The posts on this page are contributed by students from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business in conjunction with the newly launched Center for Social Value Creation. The center's mission is to develop leaders with a deep sense of individual responsibility and the knowledge to use business as a vehicle for social change. These posts are a way to continue the dialogue outside of the classroom and share the viewpoints of Smith students on the challenges and opportunities of triple bottom line thinking.

Does Africa Need Sustainable Investment?

By David Abraham The IFC and EMPEA recently hosted the Global Private Equity Conference in Washington, DC.  The annual event draws in hundreds of professionals from both the institutional and investment sides of the private equity world and I was fortunate enough to attend.  Everyone was focused on how how fund managers can best attract capital for … Continued

Is Opposing Coal Plant in South Africa Pushing Green Too Far?

By David Abraham The World Bank voted on Thursday to extend a $3.75 billion loan to Eskom, the South African energy producer, to construct a new coal power plant.  But the decision was not an easy one.  A number of American and British politicians, as well as some environmental groups, objected to the deal, saying … Continued

StartUp Scramble D.C. University Challenge

By John Comberiate Sustainability, green technology and community impact are all hot right now.  It’s easy to promote these ideas in business and agree that they’re important. What’s not easy is actually implementing new business plans devoted to them.  Taking it a step further, it’s even harder to train the next generation of entrepreneurs so … Continued

The Dragon in Africa: How Chinese Investment Changes The Game

By David Abraham Al-Jazeera recently posted a video highlighting an investment surge in the tiny central African nation of Equatorial Guinea.  The country is the third largest exporter of petroleum and gas–a fact that is not immediately obvious when looking at the quality of life for its 500,000 citizens.  But with important infrastructure projects funded … Continued

What Is an Emerging Market Anyways?

By David Abraham “Don’t use a cookie cutter approach when evaluating emerging economies,” warned Dr. Jahangir Boroumand, professor at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.  His sentiments were echoed by Dr. Paolo Prochno, also of Smith, during the kick-off event for the newly formed Emerging Markets Club at the school. The … Continued

Expanding Loan Options in Rwanda

By David Abraham Blue Financial, a South African microfinance institution, just launched its Cashxpress product in Rwanda.  The service is intended to help employed, yet low-income, individuals borrow money in emergency situations.  According to the Blue Financial website, Cashexpress is unique since it will disburse unsecured loans of between 100 and 5,000 Rands ($13 to $677 USD) to existing customers who … Continued

Who Regulates the Regulators? Government Stepping in on Executive Compensation for the Financial Industry

By John Comberiate As we observe the anniversary of the financial crisis, taxpayers and executives have their eyes equally fixed on the government’s plans to regulate executive compensation in the financial industry.  Their decision, after such a catastrophic event with such far reaching consequences, will have to be just as complex in order to placate … Continued

“Harmless” Packaging – Something We Can All Buzz About

By John Comberiate Harmless Enough? An up and coming low impact packaging idea comes from the British company “Harmless“.  Everyone’s received a magazine covered in a plastic bag in the mail at some point in their lives.  Everyone has shipped a delicately packed box with a fragile treasure inside meant for a close friend or … Continued

Philanthropy Is a Four-Letter Word: Suggestions for Real CSR

By Julie Lloyd Bo Ekman, founder and chairman of the Tallberg Foundation, made a rather jarring statement at this afternoon’s Global Corporate Citizenship Conference sponsored by the US Chamber’s Business Civic Leadership Center: Much of what we consider CSR today is a toothless tiger. He was referring, of course, to the one-off engagements or donations … Continued

How Can Companies Communicate Social Change?

By John Comberiate In today’s changing technological landscape, Shannon Herbert asks us, how do companies communicate their Social Change?  In her work at National Geographic as VP Integrated Marketing, she has found the answer in being a storyteller for their corporate mission “To inspire people to care about the planet”.  This is accomplished through four … Continued

Honest Tea’s Path to Social Change

By John Comberiate At the Leadership for a Better World – Creating Social Value through Innovation Conference many speakers discussed the ideas around Social Entrepreneurship, how to communicate Social Change, and how large companies need to adapt to survive in a modern business environment.  Often lost in this discussion is the low level view of … Continued

Seth Goldman, Honest Tea: Take Risks, Be Honest

By Deepa Janakiraman Seth Goldman, a social entrepreneur based out of Bethesda MD, kicked off the Center for Social Value Creation Forum at Smith School of Business with the right spirit. Goldman, after his MBA from Yale, worked at Calvert group for couple of years. Calvert group is a socially responsible investment company that invests … Continued

Thomas Schelling: A Marshall Plan for Climate Change?

By: Scott Shuffield The global warming debate is over.  Now the argument moves to solving the crisis of climate change.  Though often referred to in the context of “global warming,” the issues of climate change don’t just involve “warming” around the world but rather a general instability that could lead to innumerable negative externalities.   During … Continued

Paul C. Light on Social Entrepreneurship – Learning What We Don’t Know

By John Comberiate Speaking at the Leadership for a Better World – Creating Social Value through Innovation Conference, Paul C. Light set out to define what it is to be a Social Entrepreneur.  Lack of clarity in the term often creates conflict between groups that feel they have been promoting social values throughout their existence … Continued

Rosabeth Moss Kanter Speaks about “ValueCorp”

By John Comberiate As mentioned by Scott Shuffield this morning, during the Leadership for a Better World, Creating Social Value through Innovation Conference at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, DC, Rosabeth Moss Kanter spoke about the ideas behind her book, SocialCorp.  The book focuses on what is needed for large companies to remain competitive … Continued