Social Enterprise

The highs and lows of creating the world’s first social stock exchange

The world is coming around to social stock exchanges (SSEs). In just the past few months, Scotland, Jamaica, and now India have thrown their hat in the ring to launch their own platforms, all with the hope of solving one of the greatest challenges to social capital markets: the need to connect capital to socially-minded

The Multibillion-Dollar Potential Of Social Innovation

Societies worldwide are facing changes on a monumental scale. We are already experiencing the consequences of aging populations, digitization and climate change. The emergence of artificial intelligence and advanced automation technologies, as well as the ability to manipulate the human genome will have a comparable impact. Will we be able to rise to the challenges

Treat Social Risk Like Any Other Risk to Avoid Business Disruptions

The ramp speed of business-disrupting social issues has accelerated in 2019. Mother’s Day triggered a backlash for Nike’s policy of reducing pay for some sponsored female athletes while pregnant, extending the criticisms and litigation on its gender equity issues. And, in Silicon Valley the modus operandi for many has been to build scale and worry later about social impact. This has

Meet the social enterprise fighting child labour through fashion

As the countdown to the 2019 Social Enterprise World Forum continues, one Ethiopian social enterprise is taking a lead in ending child labour through fashion. Established in 2009, Yefikir Design is a fashion design house with a much bigger vision than just fashion design. Yefikir Design is founded and managed by the internationally recognized award winning, Ethiopian

Greenwashing Is Out, Let’s ‘Out’ the Greenwashers

Business leaders are shifting their priorities, embracing the idea of the “double bottom line”, supplanting shareholder primacy with stakeholder primacy, and committing – at least notionally – to environmental sustainability. That’s good news, said Caroline Anstey, Senior Advisor to Sustainable Markets at the World Economic Forum. But not all of this environmental commitment is genuine.

Meet the green entrepreneurs taking the world by storm

The planet is changing and it is becoming more obvious by the day that the responsibility can be shared between a handful of companies. After Greta Thunberg’s poignant speech at the UN Climate Summit, it seems the environmental conscience has been elevated significantly overnight, with unconvinced individuals globally starting to realise how serious the climate crisis

Today’s Social Entrepreneur: Inspired By Gandhi, Taught By Prahalad, Leading Like Yunus

Somewhere in the world today, a person is dedicating his or her life to a pressing social or political injustice that they believe must be corrected.  They will fight discrimination, create solutions for clean drinking water, or push for legislation to provide quality education to young people.   They will be inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, but

The Ghost Workers Powering The AI Economy

Rightly or wrongly, the AI-driven world has come to typify the woes of modern economic life, as tech giants such as Facebook and Alphabet amass vast fortunes, due in large part to the huge quantities of data that users often freely provide them. Accusations of economic imbalance tend to be multi-faceted. Not only do these companies

How This Woman Successfully Launched An Ethical Shoe Brand With Zero Fashion Experience

Ten years ago, Bethany Tran went to Guatemala and had a transformative week that would ultimately change the trajectory of her career. Her friends had started a nonprofit that was working to break the cycle of poverty in the largest urban slum in Central America. It was her first time abroad and her first real

Solar-powered railway could reduce fossil fuel reliance

The world's first solar farm to directly power a railway line has been plugged in -- a development that could lay the foundations for the world's first solar-powered trains. Social enterprise Riding Sunbeams has installed about 100 solar panels near a train station in Aldershot, southeast England. Energy captured by the 30kWp solar panels will directly supply signaling

Do Ethics Really Matter To Today’s Consumers?

Unlike any other time in history, consumers are truly demanding more from the companies with which they do business. Today’s shoppers are looking for ethical, eco-friendly brands that put people and the planet ahead of profits. Led by the estimated 83 million millennials in the world, this change shows the need for companies to lead with compassion and

When will the first social enterprise have a huge IPO?

In a year where we have already seen Uber, Lyft, and Zoom go public, as well as African e-commerce platform Jumia, it’s clear that 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the tech IPO. These tech IPOs are going to mint hundreds of new millionaires and the occasional billionaire. Many of these newly

Social innovation in emerging Europe

Social innovation is now widely recognised as having the ability to enhance society’s capacity to act by turning social and economic challenges into opportunities. The global map of social innovation initiatives reveals countless approaches and successful stories which show the strength and potential of social innovation in many areas, not least education and poverty reduction,

Looking Beyond Profit Can Give Your Company Purpose – Here’s How

When I first became an entrepreneur, I didn’t think about the social impact my business could have. I was focused on growing my brand, hiring great people and serving our customers better than the competition. But today, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is as essential to building a successful business as sales or marketing. There's no

Rise of the social enterprise and the future of work

What does it mean to be future-ready? What are the tangible changes that will take place in the workforce and workplace that HR needs to be ready for? What are the right questions to ask to help us reimagine the future of work? Finding the answers to these questions is no easy task, but the

How a Berlin startup is feeding 40,000 people a day

Two things struck Sebastian Stricker back when he used to work for the UN World Food Program: how little it cost— just 40 euro cents—to feed a child in a developing country for a day, and that there are still hundreds of millions of kids suffering from severe hunger. “At the same time, there were

Easing ‘classroom crisis’ in Côte d’Ivoire, brick by (plastic) brick

“This factory will be at the cutting edge of smart, scalable solutions for some of the major education challenges that Africa’s children and communities face,” said UNICEFExecutive Director Henrietta Fore. “Its potential is threefold: more classrooms for children in Côte d’Ivoire, reduced plastic waste in the environment, and additional income avenues for the most vulnerable families.”

This is what is still holding social entrepreneurs back

In an increasingly polarised world, obtaining 100% agreement for anything seems impossible. Yet, in our survey of leading social entrepreneurs across the world, 100% of respondents agreed on one point. Every social entrepreneur said they would do it all over again, despite: • 75% reporting use of personal funds to support their social enterprise •

How Buying Social Is Changing The World

At the Houses of Parliament in London earlier this year, SAP Executive Board member Adaire Fox-Martin (pictured above) appealed to an audience of the United Kingdom’s leading social-enterprise CEOs and corporate executives to come even closer together to find “a better way to grow.” Together with Chair Lord Victor Adebowale and CEO Peter Holbrook, Adaire

To Survive As A Social Enterprise, Purpose Has To Come Second

In 2012, Anna Robertson asked herself a question that many young people working in international development ask, “Who benefits from these programs?” She was working in Ghana on behalf of the Australian Government and was seeing a lot of money move from Government to Government. She was seeing a lot of “box ticking”. But at