Tag Archives: marketplace

A Place in Society

The Economist Print Edition; 25 September 2009. When the GFC hit, financial innovation fell out of favour. Yet The Economist reports that the Third Sector is embracing it with abandon. The movement is premised on the belief that financial innovations can solve our most entrenched social problems. Recent events point to its growth in two distinct cultural contexts: San Francisco/ Silicon Valley and New York/ Wall Street. San Francisco hosted SoCap09, a conference infused with … Continue reading

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A Guide to Social Return on Investment

published by The Office of the Third Sector, United Kingdom; 2009. How to measure organisational impact in the Third Sector is a long held conundrum. Now, however, there is a new pressure that confers an aura of urgency to the issue: the social marketplace. Advocates of the social marketplace understand the need for a universally recognised unit of measure for social returns. Given the lack of agreement in the sector, the UK government has stepped … Continue reading

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A Partial Marvel: Microcredit may not work wonders but it does help the entrepreneurial poor

The Economist; 18 July 2009. Has microcredit delivered on its promise to lift borrowers out of poverty? Academics have had a hard time finding evidence to answer this question. Part of the challenge of studying the impact of microcredit is selection bias. A scientific survey requires that you compare those who get a microcredit loan with a control group of similar people facing the exact same economic hardships and external market constraints. Microcredit loans may … Continue reading

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Emerging Markets, Emerging Models: Market-Based Solutions to the Challenges of Global Poverty

The Monitor Group; March 2009. Although microfinance may be the best known example of serving low-income groups through a market solution, many other models are now emerging to serve a large and growing population of poor people. Half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day: that is 2.6 billion people. During the last few decades of increasing aid the livelihood for those at the “bottom of the pyramid” has not gotten better. … Continue reading

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Financial Inclusion, Market Failures and New Markets: Possibilities for Community Development Finance Institutions in Australia

by Ingrid Burkett and Belinda Drew, A Foresters Community Finance Occasional Paper; October 2008. Foresters Community Finance of Queensland argues that the lack of access to affordable capital is the major challenge to the growth of the fourth sector in Australia. In this report, authors Burkett and Drew broaden the traditional definition of financial exclusion in Australia to include not just individuals and families but also groups and organisations such as civil society organisations, social … Continue reading

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Investors’ Perspectives: A Time for Community Bonds

by Maureen Stapleton, Alliance; June 2009. Alliance magazine is a quarterly journal aimed at informing philanthropists and social investors about the latest trends in the field worldwide. It may be a sign of the growing popularity of new financial instruments pitched to philanthropists, that the magazine is now featuring financial products. This article provides a brief introduction to yet another social investment opportunity: community bonds. According to the author, community bonds are in use in … Continue reading

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Microfinance Banana Skins 2009: Confronting Crisis and Change

by David Lascelles and Sam Mendelson, Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation; June 2009. For a clear risk report on the microfinance industry, the folks at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation give us “Microfinance Banana Skins 2009.” The “banana skins” in their title refers to potential risks, as in the classic cartoon slip-up. This report spotlights current risks associated with the microfinance industry. The risks are identified and ranked by investors, … Continue reading

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Participation Society

Griffith Review, Edition 24, by Griffith University, 2009. CSI’s very own Peter Shergold and Cheryl Kernot appear in the Griffith Review’s recent issue on participation society. Both essays are reminders that structural innovation is at work in Australian society. Kernot’s essay, ‘A quiet revolution,’ is a personal reflection on a shift she sees towards a society which puts: “social value at its core.” Kernot writes about social entrepreneurship which she believes is already reshaping people’s … Continue reading

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Electric Evangelist – Can Shai Agassi of Better Place, An Electric-Car Company, Honour His Grand Promises?

The Economist, May 2, 2009. Shai Agassi has an idea that would radically alter the automotive industry: he’s leading the “re”-charge of the electric car. Electric cars have been around for years; however they have neither been cheap enough nor convenient enough for the mass market. So, Agassi has developed a systems integration solution for the problem. His insight is to physically separate the battery from the car, thereby allowing a network of battery swapping … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 3: Autumn 2009 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Achieving Breakthrough Performance

by Mark Gottfredson, Steve Schaubert, and Elisabeth Babcock, Stanford Social Innovation Review; Summer 2008. How might social sector leaders position themselves to weather economic storms and ultimately flourish? Drawing on extensive consulting experience and not-for-profit management, authors Gottfredson, Schaubert, and Babcock outline a path to ‘breakthrough performance’. The authors define this as: “the kind that positions nonprofits to create high levels of social impact and lasting change.” To achieve such status, they identify four principles: … Continue reading

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