Social Enterprise

Value, growth, impact: how the lean startup approach can transform social enterprise

The lean startup framework has been used to transform the field of entrepreneurship, and is now being adopted by large enterprises as well. A number of social innovators and funds are also advocating and implementing the lean startup model for the social enterprise sector. Ann Mei Chang provides a comprehensive framework and extensive case studies

A Revolution in Access to Medicine is Underway in Five African Countries

Among the many barriers to quality healthcare in the developing world is the high cost of medicine. This is due, in part, to frequent disruptions in the supply chain. Customers who visit a pharmacy to purchase medicine can’t be guaranteed that the medicine will be something they can afford– or even if the medicine will

Reimagining the Economy: The Social Justice Enterprise

The belief that you can “do good while doing well” has entered the mainstream. Evidence of the trend ranges from the popularity of certifications like B Corp and the institutionalization of social enterprise as an academic field to the popular appetite for critiques of the concept—like that of Anand Giridharadas, in his best-selling book Winners Take

Cool but confused: Social entrepreneurs find it harder to explain their work

As businesses with a mission to do good become increasingly trendy, social entrepreneurs said they were finding it harder than ever to tackle one of their major problems - explaining what they do. For years social entrepreneurs trying to solve a wide range of issues from affordable healthcare to homelessness have faced the same question:

Social Entrepreneurs are Changing the Business Model

The most common form of not-for-profit is the social enterprise. The model has been around for decades and has been a common reference for charities, but it’s a misnomer. A social enterprise has never been part of the charity system. It’s a real business with its primary goal of using surpluses of the operation to

From purpose to personal, social entrepreneurs struggle to strike a balance

From tackling pollution to improving access to healthcare, social entrepreneurs try to use businesses to help solve some of the world’s greatest problems but many agree the magnitude of doing so with limited means can take a personal toll. At the Skoll World Forum, Britain’s leading conference on social entrepreneurship, about 1,200 leaders from social

How To Build A Socially Conscious Business

Welcome to the world of the purpose economy, where employees and consumers alike search for relationships that are meaningful beyond a paycheck or a purchase. In today’s world, companies of all sizes are being asked to proactively “do good.” They aren’t being forced to this end by the government or lawyers. No, companies are being

How a Social Entrepreneur is Fighting Counterfeit Medicines in the Developing World

Not long ago, the social entrepreneur Bright Simons tried and failed to create a platform to pair organic farmers in Ghana with consumers of organic products. But in that failure he made an important discovery that is now revolutionizing the fight against fake and counterfeit goods in the developing world — including potentially deadly counterfeit

How Social Innovation Can Fight Terrorism

An Islamic militant walks into a bar and hires a stripper. One week later, he blows himself up. Does his act count as terrorism? According to a West Point Combating Terrorism Center study, over 85 percent of the “Islamic” militants in their dataset had no formal religious education. And according to a United Nations Counter-Terrorism

This Entrepreneur Raised $100 Million To Provide Access To Power To 2.3 Billion People

Even though solar still has some mountains to climb in winning saturation, it is clear that it is one of the fastest growing sectors today and one of the most impactful. Solar energy could be considered a luxury in the United States, aside from communities where it has been mandated for new buildings. In emerging

This Baltimore social enterprise is building tech to reduce homelessness

Ava Pipitone, founder of HostHome, has a long way to go before her vision becomes a reality. Like many early-stage ventures, further growth will take a little luck and a lot of hard work. But the progress so far indicates she just might be building an excellent example of the true power of social enterprise. Working

Looking beyond the profits, corporations with a social conscience wonder how to measure success

Social businesses trying to solve a diverse range of problems, from homelessness to gender inequality, the refugee crisis to plastic pollution, often share the same conundrum — how to measure success. In an era of greater transparency, consumers and investors increasingly expect companies to look beyond profits and report their environmental and social impact. For

Balancing Act: One Entrepreneur’s Journey with Social Enterprise

In the entrepreneurial space, Mpho Sekwele is a force to be reckoned with. The daughter of parents who created their own small businesses in South Africa, Sekwele built on that firsthand knowledge by working in retail for 10 years before launching her own ventures. Bantu Hikers is her nonprofit mentoring organization, and SintuOnline is her

How One Church Tackled Their Community’s Affordable Housing Crisis

What kind of relationship should a congregation develop with a surrounding neighborhood that lacks affordable housing? Could a church, itself, be broken as a gift for others? Arlington Presbyterian Church saw these questions as an opportunity to re-envision its commitment to serving people in south Arlington, Va. Like many worship spaces in the U.S., attendance

Size doesn’t matter: Why community enterprises can solve the world’s largest problems

Whether it’s a community-owned pub or a cooperative renewable energy scheme, social businesses rooted in local communities are, by definition, small. But what they lack in size they make up for in ambition, with the power to re-shape our economy and help tackle the greatest global issues of our time. It’s no exaggeration to say

How FEED Projects Is On A Mission To Combat Childhood Hunger

Kicking off a series of profiles of inspiring women leaders, in celebration of International Women's Month, is Sarah Naseer, the President of FEED Projects. FEED is a social enterprise founded in 2007 by Lauren Bush Lauren that has provided over 100 million meals to children around the world to date. I sat down with Naseer to

Businesses ‘doing good’? Prove it

Social businesses trying to solve a diverse range of problems, from homelessness to gender inequality, the refugee crisis to plastic pollution often share the same conundrum – how to measure success. In an era of greater transparency, consumers and investors increasingly expect companies to look beyond profits and report their environmental and social impact. For

Meet The Social Entrepreneur Who Discovered A Problem Hiding In Plain Sight

There are lots of people who want to change the world—people who wish to use their time and talent to “do good.” But there’s no clear roadmap for how. Many social entrepreneurs, myself included, trace our journey back to a lightbulb moment where a combination of right-place-right-time and active curiosity suddenly illuminated a path forward.

Society and customers expect more, and a sustainable business model delivers

Sustainability is on the radar screen of every major organization. Some organizations, such as Interface, Patagonia and Unilever, have made fundamental shifts to redesign their operations behind sustainable principles. These are sustainability leaders. For most organizations, however, efforts have tended to stall out after the easy work of reducing energy and waste. But there is