3. Fuzeus Thinks-

What Obama Should Learn From UK Government’s £10m Fund for Social Innovators…

Minister of Civil Society Nick Hurd announced a delightful news to award UK government’s £10m(15.5 milliion) Social Incubator Fund. The social incubator fund aims to encourage investment into early-stage social ventures.The grant allocation decision is made by the advisory board, whose members include Big Lottery Fund, Big Society Capital and the Social Investment Business.

“We want to help social entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions to difficult social problems,” said Nick Hurd. The first lucky recipients of this award went to Wayra UnLtd and Bethnall Green Venture. There will be two subsequent rounds launching in 2013 and 2014. Here are the brief summary of these ventures.

WAYRA

Wayra UnLtd 

Wayra UnLtd is a result of a collaboration of Telefonica’s startup accelerator Wayra UK and social enterprise network UnLtd. Wayra UnLtd aims to address significant social issues through the use of digital technology combined with entrepreneurial talent.

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Bethnal Green Ventures

Benthal Green Ventures is also an accelerator programme for technology startups working on things that matter. Thanks to the funding, BGV will partner with charity Nesta and social investor Nominet Trust to support up to 72 early-stage social and environmental start-ups over the next 4 years.

Every day, new social organizations open their doors, but few close down or merge. The next major stage for social entrepreneurship should be to improve collaboration. And it needs to be accomplished through communication between different sectors. To engage with social innovators more successfully, government should systematically survey society  for social entrepreneurs who have demonstrated results and growth potential and assist them in taking their ideas and organizations to scale.Growing social sector is a strenuous affair. The government should shift from a model of running programs and purchasing services from low-cost providers to a model of investing in and providing different forms of assistance to high-performing institutions led by entrepreneurs.

This award signifies UK’s effort to be a changemaker by engaging with social innovators more successfully. Instead of creating a structure and enforcing it onto social organizations, it change the way it deploy their resources by harnessing the potential of social entrepreneurs and citizen organizations to achieve policy goals. Not only the government, but the whole UK community has been fostering the growth in social sector. According to startups.co.uk, there are around 55,000 social enterprises across the UK. These companies have a combined turnover of  £27bn per year, account for 5% of all businesses and contribute £8.4bn every year to the UK economy – that’s nearly 1% of annual GDP.

In comparison, despite Obama’s initial demonstration of interest in social innovation, not much progress has been made ever since he signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in April 22, 2009. At the time, this act established the social innovative fund (SIF) with a grants of $1-5 million for the competition identifying the most promising non-profit organizations committed to fostering social innovation. However, it only scratched the surface of social sector.

In fact, US’s political approach to bring efficient changes to the world comes from their former colonizers–the Brits. The UK has been supporting social sectors with governmental support as well as legal support and financial support. To list some of the significant movements, there are 2004 community interest company, 2010 social impact bond, and 2012 social value bill. US government should, again, take this courageous move of UK government to develop a system that can better accomodate the social innovators.

Philanthropy is potentially society’s most innovative form of capital, but it is not always deployed effectively. In order for philanthropy to dramatically increase the impact of the citizen sector in the coming decades , we need policy makers, business investors and philanthropists to assume more risk and make long-term focus. It is about time President Barack Obama to take some action to bring some real “change”

Start Your Day Off Right By Giving Back

So here’s how my morning started.

I woke up at 7:00, sluggishly grabbed my phone to check Facebook notices, Twitter messages, and reply to comments on my blog. After I took a shower with body products that I ordered from Amazon, I picked up my phone again to check the weather and the breakfast menu at dining halls. Closing the door behind me, I called my friend.

My life is truly unimaginable without the technology that I depend on for everyday routine. And the reason I am writing this is to remind everyone, as well as myself, of the fact that this should not be taken for granted. Despite the countless effort made by social entrepreneurs and nonprofits, there is still more than 50% of the world population that lives on less than $2.50 a day.

So why not use this technology and take a little bit of your time to help the other half of the world that doesn’t even have the basic needs?

Here’s an infographic on how to spend the most efficient 24 hours of giving.

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GOOD Ideas for Holiday Gifts

2012 flew by quickly and December has arrived.
Everyone is lighting up holiday spirit by decorating the house, contacting families, cooking holiday meals, and shopping for gifts! It is even snowing on the main page of wordpress!

Naturally, people are crowding in to department stores, which are extravagantly decorated and sparkling in christmas lights. But outside of the glamorous department stores stand christmas charity volunteers with red kettles, asking for people to donate money for those who can’t afford holidays. Of course, most of you are nice people and would throw a few coin in the kettle. But is that really the best we can do?

In fact, there is a much clever way to help those in need and get your gifts ready for your friends and family.

A Good Gift Catalogue from The Social Enterprise Finder lists 209 gifts that can also contribute to the society with a purchase.


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Check out the social blend coffee by STREAT and some good chocolate by Mildura Chocolate Company. And here is the Full Catalog

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Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship Winners at the Harvard Business School

The HBS Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship program is designed to support HBS graduates who are launching social enterprises: nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid organizations with a central focus on the creation of social value.

The winners of this program, who would be selected through a competitive process, would receive $25,000 fellowship.

Check out other video interviews of the winners here!

Must See Interviews of 10 Great Social Entrepreneurs

Almost everyday, we hear and read news about the successful entrepreneurs. Whether its on Times magazine or on reddit, people are constantly talking about them. Steven Jobs, Jeff Benzos, Bill Gates and more–we wonder what their lives must be like. What do they think of current issues? How much are they worth now? How did they become so rich?

But while it is admirable to build a successful business of any kind, some entrepreneurs do more than just make a profit. Some businesses focus on helping others by providing them with the resources and opportunities. These social entrepreneurs are motivated by the changes they can bring to the world by using their knowledge and business savvy.

So here, we decided to highlight those entrepreneurs who combined a traditional business model with a pressing social mission by compiling their best interview around the web. The description of each entrepreneurs is from 10 Great Social Entrepreneurs

1. Bill Drayton
http://bit.ly/UTUwRD 

Bill Drayton isn’t just a great example of a social entrepreneur, he actually helped to define and promote the term itself. Drayton is the founder and current chair of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, an organization that is dedicated to finding and helping social entrepreneurs around the world. Drayton spreads out his social entrepreneurship expertise in other organizations as well, working as a chairman at Community Greens, Youth Venture, and Get America Working! in addition to his duties at Ashoka. As of 2010, Ashoka Foundation has sponsored 2,145 fellows in 73 countries, some of which have gone on to develop leading social businesses that have made a huge impact on communities around the world.

2. Muhammad Yunus
http://bit.ly/UliuGY
watch?v=YksBjm7yZaE
Ring up social entrepreneurs and one of the first names you’re likely to encounter is that of Muhammad Yunus. Yunus has quite literally written the book on social entrepreneurship, sharing his expertise in microfinance and social capitalism through a number of books. Yunus is the founder of the Grameen Bank, an institution that provides microcredit loans to those in need to help them develop financial self-sufficiency. Founded in 1983, the bank has brought in a net income of more than $10 million, and his work with the organization landed Yunus a Nobel Prize in 2006.

3. Blake Mycoskie
http://bit.ly/TPP8Ou

TOMS founder Mycoskie makes this list because, unlike many of these other ventures, almost everyone with an awareness of pop culture has heard of this social brand. Its popularity has spread like wildfire, which is a good thing both for Mycoskie and for the people that TOMS aims to help. Mycoskie founded TOMS in 2006 after a visit to Argentina where he learned that many children get sick or injured because they do not have shoes to wear. To combat this, he created TOMS, a business that donates one pair of shoes to needy people for every pair that’s bought. So far, the company has donated more than a million pairs of shoes. In 2011, the company launched another initiative which aims to give away a pair of glasses or sight-saving surgery for every pair of sunglasses or glasses sold.

4. Scott Harrison
http://bit.ly/TgjfTH

Lack of clean and accessible drinking water is sadly something that millions of people (some estimates put it at more than a billion) worldwide face every day. After a moment of clarity in Liberia, club promoter Scott Harrison decided to make it his mission to change that, heading up the non-profit organization charity: water. Since it began, the charity has delivered clean drinking water to more than a million people in 17 different countries around the world. Harrison is perhaps one of the most successful social entrepreneurs of all time, with his organization growing more than 100% in the first quarter of 2011, despite a major economic crisis that paralyzed many similar ventures. Harrison says he regards charity: water as a for-profit startup that has no profits, saying, “We give away 100% of our profits. Our shareholders are people in 17 countries around the world waiting for a rig to drive into a village and provide clean water to a few hundred people living there. We use the word business so much more than nonprofit, even though that’s what we are.” The model seems to be working for him, and Harrison has quickly created a new model for social entrepreneurs to emulate.

5. Jeffery Hollender
http://bit.ly/UTUvgv

In 1988, Jeffery Hollender founded cleaning, paper, and personal care products company Seventh Generation. The company focuses on producing products that have a reduced environmental impact, avoiding the harsh chemicals that are part of many of today’s leading cleaning and personal care products. In addition, the company donates 10% of pre-tax profits to funding nonprofits and businesses focused on the community, the environment, and responsible practices. Despite adhering to practices that many businesses claim limit profits, Hollender and his associates have built Seventh Generation into a major corporate force, bringing in over $150 million in revenue in 2010. Hollender was pushed out of his role at Seventh Generation in 2010, but that doesn’t mean he’s slowed down in social entrepreneurship. He helps with the American Sustainable Business Council, writes books on responsible business practices, and is a member of the Social Venture Network and founder of the Community Capital Bank.

6. Jeff Kurtzman
http://bit.ly/Sbz51i
B corporation Better World Books is an amazing example of a truly successful social entrepreneurship venture. Founded in 2002 by Notre Dame grads Xavier Helgesen, Chris “Kreece” Fuchs, and Jeff Kurtzman, Better World’s mission is to maximize the value of every book out there and to help promote literacy around the world. The company works by reusing or recycling books through sales on their website and donations to schools, and so far has used 84 million volumes to raise $12.1 million for literacy funding. The company attributes its success to using a “triple bottom line” model, caring not only about profits but also about the social and environmental impact of everything they do.

7. Aktar Hameed Khan
http://bit.ly/SbyLQ7

One of the pioneers of the now thriving microfinance world was Akhtar Hameed Khan, the dedication to which and his activism in developing rural communities in Pakistan earned him a nomination for the Nobel Prize. Two of Khan’s most major projects during his life were the Comilla Cooperative Project and the Orangi Pilot Project. The Comilla Cooperative aimed to build local infrastructure in rural communities while also helping businesses grow through microfinance initiatives. It would ultimately be unsuccessful, but would be a major learning experience for Khan as he would move on to other projects, including Orangi. In contrast to Comilla, the Orangi Pilot Project would be quite successful, helping a squatter community solve their own problems with sanitation, health, and housing, while offering microfinance, education, and family planning. Some aspects of Khan’s plan are still in use today in areas all over Karachi.

8. Ibrahim Abouleish

Early in his career, Ibrahim Abouleish was working in leading pharmaceutical firms in Europe, developing new treatments for osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis, but a trip to Egypt in the mid-’70s would change that. He would leave Europe and move back to Egypt, founding the development initiative SEKEM (Ancient Egyptian for “vitality from the sun”). Abouleish hoped that by using biodynamic farms, schools and vocational training centers, a medical center, and trading company that he could not only help repair the environment but also the lives of the Egyptian farmers in those areas. SEKEM grows plants that are developed into herbal teas, fresh produce, and even organic cotton, which helps to sustain the other facilities it hosts. Abouleish has also played a key role in developing new chemical-free methods to process cotton and developing Egypt’s first private pharmaceuticals company. His business has been so successful that experts and ideas from it are being exported to South Africa, India, Palestine, Senegal, and Turkey.

9. Willie Smits 
http://bit.ly/XDi5p4

Microbiologist Willie Smits never really expected to become a social entrepreneur, but when he found an abandoned baby orangutan in 1989 while working in Indonesia, his career would quickly alter direction. Smits’ work with orangutans would blossom into the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, which not only works to help orphaned or imperiled apes, but also helps locals learn sustainable farming methods and the benefits of reforestation. Smits also takes part in the Masarang Foundation, an amazingly innovative social entrepreneurship enterprise that uses thermal energy to turn sugar palm juice into sugar and ethanol, providing jobs and power to the community while preserving the local forests. In recognition for his work, Smits has received knighthood in his native Netherlands as well as an Ashoka Fellowship and a variety of other conservation-based awards.

10. Bunker Roy
http://bit.ly/T5AgfR

ndian social activist and entrepreneur Sanjit “Bunker” Roy has helped thousands of people in Asia and Africa learn vital technical skills and bring solar power to their sometimes remote villages. Roy founded the Barefoot College, an organization which specializes in teaching illiterate women from poor villages how to become doctors, engineers, and architects. What’s more impressive is that each of the college’s campuses are solar powered and often built and designed by former students. In founding the college, Roy’s goal wasn’t to make a profit for himself, but to help improve the economic production and quality of life of women throughout his native India (though some aspects of the project have spread to Africa as well). With women leading and running most of the Barefoot College’s operations, it’s clear that he’s been pretty successful in achieving that goal.

Free Fundraising Pitch for Non Profits–Shlain’s LET IT RIPPLE project

If you read through the posts on our blog, you will realize how much we love free stuff–free volunteering opportunity, free gardening experience and free information!

So today, we bring to you (esp who is working for a non-profit) the opportunity to use free video to help with your fundraising!

Before you take these videos to your website, let us first take some time to thank Tiffany Shlain, an american filmmaker who was selected by Newsweek as one of the “women shaping the 21st Century”, for initiating this amazing project called Let It Ripple. Her first feature-length film Connected: An Autobiography About Love, Deat & Technology attempt to deliver to the audience the importance of personal connectedness in relation to understanding global conditions, ultimately showing how all the humanity is invested in today’s crucial issues.

As this film suggests, Tiffany is dedicated to addressing the concerns, issues and conflicts that inevitably take place in the world that we live in.

This time, Shlain came up with an idea to really use her skills to approach to those who are actually in need of her help. And in this case, that includes marketing people working for non profit or any others who want to make this world a better place but doesn’t know where to start.

With Let It Ripple series, we can all help bringing changes to this world by taking these videos and posting them on facebook, tumblr, worpress or anyplace in social media.

The first video is called Brain Power.

It’s a 10 minutes film based on new research on how to best nurture children’s brains from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child and University of Washington’s I-LABS. It explores the relations between the development of child’s brain and the development of global brain of internet, offering a solution to shape them both in a right way.

If you work for a non profit, you can utilize this for your fundraising event or post it on your social media to share it with others. But even if you aren’t working for a non profit, please go ahead and SHARE AND SPREAD YOUR MESSAGE!