The NYTimes recently ran a piece titled “Venture Capitalists Are Investing in Educational Reform,” (sub. req.) which discusses John Doerr’s role in founding the New Schools Venture Fund in San Francisco. Although New Schools has been covered pretty well by the press, this article is a good piece about social entrepreneurship:
Unlike Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm where Mr. Doerr is a partner, New Schools does not earn the standard three to five times its investment in five years. It earns nothing, because it is “a philanthropy held accountable by the rigors of venture capital financing,” as Mr. Doerr describes it. The financial professionals of the fund oversee the business operations of the schools it backs.
The article goes on to describe how New Schools works and what its done so far in California. Its an informative piece, but the most interesting parts to me are the quotes of Doerr on social entrepreneurship. The article ends with a good one:
“The education entrepreneurs have it harder. They must overcome massive institutional resistance,” he said. “And if the high-tech entrepreneurs succeed, they get rich. The educators’ rewards will be more important in life, but they’re not going to get rich.”