“Say it ain’t so, Joe.”
These famous words were spoken to Shoeless Joe Jackson of the infamous Chicago “Blacksox” after it became public that some of the best players in baseball had broken the trust of their fan base.
The baseball world was shaken and fans had to struggle with a deep internal debate on how to feel towards their idols. These were the players that kids and fans across the US entrusted their sports loyalty.
Yet, over time, fans grew back to the levels of idolization and were hurt yet again in late 1990′s with the accusation and realization that many of the fan-favorites had been using steroids, thereby cheapening their record breaking seasons. Read more »
In one form or another, social entrepreneurship has existed for years, with roots dating back to Florence Nightingale and her work in the 1800s. Yet recently, as the lines of capitalism and philanthropy have begun to bleed into each other, there has been an increase in excitement in the industry
Can this energy level be sustained or will social entrepreneurship fade away over time?
When I refer to “energy” or “excitement” in the industry, I mean increases in the following three critical factors: Read more »
The beauty (and frustration) of social entrepreneurship is discovering that what works in one part of the world just may not work in another part. Therein lies the difficulty of establishing a cohesive strategy for tackling poverty globally: each situation is unique.
Cash Transfer Programs are an attempt at poverty reduction that have struck a powerful nerve on both sides of the debate. Simply put, Cash Transfer Programs (CTPs) are the act of distributing cash to the poor; and at times, the payment is dependent upon a certain action by the poor. Providing a family with additional income if their children attend school on a regular basis is an example of an action-dependent (or ‘restricted’) CTP.
There are many layers to the debate on whether or not CTPs are an effective method to improving the lives of those at the Bottom of the Pyramid. I am not going to dive into whether or not the programs should be in existence; rather, I want to look at the difference between restricted and unrestricted CTPs. Read more »
Speaking from an engineering and (hopefully) entrepreneurial perspective, one of the reasons why work in the developing world is fascinating is the challenge it poses. Complex design requirements, non existent supply chain routes, extreme poverty – these are all unique issues that entrepreneurs have to combat when developing or producing products/services for the Bottom of the Pyramid.
But what happens when the your client base acts irrationally or doesn’t follow the ‘model’ you’ve based your business on? Enter Behavioral Economics. The title of Dan Ariely’s book sums up the behavior: “Predictably Irrational” .
Questioning economic models is nothing new. Tying these hypotheses with cognitive psychology has been around for some time. Yet, what makes Behavioral Economics exciting is the acceptance and adoption of BE models in economic or business policy. [A lengthy read, but a great primer on Behavior Economics can be found here.]
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The following is part 5 of 7 in an interview series put together by guest writer Josiah Filler on Micro Home Solutions in New Delhi. Please refer to part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4. Josiah had a chance to sit down with with Aden Van Noppen of Micro Home Solutions, based in New Delhi and here is what transpired:
Josiah, RP: One thing that I’m trying to dig into during these interviews is identifying where there has been a level of disconnect between your notion of social enterprise as an idealistic college student vs. what you know now, having spent multiple years working in the sector. What have been the biggest areas of disconnect between what you expected and are hoped for and what you’ve actually seen? You know, the things that people should know about going into this sector so that they don’t have their hearts broken or get let down when they start?
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The following is part 4 of 7 in an interview series put together by guest writer Josiah Filler on Micro Home Solutions in New Delhi. Please refer to part 1, part 2, and part 3. Josiah had a chance to sit down with with Aden Van Noppen of Micro Home Solutions, based in New Delhi and here is what transpired:
Josiah, RP: What are some of the biggest obstacles you face on a daily basis or from a strategy perspective?
Aden, MHS: It’s really hard for us to prioritize because there’s so much that needs to be done. On the one hand, we want to be really opportunistic and take advantage of partnerships and projects that come our way, but we also need to continually reevaluate how we prioritize what products are having the most impact towards our goal to build sustainable cities. I think that it’s a constant challenge for a lot of early stage companies who are figuring out the criteria are for evaluating potential projects.
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New Delhi, India. As part of my ongoing series of interviews with Social Enterprises across Africa and Asia I had the opportunity to sit down with Aden Van Noppen of Micro Home Solutions, based in New Delhi. Aden is originally from North Carolina, USA but has significant experience working in social enterprise, having previously worked with Acumen Fund in New York before starting a two-year Piramal Fellowship with MHS.
Josiah, RP: Hi Aden, thanks for meeting with me! So what is your story and background? How did you get into social enterprise and how did you decide to live in India? Read more »
March 2, 2011 was a day that rocked the microfinance world, and consequently should serve as a wakeup call to social entrepreneurs everywhere.
Last Wednesday marked the end of an era, when Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus was relieved of his duties as Managing Director at Grameen Bank. The controversy around the removal of Yunus has sparked some heated responses from others in the industry.
There are a lot of sources providing information on the accusations, denials, and dismissal surrounding Prof Muhammad Yunus, and much more will surely be revealed in the weeks and months to come. (To get a good variety of sources in one location, check out Vittana’s Blog.) What we do know, is that there is a large he-said she-said situation going on between the Yunus camp and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Bangladeshi government.
Now with accusations of government and media collusion, the accuracy and reliability of information coming from the local press has come into question. This media mess and attempts from both sides to discredit the other will only drag on with a less than desirable result on both ends.
Emotions are running high on both sides of the debate, and while the dust settles, there are already some critical lessons that the social entrepreneurship world can glean. Read more »