All posts tagged: featured


Greenpeace Challenges Facebook to Go Green by Earth Day

Greenpeace has launched a worldwide campaign asking Facebook to ‘Go Green’ by pledging to switch to clean energy, and it wants your help to make it happen. The world’s environmental watchdog has launched a massive pressure campaign aptly titled ‘Facebook: Unfriend Coal’ asking Facebook to commit to becoming 100% coal free by 2021. They also want Zuckerberg to announce Facebook’s commitment to this effect by Earth Day (April 22nd). In February 2010, Greenpeace approached Facebook urging the company to design their new data centers (in Oregon, USA) to run off clean energy. They set a deadline of April 22nd 2011 for Facebook to commit to doing so. Facebook hasn’t made any such commitments so far. So this month, in a well-executed online+offline campaign, Greenpeace is calling upon all its supporters, as well as friends of supporters to comment on their Unfriend Coal Facebook Wall in support of Facebook’s use of friendlier energy sources like wind and solar to power its new data centers. From the Greenpeace campaign website: Facebook announced in February 2010 that it …


Relief Riders: Combining Adventure Travel with Humanitarian Causes

Relief Riders International is a one-of-its-kind adventure travel company that leads relief missions on horseback. Participants travel for 14 days on horseback riding village to village, through the beautiful desert landscapes of India and Turkey, while delivering aid to remote communities that lack basic medical facilities and opportunities to make a living. Back in 2003, Relief Riders founder Alexander Souri dreamed of combining his passion with giving back to society. From this desire, Relief Riders was born. The first Relief Ride kicked off in 2004 and since then, riders from all over the world have ridden through India, and now Turkey to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in need. To date, their efforts have provided relief to over 16,000 villagers. Alexander of course knows a lot about horses, and provides detailed information via the Relief Riders website about the horses chosen for each ride, their history and temperament. Participants can usually choose between 2 to 3 rides that take place every year. Each ride is approximately 14 days long and takes place in a different …


Teach for India : Raising an Army of Superstar Teachers

Teach for India is tackling the program of education in India by using a model that has worked very successfully in the US. They are calling on India’s brightest to teach for two years in under-resourced schools so that the children in these schools too can benefit from excellent teachers and education just like their counterparts in well to do private schools.


Rang De the Kiva of India, Brings Web Based Microlending Home

Rang De is the first and only web based platform in India which allows individuals to directly lend money to poor people who are looking for capital to start small businesses. Inspired by Kiva’s (US based) model of person to person online lending and due to Kiva’s inability to service borrowers in India, Rang De was launched to fill this gap. Though Kiva has to date over 500,000 people who’ve made loans in 58 countries they’ve been unable to service the poor in India due to government banking regulations. Seizing on the massive opportunity to provide the world’s most populous nation with a platform to connect people who want to help with those needing help, Rang De started the direct online lending platform in 2008. Created for people of India, allowing Indians in any part of the world to invest in India’s Poor. How Does Rang De Work Very simple – People needing loans are listed on along with a short note on why they need the loan, the loan amount needed and the …


Groupon’s G-Team Offers a Great Deal to Nonprofits

Groupon has revolutionized the way people consume goods and services through its innovative daily deals / collective buying model. In just 3 years since its inception Groupon has expanded to over 500 cities in 35 countries and has a subscriber base of over 51 million which it hopes to grow to 150 million by end of 2011. With millions of people getting hooked to their daily deals, Groupon is committed to provide its userbase a great way to discover their own cities and fun and meaningful ways to get involved in bettering their communities. In July 2010, Groupon launched G-Team, their philanthropic initiative which aims to harness the power of their growing subscriber base and their killer business model of ‘collective buying’ for community good. About G-Team G-Team are social action campaigns around fundraising and civic engagement based on the similar collective action model as of Groupon. While Groupon makes it easier for people to get great deals only if certain number of people buy the deal, G-Team campaigns makes it easier to create real …


Abe’s Market : Selling All Things Organic & Eco Friendly

Abe’s Market is an online marketplace that sells only natural and organic consumer products, connecting buyers directly with the people who make them. The uniqueness of this online marketplace is that it facilitates a deeper interaction between buyers and producers. Buyers can directly connect with producers, ask questions, learn more and get to know them and their products before buying. Further, unlike other e-commerce sites, Abe’s Market is also committed to building the capacities of its sellers who are largely small businesses. To better understand, Abe’s Market is the web version of the traditional farmers market. Abe’s Market is currently selling products in the category of bath, beauty, home care, health, baby and kids and non perishable food items. The one stop shop for everything natural grew from the two founders, Richard Demb and Jon Polin’s passion for products that are safe and natural for self, family and environment. Seeing the opportunity for an increasing demand for organic and natural products and people’s desire to know the story behind the product they buy – who …


Micro-finance Explained : A Sneak Peek into the World of Micro-finance

Micro-finance has become a buzzword in the social sector and viewed as a silver bullet for eradicating poverty. This column is designed to help you gain some basic knowledge on micro-finance, it’s role in poverty alleviation and the current happenings in this space. What is Micro-finance? Micro-finance refers to providing financial services – credit and savings ‐ to the poor who are running small businesses or would like to start one and are in need of capital. Small loans for small businesses, with focus on providing credit is the way the industry has evolved over the past 30 years. In our world it’s relatively easy to obtain credit, we have banks who are more than eager to give loans however on the other hand banks are reluctant to service the poor as they often do not have the required collateral and are considered high-risk by any self respecting bank. With the banking system out of their realm, the poor (earning less than $2 a day) often fall prey to private moneylenders who loan at high …


Jumo : Do We Need Another Social Network for Causes?

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes recently launched his new initiative Jumo, a social network for the social sector. Jumo is designed to help individuals find, follow and support causes they care about. His motivation to start Jumo sprung from the need to connect non-profits with individuals who would like to help them. Non-profits are often in need of resources and individuals who would like to help but unable to create enough publicity and reach out to a wide enough interested audience.

Thanksgiving cornucopia

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since its Thanksgiving, we would like to say thank you, to the founders of all the Social businesses and non-profits we have spoken to over the last few months. The world would not be the same without the vision, passion and commitment of the talented individuals behind these organizations. And we would like to thank all of you, our readers, who have been sharing our stories out to your friends. In doing so, you help raise awareness towards causes that you care about. And this in turn directly helps the cause. Here are some examples from last month; Many people emailed us asking how they could donate to Narayanan Krishnan’s cause An event management company in Mumbai read the story about Mirakle Couriers and decided to give business to them. We received emails asking for more information on fair trade companies such as Himjoli. A ‘Sharing Economy’ is on the rise I had a chance to read this article earlier this week. The article is a very good summary of the book “Whats mine is …


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 …