People who mix business and pro-social goals are often portrayed as either opportunistic corporate “cause washers” cynically exploiting nonprofits, or visionary social entrepreneurs for whom conducting trade is just a necessary evil in their quest to create a better world. A decade of studying the field has revealed a far more nuanced landscape filled with well-intentioned people doing their best to cope with diverse internal and external challenges from making payroll to figuring out the best way to distribute development aid.
Category: Investment & Markets
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OAT has introduced a line of shoes that is fully biodegradable, will sprout flowers, and has current day styling that eschews the hippie cliches for a no compromise conscious consumer choice.
The Israeli company Alchemy Research offers a new method to power electric cars by using energy stored in aluminum grains. According to the company, cars powered with this type of energy can reach 2,400 km per tank.
Sara Winter saw a problem: that autistic kids had a hard time communicating to their parents and peers. So the former dancer started a B-Corp and is selling memberships to families to facilitate connections.
There are a ton of sustainable business ideas out there. Some of these ideas build gradually build upon prior technology. Other ideas catapult us beyond our imaginations. So what should an entrepreneur do? If we ask environmentalist and entrepreneur, Paul Hawken, he suggests to be bold and fail.
Goldman Sachs announced on Thursday it plans to invest $40 billion of its own and its clients’ money in renewable energy projects over the next decade. There are some good reasons why this announcement should be praised and not ridiculed. At the same time, you always need to look at the big picture and when you do, suddenly this step looks more like a lipstick on a Wall-Street pig. So which one is it?
In many urban environments and college towns, people don’t own laundry machines. La Machine du Voison (“The Neighbor’s Machine”) aims to connect those who do with those who need one.
Can charitable $ be recycled? In the words of famed venture capitalist John Doerr of KP, can you “write one $10M check and have that capital sustain itself?”
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm started in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Since 2004, the firm has invested close to $500 million in both non-profit and for profit ventures, all of which have a stated mission to catalyze social, economic, and political change. We’ve written about many of the companies that Omidyar has … Continued
D.Light is a company we’ve covered more than a few times here on 3p. In a nutshell, the company makes inexpensive, durable solar lighting designed for sale in poor off-grid communities around the world. Their product sounds like an easy sell. It lasts a long time, it’s clean, and most importantly pays for itself.
When it comes to impact investing, too often the financial goals are forgotten as investors focus primarily on putting money into a cause without considering the real social value of a modest return. Earned capital can be recycled back into the cause or taken for profit, making a greater long term impact while benefiting the investor.
For the second time this week, I found myself presented with the “Avon model” of product distribution in Africa. This time, Living Goods’ founder Chuck Slaughter did the talking. Living Goods mission is “Empowering micro-entrepreneurs to deliver life-saving and life-changing products to the doorsteps of the poor”. In a nutshell this means they’re basically a wholesaler for goods that are currently hard to get a hold of in developing countries – and which also have the potential for “high impact” in terms of improving people’s lives.