The Warnock Foundation will funnel a five figure dollar sum to twelve social driven startups in Baltimore as a scaling-up initiative. The organization was initiated in 2012 by local investor David Warnock, and has since been supporting twelve innovative ventures twice a year. Besides monetary sums, the institution further offers mentorship and workshops to ingrain invaluable business skills to budding entrepreneurs. The most recent funding edition had a total of fifty nominees.
Most of former Warnock enrollees have gone on to transcend their ideations. A perfect case study is that of Brittany Young, whose project seeks to tutor children in science, technology, engineering, and math subjects but via the use of dirt bikes. Another example can be seen in Damion Cooper, who fosters effective mindfulness and forgiveness amongst the city’s youth and police alike via his signature
expedition Project Pneuma.
Presented below are a few awardees from the most recent round.
Cassandra Vincent (Tiny home village) – A project that wants to build Baltimore’s first designated area comprising of low cost units, all while bidding to address affordable housing and blight concerns signature to the city.
Tiffany (Color with me) – A pop-up art project that seeks to provide a platform where Baltimore’s natives can tell their stories.
Brandon based ECHO, a charity channeling efforts to eliminate hunger in southeastern Hillsborough County, has claimed a five figure dollar sum in Social Venture Partners’ inaugurate contest in Tampa Bay Area.
Jennifer Finney, a member of the events planning team at SVP, notes of how the turnout was amazing,
with all teams pitching outstanding ideations. She says the entire supervising team was flabbergasted more than they could have imagined.
ECHO offers emergency basic needs like food, clothing, amongst other household items, while also providing career planning. At the forum, a company delegate provided some nitty gritty into the firm’s operating model: they outsource worn out donated items made of fabric and leather, converting them into novel products such as purses and table cloths. By doing so, it has created job opportunities to even the disadvantaged, with the sales being channeled back into the organization’s proceedings to eliminate dependency on the government or charity.
Second place was awarded Wheels of Success, a startup seeking to provide sophisticated transport innovations to the needy. GEMS (Girls Empowered Mentally for Success) came in third place, a franchise helping elementary, middle, and high school girls discern their passion early enough so that they can quickly begin careers.
A recent round table discussion involving twelve experts and practitioners in health related social franchising has yielded invaluable insights on how success could be accrued in the sector. Derek Fetzer, director at the CaringCrowd crowd funding site for global health, said it was quite sad that emerging and existing businesses were not allying themselves to the public good, when in fact all franchises should be doing so. Carol Pandak, a delegate at Rotary International, asserted the approach was capable of efficaciously catering to global health challenges, having already unearthed novel solutions to address the continually changing landscape. Pandak collectively pointed to global health concerns as a unique opportunity in the subject domain. She noted of how diagnosis of ailments was currently being categorized according to the regions/countries of prevalence; undoubtedly a wrong approach
considering there’s no issue from which a group is immune.
Leslie Calman, chief of Engineering World Health, also voiced a salient idea: success can only be accrued via a collaborative effort between professional health care personnel, NGOs, and governments; and this take has to be supported by favorable policies. He further mentioned of some key health divisions social entrepreneurs would focus on, one being the rapid response to emergent needs, and piloting of medication trials.
Can social enterprise serve as a tool for evangelism? The Asbury project, a collaborative initiative from the Asbury University and the Asbury Theological Seminary, wants to integrate the faith aspect into the subject domain. In the past week, the expedition’s supervisors have overseen conventions and workshops with Christian business professionals, plus a student business plan competition too. They have been doing so since 2014, uniting students, business leaders, community leaders, and pastors in one forum. Participants often accrue invaluable insights on how to strategize positive social change.
The business plan contest takes in propositions from learners in universities and those in seminaries as well. The recent 2017 edition had the top prize claimed by Alexandria George, CEO of Smart Student Storage: a franchise storing dorm items for students while they’re on holiday, therefore saving the time and money. George first piloted the project on Asbury campus, and now she plans to expand to other institutions within Kentucky and the US at large. Second place was awarded to Aadala Just Trade, a US based non-profit partnering with Moroccan women rug weavers. Co-founder Megan Gieske mentioned that the main motive behind their business was to disrupt the tradition selling model signature to the Moroccan carpet sphere. She also revealed the company is not entirely operating on a business framework, it also has a ministry like platform where participants can share their experiences.
Student Government has enrolled the first batch of fellows for its signature Social Entrepreneurship Learning Lab (SELL), an expedition that seeks to instill social problem-solving skills on undergraduate learners. The four-month program, the first of its kind at Texas University, aims at consolidating a diverse group of students and corroborating their conceptions to yield positive outcomes in communities that are not necessarily consumers of mainstream entrepreneurial items/services.
VP of Student Government Micky Wolf has mentioned of the program being partially a product of students’ desires to utilize their interest in enacting social impacting solutions in domains such as poverty, education, and environment conservation. He further says it most importantly provides requisite info on how to be a social entrepreneur, coupling that with outside resources. It further focuses on how to effectively combine frameworks of a franchise and a non-profit, more so because social enterprises have to employ business principles to solve social issues.
Besides workshop tutorships, the program will also have enrollees brainstorming and presenting viable
ideations to peers and experts in the sphere. SELL fellow Monique Amado hopes to employ what she’ll gain from the initiative in reducing lower teen pregnancies in Panama, particularly via sex education.
SELL delegate Lin has revealed that good ideas won’t need marketing, rather, SELL’s reputation will live on itself.
The Huduma Mobile Outreach program has been recently nominated for an international award by the African Association for Public Administration and Management. The platform has garnered widespread acclaim with some officials dubbing as an epitome of efficiency in public service delivery.
Initiated back in 2013, the program is still at the forefront providing quality government services in a timely and convenient manner, plus to people from all walks of life. Some of the state proceedings that can now be done at the comfort of one’s mobile phone include processes entailed in the acquisition of birth certificates, ID cards, health insurance, social security numbers, and government-sponsored investment funds. One can also handle issues of tax on the same.
So far, well over thirty thousand individuals who could previously not access the services, more so those at grass roots level, have benefitted from the initiative which seems to be adhering to the sophisticated standards and practices present in the private sector. It also features an open forum where queries on its operations can be tabled and discussed.
This year to be particular, the expedition has broken its norm to attend to street children, plant trees in institutions, help disabled pupils, clean town centers, and provide requisite materials to prisoners sitting national exams.
A 2017 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers has revealed that internships have transcended into salient constituents in highly competitive job market – about half of those engaged in the programs end up being employed in the company they worked for. But for a long time such opportunities have been rare in non-profit, public service, social service, and the arts spheres. Nevertheless, campuses are now addressing this concern by subsidizing internships at enterprises on a social cause/mission. An example of an institution utilizing the approach is the University of Chicago, which has so far been overseeing two thousand placements in each passing year. Meredith Daw, chief of career advancement at the campus, mentions of the main motive behind the expedition: to have students not overlooking the social innovation domain because of unpaid internships.
The institution has been working to ensure each one of its Odyssey enrollees gets attached in every summer holiday. Most importantly though, the team behind the undertaking is striving to cater mostly to students from disadvantaged communities who unlike others with parental connections, they have to find such programs on their own. One success story is that of Ms. Eisenberg, who last summer developed a viable library ML model while interning at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The SolarTurtle, a business conceptualized by James van der Walt, recently won at the Investors garage division of the 2017 SABC Education SA Innovation Summit. The term also stands for the flagship product which is a shipping container equipped with requisite implements to charge LED lights, mobile phones, and other electronic gadgets within underprivileged communities. The expedition hopes it will cater to a hundred rural villages by 2024, an approach that might get rid of approximately seven thousand tonnes of CO2 arising from other fuel means.
It is salient to note that the conception is not solely based on providing power; rather, it provides an investment opportunity since one can purchase the product to sell electricity to a bank branch, an office, a shop, or an ICT lab.
In a recent interview, James noted of some ascriptions that paved way for the business’s success. He pointed out to three distinct attributes: stubbornness, design-thinking, and lean development. On the
first one, James stressed on how social entrepreneurs shouldn’t give up when the initial couple of ideas fail. On the design-thinking methodology, which is closely linked to the first factor, he mentioned that one should enact multiple concept iterations, a take that will eventually see something worthwhile cropping up. In other words, one can test one after solution after the other, keeping what worked and dispatching the rest. For lean development, it is important to network with institutions channeling efforts towards the same problem. Also on the same, a solution should be shared with as many people as one can.
Presented below are two takes to attract, retain, and develop the best and the brightest talent. These stem from trends prevalent in most of the highly acclaimed and yet impactful social enterprises.
Recruiting the unusual suspects
Many social entrepreneurs will attest to the fact that business, comp science, and engineering students have continually been interested in solving some of the globe’s largest concerns. This could be arising from the zeal of wanting to apply what they’ve learnt in lessons. Nevertheless, most remain underexposed with regard to the type of work entailed in the social business. RGL Strategic Principle Ryan Grant urges all social innovation organizations to roll-out internship programs in addressing the issue. He further notes that at least in this day, there are professionals leaving their management consultancy and investment banking tenures to venture into social innovation roles, with the scenario not being what it would be viewed like some ten years ago.
Focusing more on the purpose
The subject domain is filled with generous, civically minded leaders who continue to give their all for the greater good. Therefore, the same passion should passed down to the next generation, but more importantly, it should ingrained prior to coming of leadership age with the principle that purpose comes first before profit.
Initiated by Trico Charitable Foundation in 2011, the biennial Social EnterPrize has been commending leadership and excellence in Canada’s social enterprise domain. Daniel Overall, Executive Director of Trico Charitable Foundation, recently noted that the 2017 recipients of their signature program were perfect examples of how tremendous achievements could be yielded by combining the power of business models with the desire to solve the globe’s social concerns. In accordance with Social EnterPrize’s aim which is to develop leading Canadian social franchises and also inspire/inform others, the recipients will granted a six figure dollar sum, a video profile, and will further be subjected to an in-depth assessment by a Canadian post-secondary institution, to be ultimately presented as perfect case studies.
Furniture Bank is a registered charity and social business that was launched in 1998 and has been facilitating the establishment of homes within the Greater Toronto Area. It collects used furniture and household items in good condition from community donations, distributing them to people in need of a fresh start. The firm’s expeditions have been made possible with their flagship fleet of tracks which pick and deliver items to previously displaced persons right at their doorways. The company’s main aim is to scale up activities to support furniture banks across Canada.