Social Entrepreneurship Articles of the Week

The BIG IDEA: Global Spread of Affordable Housing


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


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


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


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


Frustration, anger and grumbling stomachs were just a few of the symptoms of this recent cause marketing campaign. According to trend spotter, 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?


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


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


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?


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?

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