, and friends to shine a spotlight on the work done by members in communities across the country—and to motivate more Americans to join AmeriCorps or volunteer in their communities.


Most Corporations Overlook Cost-Effective Opportunity to Unlock New Training and Development Resources

Here’s some new research from Deloitte on skills-based volunteerism:

Many corporate CEOs say acquiring and developing the right talent is their number one challenge. So it’s not surprising that the business community invests heavily in it – upwards of $100 billion a year, according to the American Society of Training & Development. The new research from Deloitte suggests that as business leaders grapple with the effects of a shaky economy, including intense pressure to more quickly and cost-effectively develop the next generation of business leaders, most are overlooking a valuable option that’s right under their nose: skills-based volunteering.

Link to Deloitte.

Google for Non-Profits

Google has launched a dedicated portal of Google services for non-profit organizations.

Google for Non-Profits offers “a one-stop shop for tools to help advance your organization’s mission in a smart, cost-efficient way.” This site includes ideas and tutorials on ways Google tools can be used to promote non-profits, raise money and operate more efficiently.

Here’s a thorough review.

The 2008 Global Development Marketplace Competition

The 2008 Global Development Marketplace competition (DM2008) seeks proposals on the theme of Sustainable Agriculture for Development.

Applications are accepted through March 21, 2008 and will undergo rigorous review by more than 200 development experts. About 100 finalists will be announced in June and will be invited to World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC in late September to vie for grants in person at the DM2008 Marketplace event.


Deloitte Announces Innovative Pro Bono Program & $50 M Commitment

Today, Deloitte is announcing the launch of a three-year, $50 million dollar commitment to support a new pro bono program designed to transform the way they support charitable organizations and strengthen the nonprofit sector.

While the size and scope of Deloitte’s commitment is truly impressive, the most significant element of their new program is the fact that Deloitte is fundamentally changing the way they approach pro bono in order to bring the full strength of their organization to bear for nonprofits. This innovative program is intended to serve as a model for other businesses looking to establish more effective pro bono programs.

As the overstretched nonprofit sector faces increasing pressure to solve critical social issues, a great deal of attention is being focused on how to leverage the strengths of the business community to build capacity for the nonprofit sector. Deloitte’s new pro bono program is a great example of how one company is rising to the challenge in hopes of creating meaningful social impact.

Here’s the link to the press release.

Echoing Green Fellowship: VISIONARIES WANTED

Here’s a quick introduction on the Echoing Green Fellowship!

The Echoing Green Fellowship provides the seed funding (up to $90,000) and technical support (fellows learn how to develop a strategic plan, create a budget, and run an organization) to turn a visionary idea for social change – be it a sustainable energy system, a new model for middle schools, or a cutting-edge public health program – into a reality.

And social entrepreneurs in dozens of countries and just about every field of social change, from education (Teach For America) to human rights (EarthRights International), from public service (City Year) to microfinance (SKS India), have used this fellowship to launch their organizations.

Do you have an incredible, new idea that could change your community, country, or world? Are you an entrepreneur who won’t rest until your idea has been brought to life? Or a leader who has recently started an organization to do just that? If so, apply for an Echoing Green Fellowship. You could receive up to $90,000 in seed funding and support to launch a new organization that turns your innovative idea for social change into action.

Follow in the footsteps of the founders of Teach For America, City Year, and over 400 other social change organizations and apply online by December 3, 2007.

Watch the video:
Find out whether you qualify.

Apply online.

Questions? Contact us at

Note: The deadline for fellowship applications is December 3.


Here’s a plug for the Pace University Pitch Contest:

Thursday, December 6, 2007
5:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.

Pace University (east of City Hall)
1 Pace Plaza, NYC

3:30 – 5:00 Special Bonus Session on Technology Entrepreneurship, conducted by faculty from the Ivan G. Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems

Directions to Pace’s Downtown NYC Campus:


  • $1,000 prize for the top New Business Concept and for the best Social Venture.
  • Pace is partnering with Ashoka/Youth Venture and the M.I.T. Enterprise Forum of NYC. Ashoka/Youth Venture will provide EVERY team with a successful Social Venture Action Plan with $1,000 in seed funding (i.e. 30 teams = $30,000). Ashoka is one of the oldest and most respected social entrepreneurship organizations in the world. The M.I.T. Enterprise Forum was founded in 1978 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alumni Association.
  • David Bornstein, author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, is the Keynote Speaker.
  • The event is being sponsored by Goodwin Procter LLC, one of the nation’s leading law firms.
  • The Judging Panel includes: Thatcher Bell of DFJ Gotham Ventures; Lori Smith, a partner at the law firm Goodwin Procter LLC, Liz Hamburg, co-host of Launchpad on WOR Radio 710, and Bernie Siegel, a CPA and professional business coach.
  • Last year’s contest drew participants from a number of outside universities, including Harvard and Princeton.
  • The winner of the Third Annual Pace University Pitch Contest, Bill Phelps, is one of only three student Finalists in Fortune Small Business’ 5th Annual Business Plan Competition –
  • Pace’s Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, SCI2 incubator, and Small Business Development Center are also supporting the Pitch Contest.
  • Detailed information and an online registration form can be found at Or contact Professor Bruce Bachenheimer at (212) 618-6580 or