Instead of millions of dollars in unused gift cards going back to the corporation, this firefighter wants them to go to charity. Sounds like a great idea ... unless you are one of the companies! Read about the struggles of this social entrepreneur here.
Main points from the gathering of social entrepreneurs at the Indian Business School in the heart of HITECH city in Hyderabad via the Skoll foundation
Scaling strategies have to be derived around the "needs" of the beneficiaries rather than "wants"
As one establishes a for-profit to address a social mission there needs to be a strong emphasis on accountability
Need to demystify the margin structures in manufacturing and distribution – provide more clarity on costs throughout the value chain.
Often organizations seek just grant funding which subsidizes opportunities and thereby does not allow for creative financing (of mixing soft and hard funding / and where they need to be effectively applied)
There is still an acute shortage of flexible, early stage, risk-taking capital for for-profit social enterprises
Keep the ultimate beneficiaries central to negotiations between the social enterprise and the company
Don't approach profit as a "dirty word" – it is fundamental/central to a company's existence
Have to educate companies to look at non-profits on multi-aspects beyond just reaching a new market/target population and encourage them to be "co-creators" – companies need to be prepare for financing Have a rationale, transparent revenue sharing model as there is inherently a power imbalance with the companies. So it is important to be clear on pricing and a realistic timeline (how long it will take to scale/reach volumes)
CSR must be recognized as integral to business – not a charity program on the sidelines
Present opportunity in the language of the company ie: business plan, financial models – often NGOs may have all the data but present information in a manner that is not educative to the companies
Sometimes the partnership does not make sense – if it is not viewed as an integral strategy to both organizations. So, to save future headaches and heartbreaks and failures, there need to be milestones that assess the health of the partnership and decide on clear go-no go criteria.
BBC World News will be launching this weekend an 8-part series on social entrepreneurs around the globe. Alvin's Guide to Good Business will follow financial expert Alvin Hall as he visits a different social entrepreneur each week. He'll look at business models, impact, and the challenges of scaling. Featured organizations include Riders for Health, IDE-India, Marine Stewardship Council, Apopo, Partners in Health, Friends International, Camfed and Kiva. The Skoll Foundation partnered with RockhopperTV on the series.
Watch the series on line here.
Two weeks left for students to enter the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition for a chance to win $50,000 in funding. The University of Texas at Austin and Dell are searching for student social entrepreneurs to dream up ingenious ideas to change the world. College students worldwide are invited to enter the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition for a chance to win $50,000 to turn their ideas into a new business or nonprofit with a mission to change lives for the better. The deadline to enter is March 1, 2010. Submit your ideas online at http://www.dellsocialinnovationcompetition.com.
Along with students, citizens worldwide are invited to comment on, vote for and discuss the ideas in the online community forum.
248 young social entrepreneurs from 45 countries submitted applications to attend the Unreasonable Institute's 10 week summer incubation program to be mentored by proven entrepreneurs and investors, receive rigorous training, and acquire access to the seed capital they need to measurably improve the lives of millions around the globe. 35 finalists from 19 countries have been chosen to vie for 25 spots. These 35 finalists now have to prove their entrepreneurial mettle by galvanizing hundreds of people around the world to vote for their ventures with their dollars to they can raise the $6,500 it costs to attend the institute. The 1st 25 to do so will be selected to attend the Unreasonable Institute. Visit the Unreasonable Finalists Marketplace to support the young entrepreneurs!
New to me - an online service for ‘change-the-world’ entrepreneurs.
Here is their speed pitch: We realize not every entrepreneur needs a full coaching service, so we offer a full menu of of do-it-yourself ("DIY") blogs, lessons, podcasts and vlogs — along with do-it-with-me ("DIWM") courses and coaching. This ensures that the change-the-world entrepreneur chooses the level of tactical and practical help that they are able to absorb based on their unique situation and the content that is relevant for their particular stage of business and issues they are facing.
Check them out here!
McKinsey quarterly asked these leading philanthropists if they think their efforts can create large-scale change.
Great interviews with Bill Drayton, chairman and CEO of Ashoka: Tipping the world: The power of collaborative entrepreneurship
J. Gregory Dees, cofounder of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University: Creating large-scale change: Not 'can' but 'how'
Description of a new white paper from Social Velocity:
"The social entrepreneurship movement is taking America by storm. But we can't forget those who were working on saving the world long before it was cool--nonprofits. And in fact, there is much that the social entrepreneurship movement can offer to rethink, reinvigorate, and remake the nonprofit sector. Social Velocity just released a new white paper detailing what nonprofits can borrow from social entrepreneurs to finance, articulate, plan and think about their work"
Great new peice by J. Gregory Dees, cofounder of the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University (go Blue Devils) Creating large-scale change: Not ‘can’ but ‘how’