US Trust and others find it pays to have equal numbers of both genders. The to-do list at the end is spot on.

All the words, numbers and charts do not get at the case for action like this does.

 FIRST APPEARED IN THE GUARDIAN JULY 9TH, 2013

AUTHOR: DAVID MILLS

SVT SUMMARY OF ORIGINAL ARTICLE

A new Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) study suggests that the social enterprise sector has three times the start-up rate of mainstream SMEs.

• According to the survey, 38% of social enterprises surveyed saw an increase in their turnover in the last twelve months with 29% of SMEs surveyed by the Department for Business. More than half of social enterprises (56%) developed a new product or service, compared with 43% of SMEs. Two-thirds (63%) of social enterprises expect their turnover to increase in the next two to three years, almost double the number of SMEs (37%).

• More than a third of respondents (38%) operate in the UK’s most deprived communities, compared to 12% of traditional SMEs - and half of the respondents (52%) actively employ people who are disadvantaged in the labour market, including ex-offenders, people with disabilities and the long-term unemployed.

• The report also reveals a diverse sector. Social enterprises are much more likely to be led by women than mainstream businesses - 38% of respondents had a female chief executive, compared with 19% of SMEs, and 3% of FTSE 100 companies.

• Almost a quarter (23%) of social enterprises are run by younger leaders aged 25-44, while one in ten (13%) are led by people over the age of 65. Social enterprises are twice as likely as mainstream SMEs to be led by someone with a black, asian or minority ethnic background.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “There’s growing interest in social enterprise – it’s the sector where entrepreneurs are choosing to set up businesses. This fact speaks volumes about people’s motivations and a desire for change in the way that businesses behave and their contribution to society.”

Reacting to the report, Gareth Thomas MP, Labour’s shadow minister for civil society said: “What we need to see now is for more barriers to be broken down for social enterprises, so that they can continue to thrive and crucially too so that they can bid for their fair share of contracts.”

The full report can be read here.

FIRST APPEARED IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL JUNE 13TH, 2013

AUTHOR: JOE BARRETT

SVT SUMMARY OF ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS +1.51% and private-equity investor J.B. Pritzker are lending money for a preschool program for disadvantaged children in Utah—and they will get paid back only if the kids who are most behind do well in elementary school.

The $7 million loan is a new type of funding called a social-impact bond, which operate over a fixed period of time, but don’t have a fixed return.  The idea is to invest in the social programs that are supposed to save the public sector money, but aren’t provided for. The investors say the strategy could be a model for privately financed public preschool at a time when government budgets are constrained and the White House is pushing to offer preschool programs to every child.

About one-third of the children who enter the program score so low on a certain picture-based vocabulary test that they are likely to need special education and other costly interventions in elementary school, said Bill Crim, senior vice president with United Way Salt Lake. After going through the United Way program, about 95% of those children catch up to their peers and don’t need additional help.

"I’m a businessman and an investor and I’m drawn to the idea of investing and creating results-based financing for government at a time when they’re terribly constrained," said Mr. Pritzker.

President Barack Obama called during his State of the Union address for preschool for “every child in America.” Studies have shown that the government can save $7 for every $1 invested in high-quality preschool programs for disadvantaged youth.

BY MICHAEL COHN 
MAY 31, 2013
SVT Summary

The United Nations has issued a report from a high-level panel tasked with developing a post-2015 development agenda in which it calls for all companies to produce corporate sustainability reports.

The recommendations were a small part of a much broader report that calls for both sweeping changes eliminate extreme poverty across the globe and the encouraged use of sustainability reporting by 2030. The report, entitled “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development,” sets out an ambitious agenda to eradicate extreme poverty and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. The report calls upon the world to rally around a new Global Partnership “that offers hope and a role to every person in the world.”

The report acknowledges that many of the world’s largest companies are already leading the transformation to a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.“As more industries develop sustainability certification, it will be easier for civil society and shareholders to become watchdogs, holding firms accountable for adhering to industry standards and worker safety issues, and being ready to disinvest if they do not. Today, however, only 25 percent of large companies report to shareholders on their sustainability practices; by 2030, this should be commonplace.”

The U.N. also provided a copy of a background research paper prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers U.K.’s global sustainability and climate change practice on what it calls Total Impact Measurement and Management, or TIMM, which would provide a “balanced scorecard” of a business’s social, economic, environmental and tax contribution impact. 

UC Berkeley’s Haas Center for Responsible Business is kicking off its 10-year anniversary celebration on Wednesday March 20th with a daylong interactive workshop at Autodesk with top faculty (including Sara Beckman and Kellie McElhaney) and change-maker alumni—an award winning filmmaker, leading social entrepreneurs and sustainability experts, including Dave Sherman, MBA ‘85, formerly of Blu Skye, and Jeff Klein of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.
For more information go to: http://bit.ly/Ynmmqv.  The cost is $225 for workshop, VIP reception, and evening program ($200 for workshop only and $40 for evening program only).
 It’s worth checking out to:
Reconnect with CRB and Haas classmates for intimate dialogue and interactive learning;
Learn new tools for integrating sustainability into your workplace or career;
Gain new skills and the mindset for leading sustainable change; and
Find new ways to align your values with work.
To register go to:  http://bit.ly/WshWRK.  If the link doesn’t work for you, you can send your contact information (i.e. name, preferred email address, job title/company name, & program/year) to amy_dinh@haas.berkeley.edu. 

UC Berkeley’s Haas Center for Responsible Business is kicking off its 10-year anniversary celebration on Wednesday March 20th with a daylong interactive workshop at Autodesk with top faculty (including Sara Beckman and Kellie McElhaney) and change-maker alumnian award winning filmmaker, leading social entrepreneurs and sustainability experts, including Dave Sherman, MBA ‘85, formerly of Blu Skye, and Jeff Klein of Conscious Capitalism, Inc.

For more information go to: http://bit.ly/Ynmmqv.  The cost is $225 for workshop, VIP reception, and evening program ($200 for workshop only and $40 for evening program only).

 It’s worth checking out to:

  • Reconnect with CRB and Haas classmates for intimate dialogue and interactive learning;
  • Learn new tools for integrating sustainability into your workplace or career;
  • Gain new skills and the mindset for leading sustainable change; and
  • Find new ways to align your values with work.

To register go to:  http://bit.ly/WshWRK.  If the link doesn’t work for you, you can send your contact information (i.e. name, preferred email address, job title/company name, & program/year) to amy_dinh@haas.berkeley.edu

SVT’s summary of “Lessons Impact Investing Can Learn From Microfinance" from Huffington Post, 01/29/13
by Tim Ehrbeck
Social and environmental returns are qualitatively different than financial returns and essentially in the eye of the beholder. In the early years, investors in microfinance institutions thought that simply reaching disadvantaged segments such as women and poor people was a sufficient indicator of impact. Only later did they start realizing that financial access did not automatically mean improving people’s lives, and that at the minimum client protection principles, if not social performance objectives , needed to be in place. More recently, rigorous impact assessments have helped the field understand what type of financial access is beneficial to what type of customer segment and why, which in turn is leading to better product design and offerings.
Other sectors where the impact investing community is advancing the impact indicators conversation would benefit from studying this evolution. To use an analogy, for example, it’s not enough just to count heads of kids in social and private sector elementary schools in developing countries; investors through their governance influence also need to ensure that the education the kids get is truly a good investment for the typically poor families who make real long-term sacrifices to pay school fees.
The microfinance investment community demonstrated that philanthropic capital was necessary to prove a concept and attract new sources of capital and talent to an area where no market had existed before. Microfinance investors also learned that you can’t ignore potential tradeoffs between social impact and financial returns in the long-term. They have come around to ask themselves questions such as: how do we find the right entrepreneurs with whom we durably share impact and financial objectives at the outset? Once invested and on boards, how do we set growth targets? How do we incentivize for a profitability sweet spot — not too little to jeopardize financial viability, but not too high to tempt management to take short cuts? How do we responsibly exit so that the impact objective remains preserved?

SVT’s summary of “Lessons Impact Investing Can Learn From Microfinance" from Huffington Post, 01/29/13

by Tim Ehrbeck

Social and environmental returns are qualitatively different than financial returns and essentially in the eye of the beholder. In the early years, investors in microfinance institutions thought that simply reaching disadvantaged segments such as women and poor people was a sufficient indicator of impact. Only later did they start realizing that financial access did not automatically mean improving people’s lives, and that at the minimum client protection principles, if not social performance objectives , needed to be in place. More recently, rigorous impact assessments have helped the field understand what type of financial access is beneficial to what type of customer segment and why, which in turn is leading to better product design and offerings.

Other sectors where the impact investing community is advancing the impact indicators conversation would benefit from studying this evolution. To use an analogy, for example, it’s not enough just to count heads of kids in social and private sector elementary schools in developing countries; investors through their governance influence also need to ensure that the education the kids get is truly a good investment for the typically poor families who make real long-term sacrifices to pay school fees.

The microfinance investment community demonstrated that philanthropic capital was necessary to prove a concept and attract new sources of capital and talent to an area where no market had existed before. Microfinance investors also learned that you can’t ignore potential tradeoffs between social impact and financial returns in the long-term. They have come around to ask themselves questions such as: how do we find the right entrepreneurs with whom we durably share impact and financial objectives at the outset? Once invested and on boards, how do we set growth targets? How do we incentivize for a profitability sweet spot — not too little to jeopardize financial viability, but not too high to tempt management to take short cuts? How do we responsibly exit so that the impact objective remains preserved?

Economia Social. Valoración y medición de la inversión social (método SROI)
by Hugo Narrillos Roux
(Social Investments, SROI)
En muchos casos, el hecho de no estar recogidos estos valores sociales y medioambientales en las cuentas de la empresa, supone que la empresa no se hace responsable de crear o destruir estos valores, y prosigue su actividad sin tomar medidas correctoras que hagan que su actividad pueda contribuir a una sociedad más equitativa y sostenible. Este libro versa sobre un método novedoso, el SROI, que ayuda a la empresa a aflorar ese valor social empresarial que permanece oculto, pero que pertenece a la empresa, y sobre las aplicaciones prácticas del mismo El SROI pretende en última instancia contribuir a que se den las condiciones para que nuestras empresas contribuyan a crear una sociedad más equitativa, modificando la cultura empresarial, evitando que dé la espalda a los problemas sociales. Y estos objetivos no son opuestos a la consecución de un objetivo de obtención de beneficios, sino que lo complementan, pues ambos son asumibles por la empresa. Adicionalmente en nuestro libro mostramos aplicaciones prácticas del método SROI en el universo de la Inversión Social, un concepto muy en boga, pero muy desconocido, y que también pretendemos desbrozar en nuestra obra.

Economia Social. Valoración y medición de la inversión social (método SROI)

by Hugo Narrillos Roux

(Social Investments, SROI)

En muchos casos, el hecho de no estar recogidos estos valores sociales y medioambientales en las cuentas de la empresa, supone que la empresa no se hace responsable de crear o destruir estos valores, y prosigue su actividad sin tomar medidas correctoras que hagan que su actividad pueda contribuir a una sociedad más equitativa y sostenible. Este libro versa sobre un método novedoso, el SROI, que ayuda a la empresa a aflorar ese valor social empresarial que permanece oculto, pero que pertenece a la empresa, y sobre las aplicaciones prácticas del mismo El SROI pretende en última instancia contribuir a que se den las condiciones para que nuestras empresas contribuyan a crear una sociedad más equitativa, modificando la cultura empresarial, evitando que dé la espalda a los problemas sociales. Y estos objetivos no son opuestos a la consecución de un objetivo de obtención de beneficios, sino que lo complementan, pues ambos son asumibles por la empresa. Adicionalmente en nuestro libro mostramos aplicaciones prácticas del método SROI en el universo de la Inversión Social, un concepto muy en boga, pero muy desconocido, y que también pretendemos desbrozar en nuestra obra.

Income inequality in the U.S. rivals that of developing nations
by Michael Moran 1/27/2013
Vast economic disparity is often associated with developing nations sacrificing social goals in order to emphasize growth and move up in global rankings. In Thailand, the boom years of the 1980s and 1990s saw Thailand’s per capita income — the average annual pay a person takes home — soar from $680 to nearly $5,000, making it an “upper middle income” country in the parlance of global development experts.
Thailand has 47,000 millionaires today, many of them holding the reigns of political power. The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few has touched off a backlash. The so-called “Red Shirt” movement has clashed violently with government forces, contending that the poor are deliberately exploited by a corrupt elite. Its rallies have calmed of late, but outrage over song matratan — i.e. “double standards” — is now a feature of the Thai political debate.
In America, such disparities evoke memories of the so-called “Gilded Age,” the period between the 1880s and 1920s of westward expansion, massive immigration and tycoons like Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. The great divide of that age, with its strikebreaking massacres, slum epidemics and child labor, launched the career of Republican Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive reform movement and, after the Great Depression a generation later, his Democratic cousin Franklin Delano’s New Deal.
Income disparity dropped markedly during the years that followed World War II, only to begin widening again about 1968. Until the 2008 financial crisis, the stagnation of middle and lower class incomes in the US were masked by asset bubbles and cheap credit. Only recently, as the housing collapse and banking crisis pulled back the curtains, has income disparity become a topic for polite conversation in US political campaigns.
“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by,” said President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union address. “Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

Income inequality in the U.S. rivals that of developing nations

by Michael Moran 1/27/2013

Vast economic disparity is often associated with developing nations sacrificing social goals in order to emphasize growth and move up in global rankings. In Thailand, the boom years of the 1980s and 1990s saw Thailand’s per capita income — the average annual pay a person takes home — soar from $680 to nearly $5,000, making it an “upper middle income” country in the parlance of global development experts.

Thailand has 47,000 millionaires today, many of them holding the reigns of political power. The concentration of wealth in the hands of a few has touched off a backlash. The so-called “Red Shirt” movement has clashed violently with government forces, contending that the poor are deliberately exploited by a corrupt elite. Its rallies have calmed of late, but outrage over song matratan — i.e. “double standards” — is now a feature of the Thai political debate.

In America, such disparities evoke memories of the so-called “Gilded Age,” the period between the 1880s and 1920s of westward expansion, massive immigration and tycoons like Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. The great divide of that age, with its strikebreaking massacres, slum epidemics and child labor, launched the career of Republican Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive reform movement and, after the Great Depression a generation later, his Democratic cousin Franklin Delano’s New Deal.

Income disparity dropped markedly during the years that followed World War II, only to begin widening again about 1968. Until the 2008 financial crisis, the stagnation of middle and lower class incomes in the US were masked by asset bubbles and cheap credit. Only recently, as the housing collapse and banking crisis pulled back the curtains, has income disparity become a topic for polite conversation in US political campaigns.

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by,” said President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union address. “Or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

(Source: )

by Ariel Schwartz

Six billion people—many of them in developing countries—have mobile phones. They’re already used for such diverse purposes as tracking disease and transferring moneyLabor Link, an initiative from Good World Solutions (a nonprofit subsidiary of Fair Trade USA), is working to make mobile phones an integral tool in improving factory conditions.

For decades, the garment industry has tried to monitor health and safety violations in its factories to stave off PR disasters like those plaguing Nike. And for what? In 2012, a garment factory fire in Pakistan killed 264 workers, a fire in a factory supplying items for Tommy Hilfiger killed 29 people, and a fire at a Bangladeshi supplier for Sears and Walmart killed 112 people. That’s just what made headlines.In 2010, Good World Solutions piloted Labor Link, an initiative that pushes short surveys to factory workers via mobile phones, with a group of people making artisan sweaters in Peru. Now Labor Link is working with over 10 organizations (including Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Social Accountability International, and Fair Trade USA) along with 15,000 workers and farmers in multiple countries.

When working with an organization, Labor Link first identifies the strategic purpose of sending out questions and creates a 10- to 12-question survey about working conditions, job satisfaction, and other relevant factors. Labor Link doesn’t send the questions via SMS; instead, workers use a voice-based platform that asks the survey questions in their local language. The initiative hands out instruction cards to workers, who place a missed call to the Labor Link number and get a free call-back. All data is aggregated on Labor Link’s servers, analyzed, and made available to partners.