Resources & Information related to Investment & Markets, Socially Responsible Investing, SRI, Socially Conscious, Ethical Investing and more.

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Crowd Funding: A New Way to Finance Your Startup

Amidst the chaos of a global financial meltdown, it can be easy to overlook certain aspects of banking that are less urgent. VC funding seems to have flown under the radar as of late, however, it makes a big difference for entrepreneurs who are looking for funding to jumpstart their new businesses. Sadly, it’s now … Continued

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Samasource and the Business of Alleviating Poverty

We’ve covered the inspiring work of Samasource before. But we felt we’d be remiss for wrapping up our series on the social side of sustainability without including another look at this innovative effort.  Though it is a non-profit, Samasource works as a bridge between profit-based, socially-responsible companies, and marginalized people in countries such as Africa and throughout … Continued

Creating Unlimited Opportunities in India

Since opening its economy in the early 1990s, India has shown incredible promise, demonstrating rapid growth and entrepreneurial spirit.  But festering social issues still remain for many of its citizens, including poverty and a lack of opportunities and resources.  Many NGOs are devoted to improving the lives of many Indians, and India’s government has recently … Continued

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Reinventing Growth: Locally-Focused Businesses Scaling Deep, Not Wide

By Vale Jokisch at BALLE conference 2010 Many folks in the local economy movement believe that small businesses can compete effectively.  But what happens when a community-based business wants or feels the pressure to grow?  Is it possible for a small, local business to grow without compromising its commitment to sustainability, people, and community?  Are … Continued

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Microfinance in America…Is The Paradigm Changing?

By Bryan Stubbs While not perfect, microfinance and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) have been shown to be an effective tool in aiding mircoenterprises throughout third world communities. The positive impact they have on alleviating poverty and empowering entrepreneurs have been well publicized (Grameen Bank or BRAC). And while challenges remain (high interest rates/impact of the entrance … Continued

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Can Small, Local Businesses Compete in a Globalized Market?

By Vale Jokisch at BALLE conference 2010 According to Michael Shuman, author of The Small-Mart Revolution, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.  Despite the growing presence of big box chain stores in the US and abroad, Shuman has witnessed a growing number of small businesses using entrepreneurial strategies to gain a competitive … Continued

Job and Wealth Creation at the Grassroots Level – A Working Model In Cleveland

By Vale Jokisch at BALLE conference 2010 It’s hard to turn on the news these days without hearing an update on jobs and unemployment.  The federal government has invested millions in new projects to help create jobs across the US.  For the city of Cleveland, waiting for federal assistance just isn’t enough.  That is where … Continued

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Next Gen Social Entrepreneurs: Leveraging Media & Tech for Social Change

By Paul Lamb Let’s face it. Social enterprise has not done a particularly good job of attracting and training the full range of next generation entrepreneurs. Sure, an increasing number of training programs exist at the college and graduate school level, but what about teenagers and youth in low income communities? Fortunately a number of … Continued

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The Changing Landscape of Microfinance

By Terry Provance, Executive Director, Oikocredit USA When Mohammad Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for creating the Grameen Microcredit Bank in Bangladesh he stated, “Poverty is the absence of all human rights.”  He seemed to be echoing what Mahatma Gandhi said about poverty being the worst form of violence 60 years before.  … Continued

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The Darfur Stoves Project: A Market Solution to Poverty

Today, three billion people—nearly half the world’s population—burn coal, wood, dung, or compost to heat their homes and cook their food. In addition to the deforestation associated with open fire cooking, especially in regions of conflict, the need for fuel often leaves searchers vulnerable, exposing them to risk of attack. This is particularly true in … Continued

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How to Keep People on Their Bikes Past Bike To Work Day

Have you ever wanted to get in better shape? Have you succeeded at it? Stayed with it after that? For most us, the answer is the same: We’d like to, but the motivation/discipline isn’t strong enough. With the League of American Bicyclists’ Bike To Work Day happening today, and shows like the Biggest Loser continuing … Continued

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WomanCraft: Chicago’s Green Social Enterprise

By Dayna Reggero for Chicago Green Fest WomanCraft, a social enterprise of Heartland Human Care Services, uses recycled office paper and reclaimed flowers to create unique, sustainable, handmade paper products, such as wildflower seed note cards, memory books, gift tags, frames and custom wedding invitations. “WomanCraft is a green social enterprise that works specifically with … Continued

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Green Products Innovation Institute Launched: Cradle to Cradle Certification Arrives

The first non-profit resource for companies seeking to make their products safer and more sustainable was officially launched today at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. The Green Products Innovation Institute (GPII) will provide certification of consumer products using the Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) protocol of product life-cycle analysis created by William McDonough and Michael Braungart of McDonough … Continued

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Skoll Foundation: Six Trends in Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship—the art of creating programs with a transformative business model focused on bringing about large-scale, positive change—plays a critical role in building a more sustainable future by increasing income, improving environmental quality, creating jobs, and enhancing quality of life. But just like any start-up, there comes a time when a great idea needs an … Continued