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What Social Enterprises Can Learn From the UN
by Mina Jasarevic
on April 05, 2014

UN flag

Running in NGO circles, one is likely to come across some misgivings of UN activities. Granted, certain suspicion is warranted. The largest international organization is made up of people, and people make mistakes. Even so, most of these doubts can be attributed to inexperience.


The UN has six principal organs, home to subsidiary bodies, programmes, departments and offices. Unless one has direct working knowledge within the system, it’s tough to appreciate the operational culture and goals of individual divisions.


Toward Leadership 2.0: The Banff Centre takes its next leap forward
by Elisa Birnbaum
on March 26, 2014



This month the Alberta Government announced an allocation of $70 million in support of The Peter Lougheed Leadership Initiative, $35 million of which will support the creation of the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute at the Banff Centre.


The new project is reflective of a newfound focus, spearheaded, in part, by its relatively new president and visionary, Jeff Melanson. No question, it's exciting times for the Centre, a phenomenal and most unique place.

Making the Case for the Social Impact Bond: In conversation with Tracy Palandjian of Social Finance US
by Elisa Birnbaum
on March 23, 2014

Tracy Palandijan, Social Finance US


Founded in January 2011, Social Finance US is a nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing investment capital to drive social progress. Focused on designing public-private-nonprofit partnerships that tackle complex social challenges such as poverty and crime, at the core of their work is the development of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), drawing upon private capital to fund projects focused on those challenges, while generating social and financial returns for investors.


SEE Change recently spoke with Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder Tracy Palandjian to discuss the forward-thinking organization she co-founded, its goals and challenges and her uncompromising faith in an innovative tool called the Social Impact Bond.


Find Money for Your Business by Thinking Outside the Box
by Drew Tulchin
on March 17, 2014

think outside box


Industry reports on impact investing cite lots of capital, with millions of dollars flowing into this sector each year. For those running social ventures, however, capital is hard-won. Raising money can feel like a full time job in itself.


As you fight and pinch for every dollar, getting the business off the ground and bringing your idea to the world seems to take a back seat.


Getting Ahead By Investing From Within
by Kimberley Jutze
on March 10, 2014

Leaves on Tree, by digitalart @freedigitalphotos.net


“Keep your eye on the prize” is a common catch phrase that, for the social enterprise community, has come to mean staying focused on achieving your social change goal. Oftentimes, the decision to become a changemaker - and to accept all the sacrifices that come along with this choice - is driven by a life-changing experience that has altered how social entrepreneurs see the world and prompted them to take action.


From this perspective, it is understandable why social entrepreneurs are so passionate about their cause and devote so much of their attention to it.


However, there is a downside to being so strongly focused on achieving social change goals.

The Value of Ideation for an Enterprising Non-profit
by Jonathan Wade
on February 24, 2014

credit: ddpavumba @freedigitalphotos.net


“What business should we operate?”

Is your organization thinking about launching an enterprise? Jonathan Wade explains the importance of ideation in pursuing that goal - and shares some of the challenges and benefits every enterprising non-profit can expect.


Reinventing Business One Trip at a Time: Bruce Poon Tip talks about his bestselling book, Looptail
by Elisa Birnbaum
on February 17, 2014

looptail cover by bruce poon tip


Elisa Birnbaum speaks with pioneering social entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip about his new book, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business. In the interview, the founder of award-winning G Adventures and bestselling author candidly shares his company's road to success, its varied challenges and the lessons learned from running a business that elegantly balances financial success with greater purpose.


The Social Impact Bond: Potential and pitfalls
by Jonathan Wade
on February 02, 2014

social Impact bonds diagram


Shifting the risk of social value creation to private investors


There is currently much discussion about the Social Impact Bond as an innovative tool to generate financing for social enterprises. Anyone who has tried to start a social enterprise—a business that exists for the primary purpose of addressing a social need—knows that it is challenging to find the financial resources to start operations.


This financing challenge is even more acute in nonprofit organizations, where there may be little collateral, nobody to guarantee a loan, and little, if any, operational reserves.


RRSP for Social Good!
by Shannon Simmons
on January 29, 2014

RRSP deadline





Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to RRSP Season.



Understanding Your SROI: Why Context Matters
by Jenny Ofrim, SiMPACT Strategy Group
on January 02, 2014

photo by Danilo Rizzuti, freedigitalphotos.net

The increasing interest in using Social Return on Investment (SROI) as a way to understand and communicate the value that is created by an organization or program has led to important conversations among those who are passionate about creating change in their communities. Government ministries, foundations and corporate sponsors are looking for the social return on their investment to share with the public, donors and shareholders.


Non-profit organizations are seeking to share their outcomes with vulnerable people and the community in order to understand the scope of their impact and to make their work appealing to potential funders.


With so many parties using Social Return on Investment, a couple of challenges have emerged.


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