[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 RedBus founder Phanindra Sama investing in social enterprise, Bill Gates’ annual letter, actor Hugh Jackman’s fair trade company Laughing Man Coffee and Tea and Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande speaks about the Indian social entrepreneurship landscape.

1) The rise of impact investing in 2014: Omidyar Network’s Paula Goldman:

Omidyar Network’s Paula Goldman makes some bold predictions in this column for the Economist about what will unfold in the world of impact investing in 2014 including the sector becoming hot for MBAs.

2) Three myths that block progress for the poor:

In his 2014 annual letter, Bill Gates debunks three popular myths on the world’s poor. He also has a bold prediction: there is will no poor country in the world by the year 2025.

3) Indian entrepreneur wins global award in New York:

Bano Fatima, founder of Weaver’s Hut, a social enterprise that teaches life skill training to weavers and helps sell their products in major cities has won the HP Life Entrepreneurship Award at New York’s Global Citizen Festival.

4) Impact Investing – Leading By Example:

Joe Ludlow who heads Nesta Impact investments says that since old established financial institutions are letting us down, it is time for impact investing to lead the way in addressing big social problems.

5) Top trends for the social sector in 2014:

ProBono Australia chalks out the top 10 trends that 2014 will witness in the social sector. Some of the them include the use of data, volunteering, measuring the physical effects of doing good and using pictures to convey issues.

6) Case Foundation Invests $100K in Georgetown Global Social Enterprise Initiative:

The Case Foundation has committed $100,000 to Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative. The funding will “support new efforts to explore the opportunity to grow impact investing—committing capital with the expectation of positive financial and social returns—in the United States.”

7) Tata social enterprise challenge winners announced:

The winners of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge have been announced. The winners were MicroXlabs, Bodhi Health Care and Green Agrevolution. They have won a prize money of Rs 1.75 lakh, Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 1 lakh, respectively.

8) We need more role models: Gururaj Deshpande:

In this interview with Business Standard, Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, founder of Sycamore Networks and the Deshpande Foundation speaks about the uniqueness of the Indian social entrepreneurship ecosystem and the opportunities that it represents.

9) Actor Hugh Jackman turns coffee buying into a social enterprise:

Jackman, best known for his role as Wolverine in the X Men movie series is doing his bit to be a real life hero through his free trade coffee company Laughing Man Coffee and Tea.

10) How Phanindra Sama & Raju Reddy are transforming their hometown, Nizamabad

Raju Reddy and Phanindra Sama were very clear of not founding an organization but to bring multiple organizations together and work for the development of the area. Reddy said, “We have interacted with many non-profit organizations and liked the work of Deshpande Foundation. They have followed a bottom-up model for development which includes a great deal of participation from the communities. The idea is to use the principle of entrepreneurship to address social issues. ”


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