[The weekly wrap] The top social entrepreneurship stories from the week that went by
Every week we bring you the best social entrepreneurship stories from around the world. This week we have stories about a new report on impact investing, TOMS launching an e-commerce platform and Embrace Innovations winning the Economist’s Innovation Awards.
A comprehensive report, produced by a partnership between InSight at Pacific Community Ventures, CASE at Duke University and ImpactAssets, represents the largest public release of data on the inner workings of 12 outstanding impact investing funds: their origins, development, goals, leadership, investors, investees, strategies, and financial and social performance. It analyzes the performance of over $1.3 billion (USD) in investments across more than 80 countries.
2) Balazs Gardi: war photographer turned warrior for water issues [INK Conference]
While most photographers would be happy with the adrenalin rush and glamor associated with photographing extreme sports and capturing the vagaries of war, Gardi inspired by a stray incident developed a passion for water, which has since become a full-blown obsession.
3) Dangling the carrot and wielding the stick are both needed for maximum CSR gains
That companies must behave in an environmentally and socially responsible manner is a given. But the manner in which this commitment plays out in the real world should not be dictated by legislation. Forced philanthropy can at best produce sticky-plaster solutions to complex development challenges. Azim Premji, Chairman of IT major, Wipro, often praised for his philanthropy, said this at a recent conference when asked about the new CSR bill: “They are trying to force something. It should be spontaneous.”
The concept of BOP has begun to attract the attention of CEOs of big corporations.
But even with a rapid increase of practitioners and projects, there is a lack of case studies documenting BOP projects that have positive impact, create financial results, empower local communities, and enable more inclusive and sustainable markets, explains Fernando Casado Cañeque, the associate director of the BOP Global Network.
Last weekend brought innovators from across the world to Oxford for the 5th annual Emerge Conference at the Saïd Business School, run jointly by Student Hubs and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship.
The founders of Embrace Innovations were named as this year’s winners in Social and Economic innovation of The Economist’s Innovation Award for their design and development of a new infant warmer for developing countries. They previous two winners from India are Narayan Murthy and Sam Pitroda.
TOMS is launching an e-commerce platform called “Marketplace” on TOMS.com that hosts goods from 30 social entrepreneurs who have mission-driven business models, similar in ethos to the “buy one, give one” model that Mycoskie pioneered. If you’re not familiar with TOMS’ strategy, for every pair of shoes or glasses purchased, the Los Angeles-based retailer gives a pair to in child in need.
Andrew Hewitt is the creator of the GameChangers 500 list (GC500) that profiles the world’s top purpose-driven organizations using business as force for good. He talks about how he came to form his company and its methodology.