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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

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.

New Report Highlights Use of Entrepreneurship to Solve Social, Environmental and Economic Problems

NEW YORK, July 31, 2013 – There is a revolution going on in the world of social change. Across the nonprofit, private, and public sectors, innovators are expanding how they approach problems through new business models and driving change effectively.  Today, the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute issued a new white paper delving into these and a variety of other questions surrounding social entrepreneurship in the United States.

The report by Georgia Levenson Keohane “Social Entrepreneurship: How Innovative Change-Makers Are Testing New Solutions to Entrenched Social, Economic and Environmental Problems,” uses case studies on topics as varied as Teach for America and the government of New York City to illustrate how the social entrepreneurship phenomenon has reshaped the way that human services are delivered.

America has a rich history of entrepreneurship, not just in the capital realm but in the social as well, including the American Red Cross founder Clara Barton and Martin Luther King, Jr. With this foundation, American society is ripe for an increasing reliance on social entrepreneurship, the author writes. For instance, some advocates say that foundations should learn from venture capital models and entities that fund social change should focus on providing more money over longer time frames to fewer organizations and to work closely with grantees to ensure future success.

Commercialization has benefitted philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, reshaping them to better assist their targets. For example, Keohane cites the microcredit industry which harnesses private capital for social purpose by providing small loans made to people who would not otherwise qualify at traditional lending institutions. The notion of microcredit began in the mid-1970s in Bangladesh, and by the early 2000s, commercial investors entered the industry. Today, $65 billion of microcredit loans are made to some 100 million borrowers worldwide, and much of this growth, Keohane says, is due to an infusion of private capital.

Keohane says social entrepreneurship has been around for years but this new activism is growing given its momentum, sweep and fundamental approach to problem-solving. She eyes an even bigger future for social entrepreneurship in the decades ahead, citing innovations in philanthropy, such as an increased emphasis on measurement and evaluation, the role of technology and the growth of nonprofit investment funds.

“The coming years will mark new inroads for social entrepreneurship, with better defined solutions for government and private leaders to collectively work together towards broader social change and shared prosperity,” said Keohane, who writes regularly on social and economic policy and the intersection of business and society for the Harvard Business Review, The Nation, The American Prospect, The Washington Monthly, Slate, and other publications. She is also the author of Social Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century: Innovation Across the Nonprofit, Private and Public Sectors, which informed many of the concepts outlined in the report.

 To download the full report, visit  http://www.mhfi.com/about/global-institute/white-papers/social-entrepreneurship.

MoolaHoop Launches Rewards-Based Crowdfunding Platform Dedicated to Women Entrepreneurs

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and AUSTIN, TX (July 24, 2013) – Launching today, MoolaHoop is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform designed to help women-owned businesses achieve financial success. Created by women to help women leverage the increasing power of crowdfunding to start, build or grow their business, MoolaHoop enables female business entrepreneurs, owners and managers to garner financial support for their idea or project by leveraging their social networks.

MoolaHoop’s launch features the BlueAvocado and Open Arms campaign to fund the creation of an eco-collection of Made in the USA reusable totes manufactured by women war survivors using reclaimed t-shirts and remnant fabrics.

MoolaHoop was developed to help narrow the gap in funding available to women entrepreneurs. Women-owned businesses represent almost 30% of new startups in the U.S., yet receive just 5% of all venture capital and 12% of all institutional debt. As a result, they are smaller from the onset and grow more slowly. Capitalizing on the explosive growth in rewards-based crowdfunding, MoolaHoop is out to change this dynamic.

Austin, TX-based BlueAvocado is a women-founded, women-run, certified B Corp that has realized double-digit growth the past two years and is at a growth inflection point as consumers seek to “green” their lifestyle.  To expand its product portfolio and further green its supply chain, BlueAvocado turned to MoolaHoop, allowing its customers to help them grow and innovate. Through a partnership with Open Arms—a women-owned manufacturing company that employs women refugee survivors—BlueAvocado is using MoolaHoop to fund a new line of Made in the USA reusable bags produced from reclaimed t-shirts and remnant fabrics and manufactured in Austin by Open Arms employees. As a result, BlueAvocado can offer a line of Made in the USA products produced locally, and Open Arms can expand its manufacturing capacity and provide more employment opportunities for women refugee survivors.

“Our partnership with Moola Hoop and Open Arms is a demonstration of the power of women entrepreneurs to create a better world through business. Our campaign invites others to ‘Say YES’ to wasting less and empowering more, and the MoolaHoop platform makes it possible,” commented BlueAvocado Co-Founder Amy George. “If 4,000 people Say YES to one reusable bag we can keep more than 200,000 disposable bags out of landfills, upcycle 2,000 T-shirts and give four women survivors a full-time job, benefits and literacy classes for four months. If 40,000 Say YES, we can employ 28 women, and avoid two million disposables. This is deep, measurable impact.”

“We are delighted to highlight the Say YES project as part of our launch,” said MoolaHoop Co- Founder Brenda Bazan. “It’s an inspired concept that supports our mission to help make it easier for great women entrepreneurs to get funded, and a project that will strongly resonate with our users. By using the MoolaHoop platform to engage and enlist BlueAvocado and Open Arms customers and supporters, we are confident they will reach their crowdfunding goal.”

The MoolaHoop crowdfunding platform marks the first step in the design and development of a robust ecosystem of business services, information and partnerships – the “Hoop” – to fund and provide ongoing support to women entrepreneurs. As envisioned by company Co-Founders Brenda Bazan and Nancy Hayes, MoolaHoop will grow to offer a full suite of resources to support women-owned and -led businesses, including access to equity funding, education, mentoring and skills.

In addition to the Say YES BlueAvocado/Open Arms campaign, MoolaHoop launches with a project by Live Worldly to expand its global fashion marketplace; a campaign to help Life Out of the Box grow its line of artisan jewelry; and Tatty Tat’s  project to enable the creation and purchase of personalized temporary tattoos from mobile devices. With new projects posted weekly, MoolaHoop anticipates hosting more than 20 women-focused crowdfunding campaigns over the next few months.

For more information, to submit a project, or to contribute to a current MoolaHoop campaign, please visitwww.moola-hoop.com.

About MoolaHoop

Founded by two experienced women business leaders, MoolaHoop is a rewards-based crowdfunding platform designed for women entrepreneurs. Capitalizing on the explosive growth in rewards-based crowdfunding—projected to generate more than $700 million for businesses and projects in 2013— MoolaHoop is the only platform dedicated to the funding and acceleration of U.S.-based women-owned or-led businesses. MoolaHoop is building an ecosystem of business support and services, and developing partnerships with women-focused organizations and institutions, to seamlessly connect women to the financial, human and social capital they need for business success. MoolaHoop has offices in Dallas, TX and San Francisco, CA. www.moola-hoop.com.

About Blue Avocado

BlueAvocado is a premium eco-lifestyle brand synonymous with inspiration, impact and integrity. With its covetable designs, affordable price points and sustainable products, BlueAvocado is poised to deliver on their promise to empower people to reduce their ecological footprint, enable the dreams of other women entrepreneurs and create an impact that inspires action. In fact, the original vision of three women, friends and sisters, has evolved into a new model for business success, a better B-corp business. To date, the company has kept over 128 million disposable alternatives out of landfills, upcycled more than three million bottles and invested in more than 450 women micro-entrepreneurs. Find out more about their mission to “smile more and waste less” at www.blueavocado.com.

About Open Arms

Open Arms is a social enterprise using the power of business to inspire social change. This humanitarian manufacturing company, based in Austin, TX, creates its own brand of fashionable apparel as well as offering U.S.-based manufacturing for other brands. Open Arms offers living wage employment to women war survivors, demonstrating the power of the human spirit and breaking the cycle of poverty this group  so often experiences. Combining ESL and enrichment classes with family-friendly hours, this meaningful work and living wage employment creates self-sufficiency and dignity for the women they employ. Open Arms is committed to both people and the planet, offering conscious consumers the opportunity to make  a purchase with a purpose. www.theopenarmsshop.com.

Haitian entrepreneur launches crowdfunding campaign to rebuild fuel-efficient stoves factory destroyed in earthquake

8 July 2013 (New York, NY) – Haitian social enterprise  D&E Green Enterprises is launching a campaign through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to rebuild a factory destroyed during the 2010 earthquake. The project will help improve the lives of people in Haiti by bringing a fuel-efficient charcoal cooking stove to the market.

 

In 2009, entrepreneur Duquesne Fednard set up D&E Green Enterprises to produce an efficient charcoal-burning stove that would reduce the amount of charcoal needed to cook food, and ease the strain on Haiti’s overexploited forests. The specially designed cooking stove – called the EcoRecho – uses 50% less charcoal than traditional Haitian cooking stoves.

 

But in January 2010, Duquesne’s newly built cookstoves factory was destroyed by the earthquake in Haiti. Production continued in donated tents, which were later damaged by hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. Although Duquesne thought of giving up, his dedicated staff persuaded him to keep going.

 

In the face of adversity, D&E Green Enterprises has made and sold 33,000 of its EcoRecho stoves in the past three years. It has now turned to crowdfunding in a bid to rebuild its factory and enter full production.

 

Duquesne Fednard, CEO of D&E Green Enterprises said:

“A simple device such as a cookstove has the power to truly transform Haiti by empowering households, end users and small businesses. The fact that D&E can achieve this cheaply and safely for the environment is really a win-win situation. Our vision is to break the cycle of energy poverty by specializing in the manufacture and distribution of low-cost, high-efficiency energy technologies for people living in the developing world. By backing this project, people will help  better the living conditions of both present and future generations in Haiti.”

 

A range of perks is being offered by the campaign. At the lowest level, backers will have their names inscribed on the factory wall. A range of higher level perks are also available – including a chance to visit the factory once it is built.

 

To support the campaign, go to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fight-energy-poverty-rebuilding-an-efficient-stove-factory

 

To find out more about D&E Green Enterprises, visit http://www.dandegreen.org/ and follow @DEGreenEnt on Twitter

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