May 5, 2015

Social Enterprise

The Murky “Progressive” Politics in Social Enterprise: Thoughts from Two Conferences

ProgressiveProgressives tend to be conflicted about social enterprise and broader issues of corporate social responsibility. The Cohen Report pulls the issues apart in this review of two social enterprise-focused conferences from earlier this year.

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Social Enterprise: Cleveland Clinic Considers Building a Health Insurance Company

NewsWhy is the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, a $7.5 billion healthcare system, investigating ways to enter the health insurance market?

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On Saving a Local Social Enterprise: A Design Challenge

DesignTo draw needed attention to a small manufacturer known for employing the disabled, the fashion elite will reward the best in amateur clothing design.

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We Are All Social Enterprises! Well, Maybe. Possibly…

RocketsFormer United Way Worldwide VP Atul Tandon shares his insights into social enterprise and donor engagement. 

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West Virginia’s “Boy Scout Amendment” Passes

Boy ScoutsThe Boy Scouts of America get their very own WV constitutional amendment to allow for social enterprise.

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A New Model: Foundation-owned Social Enterprise

MachinesThis foundation owns and operates a company that distributes anesthesia machines in poor countries as a social enterprise.

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NOT All Enterprise is Social!

AbstractThis article by Paul Hogan of the Oishei Foundation is a response to Buzz Schmidt’s “All Enterprise is Social.” Please join this conversation!

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Coffee Shop Hopes to Fund Social Business Concept Projects

Hoping their new establishment will serve as both as coffee shop and a center for community innovation, two young men from academia are inviting others to invest.

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Irrational Exuberance for Social Impact Bonds and Social Enterprise

EbolaCall it faulty logic or “plot holes,” but some of the ways in which people support their arguments for social enterprise are absurd.

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Bain Capital Buys into Toms Shoes’ Social Enterprise Model

Toms ShoesBain Capital is buying up behavioral health groups around the country, and now it has bought half of Toms Shoes. What gives?

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5 Bad Reasons to Choose a For-Profit Social Enterprise over Nonprofit

FiveRich Leimsider takes on a number of misconceptions people have about for-profit social enterprises being better than nonprofits.

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Social Enterprise Undercover? Community Rises Up for Market Basket

Market BasketA locally owned grocery chain corporation that has been run in a way that shares the wealth is experiencing the will of the people.

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UK Opposition Favors Public Service Delivery by Social Enterprises

PenIn its zeal to replace big government by creating a new Big Society, David Cameron’s Conservative coalition government took steps to wrest the provision of public services away from the public sector.

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The Endgame on the Hope and Hype of Hybrids—A System of Balanced Benefit

RisingThe presence or absence of cash—what all this comes down to—is a flawed, inadequate, and outmoded method of valuing the contributions of Enterprise.

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Social Enterprise: “What Kind of Monster Eats a Mental Health Magazine?”

GapThis ode to a failed social enterprise in the UK is well worth reading on many levels.

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Celebrating “Small Batch” Social Enterprise

BeesThis article compares two different stories of social enterprise— the heroic and the “small batch”—and outlines the different values that they represent.

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Are Nonprofits the Future of Work? Rifkin’s New Book Promotes a Redistributive Economy

RifkinJeremy Rifkin’s new book asserts that increased productivity coupled with advances in digital technology will fundamentally change the shape of labor in society, requiring the economy to shift dramatically. Rifkin writes that nonprofits will be at the center of the new world of work.

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Terminology Torture: What the Heck Qualifies as a Social Enterprise?

125Daniel Flynn of the Thankyou group, an Australian social enterprise, lodges a complaint about the vagueness embedded in the way some enthusiasts discuss social enterprise. In particular, he had quite a bit to say about a recent experience at the Skoll World Forum.

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Buffalo Press Promotes Local Social Enterprise

CTEThe withdrawal of a Department of Health transportation contract from a local provider isn’t necessarily a cause for local newspapers, but in this case, the contractor is a social enterprise division of a major corporation in Buffalo.

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All Enterprise Is Social!

RuthHave we in the nonprofit sector—those who care about injustice and inequality—been fiddling while Rome burns? Not exactly, but there is much more that we can do and be in this sector if we break out of some of our self-imposed mental bonds.

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Social Impact Bonds: Healthy Dialogue on a Young Sector

RootsWhat is the real “impact” of social impact bonds? A point/counterpoint.

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New (and Only) Accelerator for Tech-based Nonprofits Announces its First Class

Medic MobileA new start-up accelerator in San Francisco will focus solely on nonprofit-based technology enterprises.

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Social Enterprises for Entrepreneurial Veterans in UK and US

NewsIt’s great to see self-styled “social enterprises” assisting veterans in creating businesses, but don’t forget that nonprofits have been at that game for many years, and some, particularly IVMF at Syracuse University, do it really well.

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“Social Enterprise” Tackling Energy Poverty Should Acknowledge Gov’t Support

SolarEven in social enterprise, the successes of some important ventures, such as the clean energy programs of Off Grid Electric in Tanzania and Mera Gao Power in India, are due not just to the profit motivations and social missions of investors, but the subsidies and guarantees provided by government and philanthropy.

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Social Impact Bonds Not Well Received at Senate Budget Hearing

?Although Senator Mark Warner suggested that government was pretty incapable of understanding, finding, and funding programs that work, his solution—that the market discipline of private investors was needed—didn’t get borne out in a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee last week. The result was a trenchant critique of social impact bond and pay-for-success financing schemes.

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In Odd Evolution of a Social Enterprise, Businessman Transfers Ownership of Gym to Charity

weightsIt is, of course, very common for donors to give stock in lieu of cash, but this guy donated his entire business to be run as a social enterprise by two of his favorite charities.

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Bumps and Slowdowns in UK Social Impact Bonds

WarningThe first social impact bond project in the world—the Peterborough prison project in the UK—is being restructured, supplanted by the British government planning to implement major prison reforms addressing recidivism across the nation. Perhaps the message is that policy change doing what works is preferable to individual SIB investment projects.

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Hybrids, Hybridity, and Hype

RuthNPQ is just going to press with the latest edition of its print magazine. Today, you can subscribe for a year at $10 below the usual price.

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Some Unanswered Questions About Benefit Corporations, L3Cs, and Social Enterprise More Generally

SocentAs the print version of the Nonprofit Quarterly prepares its upcoming issue on hybrid organizations, this edition of the Cohen Report looks at some questions raised by a few of the newer organizational forms of social enterprise.

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Social Enterprise Plans to Clean Up in Queens

QueensCooperatives are much under-recognized in the U.S. as social enterprises, but this story about a cleaning cooperative owned by 15 low-income women makes it clear why we should pay a lot more attention.

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