Tag Archives: sustainable development

Vijay Mahajan of BASIX on risks and results in microfinance

A good article that touches on some of the issues in my last post is a recent interview of Vijay Mahajan on the Credit Suisse website. In the interview Mr. Mahajan points out to some of the prerequisites for microfinance to pull people out of poverty. He also highlights the need to match investment growth in this sector to the available management capacity in order to avoid a bubble in the sector. Here are some extracts from his interview. Continue reading

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Another successful year for ForSE 2009

Another successful conference on Social Entrepreneurship was held on October 23rd, this time at Babson College in Boston’s Wellesley suburb. Details on the conference and photos were posted in a local e-magazine, Lokvani.com and are reproduced below for those who could not attend. Continue reading

Sustainable Business Models for Social Ventures

Panel Description for ForSE 2009

In decades past, many non-profits have achieved only temporary success and limited scale due to dependence on grants and donations. A new breed of ventures has begun innovating revenue models to build greater capacity and sustain operations. These approaches leverage the power of markets to meet social needs. Whether they’re building a socially responsible brand of clothing, providing renewable energy solutions, or bringing banking to the poor, these organizations have discovered the sustainable power of partnering with their customers.

Hear from a panel of innovative organizations that are thinking outside the box in terms of building sustainable models. Click here to register.

Panelists

Moderator

  • Prof Nitin Joglekar, School of Management, Boston University

Equal Exchange – Special In-depth Case Study and solutions brainstorming

Case Presenter: Rodney North, The Answer Man, Equal Exchange

Moderator: Gaurav Rohtagi, Principal, Continuum

Equal Exchange, the Massachusetts-based employee-owned worker co-operative best known for introducing Fair Trade coffee to American grocery stores in that late ‘80s.

Equal Exchange has over 100 employees in 6 states and $35 million in annual revenue. They’ve recently won six different awards for their environmentally and socially responsible business practices including the Social Innovation Award from the Financial Times newspaper and the World’s Most Democratic Workplace award from WorldBlu.

ForSE 2009 Agenda Details

ForSE 2009: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs promises to continue the tradition of interactive and engaging forums that we have produced in the past.

The opening keynoter is Andre Potter, Executive Director, Massachusetts Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. After the plenary session the Forum will split into four parallel panels for an in-depth discussion with a panel of practitioners and experts on cutting edge issues in the social sector:

  • Sustainable Business Models for Social Ventures
  • Valuing Social Enterprises
  • Social Media for Social Entrepreneurs
  • An Investors perspective of Microfinance

More details on each of the panels in a subsequent post. Continue reading

ForSE 2009 Pitch Contest – Pitching SE: How Good Leaders Sell Smart Ideas

For the first time ForSE 2009: Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, will have a pitch contest for aspiring social entrepreneurs. If you have an idea with significant social impact, here is your chance to pitch it and to wow a panel of expert judges and win a prize.  Send in a short summary of your idea to pitch@tie-se.org

Complete details on the contest are below.

Pitching SE: How Good Leaders Sell Smart Ideas

Cutting through the clutter to get the attention of foundations and other social investors is not easy. To win donor support, SE leaders must sell clear and compelling stories that differentiate them from other organizations.

Pitching SE is your opportunity to refine your pitch, focus your ideas and wow a panel of seasoned judges. A panel of experienced non-profit and social investors will evaluate your pitch, and provide feedback and constructive advice.

Eligibility

You don’t need a business plan – just a business idea with significant social impact.

Your idea can be for a non-profit or for-profit or any combination.

It needs to be early stage/less than a year old – operations started after September 1, 2008.

How to apply

Applicants should be a registered attendee for ForSE 2009.

Applicants should mail the following information to pitch@tie-se.org by 11.59 pm October 14, 2009.

  • Name of organization.
  • Names of team members.
  • School affiliation (if applicable).
  • A two page (1000 word) Executive Summary of the business idea.
  • Brief bios (1-2 para) of team members. This will not be counted towards the 2 pg limitation.

Selection process

Entries received will be evaluated by a team consisting of ForSE 2009 organization committee members and judged on the following criteria

  • Social Impact
  • Innovation
  • Feasibility of idea
  • Sustainable business model

The top FIVE entries will be notified by October 17th and will be asked to present to the panel of judges at ForSE 2009 on October 23rd at 3 pm. All other entries will be eligible for the Wild Card selection which will happen live during the Pitching SE session on the day of the conference. The panel of judges at the Pitching SE session will, at their discretion and time permitting, select up to two additional entries to pitch.

Final Pitching SE Session

The selected finalists will have two minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and the conference audience. Following their presentations, the panel of judges will ask clarifying questions of the finalist. The judges will score the presenters on the following criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Potential Social Impact
  • Feasibility
  • Sustainability of model
  • Presentation clarity and persuasiveness

After the five finalists have completed their presentations, the judges, at their discretion, will select up to two additional Wild Card entries to pitch. Entrants need to be present to qualify. These Wild Card entries will also be evaluated on the same criteria and will be eligible for the awards. All the presentation scores will be tallied and a winner identified by the end of the Pitching SE Session.

Awards

The winning finalist will be eligible for a combination of monetary and in kind consulting award.