Tag Archives: social enterprise

Quote

“…(But) creat…

“…(But) creating effective solutions is not a matter of simply sorting what works from what does not work, and then scaling up what works. It is a matter of understanding what works under which circumstances and for whom. The world is more nuanced and complicated than we want to admit. Rarely is the solution to a problem ‘one-size-fits-all.’ We need to realize that what appears to be ‘best practice’ has to be qualified and is usually temporary, best only until something better comes along. And we should always be challenging ourselves to do better.”

-Greg Dees

Christopher Gergen co-authored a nice piece in yesterday’s edition of the News and Observer that focused on remembering Greg Dees and highlighting some of his students who are carrying on his legacy. The above quote was initially published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Christopher’s full article is at http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/01/3659671/doing-better-greg-dees-helped.html

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CyTunes – download music, downsize cancer

I’m readying a series of posts about CyTunes – a great example of social enterprise, community, fundraising and innovation.  I’ll let you know up front that I’m biased, as my wife is the project manager and I’m volunteering to help with the social media aspect of promotion.  Below is my first cut at building a widget, built at sproutbuilder in a couple of hours (and I’m sure it would have taken less time for someone who is more technically proficient):

CyTunes sprout

Update: I was going to have the sprout embedded here, but apparently I can’t do so on the free version of wordpress (or I’m just not very savvy).  Easy interface is provided for over a dozen services, including facebook and blogger, so if you want to see how the sprout looks “in action” you can go to my facebook page – it’s both under my “info” and in a separate “my stuff” tab.  I’ve also added it to my tumblr site, which I’ve found incredibly useful and fun for keeping track of little bits of info that I think are worth sharing.

SE Business Planning Tool from RootCause

Just got this announcement from the npEnterprise listserv, and signed up to download my free copy.  Yes, you do need to provide your info and wait for a separate email to get the link to download the free copy.

I haven’t looked at anything other than the table of contents yet, but this seems to be worth your time.  If nothing else, their inclusion of a section on articulating a social impact model sets this apart from other business plan tools available for free online and makes it a compelling read for the social entrepreneur.

The pitch from publisher/consultant/sector leader Root Cause below:

I am pleased to announce the release of our organization¹s new book,
Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact: A Social-Entrepreneurial
Approach to Solving Social Problems, co-written by Andrew Wolk and Kelley
Kreitz.

You can purchase the paperback version online at Amazon.com or download a
free PDF copy at www.rootcause.org/bizplanning.

While there are countless books about writing business plans for financial
return or a nonprofit business venture, we wrote this book because there
were none we could find on how to write a business plan to solve a social
problem.

Business Planning for Enduring Social Impact applies the strategic rigor and
financial savvy of traditional private-sector business planning to social
problem solving. The guide provides an introduction to business planning and
leads readers through a four step process for creating an actionable
business plan. The book also includes a sample business plan!

We believe the book is an essential tool for organizations seeking to:

€ Define organizational focus and strategy, and establish a clear roadmap to
guide future action;
€ Build a financially sustainable model by creating a plan to establish
reliable streams of philanthropic income, earned income, and/or in-kind
resources;
€ Establish rigorous methods of measuring social impact;
€ Make data-driven decisions;
€ Build partnerships with organizations in the public, private, and
nonprofit sectors dedicated to solving social problems.

Conversation: The Future of Social Enterprise

Harvard Business School professors V. Kasturi Rangan and Susan McDonald are hosting a conversation based on their recent paper, The Future of Social Enterprise. Click here to read a summary of their findings and join in the conversation.

The questions posed center around social sector evolution and measuring ROI and social impact – the conversation started today and already has some interesting posts.  These web forum conversations generally only last a week or two, so check it out now in order to participate!

L3C in VT – blending non-profit goals and for-profit structure

An interesting post from yesterday on npEnterprise – Vermont has passed a bill to allow incorporation as a “low-profit liability company,” or L3C.  This is basically an LLC (limited liability company) that is allowed to accept PRI’s (Program Related Investments, often from foundations) traditionally limited to nonprofits.

In other words, this is a new business structure that recognizes the blended value proposition of a double bottom line that incorporates both social and financial goals.  Legislation has also been introduced here in NC, and is apparently awaiting action in the House Finance Committee.

Check out Americans for Community Development’s website for more details on how an L3C works and the current legislative status.  Or read the original post with additional links below:

Thu May 22, 2008 9:58 am (PDT)

Vermont recently passed a lot of bill regarding L3C’s, which allows
organizations to incorporate into “low-profit liability companies.”

If you would like additional info on the concept, Heather Peeler (Managing
Director of Community Wealth Ventures) wrote an article last year that outlines
the purpose of L3C’s.
http://www.communitywealth.com/Newsletter/August%202007/L3C.html

The bill was championed by a group called Americans for Community Development.
Check them out here:
http://americansforcommunitydevelopment.org/

Becky Eisen
Social Franchise Ventures, LLC.

Some additional information: Vermont Legislature passed
our L3C bill and the Governor of Vermont signed it, so it’s now in the books.

Aspen Institute’s FIELD on Microfinance and Social Enterprise

Just learned of this nifty resource from the NP-Enterprise listserv: a new article called “Social Enterprise and MicroEnterprise: Understanding the Connection” posted at the Aspen Institute’s FIELD homepage (a program of the Aspen Institute focused on microenterprise as an anti-poverty strategy).  It’s a great brief on the basics of social enterprise, social purpose businesses, and micorenterprise.

Also on the homepage are links to a webinar on how microenterprises are using social enterprise to increase sustainability (free registration required, 90 min – unfortunately not able to be downloaded and saved, and I haven’t had time to listen to it in full yet) and a recent FIELD forum (their newsletter) focused on social enterprise.  Both of these resources include a case study of Mountain BizWorks, a project right here in North Carolina (up in Asheville) that I was previously unaware of.  Great reading!

RecycleBank on CNN

Just saw an interesting short news story on RecycleBank, which I hadn’t heard of before.  They motivate people to recycle by offering incentives from big corporate partners like Coke and Kraft.  Cities pay RecycleBank with money saved from landfill overuse fees, and the founder claims that most cities that implement the program have seen increases in recycling of over 100%.

A very interesting model for social entrepreneurship, and definitely seems to be scalable.  Seems that they’re currently located primarily in the northeastern US, but I’m guessing that the CNN story will help them scale out more quickly.  I’m very curious as to whether the customers (actually, I guess they should be called “end users,” as the customers paying for the service are the cities) have found the rewards program to be actually valuable.

I’m also really curious as to how the revenue works and the costs of the scanning equipment being retrofitted to the trucks (particularly upkeep/repair costs), but I’m sure that those things are trade secrets that won’t be revealed anytime soon.  Very interesting model, though, and the type of thing that I’d love to write a case study for!