Cre8tive Philanthropy

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

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

Social Enterprise Profitable? YES!

Make money doing good. Whoda thunk?

Filed under: Impact Investing, 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

Ron Cordes Interview on Impact Investing in Forbes Magazine

Ever articulate and a champion of impact investing, Ron Cordes, Co-Chairman of Genworth Financial Wealth Management interviews with Forbes magazine on impact investing and social entrepreneurship.

As I built our impact portfolio, I began to fully appreciate the ability to create “double bottom line” returns – particularly in 2008 when several of our microfinance investments were among the top performers in our portfolio. I also had the opportunity to speak with dozens of the wealth managers we work with at Genworth, and found that they had an emerging interest within their client bases to do the same thing we were doing – but lacked any tools or infrastructure to actually build and implement impact portfolios. 

Our philosophy is that to solve the world’s toughest problems we need exponentially more resources than can be provided through just traditional philanthropy.  Impact investing offers an opportunity to tap a giant new capital source to create sustainable, scalable solutions that can have potential game-changing results.

For the whole August 29th interview in Forbes.

 

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Impact Investing, Social Entrepreneurs

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

SOCAP RECAP: And what really is next?

At SOCAP, the excitement and energy at the conference was palatable. Never before has there been a gathering of bright, creative, energetic, diverse, and driven group of people. Truly. But perhaps that is what it takes to bring a new sector to life.

Enough about the amazing SOCAP conference, what is actually happening as a result of it? From first-hand observation, there is action across disciplines, from public policy to investment management, bootstrapping entrepreneurs to corporate attorneys, helping to move forward and make way for the impact sector. The industry is still in its formative years, developing and forming, but it will not be long before significant progress is made. Things happen quickly when bright and creative people get together.

Progress has been noted. The NYT sourced an article from Johnathan Weber of The Bay Citizen on topic of the conference.

But the notion that for-profit companies with a social mission at their core could constitute an “asset class” is fairly new. And though there are myriad challenges in making it real, there is genuine progress.

Kevin Jones, a serial entrepreneur who created the SOCAP conference, said such attitudes were evolving rapidly. “There is a changing investor mindset,” he said. “There is a true moral hunger for a new asset class.”

Mr. Jones cited a recent study showing that some $120 billion of investment capital — much of it from wealthy families — is looking for a socially productive, and profitable, home.

Collectively, social entrepreneurs, investors, and support organizations are still developing the infrastructure for the emerging asset class. Networks, legal structures, social policy advocates, and financial products are still being created to expand the base and make the market more available and mainstream. The collective belief is that this is a viable market and that there really is a means to do good while making money. Both institutional and retail investors should have opportunities to put their capital to work, not just earning a profit, but solving challenging environmental and social issues.

The character of social entrepreneurs and investors goes beyond “we can” to “we ARE”. With the dedication and innovation of talented people, the momentum is already moving social enterprise and impact investment forward.

Filed under: Impact Investing, 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

Big Brands Take On Scrap Fabric High-Fashion

See that scrap of leftover fabric on the floor of the textile mill or clothing manufacture floor? Don’t throw it away and bog up the landfill! Turn it into a dress! Then sell it on the floor of one of the largest retailers in the world!

Sound insane? Sound like a losing venture? Not these days. Goodone, a UK recycled clothing company, has signed on with Topshop and Tesco (Tesco being one of the largest retailers in the world). Over the past year, Goodone has reworked their strategy in order to get to the point where they could contract with such large-scale retailers. It seems the strategy paid off with contracts.

Filed under: Impact Investing, Innovation, Social Entrepreneurs

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