Brown Signs Law for B Corp’s in California…Will Venture Capital Follow?

As reported in the October 10, 2011 L.A. Times, Governor Brown has signed California Assemblyman Jared Huffman’s, Bill AB 361 into law, allowing B Corporation to join Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont and Virginia, in legally operating in the State of California. Without this legal protection, says B Lab Co-Founder Jay Coen Gilbert, by prioritizing social (environmental and other sustainable) outcomes, California B Corporations were operating in what could have been considered opposition to the fiduciary duty to “maximize value to shareholders even if that comes at the expense of workers or the community or the environment.” Gilbert also notes … Continue reading Brown Signs Law for B Corp’s in California…Will Venture Capital Follow?

Let There Be Light (For the 3M People in the Philippines Without Electricity)…In a Soda Bottle?

Light…one Litre at a time. Take a used Soda bottle, add Water, Bleach and My Shelter Foundation’s Illac Diaz, and you get 50w of daytime light for 5 years. As reported by Brynn Opsahl, on the Global Envision website- using an MIT student design, Mr. Diaz has brought light to some 300,000 Phillipinos who had no, or illegal and unsafe access to electricity- without using electricity or any other non-sustainable energy The bottle is inserted and secured through a hole in the ceiling, and allows sunlight to refract, bringing 360 degrees of light into the room below. The design/application is: Sustainable Made from Recycled … Continue reading Let There Be Light (For the 3M People in the Philippines Without Electricity)…In a Soda Bottle?

Farm in a Pack?

With all eyes now on Somalia, one Social Entrepreneur, Rachel Zedeck, has been focusing on the systemic causes of food shortage and drought in the greater region, as well as the design and delivery of ‘colonial’ Aid programs for some time. In an August Dowser interview by Rachel Signer, Ms. Zedeck related the following: “Drought happens every year in this region. Every year there’s a famine. Every year there’s economic loss. This year is particularly bad but it’s not new. It’s like Somalia is a poster child for the aid world now. The real problems are systemic and that’s where … Continue reading Farm in a Pack?

New Business in the UK is Increasingly Social

“The findings are detailed in Fightback Britain, a report based on the largest analysis of the social enterprise sector in the UK, supported by the Co-operative Bank.  It reveals that social enterprises, which exist to benefit society and reinvest their profits, are twice as likely as mainstream businesses to have reported growth in the last year. They are also more likely to be led by women, young people, and those from minority ethnic groups. Research uncovers ‘start-up explosion’ in Britain’s most deprived communities – highlights from the report include: 39% of all social enterprises are based and working in the most deprived communities … Continue reading New Business in the UK is Increasingly Social

Could Social Enterprise Be the Next Growth Sector in the US Economy?

   The Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the “voice of micro-enterprise development” has released a report revealing the potential power of the micro-enterprise sector within the U.S. economy. Simply titled “One in Three,” it provides the following incredible statistic: if 1 in 3 micro-enterprises in the U.S. hired 1 employee, “the U.S. economy would reach full employment.” Here are three more amazing facts from the report: Micro businesses represent more than 80 percent of all businesses in the United States In 2010, more Americans became entrepreneurs than any time in the last 15 years A $5K increase in revenues per … Continue reading Could Social Enterprise Be the Next Growth Sector in the US Economy?

Ahkun: Providing a Marketplace Where the Micro-Finance Model Usually Ends

Like a cross between Kiva and Etsy, Ahkun works to close the cycle for artisans and micro-enterprise owners who have received micro-finance loans to begin their own business enterprises, by providing them a marketplace to sell their goods. The potential to sell their goods in non-local and international markets (where they may receive higher prices for their products), allows them to continue creating goods, and also to scale up their micro-enterprises. From the Ahkun website: “Ahkun CONNECTS artisans and entrepreneurs to the global marketplace. We harness the power of the web to provide microloan recipients access to the global market, … Continue reading Ahkun: Providing a Marketplace Where the Micro-Finance Model Usually Ends

Is the “Micro Consignment Model” The New Micro-Financing Model (that Traditional Investors Have Been Waiting For?)

First there was Micro-Finance, connecting the ‘unbankable’ and traditionally un-collateralized to sources of credit that could be leveraged into their own businesses or micro-enterprises. If, however, some loanees were not able to develop businesses, or scale, or sustain them, they were left with outstanding debts, that when difficult to repay resulted in default.  Not an attractive social entrepreneurial (socent) model for traditional investment. Although an incredible boon to individuals in developing countries, especially to women, and a testament to innovation in the socent and social capital arenas. Enter, Micro-Franchising. It adds an already existent product or service to sell by the “entrepreneur” … Continue reading Is the “Micro Consignment Model” The New Micro-Financing Model (that Traditional Investors Have Been Waiting For?)