This Week in Social Entrepreneurship

In our “This Week in Social Entrepreneurship” series, each Friday we will feature the top stories in Social Entrepreneurship for the week that we find to be noteworthy, novel, and thought-provoking.  What are your favorite stories this week in Social Entrepreneurship?  Let’s start a discussion!

  • This week, we have some very exciting Ashoka news—the winners of the fifth annual Staples/Ashoka Youth Social Entrepreneur Competition were picked and we are proud to announce that one of them is a StartSomeGood campaign alum!  The competition, part of Ashoka’s Youth Venture, looks for youth-led ventures that use innovation and technology to solve some of the world’s most pressing social issues.  You can read more about the details of the competition here.  Vineet Singal, founder of Anjna Patient Education, is one of four winners that will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Techonomy 2011 in addition to a cash prize to support his venture’s growth.  There is also a great write-up about Vineet in the Huffington Post.  Congrats, Vineet—you’ve made us here at StartSomeGood so proud!
  • California Governer Jerry Brown approved two very important bills for social entrepreneurship this week.  These bills created two new classes of corporations in California—the Benefit Corporation and the Flexible Purpose Corporation.  California is the sixth state to approve the Benefit Corporation and the first to approve the Flexible Purpose Corporation.  These corporate classifications allow businesses to pursue the maximization of stakeholder value, rather than just purely stockholder value—i.e. a corporation can pursue purpose along with profit.  Want to learn more about the Benefit Corporation and Flexible Purpose Corporation?  Read about the details on Social Earth.
  • As Halloween approaches, many of us are most excited for the candy—whether you’re still young enough to go trick-or-treating or you just can’t wait to eat the leftovers.  It is a pretty well known fact that many chocolate producers use cocoa that is at least partially harvested by child laborers.  In addition, most fair trade chocolate isn’t very appealing to the typical child.  This week, GOOD published a list of fair trade candy that is also kid-friendly.  Delicious ethical candy—sounds like a win-win!
  • Mashable published an article called 5 Tech Innovations That Could Change the Developing World.  As innovations allows for technologies to become cheaper, more and more world-changing products are accessible to people living in the developing world.  Mashable lists some of the more recent technologies that are helping developing countries catch up to the rest of the world—tablets, laptops, mobile phones, alternative energy, and improved sanitation.  
  • Bill Drayton, founder and CEO of Ashoka, sat down with Dowser to discuss a new concept for problem solving called collaborative entrepreneurship.  Bill Drayton believes that empathy stands at the root of social change.  His vision is that we, as entrepreneurs, are part of a team that can combine our skills, passion, drive, and knowledge in order to pave the way for a more empathetic generation that has the power to change the world.  You can read Dowser’s interview with Drayton here.  

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Social entrepreneurs, has all this great SocEnt news inspired you to start your own good?  Do you have a social enterprise, a non-profit, or an amazing idea that needs some momentum to take off?  Visit our site to find out how to start your own campaign today.  Still have questions?  We have answers—check out our FAQ section.

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