Reclaiming the Investment Dialogue for Social Entrepreneurs

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Welcome to the Social Edge update!

Social entrepreneurs often innovate by adapting existing business models to socially-oriented outcomes. The result is a variety of for-profit, nonprofit, and hybrid business structures that have been used by entrepreneurs to create and deliver social value.

But for Cathy Clark, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at CASE at Duke, “the idea of a business model goes much deeper than a legal form.”

She and her team created a peer matrix with eight business model types and they need your input to take the model to the next level: where do social entrepreneurs look for possible improvements? Do they look mostly at others in their field or their local networks?

Samantha Beinhacker and Josh Tetrick share what happens when the crowdfunding community collaborates, and Darian Heyman Rodriguez looks into one of the most important measurements for an organization to understand and properly manage: “cash on hand.”

Jonathan Lewis reflects on the global diaspora’s philanthropic potential, considering that 175 million people live outside the country of their birth, while Tania Ellis gives practical examples of entrepreneurs putting social values at the center of business.

Sam Goldman writes about a new d.light design solar LED light, one that may replace millions of kerosene lanterns and change how children do their homework.

The potential impact? In a village in Sudan, pass rates went from 57 to 97 percent in just one year when students were provided with solar lighting.


Join this Week’s Live Discussions

Legal Form Strategies
For-profit, nonprofit or hybrid? CASE at Duke’s Cathy Clark goes beyond simple categories and identifies eight business model types. Look at her peer matrix and tell us what type of business model you are operating.

Reclaiming the Investment Dialogue for Social Entrepreneurs
Financially viable social enterprises are a scarce resource, and social entrepreneurs need to reclaim their position of power at the bargaining table, say Felix Oldenburg, Michael Vollman, Paula Cardenau and Renee Manuel, from Ashoka. What do you think?

Is the Social Economy Built on Air?
The social enterprise and investment sector is not yet sustainable, and despite colossal failures, the scale of actual activity is still depressingly small. Rod Schwartz wonders whether this is all built on air.

Where does one start?
There are hundreds of reasons NOT to pursue your social entrepreneurship idea. Many will give up. But not you. You are determined. Just take a deep breath and share your experience with Saul Garlick, CEO of ThinkImpact.

The Generosity of the Have-Nots: Them That’s Not Shall Give
The most generous people are often those with less money, but many wealthy individuals also give huge sums to philanthropic causes. So, wonders Charles (hipbone) Cameron: rich or poor, who is doing the giving?

The Impact Investing Wave
Successful social entrepreneurs are exploring for-profit revenue models, and the impact-investing wave has arrived in full force. But will it simply flood the marketplace with hype? Join Cathy Clark, with CASE at Duke, in the conversation.


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Victor d’Allant
Executive Director, Social Edge
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Palo Alto, CA 94301