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

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Devin D. Thorpe

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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.

Stackla Launches Stackla for Good Program to Power Advocacy for Nonprofit Organizations with User-Generated Content

Stackla for Good Will Help Nonprofits Engage with Advocates and Inspire Activism with Scalable UGC Platform

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO, CA. August 9 , 2017 — Today Stackla, the leading enterprise user-generated content (UGC) platform, announced Stackla for Good, a new program focused on empowering nonprofit organizations to engage advocates, drive contributions, and inspire activism with authentic, social content. Now, nonprofits can use Stackla at a reduced rate, and Stackla will donate 10 percent of Stackla for Good proceeds to charity.

Nonprofits across the globe like Better Make Room, ONE, Greenpeace, ACLU and World Wildlife Fund already rely on Stackla to discover and curate social content from existing advocates and showcase it across all their marketing channels. With Stackla, nonprofits have been able to amplify advocate voices with significant results:

  • No Kid Hungry – Boosted donations by 30 percent year over year and provided 10,000 more Maryland students with healthy breakfasts
  • WWF’s Earth Hour Event – Aggregated over 150,000 social posts for Earth Hour, increased new website visitors by 72 percent and grew social audiences by over 30 percent
  • British Heart Foundation – Achieved 152 percent of their Big Stitch campaign goals, driving charity shop sales and supporter engagement

“Everyday our UGC platform helps organizations connect with people in real, engaging ways that cultivate communities, launch movements and promote action,” said Damien Mahoney, CEO and co-founder of Stackla. “With the Stackla For Good program, we’re expanding the scope of what’s possible, making our technology more accessible for those who need it most – where it can help power outreach, promote advocate stories and affect significant change.”

Nonprofits Inspire Change with Stackla

“When we set out to create the Better Make Room campaign, we knew if we wanted to engage the next generation in a conversation about education, we needed to give them a space where they could drive those conversations themselves,” said Eric Waldo, Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative. “Stackla’s platform helps us power authentic, interactive experiences for young people on Bettermakeroom.org and display these students’ stories across digital billboards in Time Square.”

As Jason Wilson, Director of Digital Communications at No Kid Hungry, points out, their campaign could be the difference between a child having a healthy meal or going without food. “Human connections are at the heart of nonprofit organizations, and Stackla helps us put these kids and communities’ stories front and center – sparking true compassion that has created a movement with people of all ages coming together to fight child hunger.”

“WWF’s Earth Hour began in Sydney ten years ago and has grown into a worldwide movement. Given its ten-year history, it can be challenging to come up with new ways to engage our audiences,” said Kerri Major, Climate and Earth Hour Engagement Manager at WWF-Australia. “Stackla has allowed us to build a stronger sense of community among Earth Hour participants. The interactive website and social competitions have enabled us to successfully engage people during, before and after Earth Hour, helping us broaden awareness and support for this important cause.”

According to Athar Abidi, Social Media Manager, at British Heart Foundation, it’s more critical now than ever for charities to tap into social content to get people more emotionally connected with important causes. “The British Heart Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness of and donations for our life saving research into cardiovascular disease, which is an issue that affects so many lives. With Stackla, we’re able to harness personal stories from our volunteers, fundraisers and shops shared on social media to create emotional engagement with our charity and grow support.” Hear how the British Heart Foundation is inspiring and engaging supporters with UGC in this September 6 webinar.

To learn more or apply to the Stackla for Good Program, visit Stackla.org.

About Stackla

Stackla is the user-generated content (UGC) platform that puts customer stories at the heart of brand marketing. Through predictive intelligence and automation, Stackla helps brands identify authentic, compelling customer content across the social web and showcase them at scale throughout their core marketing channels – increasing engagement, strengthening customer trust and driving sales. Trusted by more than 450 brands across travel, hospitality, CPG, retail, sports and nonprofits, Stackla is designed to meet the content personalization needs of enterprise-level organizations such as Disney, McDonald’s, Toyota, Sony, Expedia, Heineken and Virgin Holidays. For more information, please visit www.stackla.com and follow us on Twitter at @stackla.


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Mission Edge to Launch San Diego Accelerator and Impact Lab (SAIL)

Local Organizations Selected to Expand Social Enterprise

Press Release – August 8, 2017 – SAN DIEGO, CAMission Edge and The San Diego Foundation today announce the launch of the San Diego Accelerator and Impact Lab (SAIL) to empower nonprofit organizations and purpose-driven businesses to develop and grow sustainable revenue-based business models in alignment with their social missions.

SAIL is comprised of five major modules led by Mission Edge and Impact Without Borders, including business model articulation, pilot design, pilot outcome review and business model validation, business planning, and investment preparation. Participants will build relationships with mentors and investors, attend presentations and workshops, and have access to tools and expert advisory services. The program culminates in a final pitch event, hosted by Qualcomm, that will connect SAIL participants with mentors, investors, and potential collaborators within the San Diego community.

“The San Diego impact sector is ripe with ideas for social enterprise and we’re excited to help launch these ideas into reality. SAIL gives organizations the opportunity to test assumptions about their customers and market, develop a business canvas that answers essential questions about their products or services, and confirm whether the market will pay for some or all of what they provide,” says Mission Edge CEO, Ken Davenport. “It’s a classic rapid innovation process that is used in business, and it will help organizations develop opportunities to better control and grow their revenue streams.”

Sponsored by The San Diego Foundation, Union Bank, and Qualcomm Incorporated, the 10-week program will run from August 17 to October 24, 2017. Participating organizations include:

“Diversifying revenue streams through a social enterprise model offers organizations a new level of financial stability and empowers them to focus on their mission. SAIL is an innovative program that equips organizations with the tools, resources, and know-how to become more economically sustainable and enhance their impact in San Diego,” says Kathy Patoff, Chief Operating Officer of the MUFG Union Bank Foundation.

According to the University of San Diego Caster Family Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Research, 62 percent of San Diego nonprofits report annual earnings below $50,000. In addition, more than 50 percent of nonprofit funds come from contributions. Consequently, many 501(c)(3) organizations are vulnerable to economic downturns and financial instability.

“Each year, The San Diego Foundation collaborates with and supports our county’s nonprofit and government sectors,” noted Kathlyn Mead, President & CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “Sustainability of programs and services for the most vulnerable in our communities is paramount. The SAIL Program will embolden an entrepreneurial spirit in our most innovative nonprofits. SAIL will encourage solutions-oriented business ideas that will revolutionize the thinking of our local nonprofits.”

To learn more about SAIL, please contact Mission Edge at info@missionedge.org and connect with us at #SAILwithMissionEdge.


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Where the wild things are… ZSL London Zoo unveils new Wildlife Garden

Opens to the public on Tuesday 15 August 2017

Press Release – From hedgehogs and frogs to beetles and butterflies, visitors to ZSL London Zoo will go home armed with ways of welcoming wildlife into their own gardens, picking up tips at the brand new Wildlife Garden, opening on Tuesday 15 August.

The brand new exhibit highlights the work of international conservation charity ZSL’s (Zoological Society of London) Garden Wildlife Health project – a citizen science initiative launched in 2013 and co-ordinated by ZSL vets – which identifies and investigates the health status of Britain’s garden wildlife, through the support of the general public.

Full to the brim with handy hints and guidance on how to make your garden an oasis for native wildlife, ZSL’s new Wildlife Garden will equip green-fingered visitors both young and old with ideas to help encourage creatures into their outdoor spaces.

From creating mini-beast hotels to building hedgehog highways through fences, the Garden showcases some of the ways ZSL’s horticulturalists strive to make the grounds of ZSL London Zoo as much of a home to native wild animals as it is to the many endangered species within its care.

ZSL’s Zoological Director, David Field said: “There are incredible creatures all around us right here in the UK, often in our own back gardens. We want to inspire the public to step outside and admire these small marvels of British wildlife – and then help us protect them.

“From amazing insects such as stag beetles and peacock butterflies to hedgehogs and blue tits, no matter how large or small your own outdoor patch, the Garden has plenty of ideas to help make it a welcoming home for wildlife.”

ZSL wildlife veterinarian, Dr Becki Lawson said: “Through the Garden Wildlife Health project we aim to monitor the health of the UK’s native wildlife and educate the public about any issues their local species are facing.

“There are so many simple ways that people can help their local wildlife thrive –ZSL’s new Wildlife Garden aims to share these ideas with our visitors so that they can transform their own gardens into a haven for native species.”

Since its launch, the Garden Wildlife Health project has received reports from more than 7,000 members of the public, which has helped to document a number of infectious diseases affecting populations in the UK – including the recent identification of snake fungal disease in UK snakes for the first time.

Visit the new Wildlife Garden at ZSL London Zoo, and enjoy a really great day out that makes a real difference. Head to www.zsl.org for more info and to book tickets.


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Impact Investment Fund Marks First Close of $10 million for Sustainable Coastal Fisheries

The Meloy Fund I, LP to fill critical gap in financing the transition of threatened coastal fisheries to sustainability

Press Release – ARLINGTON, VA, August 4, 2017 – The Meloy Fund I, LP (the “Fund”), a first-of-its-kind impact investment fund dedicated to helping coastal fishers transition to more sustainable practices, today announced its launch with a first close of US $10 million.

The Fund targets US$20 million of debt and equity investment in support of the millions of small-scale fishers in Indonesia and the Philippines, who rely upon healthy coastal fisheries and marine ecosystems for their livelihoods. The ten-year Fund counts among its investors a diverse range of family offices, investment managers, and foundations. Rare, a global conservation organization, is the Managing Member of the General Partner.

Lukas Walton, who will have a significant interest in the Meloy Fund via the Lukas Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation, said “I’m thrilled to invest in the Meloy Fund, and support its innovative model for deploying investment capital to the critical problems that coastal fisheries face in moving towards sustainability.”

This first close was accelerated to respond to robust interest from investors and a pressing pipeline of investment opportunities. A second and final close, including US$6 million anticipated from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) as anchor investor, is projected for fall, 2017.

The Meloy Fund deploys private capital to enterprises that can create value for fishing communities by improving upstream margins through supply chain efficiencies, waste-reduction, aggregation, and value-added processing, or providing fishing-related employment alternatives, such as ocean-based sustainable aquaculture.

Dale Galvin, Managing Director of Rare’s Sustainable Markets group and Manager of the General Partner said, “The innovation of the Meloy Fund is to recognize the latent opportunity for value creation in the undervalued coastal fisheries sector, and link the resulting investments with the necessary community engagement and fisheries management provided by Rare, which ensures long-term sustainability.”

The Fund has a detailed impact monitoring strategy, projecting improvement in the lives of 100,000 fishers and their household members, while placing 1.2 million hectares of coastal habitats, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves, under improved management.


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Mainstreet Partners Releases Its Annual Impact Report

Press Release – MainStreet Partners was founded to provide any investor with transparent and easy access to companies and funds that achieve consistent financial returns while improving people’s lives and protecting the planet. Where and how capital is deployed has a strong influence in shaping the future of our world. For this reason, we are proud to announce the publication of MainStreet Partners’ annual Impact Report to present the social and environmental results generated by our investments across all sectors in which we invest. We also highlight several investments in our portfolios to provide real examples of how they contribute to a more sustainable society and environment.

In 2016, our assets under advisement grew by over 20% and helped achieve the following results:

  • Financial Services: over 61,000 loans provided to micro-small enterprises
  • Climate Change: over 30,000 tonnes of CO2 reduced
  • Healthcare: over 103,000 medical treatments provided to patients in critical conditions
  • Housing: 40 housing units provided to disadvantaged people
  • Education: 95 low income students supported
  • Food: over 738,000 organic meals produced

Rodolfo Fracassi, Managing Director said, “Individuals and asset owners are increasingly interested in achieving tangible and positive impact through their investments. Today we are able to provide well-diversified investment solutions that offer a compelling alternative to traditional investments. In addition to that, we intentionally target and report the social, environmental and financial results per EUR 1 million invested.”

About MainStreet Partners:

MainStreet Partners is a London based investment company fully dedicated to sustainable and impact investments. Working in partnership with some of the leading European private banks and asset owners, it has developed a consistent track record in Green & Thematic Bonds, Micro & SME Finance, and Manager Selection across multiple geographies and sectors.

Follow MainStreet Partners on twitter at @MSPartners_2008.


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Essilor Wins Sustainable Business Award For Its Commitment To The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals

Press Release – Charenton, France (August 2nd, 2017) – Essilor was recognized by the Sustainable Business Awards, Singapore, in this year’s newly added category “UN Sustainable Development Goals: Understanding the company’s roles and initiatives in working to deliver the UN SDGs”. This award celebrates Essilor’s commitment to responsibly fighting the world’s largest disability, uncorrected poor vision. Through Essilor’s Mission and the sustainable approach Essilor has adopted across its value chain, the company contributes to 13 out of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Essilor’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hubert Sagnières, commented: “Essilor’s Mission to improve lives by improving sight, combined with the company’s unique principles and values, are at the heart of the Group’s long-term commitment to sustainable development. This Award will help raise awareness that good vision is one of the key enablers to the Global Goals and help us achieve our Mission to bring good vision to all”.

Amy Hing, Policy Deputy Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, and Water Resources presents Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Essilor’s Chief Mission Officer the award

Essilor’s Chief Mission Officer, Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, said; “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf the 64,000 employees of Essilor. Our mission to responsibly provide everyone, everywhere, with quality vision care, pushes us to go further in our sustainability commitments. We’re very proud of our team’s achievements and stay strongly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Read more on Essilor’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

About Essilor International

The world’s leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, Essilor allocates more than €200 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Its flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, EyezenTM, Xperio®, Foster Grant®, BolonTM and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.

Essilor reported consolidated revenue of more than €7.1 billion in 2016 and employs 64,000 people worldwide. It markets its products in more than 100 countries and has 33 plants, 490 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as 5 research and development centers around the world. For more information, please visit www.essilor.com.

The Essilor share trades on the Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices.

Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP.

About the Sustainable Business Awards

Organised by Global Initiatives for the third year in Singapore, The Sustainable Business Awards (SBA) is a unique and important resource for businesses. SBA aims to increase awareness of sustainable business best-practices and demonstrate how sustainable business benefits companies, the environment and all stakeholders, today and for the future. Conducted in partnership with PwC, the SBA methodology combines the best features of benchmarking and awards processes globally to deliver green strategy and business advantage. The unique platform rewards companies along the way to become truly sustainable businesses in Asia.

About Global Initiatives

Global Initiatives creates partnerships that address global challenges through film, international events and media projects. By sharing knowledge and best practices, and calling on all stakeholders to take action, we address some of the greatest challenges facing the world. International events include the Business for the Environment Summits and Responsible Business Forums.


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Big Brothers Big Sisters Of New York City Names Kate Snow To Board Of Trustees

Emmy award-winning anchor of Sunday “NBC Nightly News” is BBBS of NYC’s newest trustee

Press Release – NEW YORK, August 1, 2017Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and New York’s largest youth mentoring organization, today announced it has named Kate Snow, Emmy award-winning journalist for NBC News, to its Board of Trustees.

Snow is currently the anchor of Sunday NBC Nightly News and also serves as a senior national correspondent for the network. She has also reported for MSNBC, TODAY and Dateline NBC. Prior to working with NBC, Snow was the anchor of the weekend edition of Good Morning America, and was also the White House correspondent for ABC News. Snow has been a Big Sister to her Little, Amanda, for more than 20 years, and previously served as a member of the National Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

“Kate is an extraordinary journalist, who is committed to improving society through telling the impactful stories that shape our world. Through her tremendous success, Kate demonstrates to all young people that with hard work and a commitment to education, they can accomplish dreams of their own,” said Hector Batista, chief executive officer of BBBS of NYC. “As a Big Sister herself, Kate has made a positive, lasting impact on the life of her Little, and through her work with our organization, she is committed to ensuring all young people have opportunities to succeed. We are proud to have Kate join our Board of Trustees.”

“I am such a strong believer in the power of mentoring. Spending time with a Big Brother or Big Sister role model can change a child’s trajectory,” said Kate Snow. “I can also attest that these relationships also change the life of the mentor. I look forward to working to help children in NYC reach their fullest potential.”

Snow has worked closely with the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. She holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Snow currently resides in New York with her husband, radio host Chris Bro, and their two children, Zack and Abby.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC currently serves more than 5,200 young people across the five boroughs each year through a variety of specialized mentoring programs.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and NYC’s largest youth mentoring organization, has served the changing needs of New York City’s most at-risk youth since 1904. The volunteer- and donor-based organization offers a variety of specialized mentoring programs to help children facing more complex challenges – including immigrant youth, children in foster care and children of incarcerated parents – as well as the Workplace Mentoring Center, which helps businesses throughout New York City positively impact the lives of young people and build a foundation for professional success. Additionally, since 1992 BBBS of NYC has worked through its Center for Training and Professional Development to equip non-profit professionals throughout New York City to develop and enhance their own mentoring and youth-development programs and organizations.

Through the support of individuals, foundations and corporations, this not-for-profit agency has been able to change the lives of the city’s most disadvantaged children, matching them with caring adult role models – dependable friends who can help to expand their horizons, realize their potential and enrich their futures. To learn more, become a mentor and/or offer support, please visit www.bigsnyc.org.


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Nominet Trust Welcomes New Honorary Treasurer to the Board

Press Release – 1st August 2017, Oxford – Nominet Trust, the UK’s leading tech for good funder, has increased the number of Trustees on its Board with the appointment of Hannah Keartland as Honorary Treasurer. Hannah is Head of Innovation at Cancer Research UK and previously led their award-winning Citizen Science Programme. Hannah brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her eight years’ in leadership roles in the charity sector, as well as significant capability in financial management as a qualified Chartered Accountant (AQA).

Reflecting on her appointment, Keartland said: “Nominet Trust’s work is all about creating social impact using innovative approaches – for example the recently launched Digital Reach programme, which has the potential to significantly reduce inequalities in our increasingly digital-first society. As such, it is an amazing opportunity to be joining Nominet Trust at this time and I can’t wait to lend my support in building on the Trust’s fantastic work fostering positive social change through the use of digital technology.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Hannah to the Trust during this exciting new phase of strategic development,” commented Natalie Campbell, Chair of Nominet Trust. “With her direct experience of implementing and harnessing technology for social change in the health sector, Hannah will add immense value to the work of the Trust. We are confident that Hannah’s experience will help her to excel in her new role.”

During 2016, Nominet Trust extended its board significantly, including appointing new Chair, Natalie Campbell, along with Beth Murray and Jemima Rellie as trustees. The established team of trustees has great strength in its diversity, including strong representation from women.

Nominet Trust is the charitable foundation of Nominet, a public benefit company with 20 years’ experience in running the .uk internet infrastructure.


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12 Exponential Technology Start-Ups Join Katapult Accelerator To Solve Global Challenges

Press Release – 31 July 2017, Oslo – Katapult Accelerator has selected 12 start-ups to join the accelerator programme starting today, July 31st 2017. After reviewing 1,000 impact-focused start-ups from all over the world, these 12 start-ups from a variety of fields and backgrounds all use exponential technology to solve the grand challenges of the world.

“These start-ups are helping us see how we can use exponential technologies like artificial intelligence to improve the state of the world, the environment, education, health or other fields. We selected the start-ups based on their novel approach to using exponential technologies and for their potential to become successful businesses,” says Anders H. Lier, Chairman and co-founder of Katapult Accelerator.

Katapult Accelerator welcomes the 12 start-ups to Oslo, Norway on July 31st 2017. They will follow a unique and tailored three-month programme and curriculum. Katapult will help scale their innovations by mentoring, training and providing them with valuable support. Katapult Accelerator also provides a network of additional investors that can boost the start-ups in their next phase of development, including a partnership with the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator (ERA) in New York City. Each start-up will also receive USD 100,000 as start-up capital.

About Katapult Accelerator

Katapult Accelerator is a global accelerator that aims to fast-track solutions to global problems within both environmental and societal domains. It supports start-ups that can address these problems with exponential technologies, particularly artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality, augmented reality, and applications of the internet of things.

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