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!

  • Is the holiday season putting you in the giving spirit?  Why not gift to support social entrepreneurs?  Give the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season with Ashoka’s Fellows. Some of Ashoka’s suggestions include giving loved ones books by Ashoka Fellows Darell Hammond and Amory Lovin, adopting a HeroRat and shopping using Ashoka Fellow Paul Rice’s Fair Trade App for iPhone and Android.
  • Benefit Corporations got another victory this week—New York’s Governor Cuomo signed the benefit corporation bill into law for the state.  In 60 days, New York will join several other states in allowing benefit corporations to pursue a social mission rather than solely focus on maximizing shareholder value.  This opens up benefit corporations in New York to a whole new pool of potential impact investors.  With all these new legal structures available for mission-driven businesses, it might be a good idea to check out the Wall Street Journal’s article that helps distinguish them from one another.
  • Professionals—check out Catchafire’s 2012 holiday campaign.  If you register to do pro bono work through Catchafire, you will have the opportunity to nominate your favorite nonprofit or social business to receive $2,012 towards its Catchafire membership.  
  • Young women under 20, this is your opportunity to receive a fellowship that will help you pursue your creative passions.  Thiel’s 20 under 20 Fellowship provides young women Fellows $100,000 and encourages them to pursue their passions in a mentoring and creative environment.  
  • What does it take to become a successful social entrepreneur?  The writers over at Mashable have done some research and talked to successful social entrepreneurs to come up with some of the most essential tips that will help aspiring social entrepreneurs achieve their goals.  First, identify a problem that needs fixing.  Social entrepreneurs see these not as problems, but as opportunities to create change.  Next, obsess over the consumer experience.  The user’s experience is incredibly important, especially if he or she is raising the price point to buy something socially responsible.  Third, leverage the power of social.  Social media has the potential to help spread your cause naturally because people love sharing a good story.  Finally, make sure green meets green.  Make sure you are providing people the opportunity to purchase something that they want to spend money on.   When you listen to social entrepreneurship experts, you are staying a step ahead of the game. 
  • Need some more expert advice for getting your social business off the ground? Listen to this quick video interview with Cheryl Heller, CEO of Heller Communication Design, PopTech chair of the board and founder of the new MFA of Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York.  Do your homework—look at what’s already been done and build on it.  Also, figure out how to communicate your mission in a way that makes other people care about it enough to support it and share it with others.


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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