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Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Social Entrepreneurship

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Let’s keep holding the government accountable.

Resource: Blog Post

Using existing microfinance institutions and recent developments in the carbon credit markets on the supply side to facilitate the adoption of clean energy for the very poor.

Resource: Blog Post

A panel discusses the need to use innovative and collaborative thinking processes when modifying supply chains to address prominent social and environmental problems. In addition to encouraging collaboration with members of one's network, they also recommend seeking feedback from unlikely stakeholders to include new perspectives.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2008

Dancing Deer Bakery helps most when it keeps its eye on the bottom line. —By Abby Fung


Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2008

TerraCycle turns what others leave behind into fertilizers and fashion. By Leslie Berger

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
[photo - New Technology]

For a d.School course called “Design for Extreme Affordability,” Jane Chen and three of her classmates developed a low-cost baby incubator tailored to the needs of the developing world. That incubator—a reusable heating pouch—became the Embrace Infant Warmer, and ultimately launched Embrace and Embrace Innovations, a joint social enterprise promoting child and maternal health across the globe. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jake Harriman]

Jake Harriman,'08, explains how rejecting conventional wisdom about financing a nonprofit helped him turn his vision into a real intervention.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Sarah Soule]

A Stanford scholar discusses a collaborative, human-centered approach to solving some of the world's most pressing problems.

Resource: News Article
[photo - crowdfunding]

A group of economists turns to an unusual source for funding: strangers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Vivek Garg]

An Indian army vet builds business relationships across battle lines in conflict-torn Kashmir and Northeast Indian villages.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2004

Jeffrey Hollender and Stephen Fenichell offer an inside view of corporate social responsibility at work.  Review by Sheila Kaplan

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2004

Teaching inner-city kids business skills to build their confidence and aspirations. 

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2004

How savvy social entrepreneurs seized on a tax loophole to raise billions of corporate dollars for affordable housing.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2004

Key social innovators have succeeded against all odds – and with little financial muscle, David Bornstein shows.  Review by Mark R. Kramer

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2004

For Ready, Willing & Able, finding a home
starts with cleaning the streets.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

The long-term strength of our nation relies on the level of commitment we have toward innovation. Influx of talent, new mindset and new network technologies are the new convergence of innovation. President Obama must broaden the focus across and among the private, public, and nonprofit sectors—to seek and spark the most promising innovations whether they come from commercial or social entrepreneurs, executives or line workers, community leaders, public servants, researchers, or citizens who don’t fit into any of these categories.

Resource: Blog Post

The White House is about to announce the creation of the Office of Social Innovation. 

Resource: Blog Post

This blog is the last of Marcia Stepanek’s coverage of the Skoll World Forum 2009 at Oxford University.

Resource: Blog Post

Reporting from the 6th annual Skoll World Forum for social innovation

Resource: Blog Post

“There’s no question: with public trust in CEOs and corporations at rock-bottom and the change mantra out of Washington [and Davos] and this week’s TED2009 still freshly potent, cause-wired social entrepreneurs have never had a better opportunity to boost traction globally for their Web-powered ideas.” - the author

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Darrell Hammond]

Play affects children's quality of life. Yet, in many communities, schools, and families, this element has been pushed to the back burner. In an audio interview with Globeshakers host Tim Zak, Darrell Hammond envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 850 new playgrounds and skateparks, and renovate 1,300 others nationwide.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Greg Steltenpohl]

As the founder of Odwalla, Greg Steltenpohl created what has become one of the leading U.S. suppliers of fresh juice and beverages. In this audio lecture, Steltenphohl reminisces about how he started up his company, and reflects on the importance of supporting a new model of capitalism that enriches communities and makes enterprises more socially and environmentally responsible.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Leadership in the War Against Extreme Poverty]

Stanford GSB alum ('08) founded Nuru International to maximize local leadership to drive sustainable change.

Resource: Video
[Video-Unleashing Green Chemistry: A Societal Need and Business Opportunity]

A panel on the the importance of mainstreaming and investing in green chemistry for the future of energy and the environment.

Resource: Video
[Video-Jane Chen: Crazy Enough to Change the World?]

Jane Chen (MBA '08) shares her journey to success in tackling one of the world's pressing issues -- low birth rates of premature babies around the world.

Resource: Video
[Video-Hau Lee: Value Chain Innovation in Developing Economies]

Hau Lee explains how value chain innovations can help entrepreneurs in developing economies grow their businesses, and what multinational corporations can learn from them.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Entrepreneurial Approaches to Solve the Problems of Global Poverty]

In turbulent times like ours, we need “hard-edged hope,” says Jacqueline Novogratz, the much-celebrated founder of the Acumen Fund. Affirming that the world is indeed a better place now than it was 40 years ago, she traces her own journey from a childhood witnessing racial inequities all around her in Detroit to a career leading the field of social impact investing. Novogratz rallies the community of Stanford business graduates to be part of the new generation of innovative problem solvers.

Resource: Video
[photo - Adam Lowry, William Rosenzweig, Priya Haji]

Have you ever thought about launching your own social venture? Are you curious if you have what it takes to become a social entrepreneur? What funding sources are available to you? What are the challenges of running a social venture? This panel discussion brings together people from both sides of the "start-up" fence--those who started with large financial backing and those who had none.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Chris Eyre]

Three social-venture experts share the process and tools they use to evaluate the impact and viability of aspiring change-makers' ideas in this panel discussion from Bridging the Gap, the Stanford 2005 Net Impact Conference organized by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. A must-hear for anyone planning on starting a social or environmental enterprise.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Kevin Danaher]

To be effective, nonprofits cannot operate in isolation, but must engage with other organizations across the various sectors. Talking at the 2007 Nonprofit Boot Camp, Kevin Danaher delivers an energizing call for the next generation of leaders to make connections with business, government, nongovernmental organizations--and even the wisdom of nature itself in their quest to transform the world.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Jan Masaoka]

In this audio lecture, Nonprofit Executive of the Year Jan Masaoka shares practical advice on how to start and develop a career in the nonprofit sector. Speaking at the 2007 Nonprofit Boot Camp, she answers questions on which degrees to pursue, how to write a resume, and how to prepare for an interview. She also addresses how to make your own job description, why volunteering matters, what compensation to expect, which fields are getting the funds, whether to start your own organization, and how to grow into leadership roles.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Michael Dougherty]

Can business add value to the education field? Pioneers and market leaders who have built successful businesses around the many unmet needs in education talk about the business opportunities in education today in this panel discussion from Bridging the Gap, the Stanford 2005 Net Impact conference organized by the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Resource: Audio
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases
No Results Found

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the team’s primary objectives was to investigate sales and distribution challenges in this space. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots, the team hoped to test different models for improving customer access to these safe water products in an effort to identify scalable, sustainable, and replicable solutions. Although specific results varied across the pilots, which spanned India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Kenya, they collectively gave rise to series of important sales and distribution insights.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project. One of the key objectives of this effort was to explore how the private sector could help make HWTS products more affordable. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots in collaboration with commercial partners, the PATH team sought to better understand the effect of different pricing, consumer financing, and subsidy models on demand within low-income population in developing countries. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to evaluate to what extent market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage products by low-income populations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura Arrillaga]

Arrillaga created Silicon Valley Social Venture ("SV2") in partnership with Community Foundation Silicon Valley (“CFSV”), a nationally recognized public foundation that had experience working with individual donors and had established credibility within the philanthropic field. Arrillaga formed SV2 as a donor-advised fund to ensure that CFSV staff would help guide SV2 partners leverage their expertise and funding to select high-performing community organizations, thus generating the greatest social impact. 

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 - Farm to Cup - Root Capital Lending]

A grassroots student effort led by Caroline Mullen, MBA ’12, Catha Mullen, MBA ’13, and Monica Lewis, MBA ’12, now has even more impact through a merger with Pachamama Coffee Cooperative.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - BAPAR]

It was the suicide of a young man that turned Vivek Garg toward using business as a means of fostering peace and reconciliation.

Resource: Student
[photo - Jeff Skoll]

The March/April edition of Stanford magazine features a profile of alumnus Jeff Skoll, one of only 20 people who've ever given away $1 billion. He hopes to engage everyone in the planet's survival by leveraging the power of Hollywood.

 

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Yohei Iwasaki (MBA '10)]

Yohei Iwasaki and mOasis are enabling farmers to grow more crops from less water and to cultivate previously underutilized land, producing a sustainable environment that significantly reduces food and water shortages.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Jane Chen (MBA '08)]

Jane Chen's passion for helping others has taken her on an incredible journey from doing social work in China to founding Embrace, a company that sells premature infant incubators.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Picture: Wyatt]

Businesses, nonprofits and government agencies increasingly are embracing design thinking to solve social problems. The reason? Design thinking is inherently human centered. In this audio lecture, Jocelyn Wyatt, who directs social innovation projects at the design and consulting firm IDEO, describes how design thinking can be employed in the developing world to address the needs of people who consume a product or service and the infrastructure that enables it.

Resource: Audio
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

A veteran social entrepreneur provides a guide to those who are thinking through the thorny question of whether to create a nonprofit, a for-profit, or something in between.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review 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
[photo - Picture: Lee]
Though the resources may be adequate in the Philippines, 13 million people do not have access to clean and safe water due to issues of infrastructure. In this audio interview, Stanford Center for Social Innovation correspondent Sheela Sethuraman talks with A Single Drop for Safe Water (ASDSW) Executive Director Kevin Lee, the 2010 Tech Award winner in the Equality category. He shares their social entrepreneurship model prioritizing effective water and sanitation systems in communities.
Resource: Audio
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
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