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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

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Global Sustainable Investment Alliance To Release Biennial 2016 Global Sustainable Investment Review On March 27

Media Web Conference Scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ET

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C., March 17, 2017 – The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) will release its biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016 on Monday, March 27 at 8:00 a.m. ET. GSIA leaders will host a media web conference at 11:00 a.m. ET the same day, featuring:

  • Flavia Micilotta, Executive Director of Eurosif: The European Sustainable Investment Forum
  • Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
  • Meg Voorhes, Research Director at US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
  • Simon O’Connor, CEO of Responsible Investment Association Australasia

Now in its third edition, the biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review collates results from Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand. The report draws on in-depth regional and national reports from GSIA members—Eurosif, Responsible Investment Association Australasia, RIA Canada and US SIF—as well as reports and insights from the Principles for Responsible Investment, Japan SIF, Latin SIF and the African Investing for Impact Barometer. Together, these resources provide data points, insights, analysis and examples of the shape of sustainable investing worldwide.

To register for the media web conference or to be added to the GSIA news release distribution list, please email ussif@lowecom.com.

About The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) is a collaboration of membership-based sustainable investment organizations around the world. It includes US SIF, UK SIF, Eurosif, RIA Canada, VBDO (Netherlands) and the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). The GSIA’s mission is to deepen the impact and visibility of sustainable investment organizations at the global level. Our vision is a world where sustainable investment is integrated into financial systems and the investment chain and where all regions of the world have coverage by vigorous membership based institutions that represent and advance the sustainable investment community. www.gsi-alliance.org

About US SIF

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the leading voice advancing sustainable, responsible and impact investing across all asset classes. Our mission is to rapidly shift investment practices towards sustainability, focusing on long-term investment and the generation of positive social and environmental impacts. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing organizations, nonprofit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. US SIF produces a highly regarded conference each year. A New Climate for Investing in Impact will be held in Chicago from May 11-12. Learn more at www.ussif.org.

Top 24 Announced in 2017 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge

Competition features the best high school entrepreneurs in the state competing for up to $30,000 in cash and prizes

Press Release – March 17, 2017 – High school entrepreneurs across the state of Utah, ages 14-18, are competing for $30,000 in cash and prizes in the 2017 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. This week, the competition announced the top 24 teams that will be moving on to the final stage of the competition. This competition is hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank.

Each high school team faced the challenge of identifying a problem and proposing a creative solution.

“This completion has offered an opportunity to so many high school students to get creative and be introduced to entrepreneurship,” said Stephanie Gladwin, the student director of the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge and an international studies student at the University of Utah. “We are so impressed with the quality of the applications. We know that this year’s top 24 business ideas are even more competitive than last year.”

The top teams are competing with ideas ranging from hammocks and potato-chip dispensers to apps and healthcare devices. Find a complete list of the finalists with descriptions below.

These 24 teams will advance to the final round, where they will meet for a final judging event and a public awards ceremony on April 15 at Lassonde Studios on the University of Utah campus. All are invited to the public ceremony on that day at 4 to 6 p.m.

“We’re thrilled about the statewide growth and participation for HSUEC,” said Anne Bastien, a director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “We think this is the tip of the iceberg for high school innovation and entrepreneurship in the state. We can’t wait to host the top teams at the final award ceremony at the University of Utah.”

The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is the youth version of the collegiate Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, which offers $100,000 of cash and prizes.

Learn more about the competition at lassonde.utah.edu/hsuec.

High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge Season Timeline

  • Monday, Dec. 5, 2016: Submissions open
  • Wednesday, March. 1, 2017: Application submission deadline
  • March 2- 15, 2017: Online judging
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017: Top 24 announced.
  • Saturday, April 15, 2017: Private Judging & Mentoring at the Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building from 7:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. Public Showcase & Awards at the Lassonde Studios from 4-6 p.m.

High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge Top 24 Teams

Here are the top 24 teams in the High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge. These teams will advance to the final event. They are listed in alphabetical order:

  • 123Hammock by eMBe – Skyridge High School (Lehi) – Aims to revolutionize the hammock industry by providing a hammock that has easily attachable parts.
  • AptiTekk – Bingham High School (South Jordan) – All-in-one business solution makes it easy to book rooms, equipment and more.
  • BacteriaPets – Maser Prep Academy (Orem) – A fun classroom lab designed for elementary school classrooms. Using bacteria, students can create their own “pets,” or bacteria cultures, in a safe environment, while learning about bacteria at the same time.
  • Bird Scare Device – Air Dancer – Beehive Science & Technology Academy (Sandy) – Innovative small, portable and nonpolluting air dancers (ADs) make a positive impact by making air travel safer and saving birds’ lives by scaring them away from airports.
  • CoderKeys – Pine View High School (St. George) – An app to teach kids how to type more efficiently for computer programming – and it’s fun.
  • ColoClean – Rowland Hall (Park City) – ColoClean is an alternative colonoscopy preparation kit. Their mission is to provide an effective, humane, personalized colonoscopy prep kit that keeps prep less burdensome for the patient.
  • DeFlame Wrap – West High School (Salt Lake City) – The wrap will provide support and compression on muscles during exercise. After exercise, the wearer may chill the wrap to ice any inflamed muscle areas.
  • Discount Driver – West High School (Salt Lake City) – An app that tracks phone usage while driving through the use of accelerator and NFC sensors.
  • GovGush – Riverton High School (Riverton) – GovGush is a unified technology platform, via mobile and web engagement app, for the public, political representatives and governments.
  • HeadShot: Concussion Diagnosis – Hillcrest High School (Midvale) – Help athletes know how to better care for and handle their concussions. The technology used measures brain activity of regions of the cortex.
  • Health For All – Park City High School (Park City) – A line of clothing and accessories that integrates a type of subwoofer (tactile transducers or bass shakers) to be used for new-age healing techniques as well as a cutting-edge musical experience.
  • Multi-Use Backpack – Timpview High School (Provo) – A backpack with an inflatable mattress and pump. Allows buyer to be able to sleep more comfortably on the go.
  • My Lunch – Herriman High School (Herriman) – Parents and students can pre-order delicious, wholesome lunches from the My Lunch app and select a nutritious meal with quality fruits and vegetables.
  • PocketFab – Skyridge High School (Lehi) – This is a simple product: a pocket. This pocket will be able to hold your phone and other items in a place of your choice.
  • pRaise the Pringle – Park City High School (Park City) – Created a lift so that as Pringles are removed from the top, the lift pushes new Pringles to the top of the can.
  • Puzzle Panels – Academy for Math, Engineering & Science (Salt Lake City) – Portable solar panels that would eventually be able to be sent to emergency sites and set up very quickly.
  • Self-Image Mirror – Timpview High School (Provo) – What if instead of only providing our reflection, our mirror could let us know that we’re looking good, that our hair is impeccable and our outfit stunning? The Self-Image Mirror will provide this service.
  • Snowboard Dots – American Preparatory Academy (Riverton) – Snowboard Dots makes it impossible for beginner snowboarders to catch their edge. The product is made of hard plastic that prevents the riders downhill edge from touching the snow.
  • Stadium Chair – Skyridge High School (Lehi) – Seats in the stadium that are heated and cooled for when it is cold or hot outside.
  • StraightShot Apparel – Kearns High School (Kearns) – Adaptive apparel/clothing company to provide ease in accessing areas to administer medications by injection, port, feeding tube or other ways.
  • The Curb Climber – Copper Hills High School (West Jordan) – A base that will be built into the bottom of motorized chairs that will use motors and wheels to lift the chair over the curb.
  • The Great Traffic Stop De-escalator – Skyline High School (Millcreek) – A robot that acts as an intermediary between the police officer and the civilian for traffic violation stops.
  • Tiny Homes for the Homeless – Kearns High School (Kearns) – It starts by giving the homeless a place to call home, and a community they care about maintaining. The primary goal is to design and construct tiny homes for those who have no place to go.
  • Valle – Bingham High School (South Jordan) – Valle is a high-end clothing brand for urban and street wear designs.

About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute

The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages the Lassonde Studios, a new $45 million innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.

Sierra Club’s 125th Anniversary Trail Blazers Ball to Honor Shailene Woodley and Michael R. Bloomberg

Thursday, May 18, 2017 in San Francisco

Annual Fundraising Gala to Celebrate 125 Years of Sierra Club’s Work to Protect the Planet

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO (March 13, 2017) – On May 18, the Sierra Club – the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization – will celebrate its 125th Anniversary at the Trail Blazers Ball in San Francisco with Honorees Shailene Woodley and Michael R. Bloomberg. The event will celebrate the Sierra Club’s historic work at the federal, state, and local levels to protect millions of acres of our wild America and accelerate a just and equitable transition to a 100% clean energy economy.

The Sierra Club’s 125th Anniversary Trail Blazers Ball will be held at Innovation Hangar at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Event co-chairs are Jack Dorsey (Twitter and Square CEO) and Guy & Jeanine Saperstein (former Oakland A’s owners). The Host Committee includes Oscar-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Emmy-nominated actor Thomas Middleditch, Facebook Sustainability Director Bill Wiehl, among other notables listed below.

Golden Globe-nominated actress and environmental activist Shailene Woodley will be honored for her powerful grassroots activism. “I’m proud to celebrate the Sierra Club’s 125 years of historic work to protect our air, water and climate in frontline communities across the country,” said Woodley. “We need their grassroots people power now, more than ever, as we fight at the state and local levels to keep our communities safe for all.”

The star of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” has been an outspoken opponent of the Dakota Access Pipeline, demonstrating alongside the Standing Rock Sioux and hundreds of other tribes and allies to fight back against the crude oil pipeline that threatens their drinking water, culture and livelihood.

Businessman, politician, and philanthropist Michael R. Bloomberg will be honored for his enduring commitment to combat climate change. “The Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign has saved thousands of lives by cleaning the air we breathe and has helped America lead the world in reducing carbon emissions,” said Bloomberg. “The Sierra Club’s work is more important today than ever, and I’m honored to join in celebrating the organization’s 125 years of protecting the planet and the public.”

Through his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, he has partnered with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, which has helped retire nearly 250 coal plants across the country. Bloomberg Philanthropies is also producing From the Ashes with RadicalMedia, a documentary about the legacy of the coal industry. He is also the co-author of Climate of Hope with Carl Pope, former executive director of the Sierra Club. Bloomberg also advocated for cities to commit to ambitious climate-related goals as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

Founded by legendary conservationist John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. With 2.7 million members and supporters, and chapters in every state, the Sierra Club has achieved unparalleled results, and makes change happen for the better at the federal, state, and local levels. The Sierra Club’s successes range from protecting millions of acres of wilderness to helping pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. Most recently, the Sierra Club made history by leading the charge on a just transition beyond the dirty fossil fuels that cause climate disruption to 100% clean energy for all, including helping retire 250 coal plants across the country and working to secure commitments from 20 U.S. cities to transition to 100% clean energy.

Host committee members include Darren Aronofsky, Kathy Barry & Bob Burnett, Steven & Nicey Berkenfeld, Loren Blackford & Michael Dubno, Chuck & Debbie Frank, Gail & Roy Greenwald, Anna Hawken, Robert & Rosemary Heil, Alex Honnold, Kristin Hull, Thomas Middleditch, Paula Rantz, Kevin Vilkin, and Bill Weihl & Lisa Mihaly.

Sponsors include Do Good Events, Tompert Design, Immersive Environments, Blueprint Studios, and Betty Zlatchin Catering.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.7 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

Dremel Joins Forces with ‘3D Veterans’ to Support STEM Education in K-12 Districts

Career program to train and place U.S. veterans in schools to inspire students to pursue STEM-related technologies

Press Release – MOUNT PROSPECT, ILL. (PRWEB) MARCH 15, 2017: The need to prepare students for tomorrow begins by preparing U.S. veterans and lifelong learners for today. Dremel, the manufacturer of digital fabrication tools for life and learning, is partnering with 3D Veterans, a training and veteran support organization, to provide veterans with sustainable and meaningful careers at Dremel in additive manufacturing. Through this 3D VetSquad℠ initiative, U.S. veterans are currently helping school districts implement the Idea Builder 3D printer alongside educators and students in California, Texas, Florida and New York.

“Through our partnership with Dremel, veterans will now have the unique opportunity to launch exciting new careers while continuing to be of service to their country by helping children master the job skills of the future,” said Michael Moncada, co-founder of 3D Veterans.

The 3D VetSquad℠ was developed with a grant and support from Google.org, VA Center of Innovation and America Makes for 3D Veterans to train unemployed and underemployed veterans for new careers in emerging technology. As this initiative expands, Dremel welcomes collaboration with organizations and districts passionate about helping the nation’s veterans and students.

“As part of our Memorandum of Understanding, VA Center for Innovation is excited to collaborate with 3D Veterans, Dremel and America Makes to help train veterans on 21st century skills, such as 3D printing, and allows them to gain access to impactful careers and to continue serving America’s schools and students,” said Andrea Ippolito, Innovation Network lead of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Current and future U.S. veterans enrolled in the 3D VetSquad℠ initiative will receive a Training Badge upon completion of a six-week boot camp program. Veterans earning their Training Badge will travel to schools nationwide to assist educators in setup, maintenance and everyday classroom use of the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printers.

“Veterans have provided a tremendous service to our country, and we want to honor that by supporting their transition back to civilian life,” said George Velez, manager of Dremel 3D Education. “We couldn’t be more fortunate to introduce these heroes to our nation’s students.”

As 3D printing technology continues to impact real-world applications of STEM learning in districts nationwide, educators and students will have the opportunity to strengthen educational experiences through hands-on training with the 3D VetSquad℠. In addition to the comprehensive lesson plans, one-on-one customer support and certification program available to Dremel customers, veterans will offer in-person support for educators who are implementing 3D printing technology to the classroom.

“The 3D Veterans program successfully advances and accelerates the adoption of 3D printing in the U.S., by meeting two core needs: providing job training and workforce skills to veterans and technical support to schools and educators. America Makes strongly supports this program,” said Leanne Gluck, America Makes deputy director of workforce and educational outreach.

To learn more about how the 3D Vet Squad is making a difference in the classroom, follow Dremel Education on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more information about the Dremel Idea Builder, visit https://3dprinter.dremel.com.

About Dremel

Founded in 1932, Dremel is the industry standard in leadership and excellence for versatile tools systems. The Dremel 3D Idea Builder expands the brand’s reach from the workshop to the classroom to provide educators and students with cutting-edge technology for STEM education. Built upon the brand’s dedication to empowering makers through creativity, precision and project enjoyment, the Dremel 3D Idea Builder nurtures student confidence by giving them a tool to design and build their own models to understand lessons. With available curriculum to draw connections between 3D printing and instruction, Dremel is providing educators with the support they need to transform classrooms. Learn more about classroom applications and curriculum-based learning at 3dprinter.dremel.com.

About 3D Veterans

Founded in 2015, 3D Veterans is a veteran and minority-owned small business whose primary purpose is to provide training and job placement assistance to transitioning service members and veterans seeking careers incorporating emerging technologies. 3D Veterans has partnered with Google.org., the U.S. Veteran Administrations Center of Innovation and America Makes to develop customized training boot camps centered on the needs of employers in emerging technology-focused industries. In June 2016, the White House announced a partnership between the VA and 3D Veterans to train veterans on 21st century skills, such as human-centered design, to help veterans obtain future job opportunities and reintegrate back into their community.

Leonhardt’s Launchpads Chooses Biomerics To Provide Contract Manufacturing and Engineering Design Services For Medical Devices

Press Release – March 14th, 2017 – (PRBUZZ) – Salt Lake City, Utah, Santa Monica, CA and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota – Today Leonhardt’s Launchpads announced it has selected Biomerics LLC Utah and Biomerics Advanced Catheter Minnesota as its primary source manufacturer for a number of medical devices it has patented and developed.

These devices include:

  • Second Heart Assist, Inc. aorta position circulatory assist pumps – both temporary on catheter and wireless chronic devices.
  • Electrical stimulation pacing and stem cell + growth factor infusion leads for Leonhardt’s full lineup of organ regeneration devices.
  • Valvublator catheter based device for decalcifying and regenerating heart valves.

This OEM contract includes;

  • rapid protyotype building and testing;
  • catheter design;
  • circulatory assist pump assemblies;
  • pacing lead and infusion catheter assemblies;
  • mechanical fabrication;
  • cGMP clinical manufacturing;
  • quality assurance;
  • packaging and arranging sterilization then shipping.

“With Leonhardt’s long standing record of major medical device innovations we are honored to be chosen as their primary OEM supplier,” remarked Steve Berhow, President of Biomerics Advanced Catheter. “At Biomerics Advanced Catheter, we’ve always taken pride in our ability to help customers propel their ideas forward. By design we are set up to serve clients, like Leonhardt, to better integrate their minimally invasive engineering technologies with large scale manufacturing solutions. I am excited about the potential to participate in potentially improving and saving lives of thousands maybe millions with Leonhardt’s breakthrough technologies and for the corresponding flow of continuous long term business for Biomerics Advanced Catheter.”

“This agreement highlights Biomerics’ commitment and presence in serving true medical innovators,” stated Travis Sessions, CEO of Biomerics, LLC. “We remain committed to providing next generation solutions to the cardiovascular, structural heart, cardiac rhythm management, electrophysiology, and neurovascular markets. Leonhardt’s Launchpads incredibly is developing innovations in ALL these areas. Our new agreement with Leonhardt is yet another step towards remaining at the forefront of design and manufacturing within these demanding market segments. That leadership position could be forged for years to come considering the depth of Leonhardt’s unprecedented innovation pipeline.”

“We set up operations in Utah in November 2015 because of the incredible infrastructure to support biomedical innovation. Biomerics is a perfect example. Earlier this month we visited their Advanced Catheter team in Minnesota, where Leonhardt Ventures began in 1982, and found their engineers to be amongst the best we have ever worked with in our history. We are highly impressed with their rapid prototyping capabilities served by unparalleled integrated operations extending from polymer design, proprietary non-thrombogenic coatings, high level extrusion, molding and complicated assembly. Their attention to detail and quality in both design and manufacturing makes them an ideal partner for us. We believe this is just the beginning of a long standing great working relationship.” stated Howard Leonhardt, Founder, Executive Chairman & CEO of Leonhardt’s Launchpads

Leonhardts’ Second Heart Assist device is expected to be the first percutaneous placed design that offers both pulsatile and continuous flow options and incorporates harmonic vibrational energy technology to reduce risk of thrombosis. The chronic support version is wirelessly powered. The Leonhardt team has entered an exclusive patent option license agreement with Caltech covering 4 issued U.S. patents and numerous others pending. The option licensed Caltech patent estate includes miniature stent pump designs and technologies designed to minimimize hemolysis, thrombosis, infection and mechanical breakdown associated with previous chronic use circulatory assist devices. The Second Heart Assist device was originally developed by the Leonhardt team to compliment their BioLeonhardt www.bioleonhardt.com heart regeneration and MyoStim Peripheral limb salvage technologies.

Leonhardt Stent Pump from Calx Stars Business Accelerator on Vimeo.

About Biomerics:

Biomerics, LLC specializes in the design, development, and production of finished medical devices used in diagnostic and interventional procedures. Biomerics provides complete development and manufacturing solutions for customers in the cardiovascular, structural heart, cardiac rhythm management, electrophysiology, neurovascular, vascular access, and pain management markets. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Biomerics has operations across three ISO-13485 compliant facilities. Biomerics has a 40,000 sq. ft. facility in Salt Lake City, Utah and a 52,000 sq. ft. new start of the art building in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota specializing in Advanced Catheters – http://biomerics.com/about-us/locations/

About Leonhardt’s Launchpads:

Leonhardt’s Launchpads is an innovation accelerator focused on organ regeneration and recovery technologies with operations in California and Utah. Leonhardt’s Launchpads was formed by Leonhardt Ventures in 2008 in Northern California, opened up in Southern California in 2013 and in Utah in 2015. They currently are incubating 30 startups. Leonhardt Ventures was founded in 1982 (originally HJ Leonhardt & Co.). In the 1980’s the Leonhardt team led in patented cardiovascular balloon catheter development, in 1990’s stent grafts and percutaneous heart valves, since 2000 the focus has been on organ regeneration. The team is most well known for dominant world leadership in stent grafts for repair of aortic aneurysms without surgery, one of the first patented percutaneous heart valves and completing the first non-surgical stem cell repair of a human heart in 2001. Howard Leonhardt their founder has over 21 issued U.S. patents and a dozen more pending.

OneSqin is World’s First Health And Beauty Brand To Give 100 Percent of Its Profits To Empower Girls In Need

Press Release – LONDON – OneSqin CIC (http://www.onesqin.org/) is a new social enterprise, and the world’s first business to donate 100 percent of its profits to charities helping girls at risk into life-changing education.

Founded by luxury asset manager Neil Richmond FRSA and former superyacht captain Sinisa Jovic, OneSqin manufactures and sells premium-quality, 100 percent natural skin cream and certified organic cotton tampons.

“The odds are always stacked against girls who grow up in poverty,” said Richmond. “Every three seconds a girl somewhere in the world becomes a child bride. The number one cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19 is childbirth. And four out of five victims of human trafficking are girls.”

OneSqin supports projects that give girls the chance to stay in school, access health services and delay marriage and childbirth, helping them escape the cycle of poverty and shape a brighter future.

“Neil and I both worked in the luxury sector,” Jovic said. “We did well, and now we want to put something back. We wanted to make change an easy choice, so we chose products that most women use regularly. They’re very high quality, with pure, natural ingredients and no harmful chemicals.”

Richmond added: “As consumers, we hold great collective power. We asked ourselves, what if that power was directed toward fighting inequality – what if the purchase of premium-quality products could help correct the balance? What if women could help other women just by buying the things they need?”

OneSqin is a Community Interest Company registered in the UK. All of the work done to get the brand up and running has been provided by volunteers. It is a certified member of Social Enterprise UK and is supported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).

OneSqin products will be launching via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in April. Its certified organic cotton tampons will be sold online, on subscription as well as on demand in the UK and the USA. Its natural, all-purpose skin cream will be sold online worldwide. Early adopters can register online now at www.onesqin.org and win free products as a thank you for helping the social enterprise to launch.

The brand currently supports pupils at the SEGA Girls School in Tanzania through the charity Nurturing Minds Africa http://nurturingmindsinafrica.org/

This Capital-Raising Strategy Beats the VC/Angel Model

Press Release – Oakland, CA – “Angel/VC investors will pressure you to grow as fast as possible at any cost so they can make a fast killing,” says attorney and mission-driven business expert Jenny Kassan. “That model cripples your ability to maintain your business mission and run your business your way. Plus, the evidence is clear that the average VC and Angel strongly prefers pitches from men.”

Here’s a better idea, Kassan advises: “Find and attract investors who will love who you are, what you do, and how you impact the community. Let them support your company long-term.” How can you find such investors? Kassan suggests tapping the growing army of investors who love having a stake in businesses that matter to them.

On March 31 through April 1 in downtown Oakland, CA, Kassan will lead a training event called “Fund and Fuel Your Dreams” to help women entrepreneurs design a capital raising strategy customized to their unique situation, values, structure, and goals. The program features hands-on, expert training about funding options that allow you to tap the most abundant, yet most overlooked, source of investment capital: values-aligned investors that are happy to let you keep control. Fill-in-the-blank templates and hands-on coaching help participants choose their best option.

On the evening of March 31, participants in “Fund and Fuel Your Dreams” will meet socially conscious investors who are especially interested in women-led businesses. As a past participant said, it’s “knowledge, support and community all at once.”

New Resource Bank, the transformative bank for businesses and organizations building a better world, is sponsoring the investor reception. RSF Social Finance is sponsoring a special breakfast to talk about their most recent initiative to provide values-aligned funding for women entrepreneurs.

The admission fee for “Fund and Fuel Your Dreams” is $997, but the discount code FRIEND2017 brings the price down to $297.

To sign up go to www.fundandfuelyourdreams.com.

Event leader Jenny Kassan is a nationally-know expert and innovator in funding mission-driven businesses. During her over two decades of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises, she has helped her clients raise millions of dollars and she has raised funding for her own businesses as well. She serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. Her book Raise Capital On Your Own Terms will be published in the fall. She also manages an impact investment fund called the Force for Good Fund.

Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

Journalist Amy Cortese says, “Jenny is, hands down, one of the most knowledgeable sources in the field of creative capital raising for social enterprises and small businesses. She is a pivotal player in the budding local and social investing movement.”

For further information, see www.fundandfuelyourdreams.com.

11-Year-Old Female Entrepreneur Creates New, Longer-Lasting Formula Of Zollipops®

The Clean Teeth Pops™ have a longer shelf life, making them easier to share

Press Release – Walled Lake, Mich., Mar. 8, 2017 – As part of International Women’s Day, Zollipops®’s 11-year-old female entrepreneur Alina Morse announced today that her healthy candies that clean your teeth now have a new formula.

The good-for-your-teeth lollipop now has a three times longer shelf life and are even healthier, with a lower glycemic response (the effect a food has on blood sugar levels after consumption).

The new formula is still gluten and GMO-free, and contains no sugar. Morse’s Zollipops actually neutralize acid and help reduce the risk of tooth decay, dental caries and cavities, by raising the pH (a scale used to measure acidic or base qualities) in the mouth.

“One of the greatest challenges for tooth-friendly candy is stability,” said the young entrepreneur. “We listened to our customers and never stopped trying to find that perfect formula that tasted great and was good for you, while lasting longer. We found it!”

After two years of trials, the fourth grader Morse and her team came up with the final formula that makes Zollipops able to be shared in candy jars, while remaining fresh. Morse is shipping out the new suckers to schools, dentists, Amazon, ToysRUs, and other retail partners.

“This new technology helps make our Zollipops available to more kids and adults; anytime, anywhere,” Morse said. “Now, we are even closer to achieving our goal of reducing tooth decay in children and adults. Everyone should be able to enjoy a sweet treat AND a healthy smile.”

A guilt-free indulgence, Morse’s Zollipops have become the No. 1 selling sugar-free lollipop on Amazon.com. She and her cavity-fighting candies have appeared on “Good Morning America” the “Steve Harvey” show, and made it to No. 3 on the Forbes’ list of “Top Ten Emerging Food Trends.” She is also featured as part of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Special Edition 2017 book, published by Scholastic.

Zollipops have partnered with the Special Olympics for their “Special Smiles” program and have donated more than 250,000 healthy lollipops in support of the ADA.

To learn more or to find Zollipops at a retailer near you, visit: http://zollipops.com.

US SIF: The Forum For Sustainable And Repsonsible Investment Affirms Support For The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform And Consumer Protection Act

Opposes Changes to Sections 1502 on the Conflict Minerals Rule and Section 953(B) on the Pay Ratio Rule

Press Release – Washington, D.C., March 7, 2017 – US SIF released the following statement from Lisa Woll, CEO:

“Today US SIF sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission re-stating our long held support for sections 1502 (concerning conflict minerals) and 953b (concerning pay ratios) of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Passage of Dodd Frank was a critical priority for sustainable and responsible investors. US SIF championed Dodd-Frank’s efforts to combat the loopholes and weaknesses in regulation of US financial markets that led to the financial crisis of 2008 and which wiped out equity for individual and institutional investors.

“We are deeply disappointed that Congress has already voted to ‘disapprove’ the SEC’s rule on resource extraction payments which requires oil and gas companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments. Investors strongly supported this as it was a critical tool for deterring corruption.

“Investments incorporating environmental, social and governance criteria now account for $8.72 trillion of professionally managed assets in the United States. As a result, investors are demanding more disclosure on critical environmental, social and governance issues; Congress’s action on resource extraction payment disclosure is a step in the wrong direction. We are equally concerned that SEC Acting Director Piwowar has reopened comments on already implemented rules on Section 1502 and Section 953b.

“Thus, US SIF has sent letters re-stating to the SEC our long held support for sections 1502 and 953b.

“Section 1502, the Conflict Minerals Rule,is intended to cease the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by requiring certain companies totrace and disclose the origin and supply chain of certain commodities mined in that country. While no single law can solve all the underlying problems causing conflict in the DRC, Section 1502 has diminished revenue flows to militia groups since 2010 and contributed to responsible economic development in the DRC. US SIF recently joined with more than 100 colleagues representing more than $3.75 trillion in assets under management, in opposing any changes to the conflict mineral rule.

“Section 953b, which came into force only on January 1 of this year, requires public companies to disclose the ratio of the median of the annual total compensation of all employees to the annual total compensation of the chief executive officer. The CEO-to-worker pay ratio can help investors better understand a company’s overall compensation approach and provide a valuable additional metric for evaluating and voting on executive compensation practices. Issuers that provide excessive compensation to executives at the expense of other employees are creating risks that may be expressed in employee morale, productivity and turnover. The SEC should support this rule and allow it to yield results before it makes efforts to ‘re-open’ it.

“It is no secret that President Trump has made the weakening or eradication of Dodd Frank a priority of his Administration. Such steps will harm the economy, investors and consumers. The attempts to eliminate and re-open disclosure rules at the SEC are first steps on the road to weakening Dodd Frank. We call on the SEC to maintain remaining rules on disclosure and urge Congress to oppose attempts to diminish or eliminate the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.”

About US SIF

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the leading voice advancing sustainable, responsible and impact investing across all asset classes. Our mission is to rapidly shift investment practices towards sustainability, focusing on long-term investment and the generation of positive social and environmental impacts. US SIF members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing organizations, nonprofit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. US SIF produces a highly regarded conference each year. A New Climate for Investing in Impact will be held in Chicago from May 11-12. Learn more at www.ussif.org.

Raffa Companies Launch Mentoring Program To Empower Women Leading Change Around the Globe

Women Who Do More for Women, Do Good For the World!

Press Release – Washington, D.C. — With the launch of the Empowering Vital Leaders Initiative, Raffa’s new global e-mentoring partnership with Vital Voices (VV), Owner/Partner, Kathy Raffa, and her mentor teams of back office/operations experts aim to take their impact with this longtime Raffa client to new heights.

The Initiative leverages the capacity and kindred values of two organizations who share a mutual passion to help women achieve their greatest potential. Raffa is a majority women-owned, national Top 100 CPA advisory/professional services firm, where 11 of 17 partners and more than 65 percent of employees are women. The mission of Vital Voices is to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities.

The extraordinary women in the Vital Voices network are visionaries, risk-takers and pioneers – they are building businesses, safeguarding human rights and advancing public policy solutions – creating progress in their communities and beyond. By mentoring and lending its diversified professional expertise, pro bono for an entire year, to a select cohort of VV women, Raffa believes it can empower these heroes’ capacity to achieve even greater systemic change.

After spending four days at a recent gathering of 100 of Vital Voices most extraordinary women leaders, Kathy Raffa decided the firm needed to Do More to help these exceptional women advance their work. At the gathering, she and Karen Schuler, Raffa’s Managing Director – Search, Transition & Planning, led workshops and met many of the courageous leaders and decided they could do even more by leveraging the human capital that exists throughout the firm.

“We have an opportunity to connect our own Raffa professionals with women at the forefront of change and global progress. The VV100 represent 100 of the most exceptional leaders from Vital Voices’ network of over 15,000 women from 140 countries. These visionary leaders strengthen laws, create jobs, serve as role models to women and girls and defend human rights and political freedoms,” said Kathy Raffa. “We can help them achieve their bold and innovative visions with our expertise in business operations.”

Raffa’s mentor teams bring together a senior level Raffa executive with one or two associates to work with one VV100 mentee. For this pilot, 23 team members from different departments across Raffa, P.C. and Raffa Financial Services, Inc. will be matched with a VV mentee based on the areas of interest identified in the mentee’s application.

Based on a preliminary survey of participants, the first group of mentees is particularly interested in gaining insights into human resources, finance, technology, leadership, and strategic business planning. Topics are expected to range from how to develop a scalable business model, to brainstorming ways to use technology as a tool for social change, to best practices in financial management.

“For 20 years we have partnered with exceptional women who are redefining what it means to be a leader. We know that now more than ever – unique and strategic partnerships like this one will serve as powerful vehicles for change,” said Alyse Nelson, President & CEO, Vital Voices Global Partnership.

The first group of mentees hails from the Philippines, United Kingdom, Honduras, India, Uganda, Nigeria, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania, and Jordan.

“The world just got a little smaller,” said Kathy Raffa. “Our ability to support these women via technology with their important missions across the globe will also help us become better leaders and professionals ourselves. We will learn from each other, and together we’ll Do More for more women who do so much good for the world.”

About Raffa

As a B-Corp certified, national Top 100 professional services advisory firm specializing in nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses, Raffa performs high-quality audits and offers a deep bench of expertise across an array of services, including accounting and tax, human resources, technology and consulting to help clients effectively and efficiently manage their back office. Raffa’s client-centric, customized approach helps each client meet its potential and ensures each client’s success is sustained and maintained. Learn more at www.raffa.com.

About Vital Voices Global Partnership

Vital Voices Global Partnership invests in women leaders who improve the world. Guided by the belief that women are essential to progress in their communities, we have partnered with leaders from more than 140 countries who advance economic opportunity, increase political and public leadership, and end violence against women. Our programs in strategic planning, business, advocacy and communications build critical skills needed for creating transformational change.

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