Friday, 13 June 2008

Launching a Business With a Cause

A Smart Moneyarticle 'Launching a Business With a Cause' features our dear friends at Madécasse. In the US the social enterprise infrastructure is way ahead of the UK's - and I say this having just been invited to give a major keynote speech on the very subject.

Pertinent point from the article - Many social entrepreneurs already have a deep familiarity with the community or population they are trying to serve, but need to beef up business skills.

Such an infrastructure is lacking in the UK.

What I love about Brett and his colleagues is their sheer determination to make their project work for themselves and for the communities that they represent and work with.

Getting the local communities to add the real value to the product (at source) enables them to keep the profits rather than allowing the First World manufacturers and distributors to take all the profits.

Theirs is a great achievement when we compare some of the debate that Fairtrade has created (see Does FairTrade Do More Harm Than Good?). Look at Equitrade as an alternative(?) or complementary(?) model.


Madécasse - and you can get their chocolate in the UK!Ashoka provides three-year living-wage stipends to entrepreneurs "who have an innovative, cutting-edge or system-changing idea or solution for solving critical social issues,"The Skoll Foundation invests in social entrepreneursSchwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
Investors' Circle the investor network that Madécasse worked withAcumen Funds funds enterprises that address povertyCalvert invests in high-risk, socially and environmentally responsible enterprises.Does FairTrade Do More Harm Than Good? by Cris Sholto HeatonEquitrade

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