October 2010

Social Entrepreneurs Make the World Better With Coffee Grounds, Mushrooms and Bread

They’re all extraordinarily impressive. Where do you start in either lauding or supporting the inventiveness of people who use coffee grounds, mushrooms, and bread to improve people's lives? Or create green jobs and solar energy to save the planet?

I guess you start by saying "Wow!" Human inventiveness is unstoppable, and aren't we glad it is!

Tagged Products, Smartphones Offer New Business and Fundraising Possibilities

This is one of three blogs about the future of tech-enabled business models. Check out Tech Knowledge Will Expand Markets, Services of Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits and Break Down Walls to Build Creativity With New Technology to read what else is in store.

It started with GPS: You can track where you are and where you want to be because a device in your hand or your car is communicating – networked – with a satellite.

That brings us to yet another section of the McKinsey report on 10 Tech-Enabled Business Trends. This one is called "The Internet of Things."

Don't Lose Your Social Conscience in Holiday Madness

Oh, the candy, the costumes, the sheer greedy fun of it all!

Is it possible to have Halloween with the candy, the costumes, and the fun but cut back on the greed a little? Absolutely! In fact, you might even increase the fun by thinking outside the bags of mini-Mars and candy corn.

Competition Helps Women-Owned Businesses Plan for Success

As many of you know, I enjoy mentoring, coaching, and serving as a judge in business plan competitions. Competitions that guide entrepreneurs in their preparation for the competition provide enormous value to those seeking angel and venture capital as well as to nonprofits seeking grant money. By the end of the competition, the proposed enterprises have been tweaked and vetted so they are better able to attract the support they need, and are more likely to succeed.

Springboard Enterprises is the most comprehensive program I’ve been involved in.

Sorry guys, this is for women only.

Pink Ribbons Show Power of Cause Marketing

If you aren't a fan of cause-marketing, you might look around you this month and reconsider. How many pink ribbons do you see?

That's the power of cause marketing. Organizations from Yoplait to the Susan G. Komen Run for the Cure are sending a message everyone instantly recognizes: that pink loop of ribbon means both donate and get a breast exam.

L3C Corporate Form Provides Broad Funding Flexibility for Socially Focused Organizations

By David Rudofsky

The Low-Profit Limited Liability Company, or L3C for short, represents an attractive hybrid business form available to organizations located in Vermont, Michigan, Utah, Wyoming, and Illinois. Specifically, adoption of the L3C form – a hybrid between LLC’s and 501(c.)(3) nonprofit organizations – has the potential to simplify life for nonprofit organizations that may generate some income, even though their primary purpose is charitable or educational, and not income generation. The L3C form may also be of great appeal to for-profit organizations that want to have the leeway to prioritize social gain over profits, without risking shareholder lawsuits.

SoCap Encourages Private/Public Partnerships and New Ways to Measure Social Return on Investment

"Redefine capitalism" and "connected capitalism:" phrases denoting both evolution and revolution in the way investors view social enterprise. Those are terms used at the Social Capital Markets Conference last weekend in San Francisco.

The good news is that the evolution has begun and, with the focus on the disasters wrought by "business as usual" capitalism, it may be possible to make some revolutionary changes in the way the value of business is measure.

Create a New Habit – Investing in Social Impact – With Marketing

In September, Vistas was one five finalists – second place! – in an international blogging competition. The subject: How to unlock $120 billion of investment funds for social enterprises. The blog was posted on TriplePundit October 1.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Boomers Don't Retire, They Take Charge

Boomers are noticeable for their peculiar attitude toward retirement. For a surprising number of them, retirement is not an opportunity to take up golf or even travel the world. It's a challenge to fill the time with something meaningful. For many, it means starting a business, changing careers, or volunteer work.

Social Entrepreneurs, Heads Up! Here's Your Chance to Get Noticed (And Funded)!

I've long been a fan of Echoing Green, which invests in and supports entrepreneurs who creatively attack the world's social problems. Echoing Green uses words like "Moment of Obligation," that instant in which you realize that you are the "somebody" in the phrase, "Somebody should do something."  And "gall to think big."