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Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Social Entrepreneurship

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[photo - Developing Nigeria With Humility and Hard Work]

The cofounder of Pagatech learns to balance the cultures of two countries and expand access to financial services.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva]

The cofounder of a microlending outfit says entrepreneurs need to "wake up each day and say, 'Now what?'"

Resource: News Article
[photo - Students Help Win $50K at The Big Idea]

Education Everytime, a venture that uses music to direct students through class transitions, got a huge boost last month when 6 students helped the company win $50,000 in funding at The Idea Village’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

 

 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Vote]

A Stanford GSB student's new company could make voting decisions more like online shopping.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Brenden Millstein]

There are all manner of approaches to 'green investing,' and the folks at Carbon Lighthouse — recipients of an $80,000 Social Innovation Fellowship from the Center for Social Innovation at the Graduate School of Business — manage to combine two of them under the same roof.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Developing Nigeria With Humility and Hard Work]

The cofounder of Pagatech learns to balance the cultures of two countries and expand access to financial services.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva]

The cofounder of a microlending outfit says entrepreneurs need to "wake up each day and say, 'Now what?'"

Resource: News Article
[photo - Students Help Win $50K at The Big Idea]

Education Everytime, a venture that uses music to direct students through class transitions, got a huge boost last month when 6 students helped the company win $50,000 in funding at The Idea Village’s New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

 

 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Vote]

A Stanford GSB student's new company could make voting decisions more like online shopping.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Brenden Millstein]

There are all manner of approaches to 'green investing,' and the folks at Carbon Lighthouse — recipients of an $80,000 Social Innovation Fellowship from the Center for Social Innovation at the Graduate School of Business — manage to combine two of them under the same roof.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Social entrepreneurs have taken the hybrid model to a new level, crafting it into what is in effect a single structure that can operate as both a for-profit and a nonprofit.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Several social enterprises are attempting to provide eyeglasses to the 500 million to 1 billion poor people in the world who need them. Some enterprises see the provision of trained optometrists as the key to solving the problem; others are focused on cost reduction; others still are focused on technological innovations. Why haven’t any of these approaches succeeded on a large scale?

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Impact Investors at Toniic aim to create an ecosystem for impact investing that mirrors the Silicon Valley way of doing deals. They know relationships are the key to keeping money moving.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Sambazon’s commitment to social entrepreneurship creates a fair market for farmers in the Amazon

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

DRIVING SOCIAL CHANGE: How to Solve the World’s Toughest Problems by Paul C. Light

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

First Social Enterprise World forum talks about how to use business to accomplish social outcomes.

Resource: Blog Post

Strategies for following one’s social enterprise bliss.

Resource: Blog Post

A new project is building a toolkit to enable nonprofits to use social media strategies effectively.

Resource: Blog Post

Computer access costing less than $70 a person.

Resource: Blog Post

“Cause-related” video games don’t go far enough in helping to solve social problems.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Willa Seldon]

How do we prevent collaboration from sweeping through nonprofits as a passing fad? In this discussion panel at the Nonprofit Management Institute, Willa Seldon talks with experts Carolyn Nelson and Stephanie Couch on how to avoid wasting time and effort by effectively evaluating goals and necessities before collaborating.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Julie Dixon]

Personal connections and influence can be crucial in garnering support for an organization’s cause. In this audio lecture, Julie Dixon of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication describes how organizations can leverage supporters’ talent, resources, and participation through meaningful engagement. She suggests that organizations craft opportunities and social media policies that allow people to support a cause in the best way they can.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Marina Gorbis]

Modern technology empowers individuals to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. In this audio lecture, Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future, discusses “socialstructing” — generating small contributions from each person in a wide network to accomplish large tasks, such as the creation of a global collection of crime-related data. Gorbis describes socialstructing as an alternative to some types of formal organizations in the future.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Daniel Spitzer]

Operating a successful social enterprise requires providing meaningful economic value to people. In this audio lecture, Daniel Spitzer, founder of Mountain Hazelnuts, describes his experience creating supply chain value to develop a hazelnut farming social enterprise in Bhutan. Spitzer details how he enhances supply chains through corporate citizenship, and leverages data captured from Android phones. Spitzer describes why there is nothing is more important than people in operating a profitable business through corporate social responsibility.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dara O'Rourke]

Social innovations in the supply chain have the potential for making an impact on a large scale. In this panel discussion, experts describe innovations that are benefiting society and delivering economic value, including responsible e-waste recycling efforts that generate revenue, innovative methods to end child labor in the carpet industry, and more.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Networking Is More Than Lots of Names, Says Heidi Roizen]

"Credibility and power don't necessarily translate into a different world," says Heidi Roizen. Sometimes entrepreneurs need to learn new skills to transfter success to another sector.

Resource: Video
[Video-Entrepreneurship From a Woman's Perspective]

To be a successful entrepreneur you need to ignore your naysayers and have a passion bordering on obsession.

Resource: Video
[Video-Opportunities in Clean Tech]

What is the future of clean tech?

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Social Media to Save Lives, Part 1 of 3]

A leukemia diagnosis for Sameer Bhatia is the start of a nation-wide project to create a bone marrow registry in India. Robert Chatwani describes one family's innovative effort to create social change and, in the process, find a perfect match for Sameer.

Resource: Video
[Video-Enhancing Business Education for Rural Entrepreneurs]

In 2006, Stanford's Graduate School of Business students Scott Raymond and Katherine Boas took a service learning trip to Thailand and Cambodia. The result? A program that helps to alleviate poverty in Thailand that is now being duplicated at microlending organizations around the world.

Resource: Video
[photo - Hallie Preskill]

Three evolving approaches to evaluation could change how it is used in social enterprise. In this audio lecture, Hallie Preskill, FSG managing director, opens the 2013 Next Generation Evaluation conference with examples of how leading social sector organizations are thinking about and applying evaluation. Preskill discusses in detail three new approaches to evaluation: developmental evaluation, shared measurement, and big data. She explains the trends and identifies how evaluation must evolve to optimize social enterprise efforts.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Brenda Zimmerman]

Embracing complexity is essential in social enterprise evaluation. In this audio lecture, Brenda Zimmerman, Associate Professor of Policy at York University’s Schulich School of Business, suggests approaches for addressing complexity in evaluation systems. In the closing keynote at the 2013 Next Generation Evaluation Conference, Zimmerman explores ways to embrace complexity in social sector evaluation practice. She describes how social innovation can be fostered by applying cognitive diversity to solve structural and causative complexity problems.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Jacob Lief]

By a simple twist of fate, Jacob Leif found himself in post-apartheid South Africa, staring at a big paradoxical break in philanthropy - success was measured in numbers instead of long-term impact. While working at a local school, he found that supplies of books, computers, and daily lunches for the school children were plentiful. However, once the supporting nonprofit left after the funding cycle finished, the school returned right back to where it started. Lief decided to found Ubuntu Education Fund, an organization that works to support children living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In this episode of The Social Disruptors, Ned Breslin and Jacob Lief discuss the struggles of funding for long-term sustainable impact within the current philanthropic system of 12-month grant cycles.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Willa Seldon]

How do we prevent collaboration from sweeping through nonprofits as a passing fad? In this discussion panel at the Nonprofit Management Institute, Willa Seldon talks with experts Carolyn Nelson and Stephanie Couch on how to avoid wasting time and effort by effectively evaluating goals and necessities before collaborating.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Julie Dixon]

Personal connections and influence can be crucial in garnering support for an organization’s cause. In this audio lecture, Julie Dixon of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication describes how organizations can leverage supporters’ talent, resources, and participation through meaningful engagement. She suggests that organizations craft opportunities and social media policies that allow people to support a cause in the best way they can.

Resource: Audio
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases
No Results Found
[photo - Mulago II]

The Mulago Foundation is a private foundation focused on the prospect of creating a better life for the world's poor. Concentrated in rural settings in developing countries, the foundation's work is in four areas that contribute to this overarching goal. The Foundation explicitly seeks to get involved with early-stage entities in these targeted areas so that it can grow with the organizations it supports. However, one challenge of getting involved with early-stage enterprises is that they sometimes focus too narrowly on the product rather than the capacity of management and development. This case study explores how Mulago Foundation evaluates prospective investments and the factors it considers before coming funds to projects and organizations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Mulago Foundation]

The Mulago Foundation is a private foundation focused on the prospect of creating a better life for the world's poor. The Mulago team looks for investment opportunities in promising products and services that address these high-priority problems. In evaluating potential investments, the Mulago Foundation has observed how many global health innovators grapple with the choice between establishing their organizations as nonprofit or for-profit entities. This case studies Mulago Foundation's experience in the global health field and raises issues that innovators should consider as they evaluate their legal and capital structure. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PSI]

Population Services International (PSI) was founded in 1970 as a nonprofit organization focused on improving reproductive health in developing countries using commercial marketing strategies. Over the years, PSI broadened its mission to address family planning, child and maternal health, and HIV and AIDS prevention, screening, and treatment.  PSI opened an office in Lesotho and in 2010, a donor provided PSI/Lesotho with “a warehouse full” of female condoms (FCs) that the organization could use to help young women in the area protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. The challenge for the team was to figure out how to effectively distribute and promote the FCs since early versions of the female condom were notoriously unpopular.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Inspire]

Globally, pneumonia kills more children than any other illness. In developed countries, pneumonia and other acute respiratory conditions are treated via mechanical ventilators. In resource-constrained settings, however, ventilators are often not available because of their high cost. An approach has been used successfully, although not considered standard of care, is bubble continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). CPAPs are low-cost and effective, but require oxygen tanks, which are expensive to transport to rural regions. in 2011, a team of Stanford students set out to design a  machine that would create the pressurized air of bubble CPAP without the cost, burden, and safety concerns with using oxygen tanks. This case explores the factors that the Inspire team members evaluated in deciding whether or not to take their prototype into development. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Respira]

To Help Address the burden of childhood asthma in developing countries, Respira Design created an asthma spacer that was produced from a single sheet of paper. The device could ship and store flat and then be transformed into a usable spacer through a series of cuts and folds. However, as a medical device, it was necessary to test the extent to which it impacted the delivery of medication and how many uses each spacer could sustain. The team also needed to study the circumstances in which the device would perform successfully. This case examines how Respira address these issues.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo -  J. Gregory Dees]

This seminal paper defines the term social entrepreneurship and helps shape, what was in 1998, the nascent field of social entrepreneurship.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All
[photo - Jennifer Aaker]

The goal of this seminar is to investigate how social technology (e.g., blogs, websites, podcasts, widgets, community groups, social network feeds) can change attitudes and behaviors in ways that cultivate social change. We study the strategies and tactics used by companies and causes that have successfully catalyzed social persuasion.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Rick Aubry]

This course focuses on the efforts of private citizens to create effective responses to social needs and innovative solutions to social problems. It equips students with frameworks and tools that will help them be more effective as a social entrepreneur.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Jane Wei]

This course explores the challenges and opportunities related to social entrepreneurship. Students study nonprofit, for-profit, and hybrid organizational forms, and examine issues from a variety of perspectives, including that of entrepreneur, CEO, funder, and board member.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Jim Patell]

Students apply engineering and business skills to design product prototypes, distribution systems, and business plans for entrepreneurial ventures in developing countries. The aim is to address challenges faced by the world's poor.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Debra Meyerson]

This course is designed to help students understand and manage human systems, exercise leadership, and work effectively with other people, specifically within the context of culturally diverse groups and organizations. The underlying premise is that diversity can present unique challenges and opportunities.

Resource: MBA Course
Innovators : All
[photo - Chari Ratwatte]

One of the first two Stanford GSB Social Innovation fellows, Chari works to provide economic opportunities to farmers in Sri Lanka.

Resource: Alumni , Fellow

Dave DeForest-Stalls wants to help kids stay out of gangs. He's providing mentorship and hip ways to keep youth on the straight and narrow.

Resource: CSI Affiliates

Mark Cafferty is passionate about empowering individuals to be all they can be. He channels funds to employment and youth service programs.

Resource: CSI Affiliates
[photo - Court Gould (EPNL '06)]

Court Gould is pushing for Pittsburgh to grow sustainably. He's working hard to inform decision makers about to accomplish that most effectively.

Resource: CSI Affiliates

Ruth Bolan is giving voice to indigenous peoples of the Pacific Island. She funds documentaries that bring their culture and challenges to millions of viewers.

Resource: CSI Affiliates
[photo - Hallie Preskill]

Three evolving approaches to evaluation could change how it is used in social enterprise. In this audio lecture, Hallie Preskill, FSG managing director, opens the 2013 Next Generation Evaluation conference with examples of how leading social sector organizations are thinking about and applying evaluation. Preskill discusses in detail three new approaches to evaluation: developmental evaluation, shared measurement, and big data. She explains the trends and identifies how evaluation must evolve to optimize social enterprise efforts.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Lisbeth Schorr]

Effective evaluation is about more than measuring impact—it’s about figuring out what works and why. In this panel discussion at the Next Generation Evaluation conference, Lisbeth Schorr, Fay Twersky, and Alicia Grunow discuss the implications of evaluative techniques such as shared measurement, big data, and improvement science for philanthropy and nonprofit management.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Brenda Zimmerman]

Embracing complexity is essential in social enterprise evaluation. In this audio lecture, Brenda Zimmerman, Associate Professor of Policy at York University’s Schulich School of Business, suggests approaches for addressing complexity in evaluation systems. In the closing keynote at the 2013 Next Generation Evaluation Conference, Zimmerman explores ways to embrace complexity in social sector evaluation practice. She describes how social innovation can be fostered by applying cognitive diversity to solve structural and causative complexity problems.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Jacob Lief]

By a simple twist of fate, Jacob Leif found himself in post-apartheid South Africa, staring at a big paradoxical break in philanthropy - success was measured in numbers instead of long-term impact. While working at a local school, he found that supplies of books, computers, and daily lunches for the school children were plentiful. However, once the supporting nonprofit left after the funding cycle finished, the school returned right back to where it started. Lief decided to found Ubuntu Education Fund, an organization that works to support children living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In this episode of The Social Disruptors, Ned Breslin and Jacob Lief discuss the struggles of funding for long-term sustainable impact within the current philanthropic system of 12-month grant cycles.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Willa Seldon]

How do we prevent collaboration from sweeping through nonprofits as a passing fad? In this discussion panel at the Nonprofit Management Institute, Willa Seldon talks with experts Carolyn Nelson and Stephanie Couch on how to avoid wasting time and effort by effectively evaluating goals and necessities before collaborating.

Resource: Audio
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