Weekly Review February 26-March 3

Harvard Social Enterprise Conference, Image Courtesy of Acumen Fund

An increase in  conferences, competitions, and accelerators is shifting the flow of human capital toward social enterprise. Last weekend, we attended the Social Enterprise Conference at Harvard where we saw evidence of support systems and networks developing to help and encourage social entrepreneurs. It is important to step back and appreciate the growth of the industry and this week we’re highlighting exciting examples of support for social enterprise in the news.

“A Report from the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference” by Alex Gregor on Acumen Fund Blog
The Acumen Fund offers a great synopsis of highlights from Harvard’s Social Enterprise Conference that was held last weekend in Cambridge, MA. At the conference, the ID team was thoroughly pleased to hear mentions of EGG-energy, the Nairobi tech scene, and engineers using their technical skills to innovate for the underserved throughout the weekend. This conference is a good example of top universities encouraging students to invest their skills and studies in social entrepreneruship.

From ‘Too Big to Solve’ to ‘Too Big to Fail’” by Ahmad Ashkar on The Huffington Post
Ashkar writes in the Huffington Post on the merge between business skills and the softer side of creating impact. Creating systemic support systems to increase the number of opportunities for those looking to apply their business knowledge to the social sector. One such solution is the Hult Global Case Challenge that identifies and launches “the most compelling student-generated solutions to the crippling issues faced by billions in need at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” Follow the link above to read about the accomplishments made possible with the Hult Global Case Challenge.

3 Best Social Good Startup Accelerators You’ve Never Heard Of” by Scott Henderson on Mashable
Some of the best kept secrets of the social entrepreneurship industry are making their way into the limelight. Startup accelerators that focus on social entrepreneurs and creating impact are trending in response to “the rising entrepreneurial tide” with non-profits, for-profits, B corporations, or low-profit LLCs or L3C. Mashable highlights three blossoming startup accelerators, Unreasonable Institute, Civic Accelerator, and MassChallenge. We’re proud to be an Unreasonable partner and a MassChallenge neighbor and partner.

“#1 Trend in Impact Investing in 2012: Human Capital” by Ross Baird on Village Capital Blog
Ross Baird counted down the top ten trends of impact investing in 2012 and this year human capital will be the most powerful trend. This is evidence already with the number of conferences, competitions, and accelerators available as mentioned above. Ross points out that the new opportunities and increased recruitment will encourage talent to take the leap into the world of social entrepreneurship.

Don’t forget to check out our prediction for India’s mission to install 20GW of solar capacity by 2020. Please interact and share your own predictions with us. Finally, a big thanks to VC4Africa for interviewing us this week.