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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: April 2015

Uber Announced as Official Ground Transportation for USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

March 31, 2015 (Milan, Italy) – Uber has been designated the official ground transportation for the USA Pavilion at this year’s world’s fair, Expo Milano 2015. The USA Pavilion’s theme is “American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet” and will encourage open dialogue and highlight innovation on a wide range of topics, including food security, sustainability and mobility, with an eye towards the planet’s future. Uber’s key principles are inspired by the sharing economy approach, an inclusive socio-economic model that uses technology to facilitate collaboration and service efficiency–themes that are consistent with the USA Pavilion’s theme.


Douglas T. Hickey, Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 marked the announcement by saying, “The USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 will showcase American leadership and innovation not only in the food sector, but also in related sectors that connect through science, technology and entrepreneurship. For this reason we are pleased to partner with Uber, a successful example among innovative enterprises that aim to improve consumer choice and the quality of life.”

Benedetta Arese Lucini, Country Manager for Uber Italy remarked: “Uber is promoting a revolutionary mobility model across more than 50 countries. We aim to create opportunities for our users and drivers through innovative ideas, and we believe our support of the USA Pavilion will help to spread awareness of the advantages our company can provide Expo visitors and the community of Milan.”

BALLET HISPANICO 2015 Spring Gala Honoring Cuban Civic Leaders Raised More Than $1.1 Million

The Plaza Hotel on Monday, March 30, 2015

New York, NY – March 31, 2015 – Ballet Hispanico raised more than $1.1 million in support of the company’s artistic and educational work in New York City and around the country at their 2015 Gala on Monday, March 30, 2015. During the evening, Ballet Hispanico honored Ballet Hispanico Board President and President and COO of Palladium Equity Partners David Pérez and Milena Alberti-Pérez, SVP and Head of Global Corporate Finance at Penguin Random House, with the Civic Inspiration Award. Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, Chair of Ballet Hispanico’s Leadership Council and program director for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, was honored with the Nuestra Inspiración Award. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the creation of new Company works, need-based financial aid and merit scholarships in the Ballet Hispanico School of Dance, and community arts education programs.

Ballet Hispanico 2015 Gala Photos by Julie Skarratt

This year’s Gala, themed “Noche Cubana” and attended by 470 guests, featured live salsa music by Grupo Irék along with performances by the Ballet Hispanico Company and students of the Ballet Hispanico School of Dance and P.S. 87M. Attendees included Event Chairs Jody & John Arnhold, Kate Lear & Jon LaPook, Marcos A. Rodriguez, and Greidys Gil & Luis Zaldivar; Event Vice Chairs Herb Scannell and Charles Wortman & Laura Baldwin; and Milena Alberti-Pérez, Julia Arnhold, Paul Arnhold, Tony Bechara, Lorea Canales, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Vin Cipolla, Ben Rodriguez-Cubeñas, Diana DiMenna, Anita Durst, Joan Finkelstein, Wes Gordon, Lane Harwell, Jacqueline Hernández, Cynthia López, Jim McCoy, Sharon Luckman, Scott Pelley, David Pérez, Jessica Rodriguez, Ann and Richard Sarnoff, Mikki Sheppard, Linda Celeste Sims, Marta Tellado, David Ushery, Jorge Daniel Veneziano, Eduardo Vilaro.

Guests in attendance received the exclusive announcement that Ballet Hispanico is naming its Education & Outreach branch Puentes.

“At the very beginning, Ballet Hispanico’s education program was a pathway connecting Latinos to the community at large,” said Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director of Ballet Hispanico. “Today, it builds bridges between many diverse cultures through innovative workshops, master classes and custom-designed arts-in-education learning opportunities, all taught through the lens of history, music and dance.”

Puentes inspires students in classrooms, on stages and in the community – ultimately connecting everyone to the past, present and future of Latino cultures – and celebrates artistry, engagement and personal growth.

  • Last year, Puentes programs provided culturally relevant dance educational experiences for over 8,000 students, families and communities in New York City and nationwide.
  • Students in kindergarten through 12th grade, college, parents and seniors are reached through the Puentes program.
  • 78% of New York City public school students served by Ballet Hispanico’s Puentes programs were of African, Latino, or Asian descent, and 70% of these students qualified for free or reduced-price lunches.
  • Each year Ballet Hispanico offers more than $150,000 in need-based scholarships to students, some coming directly from the Puentes programs.


Since its inception in 1970, Ballet Hispanico has been recognized as the nation’s premier Latino dance organization. Led by award-winning Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro, the Ballet Hispanico Company has performed for audiences totaling over 3 million, throughout 11 countries, and on 3 continents. The Company’s commitment to contemporary repertory has produced world-class, multifaceted performances that have featured master works by Nacho Duato, cutting-edge premieres by Cayetano Soto and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and live music collaborations with renowned artists such as Paquito D’Rivera and Ruben Blades-to name a notable few. Through the work of its professional company, school of dance, and community arts education programs, Ballet Hispanico celebrates the dynamic aesthetics of the Hispanic diaspora, building new avenues of cultural dialogue and sharing the joy of dance with all communities. For more information, visit Follow Ballet Hispanico on Facebook and Twitter.

Caspian Impact Investments Raises $20 Million in Financing from OPIC

WASHINGTON – Caspian Impact Investments (CII) today announced that it closed a debt financing commitment of $20 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.

The OPIC commitment supports the growth of CII India, an impact investment fund. Launched in 2013, CII India is an Indian multi-sector social impact debt provider that provides debt to enterprises engaged in small business lending, microfinance, food & agriculture and affordable housing, with plans to diversify in to other impact sectors including healthcare and livelihoods over the next 12-18 months. The mission of CII is to provide debt capital to a wide range of fast growing institutions that serve low income or underserved communities, directly or indirectly, in a responsible, transparent and sustainable manner.

Viswanatha Prasad, Managing Director at Caspian, said “Caspian Impact Investments aims to be the leading debt provider to impact enterprises in India. We see a big opportunity to provide debt to impact enterprises where commercial debt from local financial institutions is not easily available. We are delighted to have OPIC as a long-term partner to anchor the Fund’s growth alongside our shareholders. The fund has already disbursed INR 1.4 billion to over 25 clients.”

Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of OPIC, said, “The significance of Caspian’s work in India lies in their core focus on serving the underserved. When I visited India earlier this year, I saw firsthand the potential and dynamism of the business community, and I look forward to OPIC’s continued engagement there alongside compelling partners like Caspian. Amid the excitement of a quickly-expanding economy, it is crucial to maintain growth that is inclusive of all people. The high-impact SMEs Caspian seeks to finance are exactly what’s needed to catalyze this type of balanced growth.”

Ms. Littlefield traveled to India in January with U.S. President Barack Obama, who noted that OPIC financing would help to expand lending in many of India’s regions currently underserved by banks and financial services.

CII India is managed by its investment advisor, Caspian Impact Investment Adviser Private Limited.


20 Years of Earth Day at EO Products

EO Sets the Bar for Sustainability in the Personal Care Industry

SAN RAFAEL, CA ‹ March 31, 2015 – Want to know what’s rare in the beauty industry? A company that manufactures everything in house. Want to know what else is rare in the beauty industry? A company that prioritizes sustainability in everything that it does, every single day.

What does sustainability mean to EO? It’s not just about recycling and lowering energy usage. It’s about creating healthy products from the inside out, and business practices that sustain that integrity. While delivering organic and non-GMO personal care products to the world, they feel a responsibility to reduce the impact of their plastic bottles and manufacturing practices.

When EO began 20 years ago, their goal was to create a higher level of responsibility for products that go on people’s bodies and in the ground. “The most impactful thing we do is create products that are healthy for people and don’t pollute the planet,” said Susan Griffin-Black, co-founder and co-CEO of EO Products. “Larger volume brands can tell a great story about the tons of paper they saved, or the recycle path for their packaging, but what’s inside the package? Is it toxic to humans and the environment?”

On the Inside ­ EO Formulations

  • Organic (when available) and Natural Ingredients
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty Free
  • Synthetic Fragrance Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Disodium EDTA Free
  • Sodium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate Free
  • Polysorbate Free

On the Outside ­ EO Packaging

EO has had to work hard and search wide to secure the technology for the 100% PCR packaging on their renowned blue bottles. Glass is not an option for kids in the bathtub, so how do you deliver healthy products in a way that feels good? They are just at the cusp of being able to leverage their volume where they can demand more earth-friendly innovations from their suppliers. Since they have the organic and natural formulations down to a science, EO can focus on innovations in manufacturing and packaging. Here are some initiatives for 2015:

  • Label Backing ­ The backing of a label is usually wax paper; half of the label is waste (the backing). As soon as the label industry was able to make a liner made from PET, EO jumped on it. They recycle the PET liner and it gets turned into recycled flooring and decking.
  • Pulp Packaging ­ EO is always looking at ways to close the loop on use and re-use. As they integrate more cardboard pulp packaging (like egg cartons), the goal is to take existing cardboard and close that loop by recycling with a local BCorp partner to turn it into new packaging.
  • Hotel Amenities ­ In the past, EO provided the hotel industry with amenity products in 1.5 oz. plastic bottles. This never felt right because it creates so much waste. According to the Plastic Disclosure Project, approximately 8 million tons of plastic waste finds its way into the oceans every year. In 2015, EO is finalizing the move to a 100% refill program with hotels, fitness centers and business janitorial services.
  • EO¹s goal is to be Zero Waste Certified by Q1 2016
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EO Founder Brad Black in warehouse sharing new packaging

Core Values

EO chooses to manufacture in house because it allows control over quality and integrity in the process of formulating each and every product they make ­ over 250 and growing.

“For us, the word “control” means “intention” with conscious actions and understanding our impact on ourselves and others,” said Brad Black, co-founder and co-CEO of EO Products. “How we participate on a day to day, minute by minute basis with a deeper engagement with the outcome. You can’t buy that or shop it out because you have to be engaged. That’s why I come to work‹to maintain core values in everything we do.”

BCorp Certified

B Corporations value purpose, accountability, and transparency. They are for-profit businesses that put equal value on social and environmental issues as they do on profits. EO has been working with the same values since day one, and they¹ve been a certified B Corp since January 1, 2012.


At EO Products, we put the same care into responsible business practices as we do into crafting natural and organic personal care products that people love. EO stands for Essential Oils, which is at the heart and soul of everything we do. All of our products are all natural, non-GMO, gluten-free, cruelty-free and we source organic ingredients whenever and wherever we can. We never use synthetic fragrances ever. We have two brands: EO® and Everyone by EO®. EO formulations are made with pure essential oils, are indulgent to the senses, and are naturally aromatherapeutic. Everyone by EO formulations are made with uplifting essential oil blends that offer effective, affordable everyday personal care for every body. As a Certified B Corp, EO Products is family owned and operated out of Marin County, California and was founded in 1995. EO products are available online, at EO Exchange Stores in Mill Valley and San Francisco, at over 6,000 natural food and specialty stores nationwide, and in 11 countries around the world. For more information, please visit .

EO Products Commitment Infographic

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