Vistas: Geri Stengel’s Blog: Social Entrepreneurs

How One Social Entrepreneur Hopes to Avoid the Pitfalls on the Road to Doing Good

So you think you want to be a philanthropist or a social entrepreneur, to use your hard-earned talents to make the world a better place.

How to Succeed in Business: 5 Lessons from Successful Women

When you start digging, you find out all sorts of interesting things, both good and bad. I’ve been researching the success factors that unite highly successful women entrepreneurs. Along the way, I’ve learned about ways in which small businesses can help themselves move up the ladder of success, how focusing on work/life fit can help a company grow and, yes, the factors that help women entrepreneurs succeed as well as pitfalls to beware of.

Customers Determine Product Design for Social Enterprise

Editor’s note: To help social entrepreneurs anticipate and avoid some of the problems of starting a social-good business, Ventureneer will do a series of blogs about the progress of Greenway Grameen Infra, a very likely candidate for success. “Grameen” means “rural” or “village.” Greenway Grameen Infra is not associated with the Grameen Foundation. I’ll be checking back with them regularly to see what’s working and what’s not. Right now, it’s looking good.

Pipeline Fellowship Announces Call for Applications in NYC and Boston

by Lauren Abele

For entrepreneurs looking to positively impact people, planet, and profit by launching a triple bottom line enterprise, financing opportunities are scarce.  Why? Traditional investors—like banks, angels, and VCs—tend to look exclusively at financial return on investment and ignore social impact when making an investment decision. On the other hand, most foundations and other nonprofit funders, which traditionally have funded projects with high social and environmental impact, are either unable to or not interested in funding for-profit companies. With this funding dichotomy, where is there room to do well and do good?

Social Entrepreneurs Well Represented Among Big Break Finalists

Who will you vote for? It’s a tough choice! American Express OPEN and Facebook have chosen 10 finalists in their Big Break contest, out of 11,000 entries. Five of them will receive their “big break,” a Facebook makeover at Facebook headquarters and $20,000 to grow their businesses.

Social Enterprise is Good for Your Health

Some people know what matters. And, I’m happy to say, there are a lot of them. The Unreasonable Institute just announced the top social enterprises competing for funding by the Institute and noted that there were so many good applicants that the process of whittling them down had been arduous.

Social Media Week and Ventureneer’s Social Media Library: Lots to Think About!

Oh, my! It’s like a smorgasbord: So much good stuff to choose from, I don’t know where to begin! And if I choose too much, I’ll explode!

Social Media Week events (February 7 - 11) are free, including one focused on using social media for social good here in New York. But Social Media transcend borders so this is global: San Francisco, Rome, Paris, Toronto, Sao Paulo, London, Hong Kong and Istanbul will all host events throughout the week. Updates will be available via social media for those who cannot attend.

Social Entrepreneurs Use Old Skills, New Approaches to Solve Social Problems

Some make change by using old tools – growing mushrooms or training bakers – other redesign the standard business model in order to change the world. 

Last week, I described the innovations of two of the Utne Social Ventures Network 2010 Innovation Award winners who are using the basics to change lives. Now let's look at tweaking the business model.

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!

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.



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