All posts tagged: entrepreneurs

klout

Klout : Increase your Nonprofits Influence across Social Networks

Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn etc) has opened new doors for nonprofits to spread their message far and wide and to engage and recruit new members, advocates, donors and volunteers for their causes. Almost all nonprofits use social media actively, spending considerable hours of their working time to post, tweet and engage with their online audience. Now here is a great tool, Klout which nonprofits can use to be more effective and smart about increasing their influence and authority across the social web. What is Klout? Klout is a tool that measures user influence and identifies influencers on topics across the social web. Currently available for Twitter, Facebook personal profiles (they plan to soon extend their technology for Facebook Pages) and a beta version for LinkedIn, Nonprofits can all round measure their influence and connect with influencers to radically increase their overall online reach. How it Works? Go to the Klout website and create an account using your twitter account. Once you’ve created your profile you can add-in other networks (Facebook and LinkedIn) to …

nsef

TISS and NSEF Partner to Mentor Social Enterpreneurs

The National Social Entrepreneurship Forum (NSEF) is India’s premier student platform on social entrepreneurship. Its goal is to promote social entrepreneurship in universities across India. NSEF establishes student/volunteer run chapters at universities. Some of their activities include social enterprise workshops, business plan and blogging competitions, facilitating internships and mentoring youth led social ventures. The NSEF currently operates 10 University chapters including IIM Lucknow, IIT Kanpur, BITS-Pilani. NSEF partnership with TISS NSEF has partnered with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to launch a new NSEF local chapter in Mumbai. TISS was established in 1936 as the premier school of social work and research in India. The partnership with TISS allows NSEF to collaborate with TISS faculty, students and Alumni, many of whom are already subject matter experts in the field of social enterprise and development. Chapter Launch Conference NSEF and TISS have organized a half day conference to kick off the student chapter at Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai. The event is expected to be attended by 300 students from Mumbai as well …

natural-mystic

Space Cushions Bring Jobs to Rural Thailand.

The Isaan Cushion Company is a social business that aims to make the best cushions on the planet and to create employment opportunities for people in the under-developed Isaan region of North East Thailand. They also want to be the first to put a cushion into space! Where is the Isaan region? Isaan is a region making up the North Eastern part of Thailand. Despite Thailand’s strong economic performance in the past few years, many areas of the country have not seen the benefit from this growth. The Isaan region is considered to be one of the poorest regions of Thailand. The average wages are the lowest in the country at around 4,000 baht per month (USD $130), while the national average is about 7,000 baht (USD $230). As a result, many people have to leave the countryside in order to look for better wages, and end up migrating to cities, especially Bangkok. The making of beautiful cushions The Isaan Cushion Company launched its operations 1 month ago as a social business. The company leverages …

fishermen2

Culture Aangan Homestays : Promoting Rural Development via Tourism

Culture Aangan makes use of Cultural Tourism to create a sustainable livelihood for rural communities. Visitors to Culture Aangan home stay’s get a great, first hand look at village life in a rural setting. Rural communities are benefited from promoting cultural tourism by creation of economic opportunities that previously did not exist. Aangan, literally means “courtyard”. An Aangan has always been central to the life of a village family, as a space to meet, perform ceremonies, dry food and bond as a family. Culture Aangan adopts this concept to provide visitors with a first hand experience into rural life, yet ensuring that basic traveler comforts are met. The beginnings In May 2005, Culture Aangan founder, Rashmi Sawant began work on a project with the goal to connect city dwellers with life in the villages of rural India. The experience involved staying with a rural family and getting to know a way of life that is vastly different from city lifestyles. At the same time, travelers made a contribution to the local economy of the village. …

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Bags for Bliss : Creating Literacy and Livelihood in Pakistan

Many adolescent girls in South Asia are forced to choose work over school to support their families that live below the poverty line. This means, at the age of 10 or 12, they drop out of school to work. Since they cant get an education, they are forced to continue working throughout their lives as laborers, making just enough money to survive. BLISS (Business and Life Skills School) is a social enterprise based out of Pakistan and the USA and offers business, vocational and literacy classes, providing participants with training to launch their own micro-enterprises. The profits of this social enterprise fund education and provide savings for the community, breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy. BLISS works with adolescent girls, children of Afghan refugees who have crossed over the border into Pakistan. There are over 30,000 Afghan laborers in Attock, Pakistan and over a million in total throughout the country. Bringing Girls to School The refugee girls currently earn $1 to $1.5 per day while working 14 hours per day weaving carpets. In order …

mirakle

Mirakle Couriers : A Courier Service Run by the Deaf

Mirakle Couriers is a courier delivery company with a difference. They employ underprivileged deaf people who have almost no other means to earn a livelihood. Why start a company employing deaf people? India has one of the highest deaf populations in the world. NGO’s and charities try to help individuals marginalized by society, but they rely on gift funding, which often dries up and is not sustainable. People with disabilities are discriminated against as businesses are reluctant to employ them. The disabled are largely seen as a liability; incapable and impossible to train. The situation is worse for the deaf since businesses lack sign language skills necessary to work with them. As a result there are virtually no job opportunities for the deaf in India. How Mirakle does it: Mirakle Couriers wants to change the situation and economically empower the deaf community. At the same time, they want to provide them with better visibility in the Indian society and bring attention to their cause. Mirakle was started by Dhruv Lakra a former investment banker, who …

himjoli

Fairtrade to Reduce Migrations from Himalayas

A DNA India report recently warned that mass migration from rural to urban India would put immense pressure on urban infrastructure, leading to riots, price wars and other bad stuff. However all is not lost. Social ventures such as Himjoli are attempting to prevent that from happening. ‘Friends in the Land of Ice’ Himjoli was founded in 2009. They are a profitable social enterprise working with rural producers from the Kumaon region in the Indian Himalayas. Their mission: To create profitable, sustainable jobs in villages and reduce migration to cities. The rural communities of Kumaon traditionally produced enough for local consumption. Excess produce was sold in the local markets, where margins are small. Alternate sources of income have been tourism, usually providing seasonal earnings. Rising prices for essential commodities led to large scale migrations from villages in to cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, in the hope of finding work to make better wages and to support the families back home. The exodus naturally results in reduced development of local populations, and no improvement in …

buffet_gates

Philanthropy 2.0 : Micro Venture Capital v/s Donations

As a regular donor to causes, I have often wondered whether my donations made a difference. I have read annual reports and useful statistics telling me they have, but reports and scorecards haven’t been able to make me stay connected to the cause. Micro investment is about to change all that. How is Micro Investing different from Donating? Micro investments are investments of small sums of money (say 50 dollars) made by individuals, but more commonly, by a group of like minded people (friends, colleagues etc) in a micro venture fund such as Inventure Fund. The fund shortlists a set of entrepreneurs (individuals or communities) who are trained and mentored by its local reps. Businesses are chosen based on their track record as well as commitment to invest a part of their profits back into improving their communities. When an investment is made, the business has no pressure to make weekly or monthly interest payments as is usually the case with micro financed loans. Rather, the business is allowed to grow organically. The risk of …