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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Impact Investing

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.

India’s 1st Skills Enterprise Challenge, ‘Power to Empower’ announces the winners for its third edition.

National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) and India@75 announced UNNATI and Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd as the winners of the third Power to Empower 2013 Challenge.

March 19, 2014 | Delhi, India: National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) and India@75 have announced Ramesh Swamy of UNNATI and Arindam Dasgupta of Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd. as the winners of the Power to Empower 2013 Challenge (P2E 2013).

Supported by the Muthoot Pappachan Foundation, the CSR arm of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, the P2E 2013 Challenge was launched in October 2013 with the aim of identifying, selecting and rewarding the best solutions bridging the gap between the supply and demand of skilled labour in India.

This year, Power to Empower received a record 1,004 applications from over 150 cities across India and was managed by Ennovent and TiE Delhi-NCR. These applications were accepted as part of two distinct categories – Idea and Operations. P2E 2013 received 724 Idea and 280 Operations applications with the highest number of entries coming from New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune respectively.

The winning Idea submitted by Guwahati based Tamul Plates Marketing focuses on generating rural livelihoods by producing and marketing biodegradable dinnerware. They also provide technical support and financial linkages to rural areca nut – commonly referred to as betel nut – producers. In contrast, the winning application within the Operations category, UNNATI is a Bangalore based organisation that runs a 70-day vocational training program for economically backward youth with an assured job at the end of the training period.

In addition to the winners, the finalists for the Idea category were Rachel Bennett, Bhavani B, Dwayne Dias and Dr. Shelley Batra. Their ideas for skill development ranged from projects such as Saarthi, which aims at creating teacher entrepreneurs to OpASHA, which hires local slum residents as community health-workers.

Within the Operations category, Guwahati based Sahayika and Gurgaon based INDHA received the second and third place respectively with TARA Livelihood Academy and GMR Varalakshmi Foundation being the other two finalists. While Sahayika is a skills initiative to assure respect and fair wages to home based caregivers, INDHA was started by Literacy India and provides women with vocational training in sewing, block printing, papermaking and more to empower underprivileged women and children.

The finalists and winners were selected after multiple rounds of expert evaluation by an esteemed jury panel consisting of Mr. S Ramadorai, Chairman NSDC, Mr. Rajan Navani, Chairman India@75, Mr. Pramod Bhasin, Vice Chairman, Genpact & Chairman, The Skills Academy and Mr. Thomas Muthoot, Executive Director Muthoot Fincorp Ltd amongst others.

At the ceremony held in Delhi to announce the winners, Mr. S Ramadorai, Chairman, NSDC, said, “My heartiest congratulations to all the winners, finalists and the participants. P2E as an initiative was designed to sensitize and encourage entrepreneurship in the skills space. Reaching out to grass-root entrepreneurs and enabling them to scale up their businesses is a step towards nation building. I hope through this effort we develop a system that not only encourages the concept of entrepreneurship, but actually works towards the achievement of creating a skilled workforce of 500 million by 2022.”

As part of the prizes for P2E 2013, UNNATI and Tamul Plates Marketing will receive INR 1.5 lakh and 3.5 lakh cash respectively by the Muthoot Pappachan Foundation, the CSR arm of the Muthoot Pappachan Group. Upon rewarding the prizes, Mr. Thomas Muthoot, Executive Director Muthoot Fincorp Ltd said, “The finalists did a great job in clearly explaining their solutions for enhancing the skills ecosystem in India. P2E 2013 has been a real eye opener, and a great initiative that we would like to be part of next year as well.”

Both winners will also receive access to the high profile capacity building Empretec program, an initiative of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development as well as access to the iDiya program at ISB Hyderabad.

In addition to the above, the winners and finalists in each category will receive access to the Sankalp Unconvention Summit 2014 and to the Diffusion workshop by ISB, networking opportunities and national visibility.

Further talking about the Power to Empower 2013 Challenge, Mr. Rajan Navani, Chairman, National Committee, India@75, said, “The Power to Empower 2013 Challenge aspires to encourage young and budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and scalable business models working in the skills eco-system, so that they can contribute and decrease the demand – supply gap in the entry level workforce across sectors.

According to “Education To Employment: Designing a system that works” by McKinsey & Company, around 53 per cent of employers in India say that skills deficiency is one of the key reasons for entry-level vacancies. At present, of the 15 million individuals who enter the work force, only 3 per cent undergo any form of vocational training due to limited access to such training opportunities in a fast growing economy. As a result, a majority of India’s population cannot realize the employment opportunities necessary to improve their income leading to a more prosperous life.

Ennovent managed P2E 2013 on behalf of NSDC and India@75. In addition, TiE Delhi-NCR served as a knowledge and delivery partner for the Challenge and National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) as the key outreach partner.

About National Skill Development Corporation

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a one of its kind, Public Private Partnership in India. It aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality, for-profit vocational institutions. It provides funding to build scalable, for-profit vocational training initiatives. Its mandate is also to enable support systems such as quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships. Its objective is to contribute significantly (about 30 per cent) to the overall target of skilling/up skilling 500 million people in India by 2022.

About India@75

India@75 is a grassroots initiative aimed at realizing the dream of an inclusive, sustainable and developed India by the year 2022, when India completes 75 years of Independence. It is a universal vision for India shared by Indians from all geographies and all walks of life. The initiative is incubated and supported by the Confederation Indian Industry (CII).

About Ennovent

Ennovent is an innovation accelerator. We provide services to accelerate for-profit innovations for sustainability in low-income markets in developing countries. We specialise in helping clients discover enterprises with novel solutions, develop business models to start-up enterprises, provide finance by facilitating early-stage investments and grow operations to scale profit and impact. Since 2008, Ennovent has worked with over 4,800 Network members, 15 Circle members and 10 Solution clients to accelerate over 80 innovations in 10 countries.

About TiE Delhi-NCR

The Delhi Chapter is among the largest and most vibrant across the vast TiE network. In the last 12 years, of its existence it has emerged as the forum of choice for startups, serial entrepreneurs, VC and angel investors, policy makers and academia. At the heart of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, TiE Delhi plays the role of an ecosystem builder by bringing in multiple stakeholders and values to align with the common goal to foster entrepreneurship. It boasts of an active membership of 1500 members in the Delhi-NCR region and conducts 60+ events in a year.

About Muthoot Pappachan Group and Muthoot Pappachan Foundation

Muthoot Pappachan Group is a diversified corporate conglomerate with presence across various businesses. In financial services, it offers a range of products & services including gold loan, auto loan, affordable housing finance & microfinance through a wide network of over 3600 branches. Muthoot Pappachan Foundation (MPF), the CSR arm of the Muthoot Pappachan Group, facilitates the CSR activities for the entire Group Companies. Its objective is to build a framework of corporate social responsibility with a philanthropic approach in line with business unit objectives. The CSR initiatives are focussed on the areas of Health, Education, Environment and Livelihood (HEEL).

Media Contact:

Perzen Patel, Manager – Marketing, Ennovent
Email: perzen.patel@ennovent.com

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New Report Reveals Hidden Casualties of War: Children of the Wounded

  

First-of-its-kind Nationwide Assessment Reveals Trending Challenges Facing Children of Wounded Service Members

WASHINGTON, DC, March 19, 2014 – A first-of-its-kind nationwide assessment, “Study on Children of Seriously Wounded Service Members,” reveals challenging trends that can have a significant impact on the social and psychological development of children of wounded service members. The study, commissioned by the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, was conducted by the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research, part of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego.

Five trends prevailed from the study that can impact the 52,000 children in the United States that are living with a parent who has been wounded in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. When not addressed, these challenges can have a lasting impact on children’s social, emotional, and academic development.

  • Initial Communication about the Injury: Many parents, while mindful of protecting their children, lack the tools or techniques for how to communicate, so discussions often don’t adequately prepare children for the short- and long-term consequences of their ‘new normal’. 
  • Understanding Severity of the Parent’s Injury: Invisible wounds, such as post- traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and depression, can be difficult to comprehend and can impact family dynamics and parent-child relationships, influencing a child’s self- esteem and overall development. 
  • Loss of Childhood: Caring for a seriously physically wounded parent may require children to take on taxing caretaking duties by necessity, interfering with their activities, development and perceived normalcy. This means growing up early and taking on responsibilities many of their peers do not understand. 
  • Diversion of Attention: When the injured parent needs significant caregiving, it diverts parents’ focus away from the child to the parent in need. Following this, providing adequate childcare can become a struggle and may leave children with a sense of loss of both parents. 
  • Social and Community Isolation: Not only are children of wounded service members often physically isolated from the military communities that support them and understand what they are going through—–they also experience social isolation from their peers, given drastic differences in their day-to-day lives compared to peers.

“These children are struggling with the particular challenges of not only of being part of a military family, but readjusting to a ‘new normal’ when a parent comes home with a life-altering injury,” said Dr. Mary Jo Schumann, associate director at the Caster Center and co-principal investigator of this study. “These challenges are compounded by the isolation many of the children face, and it’s disconcerting that there are not many programs that provide direct short- and long-term support to these children.”

While over 400 organizations exist to-date to assist seriously wounded service members and their families, the majority of the programs focus on the wounded service member, and often do not address the long-term issues of children and families.

“This study proves what the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has believed for a long time, that military children and spouses are often the hidden faces of huge sacrifice,” remarked Margaret B. Davis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “These families have already sacrificed so much for this country. It’s our job, along with our partners, to work together to address the unmet needs of these families and provide them with the support they require to be well.”

The study’s researchers concluded that there is an immediate need for a variety of focused programs to meet the needs of family members, especially children. The following resources, programs and services are researcher recommend to more effectively address the unique challenges and needs of children and spouses.

  • Create focused programs that ultimately hone in on the needs of both parents and children to develop long-term resiliency strategies; 
  • Provide children with peer-to-peer social support; 
  • Offer mentoring programs for parents and children; 
  • Provide communication at the right time and in the right manner; 
  • Develop a central database of support programs and services will ultimately help to reduce the negative impact of challenges identified in the study.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and the Caster Center thanks our partner organizations for their support of the study: Fisher House Foundation, Gary Sinise Foundation, The National Intrepid Center of Excellence, National Military Family Association, Operation Homefront, Semper Fi Fund, SemperMax Support Fund, USO, and Wounded Warrior Project. We are also grateful to all of the nonprofit organizations, military personnel and families who graciously participated in interviews and focus groups for this research study.

To download the full report, comprehensive analysis trends and recommendations, visit www.mcsf.org/hiddencasulatiesofwar.

About the Scholarship Foundation:

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the Nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. Since 1962, the Scholarship Foundation has provided more than 30,000 scholarships valued at over $80,000,000 to Marine Corps children whose parents have been killed or wounded in combat or have demonstrated financial need. For more information on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, please visit http://www.mcsf.org/.

About the Caster Center:

The Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research is part of the Institute for Nonprofit Education and Research at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego. The mission of the Caster Center is to provide research, evaluation and consulting services that benchmark the nonprofit sector and build the capacity of nonprofits and philanthropies. For more information on the Caster Center, please visit http://www.sandiego.edu/soles/centers-and-research/nonprofit/.

About the Research Study:

Over the course of one year, researchers from the Caster Center interviewed a total of 125 participants, including seriously wounded service members, their spouses and children, as well as military, civilian and nonprofit professionals who work with this population. The study included two phases to ensure a comprehensive understanding around the population and its unfulfilled needs: The first phase focused on understanding the specific needs of children of seriously wounded service members through interviews and reviews of existing research; the second phase focused on an assessment of government and nonprofit programs available to identify gaps that exist.

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Contact:
Emily Cahill, Senior Manager, Communications
Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
(703) 549-0060
emily.cahill@mcsf.org

Disruptive Online Office Supply Retailer Chalkfly Announces 1,900% Revenue Growth in 2013

Revenue reaches $2 million in first full year, on track for continuing growth in 2014

Detroit, March 19, 2014 – Detroit-based Chalkfly, a pure play e-commerce website selling office and school supplies, today announced a 1,900% growth in revenue from its launch year of 2012. Chalkfly has also achieved more than $300,000 in sales for January 2014, positioning the company for continued growth in 2014.

Chalkfly was started by Google and IBM alumni– and brothers – Andrew and Ryan Landau. The Landaus noticed that the $30 billion office supply industry had experienced very little innovation over the last two decades and was in need of remodeling. So the brothers left their positions at Google and IBM and launched Chalkfly, with a focus on technology, customer service, and giving back.

The company’s operations are focused online with no “brick and mortar” facilities, and aims to make the entire purchasing process faster and easier. Chalkfly sells 50,000 products, has free overnight shipping, offers 24/7 customer service, and has a 365 day return policy. As part of their socially conscious business, Chalkfly customers can choose a teacher to receive five percent of their purchase. In 2013, Chalkfly gave back to more than 1000 teachers.

“When we first set out to launch a technology company, we closely looked at which industries were in most need of disruption. We learned that the office and school supply business is a $30 billion industry that has seen virtually no innovation in the past 25 years, so we set out to transform the mundane experience of ordering office supplies,’” said Andrew Landau, co-founder of Chalkfly. “We are really excited by what we have achieved in our first couple of years. Our continued growth reflects the desire for technology, innovation and purpose in the office supply sector. “

Chalkfly has experienced a number of successes since its launch in July 2012:

  • Secured $750,000 Series AA investment, led by Detroit Venture Partners
  • Named one of Business Insider’s Top 15 Startups to Work for in America
  • Named the youngest member of the Internet Retailer’s Second 500 list

For more information or to begin shopping, please visit www.chalkfly.com.

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About Chalkfly:

Transforming the experience of buying office and school supplies online, Chalkfly is an innovative eCommerce company rooted in giving back. Chalkfly customers can choose a teacher to receive five percent of their purchase. Plus we’re great to do business with! 24/7 customer service, free shipping, next-day delivery, and 365 day returns. 
Chalkfly cares about teachers, classrooms, and education. Our mission is to be a forward-thinking, socially responsible business that is rooted in giving back to teachers across the nation, and provide customers with quality office supplies, innovative technology and exceptional service. 

 As an e-commerce retailer, Chalkfly has been included in Internet Retailer’s Second 500 for 2013. Chalkfly was also included as one of Turnstone’s 2013 Best Young Companies To Work For. For more information on Chalkfly, visit www.chalkfly.com.

Press Inquiries:
Amy Farrell
For Chalkfly
afarrell@quenchcomm.com
617-366-7149

Kevin Parker, Owner Of Bio-dynamic And Organic Winery Chateau Maris, Announces Plans To Sell 300,000 Bottles Of Wine In 2014

CEO of Sustainable Insight Capital Management Emphasizes the Importance of Sustainability in his Firm’s Investment Strategies

NEW YORK– MARCH 17, 2014 – Kevin Parker, owner of bio-dynamic and organic winery Chateau Maris, today announced his plans to sell 300,000 bottles of wine in 2014, including approximately 100,000 in New York City alone.

More than 50 top rated restaurants in New York City offered Chateau Maris in February, including Pearl and Ash, Blue Water Grill, Bell Book and Candle, Tribeca Grill, Nomad and the Waldorf Astoria. The Wine Advocate, The Rhone Report and Wine Enthusiast Magazine have all given Chateau Maris’ top wines 93+ point ratings. When Parker and partner Robert Eden purchased Chateau Maris in 1997, they refused to apply any synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides. As a result, Maris has been certified organic by Ecocert and biodynamic by Demeter and Biodyvin for over a decade. The thriving domain is located on a 79-acre estate in the Cru La Liviniere, Languedoc, France.

“Our sales are at record highs and we continue to grow rapidly driven by the growing interest in products that are sustainable and organic,” said Parker. “Consumers are more focused than ever before on health and wellness, and they want to know what they are putting into their bodies is free of chemicals. Companies are beginning to recognize this demand and emphasizing more sustainable practices in their businesses.”

The winery is also home to the world’s first carbon negative hemp cellar. The 9,000-square-foot cellar is energy self-sufficient and biodegradable, and the hemp bricks are able to maintain temperature and humidity at a consistent level. In addition, the hemp and lime bricks also absorb and store CO2 prompting Wine Spectator in 2013 to name Maris one of top four wineries in the world “confronting climate change head on.”

The practices that Parker uses for his winery are also what drive his business objectives. Parker, who is also the CEO of Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), an investment management firm focused on companies with superior environmental, social and governance practices, recognizes the market for sustainably grown products and the need for sustainable companies, and employs this concept to fuel SICM’s business strategy. The firm operates under the philosophy that today’s most forward-thinking companies are responding to challenges and opportunities created by population growth, natural resource scarcity, climate change, urbanization and globalization. SICM’s research suggests that markets are inefficient and not accurately pricing securities to reflect these macro trends.

In a recent report, “Linking Climate Engagement to Financial Performance: An Investor’s Perspective” with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), SICM and CDP concluded that the relationship between corporate engagement and action on climate change and financial performance of the world’s largest corporations is significant. Companies in the top quintile of climate disclosure provide premiums of +5.2 percent return on equity, +18.1 percent cash flow stability and +1.6 percent dividend growth over their peers in the bottom quintile.

For more information on Chateau Maris, visit: http://chateaumaris.com and for more information on SICM visit: www.sicm.com

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About Sustainable Insight Capital Management:

Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), a leading investment management firm, was founded to enable investors to benefit from the transition to a resource-constrained economy. The firm believes today’s most forward-thinking companies are responding to challenges and opportunities created by population growth, natural resource scarcity, climate change, urbanization and globalization. SICM’s research suggests that markets are inefficient and not accurately pricing securities to reflect these macro trends. Leaders who manage these sustainability risks have historically demonstrated superior performance, more stable cash flows, and higher dividend growth over time.

The above research materials are for informational purposes only. They are not an offer or solicitation for any security or investment product managed by SICM and should not be construed as investment advice. Further, investment accounts managed by SICM may or may not employ strategies based on or related to the above research.

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Dance Against Cancer An Evening to Benefit the American Cancer Society

Monday, May 5, 2014 at 7pm at AXA Equitable Theater

Producers Erin Fogarty and Daniel Ulbricht have partnered with the American Cancer Society to present the fourth annual Dance Against Cancer on Monday, May 5, 2014 with cocktails at 6pm (VIP ticket only), followed by a performance at 7pm, and a post-show reception at the AXA Equitable Theater, 787 Seventh Avenue (between 51st and 52nd Streets), NYC. Tickets are $150 ($300 for VIP) and are available at www.dacny.org.

VIP tickets include the pre-event reception beginning at 6pm, preferred seating, post-event reception and gift bag. General admission tickets include the performance and post-event reception only. All proceeds from this event will benefit research initiatives as well as all patient and family services programs that American Cancer Society funds.

The evening’s performance, produced by New York City Ballet’s Daniel Ulbricht and Manhattan Youth Ballet’s Erin Fogarty, will feature New York City Ballet’s Jared Angle, Tyler Angle, Robert Fairchild, Chase Finlay, Lauren King, Maria Kowroski, Tiler Peck, Amar Ramasar, Taylor Stanley and Daniel Ulbricht; American Ballet Theatre’s Isabella Boylston, Herman Cornejo, Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside; Alvin Ailey’s Matthew Rushing, Boston Ballet’s Misa Kuranaga, Miami City Ballet’s Patricia Delgado; as well as Lar Lubovitch’s Clifton Brown and Memphis Jookin’ sensation, Charles “Lil Buck Riley.” This year will also showcase young dancers from Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute.

Work by choreographers George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Justin Peck, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Brian Reeder, and others will be featured.

Dance Against Cancer

Co-producers and longtime friends Erin Fogarty and Daniel Ulbricht conceived Dance Against Cancer in 2010. Both Ms. Fogarty and Mr. Ulbricht have close ties to the cause. Ms. Fogarty lost her father in 2011 after a seven-year battle with colon cancer in and Mr. Ulbricht’s mother is currently battling uterine cancer. With so many of their close friends and family sharing stories of their own relation to the disease, the desire to do something grew into what is now a gala benefit for the incredible work that the American Cancer Society does through research initiatives as well as patient and family service programs. The benefit brings together artists from leading dance companies from New York City and beyond for a night of beautiful performances, world premieres and great company. Since its inauguration, Dance Against Cancer has raised over $100,000 in support of the American Cancer Society.

About The American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night at 1.800.227.2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

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MEDIA CONTACT

Michelle Tabnick, (646) 765-4773, michelle@michelletabnickcommunications.com

“Game Changer” Crowdfunding Will Make 2014 the Year of the Gold Rush

Silicon Valley Crowdfunding Conference & Expo – April 3th – 4th, 2014 to Be Held at Sheraton Hotel in Heart of Silicon Valley Near Stanford University and VC’s Famous Sand Hill Road.

Got an Idea or have a Startup? Finance it with Crowdfunding. Silicon Valley Conference and EXPO, which is held on April 3, 4 — the 2nd anniversary of the JOBS Act signed by President Obama — will bring together traditional private investors and those who employ the power of the Internet and social media for fundraising. Silicon Valley Crowdfund provides the participants with the unique opportunity to discuss the current state of the industry, to learn from experts in venture capital, business angels and crowdfunding fields, to network, and find new partnerships.

The conference program includes keynote speeches delivered by Jason Best, Richard Swart , Douglas S. Ellenoff, Devin Thorpe with Seven panel discussions, an experts round-table, startup workshop and a pitch competition. The participants will hear from more than twenty panelists representing rewards and equity crowdfunding portals from United States, Europe and Latin America, lawyers, business angels and entrepreneurs who have successfully raised money through crowdfunding.

Silicon Valley Crowdfund Conference is sponsors

  • Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, Leonhardt Ventures Created to inspire Entrepreneurship, Education, & Creativity Invested.in Provides leverage social capital to raise financial capital. 
  • CrowdfundBeat.com A worldwide news & information on crowdfunding. 
  • Bancboxcrowd.com Payments and escrow for crowdfunding

Who will benefit from participating in SVCrowdfund?

  • Private investors (VCs and Business Angels) who want to learn about the opportunities crowdfunding creates for them. Startups and innovators examining their fundraising options
  • Crowdfunding platforms wanting promote their portals in the capital of innovation and private investments. Marketing Specialists, Legal Advisors, CPAs looking for new clients and partners
  • Students interested in getting involved in private investment or marketing business; or thinking about financing their new venture. Journalists and business bloggers searching for worthy topics

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For Media : Please Copy and Paste

“Game Changer” Crowdfunding Will Make 2014 the Year of the Gold Rush!

Indiegogo $40 million, Crowdtilt $23 million, Teespring $20 million this January over $83 Million VC Investment pouring into Crowdfunding portals, two year after President Obama signed the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. The President called the Act a “game-changer. the Conference will foucos on Comments on SEC Regulatory Initiatives Under the JOBS Act: Title III — Crowdfunding.

President during the ceremony explains: “Because of this bill, start-ups and small business will now have access to a big, new pool of potential investors — namely, the American people. For the first time, ordinary Americans will be able to go online and invest in entrepreneurs that they believe in…. the JOBS Act would make it easier for business owners to take their companies public . Silicon Valley Crowd-funding conference will make an expert assessment of crowd-funding in the US with focus on recent experiences, and sets strategies to anticipate near future developments.” that would remove barriers that prevent small businesses from growing and hiring.

Silicon Valley Crowdfund Conference is held on April 3th – 4th, 2014 to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the JOBS Act signed by President Obama last year. You will hear from people who implement crowdfunding as a part of their current fundraising and marketing strategies and from those who work with SEC to make the equity crowdfunding legal in the United States.

Keynote Speaker Richard Swart, ,will open the inaugural event on the morning April 4th. Multiple panels will be held throughout the day focusing on topics such as “Rewards Based Portals beyond Kickstarter” and “The Business of Crowdfunding“.

Many of the crowdfunding industry leaders will be present either participating in a panel or in attendance. The event is being organized by Silicon Valley Crowdfund Ventures and Crowdfund Beat publisher Sydney Armani, CEO of SV Crowfund and CFB publisher stated recently, “I am very excited about doing silicon valley event. since last year the Interest in the event has been great. We have many leaders from Silicon Valley signed up to attend.” The event organizers expect this to become an must be event.

Registration

Contact Information:
Exhibitors, Media, and Press Pass
Sponsorship Inquiries:
Please Contact:
Sydney Armani

Panasonic, UBS, Ergo, Lippo and China Telecom win the IAIR AWARDS® 2014 in Hong Kong

Corporate Social Responsibility, Cleantech and Green Building were the protagonists at the IAIR GLOBAL AWARDS®, held in Hong Kong at the Sheraton Hotels & Tower on the 28th of February, 2014.

The event, on its 4th annual edition, witnessed 60 companies get awarded and around 500 people involved, coming from all over the world. Even Mr. Roslan Che Ahmad, Vice Consul of Consulate General of Malaysia in Hong Kong and Macau was present and enjoyed the prestigious recognition, underlining the brilliant results of Malaysian companies at the competition.

Some companies like HDFC Ergo, Bangkok Insurance and Taishin Holdings have received their third-time recognition and many others such as UBS, China Telecom, La Trobe, Fort LP, MFS, Chow Tai Fook, ReMark, TerniEnergia, Athenaeum, Insta-Forex and China Resources Power, their second.

Panasonic, REC Solar, Cardia Bioplastics, China Telecom, Clean Energy, Visionedge, Directgreen, Kismet Jardin and Fuji Electric APAC triumphed as best companies for sustainability thanks to their commitment to green initiatives and eco-products.

UBS, Commerzbank, La Trobe Financial, FORT LP, Bank Mutiara, Taishin Financial, Bank Jatim are among the banks, brokers and asset managers considered undisputed leaders in their field, not only locally but also worldwide.

ReMark, Bangkok Insurance and HDFC Ergo were recognized as the top insurance companies.

The Malaysian real estate companies seized the lion’s share of Green Building and Property. Among them: Encomas, Ame Development, Hatten, LBS Bina. Excellent results also for LIPPO Karawaci, Tujuan Gemilang, Al Barari, Forum Partners.

Several Asian and European corporations achieved the gold medal for their innovation, brand valuation and leadership: Ziehm Imaging and Aerogen (Medical Technology), Chow Tai Fook (Luxury), Kabam (Interactive Entertainment), TerniEnergia and China Resources Power (Energy), Nippon Paint (Paint Technology) and many others.

«The format of our awards is a roadshow with multi-events in the main global financial centers – commented Mr. Guido Giommi, President of IAIR Group -. Next IAIR global and regional awards will be held in New York, London and Dubai and related events in Singapore, Bangkok, San Paolo, Moscow, Chicago, Shanghai and Boston with the only purpose to award excellences all over the world. In particular the next Award Ceremony will be held on April 15th at The Yale Club in New York. This is a unique opportunity for all winners, includeing those in Hong Kong, that helps improve their international reputation, keep the loyalty of investors and attract new ones, and to promote their brand in front of the international financial community in New York».

The next stop of the IAIR AWARDS® world tour will be in New York on the 15th of April at the Yale Club.

Please find here under the list of winners at the IAIR GLOBAL AWARDS® 2014 – Hong Kong Edition:

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.abnewswire.com/pressreleases/panasonic-ubs-ergo-lippo-and-china-telecom-win-the-iair-awards-2014-in-hong-kong_9365.html

Media Contact:
Lucy Hung
Company Name: Editrice Le Fonti – IAIR Group
Email: awards@iaireview.org
Phone: 0039 0287213688
Country: Italy
Website: www.iaireview.org

NMBC’s 11th Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference Salutes Women in Finance During the Month of March

NEW YORK, NY (March 11, 2014 ) – The National Minority Business Council, Inc. (NMBC) will host its 11th Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference with the theme “Financial Strategies for Business Growth” on Thursday, March 20th 2014, 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM at BNY Mellon, 101 Barclay Street, New York City, NY 10286.

Dawn Henning, Vice Chair NMBC Board of Directors and Chair NMBC Women’s Business Committee is elated to host the annual event which allows women to connect and recognize their excellence while sharing proven approaches toward leadership and achievements. “As women in business, especially within an economically challenging climate, the focus must be on growth, ” states Ms. Henning, “Creating solid business relations that will be commercially beneficial to your bottom line.”

Workshops include: Invest in Your Business and You; Minding Your Money: Is Your Business Financially Healthy?; and Show me the Money! Financing Options for Your Business.

The luncheon keynote will be provided by Randy Joy Epstein, CEO of Randy Joy & Co, CPA, and Founder & Co-organizer of TEDx Times Square. Ms Epstein is considered a serial entrepreneur, professional speaker and shoulder for entrepreneurs and CEOs to lean on to solve issues and grow their companies. CEOs and investors seek her direction on how to focus the entire company towards growth. “Knowing that failure is indeed an option,” Ms. Epstein shares, “CHOOSE. True failure is not falling but rather not picking yourself up when you fall and trying again.” It is that business acumen that has inspired not only women, but business leaders to heed her shrewd advice.

The morning workshops will explore three important topics with the following panels of financial experts:

Panel 1 – Invest in Your Business and You

Moderator – Debralee Nelson, CFP®, Senior Director, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Panelists – Monika Mantilla, President & CEO, Altura Capital; and Brian Scanlon, CFP®, CRPS, Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, Corporate Retirement Director, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley.

Panel 2 – Minding Your Money – Is Your Business Financially Healthy?

Moderator and Panelist – Geri Stengel, President, Stengel Solutions and Ventureneer; Panelists – Stacy Francis, CFP®, President and CEO, Francis Financial, Inc.; Samantha Champagnie, CPA, Founding Member, Champagnie Dawkins, CPAs, PLLC; and Dr. Michael C. Grayson, President and CEO, Grayson Financial Services.

Panel 3: Show me the Money! Financing Options for Your Business

Moderator – Coco Corona, Marketing, Valley Economic Development Corp.; Panelists – Deborah Jackson, Founder, Plum Alley; Madeline V. Marquez, Vice President, Business Initiative Corporation of NY; Erica Dorn, Manager of Lending- New York, Accion East; and Jessie Lee, Director, Valley Economic Development Corp.

Advanced registration is required.

To register for this event, visit NMBC website at www.nmbc.org or call NMBC Offices at 347-289-7620.

About National Minority Business Council


Founded in 1972 as a full-service, non-profit (501)(c)(3) corporation, the National Minority Business Council’s primary purpose is to enhance the success and profitability of the small business community through the provision of high-quality services, education, mentoring programs, advocacy and networking support. The NMBC is a membership organization that includes hundreds of small, minority, women owned and veteran owned businesses located nationally and internationally. Given the various levels of business expertise among the members, the NMBC strives to develop programs that are suited to the needs of the new start-up as well as seasoned entrepreneur.

MEDIA INQUIRIES CONTACT

Ulysses Williams,Ulysses.Williams@nmbc.org

NMBC’s 11th Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference Salutes Women in Finance During the Month of March

NEW YORK, NY (March 6, 2014 )The National Minority Business Council, Inc. (NMBC) will host its 11th Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference with the theme “Financial Strategies for Business Growth” on Thursday, March 20th 2014, 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM at BNY Mellon, 101 Barclay Street, New York City, NY 10286. 

Photo: Dawn Henning

Dawn Henning, Vice Chair NMBC Board of Directors and Chair NMBC Women’s Business Committee is elated to host the annual event which allows women to connect and recognize their excellence while sharing proven approaches toward leadership and achievements.“Women in business are making a tremendous impact on the economy. During the most challenging economic times the focus must continue to be on growth,” states Ms. Henning.

The luncheon keynote will be provided by Randy Joy Epstein, CEO of Randy Joy & Co, CPA, and Founder & Co-organizer of TEDx Times Square. Ms Epstein is considered a serial entrepreneur, professional speaker and shoulder for entrepreneurs and CEOs to lean on to solve issues and grow their companies. CEOs and investors seek her direction on how to focus the entire company towards growth. “Knowing that failure is indeed an option,” Ms. Epstein shares, “CHOOSE. True failure is not falling but rather not picking yourself up when you fall and trying again.” It is that business acumen that has inspired not only women, but business leaders to heed her shrewd advice.


The morning workshops will explore three important topics with the following panels of financial experts:

Panel 1 – Invest in Your Business and You

Moderator – Debralee Nelson, CFP®, Senior Director, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Panelists – Monika Mantilla, President & CEO, Altura Capital; and Brian Scanlon, CFP®,CRPS, Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager, Corporate Retirement Director, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley.

Panel 2 – Minding Your Money – Is Your Business Financially Healthy?

Moderator and Panelist – Geri Stengel, President, Stengel Solutions and Ventureneer; Panelists – Stacy Francis, CFP®, President and CEO, Francis Financial, Inc.; Samantha Champagnie, CPA, Founding Member, Champagnie Dawkins, CPAs, PLLC; and Dr. Michael C. Grayson, President and CEO, Grayson Financial Service

Panel 3 – Show me the Money! Financing Options for Your Business

Moderator – Coco Corona, Marketing, Valley Economic Development Corp.; Panelists – Deborah Jackson, Founder, Plum Alley; Marlene Citron, President, Bronx Overall Economic Development Corp. and The Business Initiative Corporation of NY; Erica Dorn, Manager of Lending- New York, Accion East; and Jessie Lee, Director, Valley Economic Development Corp.

Advanced registration is required. To register for this event, visit NMBC website at www.nmbc.org or call Mr. John Robinson, NMBC President & CEO at 347-289-7620.

About National Minority Business Council

Founded in 1972 as a full-service, non-profit (501)(c)(3) corporation, the National Minority Business Council’s primary purpose is to enhance the success and profitability of the small business community through the provision of high-quality services, education, mentoring programs, advocacy and networking support. The NMBC is a membership organization that includes hundreds of small, minority, women owned and veteran owned businesses located nationally and internationally. Given the various levels of business expertise among the members, the NMBC strives to develop programs that are suited to the needs of the new start-up as well as seasoned entrepreneur.

MEDIA INQUIRIES CONTACT
Ulysses Williams
Ulysses.Williams@nmbc.org

New Research Shows That 500 Million Family Farmers Have Enormous Potential To Feed The World

Family Farmers conserve environmental resources, protect biodiversity, and increase incomes — while feeding nine billion people by 2050.

CHICAGO, IL – As the world celebrates the International Year of Family Farming, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank (http://www.FoodTank.com) highlights new research showing how family farms, can nourish the world while protecting the environment. The new report, Food Tank by the Numbers: Family Farming, features original research from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and draws on dozens of agriculture and sustainability experts. The report proves that family farms—farms or ranches owned and operated by families—are not only feeding the world, but also nourishing the planet. Family Farms are developing effective ways to address global food security, increase income, protect biodiversity, and conserve the environment for a growing population.

According to research in the Food Tank report, approximately 70 percent of the world’s freshwater goes toward agriculture, and it is estimated that this will increase by 19 percent by the year 2050. Soils are being depleted 10 to 40 times faster than they are being replenished, and as a result, 30 percent of global arable land has lost productivity. And land use changes as a result of agriculture—deforestation and land degradation—are contributing to climate change.

But millions of family farmers are using agroecological approaches to combat climate change and create resilience to food price shocks, natural disasters, and conflict. Agroforestry, inter-cropping, cover crops and green manure, solar drip irrigation, integrated pest management, and utilizing orphan and indigenous crops are helping protect natural resources, improving nutrient density, and increasing farmers’ incomes.

“We need to bring more attention to what’s being implemented by family farmers—big and small—on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, the United States, and Europe because what they’re doing is working. These innovative practices, which are grounded in farmers’ knowledge, are nourishing communities and protecting the planet’s resources at the same time. Smallholder and family farmers are the backbone of food production all over the world,” says Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank President.

Seventy-five percent of Earth’s plant genetic resources have been lost, but family farmers are protecting plant diversity across the world. According to the report, by planting diversified and indigenous crops, family farmers can produce between 20 to 60 percent more yields than farmers who produce only one type of crop.

Supporting family farmers’ livelihoods through facilitating access to markets can have a substantial and significant effect on increasing rural incomes, which includes 70 percent of the world’s poor. Organic certification for family farmers has also had a positive effect on their incomes—in Indonesia, the Boyolali Farmers’ Association, Asosiasi Petani Padi Organik Boyolali [APPOLI], has shown a 40 percent reduction in production costs because of organic farming practices, and the market price of the organic rice that they grow is 20 percent higher than non-organic rice.

Family farming also drives economic growth and social stability by providing job opportunities. Small farmers create a “multiplier” effect that extends beyond the farm sector, spending a high share of their income in other sectors, including construction, infrastructure, and manufacturing, which creates demand for other goods and sectors in their communities. In Asia, for example, every dollar of income that the farming sector generates also creates an additional US$0.80 in non-farming sectors.

“Family farmers deserve to be recognized for the multiple roles they play—as business women and men, innovators, teachers, and stewards of the land. Family farmers need our recognition and our support now, not later,” says Caterina Batello, Senior Agricultural Officer FAO.

With increased support from research institutions and the funding and donor communities to invest in family farmers, global food security can be achieved, environmental resources can be protected, and national economies can grow.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Watch Food Tank’s new short movie, “Family Farmers + You = Nourished World” here:

Further highlights from the report:

  • Recent research by FAO shows that, in their global sample, over 98 percent of farms are family farms and these produce at least 56 percent of the world’s agricultural production. In many countries, the contribution of family farmers to food production far surpasses their share of land holdings.
  • Family farming makes up the majority of agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa,where approximately 33 million farms in the region, or 80 percent, are smallholder farms.
  • More than 80 percent of all agricultural holdings measure less than two hectares in size and are thus managed by smallholder farmers.
  • All farmers can have a direct impact on nutrition through the crops that they choose to grow and consume, as well as through post-harvest and preparation methods.
  • Smallholder farmers utilize farming practices that preserve biodiversity—not just for nutrition and taste—but also because cultivating a wide variety of species helps insulate farmers against risk of plant disease, and crop diversity promotes soil health and increases yields.
  • Diversified and indigenous crops are typically more resilient to climate change and extreme weather conditions.
  • The use of organic fertilizers by family farms has been proven to be effective in reducing soil degradation.
  • Smallholder farmers typically use innovative technologies to conserve resources. Drip irrigation methods used in Benin, for example, can save between 30 and 60 percent more water than conventional methods.
  • Evidence shows smallholder and family farming can be the key to mitigation of the negative effects of climate change and improving food security.
  • If 10,000 small- and medium-sized farms converted to organic, sustainable production, the environmental effect in terms of carbon sequestration would be equivalent to removing over one million cars from the road.
  • In Vietnam, land tenure reforms that provide private land use rights to smallholder farmers have had a significant and positive effect on agricultural productivity, as well as increasing household incomes.
  • Mobile phone technology has been instrumental in breaking down barriers that smallholder, rural farmers, especially women, face in accessing markets.
  • Despite growth of large-scale farms around the world, smallholder and family farming still make up the majority of global agriculture.

About Food Tank

Food Tank: The Food Think Tank (www.FoodTank.com) is a think tank focused on feeding the world better. We research and highlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.

CONTACT: Danielle Nierenberg at 202-590-1037 or Danielle@foodtank.com

NOTE: To obtain a complimentary copy of “Food Tank by the Numbers: Family Farming,” please contact Danielle Nierenberg at Danielle@foodtank.com.

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