Friday, October 8, 2010

Social Enterprise Weekly Updates - Justmeans

The power of pull: How to seduce your employees into being green! - Clare Cunningham

Socially responsible companies are generally considered leaders in driving forward green innovation in the workplace, however  at Forster Communications they are more into cycling it forward. The London based communications agency has gained a reputation as a leading socially responsible company in the UK by placing care of the planet at the heart of its operations. The company prides itself on being a communications agency, which helps change people's lives for the better; whether this is through green initiatives, improved health or building strong communities. Last year the Forster won The Sunday Times Best Green Company award. Forster's list of clients includes Amnesty International, Vodaphone and The National Trust (the UK's largest historic and natural conservation trust). Among their most successful work are the cycling campaigns they have run for National Bike Week and Devon County Council.

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New Guide Explains How To Establish A Social Enterprise - Harry Stevens

In its first week of existence, a social enterprise guide produced by Social Enterprise London for the local authority umbrella body London Councils, was downloaded 4,000 times, the online publication Third Sector reports. The guide, called Transitions, is an introduction to public sector workers who are thinking of creating a social enterprise to deliver services traditionally reserved for the public sector. The guide explains the concept of social enterprise and details information on the types of areas to which it can be applied.

Transitions also addresses some of the barriers and challenges one faces when creating a social enterprise, explains the process of establishing a business and outlines ways to receive support from employers. Social Enterprise London points out that social enterprise is not appropriate for everyone. It does assert, however, that social enterprise has shown a great deal of success in the UK, with over 62,000 social enterprises in existence which demonstrate "that the values of fairness, community investment, local control and a social or environmental mission can make for more efficient services, better user experiences and happier staff."

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The USDA Announces Winners of the Apps for Healthy Kids Competition - Audrey Watters

The USDA has announced the winners last week of its Apps for Healthy Kids competition.

The competition was a part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! national campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. The competition invited software developers and game designers to build innovative tools to help teach nutrition and health concepts in an engaging way and to encourage kids to eat better and engage in more physical activity.

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Indian Billionaire to Invest in Social Enterprise - Harry Stevens

SKS Microfinance's initial public offering (IPO) on the National Stock Exchange of India in August raised over $350 million for the company. One of the chief benefactors of the IPO was Vinod Khosla, the self made billionaire co-founder of Sun Microsystems who clocked in at 880th place on Forbes' most recent list of the planet's richest people. SKS's IPO netted Khosla, who invested in the microfinance firm a few years ago, about $117 million. Now Khosla plans to start a venture capital fund that will be used to reinvest his returns into Indian enterprises that are fighting poverty while turning a profit. The fund should prove to be a tremendous boon to Indian social enterprise.

Khosla also seeks to change the culture of philanthropy in India by encouraging his fellow Indians to give more. India's economic growth over the last decade has brought unprecedented wealth to the country - Forbes estimates that no less than 69 billionaires hail from India, a dramatic increase from just seven in 2000.

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