This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.
This category includes articles about people, firms and foundations that invest in social good by investing in social entrepreneurs, social impact or pay-for-success bonds, etc.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA and AUSTIN, TX (July 24, 2013) – Launching today, MoolaHoop is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform designed to help women-owned businesses achieve financial success. Created by women to help women leverage the increasing power of crowdfunding to start, build or grow their business, MoolaHoop enables female business entrepreneurs, owners and managers to garner financial support for their idea or project by leveraging their social networks.
MoolaHoop’s launch features the BlueAvocado and Open Arms campaign to fund the creation of an eco-collection of Made in the USA reusable totes manufactured by women war survivors using reclaimed t-shirts and remnant fabrics.
MoolaHoop was developed to help narrow the gap in funding available to women entrepreneurs. Women-owned businesses represent almost 30% of new startups in the U.S., yet receive just 5% of all venture capital and 12% of all institutional debt. As a result, they are smaller from the onset and grow more slowly. Capitalizing on the explosive growth in rewards-based crowdfunding, MoolaHoop is out to change this dynamic.
Austin, TX-based BlueAvocado is a women-founded, women-run, certified B Corp that has realized double-digit growth the past two years and is at a growth inflection point as consumers seek to “green” their lifestyle. To expand its product portfolio and further green its supply chain, BlueAvocado turned to MoolaHoop, allowing its customers to help them grow and innovate. Through a partnership with Open Arms—a women-owned manufacturing company that employs women refugee survivors—BlueAvocado is using MoolaHoop to fund a new line of Made in the USA reusable bags produced from reclaimed t-shirts and remnant fabrics and manufactured in Austin by Open Arms employees. As a result, BlueAvocado can offer a line of Made in the USA products produced locally, and Open Arms can expand its manufacturing capacity and provide more employment opportunities for women refugee survivors.
“Our partnership with Moola Hoop and Open Arms is a demonstration of the power of women entrepreneurs to create a better world through business. Our campaign invites others to ‘Say YES’ to wasting less and empowering more, and the MoolaHoop platform makes it possible,” commented BlueAvocado Co-Founder Amy George. “If 4,000 people Say YES to one reusable bag we can keep more than 200,000 disposable bags out of landfills, upcycle 2,000 T-shirts and give four women survivors a full-time job, benefits and literacy classes for four months. If 40,000 Say YES, we can employ 28 women, and avoid two million disposables. This is deep, measurable impact.”
“We are delighted to highlight the Say YES project as part of our launch,” said MoolaHoop Co- Founder Brenda Bazan. “It’s an inspired concept that supports our mission to help make it easier for great women entrepreneurs to get funded, and a project that will strongly resonate with our users. By using the MoolaHoop platform to engage and enlist BlueAvocado and Open Arms customers and supporters, we are confident they will reach their crowdfunding goal.”
The MoolaHoop crowdfunding platform marks the first step in the design and development of a robust ecosystem of business services, information and partnerships – the “Hoop” – to fund and provide ongoing support to women entrepreneurs. As envisioned by company Co-Founders Brenda Bazan and Nancy Hayes, MoolaHoop will grow to offer a full suite of resources to support women-owned and -led businesses, including access to equity funding, education, mentoring and skills.
In addition to the Say YES BlueAvocado/Open Arms campaign, MoolaHoop launches with a project by Live Worldly to expand its global fashion marketplace; a campaign to help Life Out of the Box grow its line of artisan jewelry; and Tatty Tat’s project to enable the creation and purchase of personalized temporary tattoos from mobile devices. With new projects posted weekly, MoolaHoop anticipates hosting more than 20 women-focused crowdfunding campaigns over the next few months.
For more information, to submit a project, or to contribute to a current MoolaHoop campaign, please visitwww.moola-hoop.com.
Founded by two experienced women business leaders, MoolaHoop is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform designed for women entrepreneurs. Capitalizing on the explosive growth in rewards-based crowdfunding—projected to generate more than $700 million for businesses and projects in 2013— MoolaHoop is the only platform dedicated to the funding and acceleration of U.S.-based women-owned or-led businesses. MoolaHoop is building an ecosystem of business support and services, and developing partnerships with women-focused organizations and institutions, to seamlessly connect women to the financial, human and social capital they need for business success. MoolaHoop has offices in Dallas, TX and San Francisco, CA. www.moola-hoop.com.
About Blue Avocado
BlueAvocado is a premium eco-lifestyle brand synonymous with inspiration, impact and integrity. With its covetable designs, affordable price points and sustainable products, BlueAvocado is poised to deliver on their promise to empower people to reduce their ecological footprint, enable the dreams of other women entrepreneurs and create an impact that inspires action. In fact, the original vision of three women, friends and sisters, has evolved into a new model for business success, a better B-corp business. To date, the company has kept over 128 million disposable alternatives out of landfills, upcycled more than three million bottles and invested in more than 450 women micro-entrepreneurs. Find out more about their mission to “smile more and waste less” at www.blueavocado.com.
About Open Arms
Open Arms is a social enterprise using the power of business to inspire social change. This humanitarian manufacturing company, based in Austin, TX, creates its own brand of fashionable apparel as well as offering U.S.-based manufacturing for other brands. Open Arms offers living wage employment to women war survivors, demonstrating the power of the human spirit and breaking the cycle of poverty this group so often experiences. Combining ESL and enrichment classes with family-friendly hours, this meaningful work and living wage employment creates self-sufficiency and dignity for the women they employ. Open Arms is committed to both people and the planet, offering conscious consumers the opportunity to make a purchase with a purpose. www.theopenarmsshop.com.
(Raleigh) – July 23, 2013 – The Cherokee-McDonough Challenge, an accelerator designed to identify, fund and develop high impact environmental startups, has selected bioMASON,HomeWellness and Platinix for its 2013 class. This year’s ventures make sustainable building materials, increase residential energy efficiency and aim to substantially reduce the cost to produce hydrogen, a clean energy fuel.
bioMASON, based in Research Triangle Park, uses microorganisms to grow bio-cement based construction materials. The company’s proprietary manufacturing processes and materials allow it to deliver construction materials with very low embodied energy, which can be produced on-site from locally available aggregate. The strength and durability properties of bioMASON’s products are comparable to traditional masonry products.
HomeWellness, based in Raleigh, helps corporations offset carbon emissions by providing their employees a web-based platform that enables users to assess their home’s energy efficiency, decide upon energy-efficient upgrades, select and manage contractors and take advantage of financing, tax credits and other incentives.
Platinix, based in Raleigh and incubated out of North Carolina State University, has developed an efficient and viable alternative to platinum as a catalyst for use in hydrogen production. Platinix’s catalyst can be produced at a fraction of the cost of platinum and could enable hydrogen to become a cost-effective fuel source. A hydrogen-based energy economy means affordable, abundant clean energy.
“There is no doubt that entrepreneurship is a hot topic these days,” says, JT Vaughn, the Challenge Director. “But converting good ideas into great businesses is no small task. And entrepreneurs should not have to do it alone. The Challenge and its network of experienced advisors and mentors share lessons learned with these visionary founders in order to make the process of launching a company easier and more effective.”
Now in its third year, the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge provides each venture with:
Cherokee-McDonough Challenge portfolio companies should finish the summer with a working prototype, a refined and vetted environmental strategy, a thoughtful intellectual property strategy, investor-ready fundraising documents with accompanied pro-forma, a stronger network of investors and mentors, a polished pitch and a clear path to the next technical or financial milestone.
Chris Wedding, Cherokee’s Director of R&D and Sustainability, says, “For years, Cherokee has experimented with best practices for efficiently creating or finding and then supporting the most promising new environmental business ideas. The Challenge is a great platform for doing this.”
The Challenge is sponsored by Cherokee, an environmentally focused investment company. Cherokee has raised over $2 billion in private equity funds focused on brownfield remediation and, separately, founded a number of environmental businesses and invested in over 80 startups and venture funds in the past 28 years. Through the Challenge, Cherokee hopes to lend experience and expertise to other environmental entrepreneurs.
About William McDonough
William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable development. A pioneer architect of the green building movement, McDonough’s interests and influence range widely, and he works at scales from the global to the molecular. Time magazine recognized him in 1999 as a “Hero for the Planet,” stating that “his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that-in demonstrable and practical ways-is changing the design of the world.” In 1996, McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation’s highest environmental honor, and in 2003 he earned the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work with Shaw Industries, the carpet division of Berkshire Hathaway. In 2004, he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. McDonough advises major enterprises including commercial and governmental leaders worldwide through McDonough Advisors. McDonough also co-founded Make It Right (2006) with Brad Pitt to bring affordable, Cradle to Cradle-inspired homes to the New Orleans Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. He is co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002) and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability — Designing for Abundance (2013)
“George Mason University is committed to making a positive difference in the global economy, and this professorship melds perfectly with the university’s mission to create a more just, free, and prosperous world,” said Mason’s President Ángel Cabrera. “It will help strengthen our goals to create innovative teaching practices and research that not only encourage people to think in different ways, but also make them better citizens and professionals.”
American-Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison: “The Doing Good Model is all about making the circles of good grow in the world. It captures the approach of making a positive difference, bringing fundamental values into the hearts of people, communities, businesses, and organizations. This model, and the academic research involved, practically bridge between values and organizational structures, to enable decision making processes to be foremost values-based, for the benefit of society, the economy, and the environment.”
The Arison professor will be located in George Mason’s New Century College within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and will be dedicated to research and education that focuses on the application of fundamental human values to global business and a strong global “moral economy.”
“The Arison professorship complements New Century College’s mission of preparing students to address pressing social questions and global challenges,” said Lisa Gring-Pemble, associate dean of New Century College. “Upon graduation, our students embody many of the Arison values—they are engaged, well-rounded leaders, committed to creating a more just world through work in business enterprises, law, government, medicine, education, and non-profits, among others.”
About George Mason University
George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University-Where Innovation Is Tradition.
About Shari Arison
American-Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist Shari Arison, is listed by Forbes as one of the World’s Greenest Billionaires (2010), repeatedly ranked as Forbes Most Powerful Women (2011, 2012), and is a member of The B Team.
Arison is the owner of the Arison Group, a global conglomerate of businesses and philanthropic organizations that operate to improve lives worldwide through values-based investments. Its business arm, Arison Investments, includes companies in the fields of finance, infrastructure and real estate, renewable energy, salt, and water, which create long-term business investments combining substantial financial results with sustainable moral responsibility. The Ted Arison Family Foundation, its philanthropic arm, comprises philanthropic organizations and vision ventures that are committed to making impactful social investments and strategic philanthropy.
Shari Arison directs her businesses to maintain a diversified portfolio of ventures that have moral responsibility at their core.
New York, NY – June 25, 2013 – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will host Many Faces. One Dream (MFOD), an economic empowerment tour for communities of color in New York City on October 20-22, 2013.
New York will be the 3rd stop of 13 cities throughout the country that have a significant LGBT presence in communities of color, including Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Newark, Oakland/San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
Harlem Pride, Global Network of Black Pride, and LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent have been chosen to serve as community partners for the NYC tour stop. MFOD will feature financial services and certification agents to support small business development. There will be a Small Business Marketplace where LGBT-owned businesses will have access to the resources and tools needed to grow and sustain their enterprise.
“As community partners for New York City, we are honored to announce the MFOD New York City collaboration during Harlem Pride weekend,” says Carmen Neely, president of Harlem Pride, Inc. “Economic empowerment is essential to the longevity and well-being of LGBT communities of color. Partnering with the NBJC and SBA is another step toward solidifying our community’s foundation and promoting self-sufficiency.”
One key component of the MFOD Tour is the opportunity for LGBT people of color to exchange business-to-business products and services information. MFOD participants will also learn about various certifications available and how to do business with the local, state and federal government.
For each city, the SBA and SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping grow the small business market, will provide one-on-one counseling for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Participants will select one of two tracks: “Starting Your Business” and “Taking Your Business to the Next Level.” In the first track, training will be provided on the key elements of a business plan, loans, marketing, and SBA’s program and services. The second track will be geared toward New York City’s LGBT entrepreneurs that would like to expand and grow their business.
“The LGBT small business community is helping us create an economy built to last. That is why we are proud to partner with the National Black Justice Coalition—an organization that represents the many faces and true diversity of the movement for full equality,” says Eugene Cornelius Jr., Deputy Associate Administrator for Field Operations at the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Black Enterprise magazine has also partnered with NBJC as the MFOD national media sponsor. The premier business news and investment resource for African Americans will work to develop content relative to the tour and wealth creation for LGBT communities of color across all platforms—print, digital and television.
“Small business represents the engine of commercial innovation, employment opportunities, and economic development. As the state of the economy gives birth to a virtual nation of entrepreneurs, we will benefit immensely from a transformative development inclusive of LGBT business owners of color,” explains Derek T. Dingle, Black Enterprise Editor-in-Chief.
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is another key partner of this initiative.“We are thrilled to serve as a conduit for LGBT entrepreneurs of color to not only get certified and strategically grow their businesses, but also establish valuable business connections across the nation,”Justin Nelson, NGLCC Co-Founder and President. “We look forward to meeting business owners and future business owners in the cities where they live and working with them to build strong and fully inclusive local economies.”
“Despite the challenges we face, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people represent an untapped segment of aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners,” explains NBJC Executive Director Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks. “Rich with ideas and talent, LGBT men and women are creating and leading their own companies. It’s time to expand the conversation from economic security to economic empowerment. It’s time for us to own our power.”
For more information, visit www.manyfacesonedream.com. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for MFOD, please contact Richard E. Pelzer II, President of Global Network of Black Pride, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-537-4069, and Carmen Neely, President of Harlem Pride, at email@example.com or 347-846-0362.
New York, 25 June 2013 – In an effort to help to strengthen the humanitarian sector, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and its member firm network today announced the launch of the Humanitarian Innovation Program, which will deliver two global pro bono projects for humanitarian organizations. The program underscores Deloitte’s broader belief that the success of business and society are linked. It marks a new approach to supporting humanitarian crises by collaborating with humanitarian organizations to co-create innovative solutions to help improve the sector’s preparedness and responsiveness to crises. DTTL’s global member firm network will participate in this collaborative effort working to deliver Deloitte’s globally coordinated approach to supporting crises around the world.
The program launches at a time when humanitarian organizations are increasingly responding to a variety of disasters, requiring an immediate response with limited resources. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), only 3 percent of all global Official Development Assistance goes to disaster preparedness, yet each dollar invested in preparedness, saves seven dollars in recovery. Deloitte’s Program aims to deliver solutions to humanitarian agencies to help them during the preparation and readiness phases, which could ultimately help to strengthen the response of the local and international community, sustain livelihoods, and save more lives.
“At Deloitte we believe that business exists for more than just profit and has the power to positively impact society,” said Barry Salzberg, Global CEO, DTTL. “The Humanitarian Innovation Program is a way for Deloitte to deliver the greatest impact to the sector, not by simply focusing on a single crisis or donating money, but by leveraging the skills and knowledge of our people and our network. The program will convene different subject matter experts, facilitate the co-creation of new approaches to humanitarian crises, and find the most effective way to deliver better results for the long term.”
The program was developed after broad consultations with leading humanitarian organizations, which identified the need for innovation and collaboration with the private sector.
“With the scale and frequency of disasters increasing, and humanitarian organizations being stretched to do more with fewer resources, the need to find sustainable, multi-sector solutions has never been greater,” said David Pearson, Chief Sustainability Officer, DTTL. “This program is more than a series of pro-bono engagements; it will serve to generate innovative ideas that have the potential to transform the humanitarian sector. Each project will tackle an issue faced by many organizations in the sector. The solutions Deloitte co-creates will be scalable from one organization to another, amplifying each project’s impact.”
According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), it is estimated that natural disasters have cost the world more than $1 trillion in destruction since 2000. Not to mention ongoing humanitarian responses due to civil unrest or erupting conflicts — in 2011 there were 200 active conflicts worldwide. And the implications far exceed monetary costs; between 2000 and 2012, 1.2 million people were killed and 2.9 billion people affected by disasters.
Over the past year several DTTL member firms have tested this collaborative approach by delivering or kicking off pro bono projects for UN OCHA and Mercy Corps. The first was a leadership development program for UN OCHA’s humanitarian coordinators — the UN’s most senior leaders responsible for coordinating life-saving assistance during humanitarian responses — hosted by Deloitte United States at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas.
Additionally, Deloitte United States is working with Mercy Corps to create a framework that identifies risks and incorporates resiliency into the strategic and operational decision-making processes while preserving the organization’s agility and entrepreneurial culture.
“The humanitarian environment is a very complex environment and resiliency is a particularly difficult challenge faced by all humanitarian organizations,” said Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps. “The solutions developed through our work with Deloitte will be shared broadly, providing a framework that not only helps our organization but the ability of the sector to respond to crises in a way that also builds local community resilience.”
The Humanitarian Innovation Program will be open to any humanitarian organization worldwide and DTTL will receive applications through July 2013. A panel will review the applications and select two pro bono projects which Deloitte member firms will begin work on in late 2013. For more information on the application process please visit: www.deloitte.com/humanitarian.
To learn more about the positive impact already being delivered by the Deloitte network, watch the video on the UN OCHA leadership development project: http://youtu.be/VF81nm7AbIc.
Jerusalem, Israel June 25, 2013: OurCrowd, the leading equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors, announced today that as part of its commitment to social responsibility, it will require its Israeli portfolio companies to commit a portion of their equity to Tmura – The Israeli Public Service Venture Fund. Tmura is a non-profit organization that enables early-stage companies to donate equity stocks and stock options, and the actual contribution will be realized when the company makes an “exit” or goes public. OurCrowd is the first funding platform in the world to require its companies to make this type of commitment as a condition to closing funding rounds.
Tmura Executive Director Baruch Lipner said, “OurCrowd is leading by example, and I hope that it will encourage others to do the same. Tmura’s mission is to develop a culture of giving within the high-tech sector, and share the wealth that is being created by the country’s technology industry with the broader society. We applaud OurCrowd for being the first to make social responsibility a commitment from each of their portfolio companies.”
OurCrowd will require its Israeli portfolio companies to donate equity to Tmura as part of the closing of any funding round. Upon a successful exit, the company is encouraged to direct 90% of the proceeds to projects of its choice, while the remaining 10% is left to Tmura’s discretion to allocate the proceeds either to charities or to help secure their ongoing budget and allow the continuation of their work with the community.
Tmura, a foundation with a unique business model, was established in 2002 by leading Israeli venture capital funds to involve the high-tech sector in supporting charitable activities. The model is simple and powerful: early-stage companies give Tmura a warrant, convertible (at exit) into a small portion of their equity. If the company succeeds, Tmura sells its shares and donates the proceeds to charities in Israel; the focus is on education and youth-related activities, and the companies can indicate which organizations they want to support.