Category Archives: Social Entrepreneurship

Mobile Phones and the Rise of the Microentrepreneurs

(HuffingtonPost)

Mobile phones are having a transformative effective on developing countries. While developed countries race to get the latest tablet or smart phone, simpler technologies are improving the lives and economic well-being of millions around the world.

The mobile phone — is creating substantial impact in the developing world, changing the lives of low-income individuals, especially in rural communities. Cellphone use has experienced its greatest growth in emerging markets, where much of the community has bypassed traditional land-line telephones. Today, six billion mobile phones are being used throughout the world, with approximately 75 percent of users living in developing countries. Mobile technology provides unparalleled opportunities to break the cycle of poverty by providing access to markets, information, financial services and viable business opportunities that were previously unavailable.

Read the full article on the Huffington Post, Mobile Phones and the Rise of the Microentrepreneurs.

Social responsibility: the business case

(AsiaDigitalMap.com)

Consumers are demanding more of organisations. Rather than simply being told which products and services are available to them, consumers now have a voice in shaping the service they receive and social media has changed the game for business. You only need to post an irate remark about a customer-facing brand on Twitter to see this in action…

Consumers make decisions based on more than the physical products and services. Emotions, values and morals all feed into this process, and businesses have realised they can start to tap into these traits via communication on social media channels – they can turn buyers into advocates.

We as consumers are in a position to demand more of businesses. Away from deals and discounts, if we use social media channels to call out the socially responsible actions of business, imagine the change that would cause? Given the relationships we’re now forming with brands online, if corporate Australia fails to prove its genuine commitment to society, patrons will continue head for the exit and tell everyone they know on the way out.

Read the full article at AsiaDigitalMap.com

Social Entrepreneurship Articles of the Week

The BIG IDEA: Global Spread of Affordable Housing

(Ashoka.org)

Links to a free downloadable ebook.

Diverse innovators share insights on critical barriers: from securing land rights to new home equity loan products, from inventing the technology to produce low-cost, eco-friendly building materials to how to transform corporate culture to succeed in emerging markets, from matching solutions to specific market needs to rethinking the relationship of collaboration to ultimate competitive advantage in the housing market.

The BIG IDEA: GLOBAL SPREAD OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING is a unique resource for social and business entrepreneurs, policymakers, corporations, researchers, management consultants and citizens. Each post is the link to years of work and lessons that are now yours to keep, share and explore further with the authors and each other.

All the sinners saints? why bono’s (red) can’t redeem western consumers

(Globalenvision.org)

Product (RED) is a flawed market-based poverty solution that distracts from the need for genuine innovation in corporate business models, argue Brand Aid authors Lisa Richey and Stefano Ponte.

The power of purpose

(CIPE.org)

Corporate citizenship is not just good business, it is a good business strategy. Especially in the global context, being a good corporate citizen can lead a business to prosperity and at the same time help build better societies, protect human rights, and facilitate economic development.

Looking back in time to move luxury fashion forward

(ClearlySo.com)

When I tell people Rebecca Street is a sustainable and ethical luxury fashion label, I’m met with the same confused and sceptical look I might get if I’d said: “We sell organic fair-trade coffee in Styrofoam cups,” or “We sell Hummers made from 100% post-consumer steel and aluminium.”

 

Customer Dissatisfaction for a Cause

(ConeInc.com)

Frustration, anger and grumbling stomachs were just a few of the symptoms of this recent cause marketing campaign. According to trend spotter Springwise.com, the companies partnered with the Food Bank Foundation and intentionally made customers wait to give them a little taste of what it’s like to be hungry. When the pizzas finally arrived, each came with a note stating, “When you’re hungry, you understand hunger.” For their trouble, customers got their pizzas free of charge, and they could also donate to the Food Bank Foundation to help fight serious cases of hunger. The campaign has already raised enough money to collect 50 tons of food and provided customers a reality check on what it feels like to be hungry.

 Benefit Corporations – Who are they?

(SocialEnterpriseBuzz.com)

In 2010, the first benefit corporation legislation passed in the United States, giving companies the option to pursue social missions alongside profits under this law. Though skepticism still exists for companies attempting to provide public service, there is no doubt that social ventures are working collectively to create more than economic value. But who are they? According to professor Craig R. Everett at the Graziadio School of Business and Management, there are close to 100 benefit corporations that span across seven states.

Attracting Funds to Your Social Enterprise

(ChangedByDesign.com)

Gone are the days when a thank you letter or annual report would suffice for communicating with your supporters. Today’s donors want to know exactly whose lives they are impacting, and they want transparency of how their dollars are being used. Whether you are seeking impact investors or philanthropic donations, the key is to demonstrate the ROI your organization provides to the investor as a combination of financial and social returns. See Part 1 of this series to understand how potential investors and donors are evaluating your company against other charitable investments.

 

McDonald’s UK New Stakeholder Engagement Website Shows Signs of Progress

(TriplePundit.com)

Following the failures of McDonald’s #McStories, #shamrocking and #MeetTheFarmer twitter campaigns, which have brought a storm of protest against the company, McDonald’s UK decided to try another approach. Instead of using an open social media platform in campaigns that seems to be more about advertising, it decided to build a new platform that will actually be more about engagement. The result is What Makes McDonald’s?, where stakeholders are invited to find the facts, share their views and ask McDonald’s a question or two.

 Do we need a new form of philanthropic enterprise designed to work across the continuum from grants to impact investing?

(Philanthropy.blogspot.ca)

The last few years have given us both B Corporations and L3Cs – hybrid forms that provides entrepreneurs with a corporate structure committed to both profitability and social good. Is it time for a similar innovation in the way we structure the capital for social good?

Will the next ten years see the creation of hybrid foundations – a capital investing form structured specifically to allow greater flexibility in how funds are used for social good?