What Wells Fargo Can Learn from Microfinance

There’s a reason large banks routinely make the list of America’s least liked companies: they treat their customers with remarkable disregard. But banks across the developing world are demonstrating that simple, transparent, well-designed products allow their clients to thrive, while still earning banks a healthy profit.

NOLS: A Sustainable Business Promoting Sustainable Leadership

In 1965, Paul Petzoldt, a climber and mountaineer, saw a gap in the provision of wilderness education. Legend has it that Petzoldt was on a climbing expedition to K2 that failed to reach the summit, and deduced that in spite of the experienced mountaineering team he was with, their “expedition behavior”, or cohesiveness as a … Continued

Sex Work with Benefits: An “Experitainment”

In the karaoke zone in Chiang Mai, the northern capital of Thailand, the Can Do bar, sex-worker owned and operated, is open for business. Launched in September 2006, the bar was the brainchild of partner Empower, the NGO founded in 1985 comprised of sex workers. Carrying out sustainable business practices, the Can Do bar follows … Continued

Let There Be Light: Stanford Startup Aims to Bring Light to 1.5 Billion

Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun are hard at work figuring out how to bring light to the more than 1.5 billion in this world without it. In 2006, Sam, now the CEO, and Ned, the President, founded D.light Design (www.dlightdesign.com) with the assistance of classmates in an entrepreneurship class at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. … Continued

You Gonna Throw That Away? Recycling Refuse in Kigali and Binh Tuan

Kigali, Rwanda, is site of one of the latest crossroads of people, planet and profit, with a recycling project as a catalyst for profit, employment and solidarity for HIV+ women. The project is run by ACEN (Association for the Conservation of the Environment), a local cooperative with funding from UNDP and the Global Environment Facility … Continued

Where’s the Beef? The Drive towards Social Performance Mapping

In the mid-2000s, I worked as a senior grantmaker at a New York-based foundation. In addition to annual or bi-annual due diligence trips we made to visit our overseas partners, the only performance-based evaluation we required of the grantees was to submit a semi-annual and annual report, detailing how they spent the grant we gave … Continued