That’s a good question, and one that will be the focus of debate during one of the many engaging and thought-provoking sessions at this year’s Investors’ Circle Spring Conference, April 19-21 at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco. Online registration for the even closes today, though, so if you want to attend you’d better get registered.
Social Enterprise: Seizing Emergent Opportunities is the theme of this year’s event, where speakers and attendees alike will grapple with the obstacles and opportunities that investors and entrepreneurs are facing, as sustainability moves from the fringe to the mainstream, as consumers demand more accountability and authenticity, and as the financial meltdown paves the way for a new kind of business-as-usual.
Mark Albion, founder of Net Impact and best-selling author of True to Yourself and More Than Money will moderate the debate over selling out and what it means and how to scale a mission-driven business while staying true to its core values. Judy Wicks, Founder of White Dog Caf√© and Pierre Ferrari, Board Chair of Ben & Jerry’s will join Mark in the debate.
This session closes out the three-day conference, on April 21, and follows a session on impact investing that uses Icestone, an IC company, as a case study. Kevin Jones from Good Capital and Adam Lowry from Method will take part in a panel on how investors can support their portfolio companies beyond the check-writing stage and serve supporting roles in these economic times. And sessions on the growing focus on water and investing in efforts to boost efficiency, purification and transportation; on exit strategies for social enterprises, the role of advocacy in social enterprises and a plenary session on the effects of the economic climate and of the new administration’s priorities on the prospects for social enterprise, will make it a content-rich day.
On the 20th, accredited investors can attend sessions featuring startups focused on health and wellness, community development, energy, alternative media, and sustainable products.