Monthly Archives: August 2008

Models for Early Stage Funding

Several outfits, that I am counseling, are looking at the traditional VC route to raise funds. Sometimes people find this at odds with a socially focused business. The term Social Entrepreneur provides a broad umbrella that covers a number of different types of organizations – ranging from non-profits, to socially focused businesses (as defined by Yunus) to for-profits that have solutions that address a social issue in a major way. Continue reading

Books Page

I just added a books page with a sampling of books in various areas of entrepreurship, development, environment and social entrepreneurial ideas – plus some random stuff 🙂

https://socialecosystem.wordpress.com/resources/books/

Will add as I get a chance. Let me know of any interesting ones you come across in any of these areas.

Enjoy

Entrepreneur’s Notebook

I have spent the past several years counseling a number of startups and emerging social entrepreneurs. As I have gone over numerous business plans, ideas strategies, I have been trying to distill some of the learnings from the growing pains of these various nascent enterprises. I hope very soon to write about this on this blog. Continue reading

7 Rules of Low Cost Design

I came across this article that summarizes Amy Smith’s philosophy of design for low cost solutions

Here are her 7 key points. You can read the entire article on Popular Mechanics.

  1. Try living for a week on $2 a day.
  2. Listen to the right people.
  3. Do the hard work needed to find a simple solution.
  4. Create “transparent” technologies
  5. Make it inexpensive.
  6. If you want to make something 10 times cheaper, remove 90 percent of the material
  7. Provide skills, not just finished technologies.

Some of Amy’s inventions and designs are also described with diagrams in another article Small, Low-Tech Inventions for Big, World-Changing Problems on their website. Amy is an editorial advisor for Popular Mechanics.

International Development Design Summit

Yesterday I attended the final presentation of the International Development Design Summit at MIT – the brainchild of Amy Smith, MacArthur Fellow and lecturer in MIT’s Mechanical Engineering department. This, now yearly, event brought together nearly 60 students from 20 countries around the world to work together with a team of mentors and staff to tackle a number of design problems facing NGOs and non-profits in developing countries. Continue reading