Category: Social entrepreneurship

What we look for in founders

1. Determination This has turned out to be the most important quality in startup founders. We thought when we started Y Combinator that the most important quality would be intelligence. That’s the myth in the Valley. And certainly you don’t…

d.light leaders named Social Entrepreneurs of Year

We are thrilled for our portfolio company d.light and Donn Tice, Chairman and CEO, along with cofounders Ned Tozun, President, and Sam Goldman, Chief Customer Officer, for being named Social Entrepreneurs of the year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. d.light is a for-profit social enterprise that manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products with primary […]

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Governance is often misunderstood but seriously important

To many small and medium business owners, the word “governance” sounds scary and Victorian. However, despite popular opinion, the value the governance process adds to even the smallest of enterprises is fundamentally misunderstood. Business owners often go into their particular business because they are passionate about it. They may know anything from a little to […]

Social entrepreneurs flourish in Africa

  As perhaps the first-ever conference of social entrepreneurs in Africa, the Sankalp East Africa conference in Nairobi in February did not disappoint. The conference, organized by Intellecap, a leading Indian company in social enterprise, featured twelve entrepreneurs from Africa…

Changing customer behavior is a challenge

By Christopher Cuellar   Manufacturing solar powered lanterns? Easy. Developing a mobile wallet for farmers who don’t even have motorized vehicles? Simple. Turning human waste into cheap energy? Yawn. Getting people of all different backgrounds and socio-economic standings to change not…

UpEnergy gets investment for clean energy

UpEnergy, the Ugandan clean energy company and Unreasonable Institute alumni, has closed an equity investment deal, and is now raising US$1-million more in debt. We had a chance to catch up with UpEnergy co-founder Erik Wurster to chat about the fundin…

Health Care by Subscription in India

Despite great improvements in recent years, a lack of affordable, quality medical care remains a significant challenge in modern India.  Currently, India lags behind many other developing countries in providing healthcare.  Total yearly healthcare spending is $132 per capita in…

No, its Not Too Much Trouble to Measure Impact

Sasha Dichter is Acumen’s Chief Innovation Officer and writes regularly about impact and philanthropy. Below he discusses why Acumen believes deeply in dedicating resources to measuring impact. As impact investing goes more mainstream, there is a growing chorus suggesting that impact measurement might be the providence of academics and idealists. (as in, “…we have spent […]

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