Cre8tive Philanthropy

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Investment and innovation in the for-profit social impact community.

Makeup Makes Money

Avon alleviating poverty? No, really. Goes to show that any business model, not just B-corps have the potential to “do good”. Distribution is key to Avon’s noted success in lifting developing country sales women into the middle-income demographic for their country. Read more.

Filed under: Challenges, ESG, Innovation

Business Done Better: How a Dirty Industry Cleaned Up and Profited

An idea and a change in mission brought one company within the “dirty” industry of textile manufacture into the clean, with good financials to boot! Read it here on Bloomberg.

Filed under: ESG, Innovation, Uncategorized

Framework of the Future

This article “embraces” the social, environmental, and economic model of the future (hopefully, the near future). Effective, efficient, and affordable. Not to mention the profit for cause business design. What could business and design framework such as this do to solve other social and economic ills?

Embrace sets the stage for a new industry design, not just for poor and emerging economies, but for developed economies as well. Simple, economical, and environmentally friendly solutions structured with a profit for cause business  model are a direct challenge to the current high cost, high consumption model of industry, health care in particular. At a time when resources, including money – the man-made resource, are scarce, such solutions allow for greater life quality in every sense.

 

 

 

Filed under: Challenges, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurs

Business Synchs with the Circle of Life

Good business, good food, good environment: The trifecta of the emerging business model of agricultural production. The future of agribusiness, a wholistic solution and circular supply chain, lies in business such as this. The future just might taste good too – just don’t think too much about how it became so tasty.

Filed under: Challenges, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurs

US State Department: Advancing Entrepreneurship Through Social Responsibility

It’s encouraging to see leadership agencies advocate corporate shift to a more holistic view of the business ecosystem. It’s more particular to note that this article/speech stems from the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Economists are not always the first to promote a “full circle” perspective of business, though they certainly are not the last.

In addition to promoting CSR, triple bottom line, and other aspects of good corporate governance, the speech points out noted companies for their excellence in CSR, namely TOMS Shoes. As an add-on, Patagonia’s corporate ethos treads well in the TBL space as a company that exemplifies green, corporate governance, and stated profits.

What can current, emerging, and future entrepreneurs take away? Think dynamically about your business and how all aspects of your business are integrated. Business decision impacts have broad implications: What can the entrepreneur manage? Which are risks? Which are opportunities? Make sure the entrepreneurial viewpoint is dimensional, as profits appear to be increasingly circular and far-reaching as opposed to linear and finite.

Filed under: Challenges, ESG, Governance, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurs

Solution Needed: Social Entrepreneurs Encouraged to Apply

Problem:

  • Hunger
  • Environmentally Unfriendly Agricultural Production
  • Slowing Growth in Agricultural Output

Challenge:

  • Increase agricultural production while increasing/reaching sustainability and environmentally harmonious agricultural processes
  • Prevent/minimize food waste
  • Manage distribution of foods, locally and globally

Who’s up to the challenge?

While it is unlikely one person, or even a team, is likely to step up to the plate, several groups are likely to create a web of interconnected plugs to solve this problem. Well, hopefully. Because we have to.  So why put on your thinking cap and be a part of creating the solution? Or, at least find small ways to not contribute to the problem; buy more organic, waste less food, use more economical forms of nourishment (not that eating dairy and meat is bad, just perhaps eat less of it).

 

Filed under: Challenges, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurs

Unlocking the Value in Restoration and Conservation

Pioneers – the early champions of all things “new”. It’s an unenviable position most of the time – it’s difficult to lead a crowd out of the status quo or find solutions to challenging issues. The problem is perhaps exacerbated when the solutions and crowd involves capital and investors. And yet, Bay Bank has helped capital find value in restoration and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Currently in the early stages of the project, should the mechanisms prove successful, this model could pave the way to a new relationship and market for capital and conservation.

(Thanks Fast Company for sharing this story.)

Filed under: Challenges, Innovation

Business and Philanthropy: Integration and Collaboration

Business and philanthropy, when used together in a sentence, usually evokes images of successful business people (Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey) who are well-known philanthropists or stodgy corporate giving programs created more in the name of marketing and promotion than serious goodwill and intention to give back. Business and business people have generally been stereotyped as individualists with somewhat blind ambition toward singular goals, typically profit and production – not philanthropy.

That’s changing. Many of today’s business professionals have more altruistic purposes, for both work and life. They strive to contribute their time, energy, and skills in creating better communities. In step with this natural evolution and synthesis of passions and skills, the next generation of business owners and professionals are keen to have impact in all areas of their lives, and see little distinction between what have traditionally been separated as  business and philanthropic spheres.

What better place to look for this shift than the demand for social entrepreneurship and philanthropic courses at university business schools in graduate and undergraduate programs. A recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek highlights the growing interest in these programs. 

Nonprofits and philanthropy may have, at one time, been viewed as quite different from business. However, purpose and mission are only a matter of viewpoint and execution. Rather than separation and alienation based upon profit/nonprofit, perhaps the viewpoint of integration and collaboration is in order. This leads to the concept that there may be a wide spectrum between pure purpose and pure profit, with everything in-between.  The wisdom lies in application; what problem is being solved? What is the best way to solve it?

Filed under: Giving, Innovation, Philanthropy, Uncategorized

Impact Investment Fund Challenge

Can the world of finance (you know, the same one that brought the financial crisis) be the same conduit for “capitalism 2.0”?

Filed under: Impact Investing, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurs

Wolverines Invest in Impact

Via PRNewswire Post: The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, a nationally and globally ranked top 25 school, has set itself up to be the educational leader within the impact investment space. Not merely focusing on social enterprise, U of M has developed coursework designed to provide MBA students with the tools and techniques to evaluate and finance social venture investments.

In addition to coursework, in 2009 the school  launched a student-run social venture fund to make investments in for-profit social ventures. The first investment is slated to be made this coming spring.

Filed under: Impact Investing, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurs

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