We had our first LIAA Social Impact Investing Webinar: Lauder Social Impact Entrepreneur Practitioner Personal Stories on June 12th.
Five alumni with extensive experience in founding social impact ventures shared their experience of how they have tried to make the world a better place, and what lessons they have learnt along the way. From Hong Kong to Sao Paulo to London to Utah, these alumni have been helping countless organizations and individuals all over the world. What makes their work most remarkable is the amount of time they have spent in trying to create sustainable business models and their keen attempts to measure and maximize the efficiency of their giving.
Their presentation was very informative and insightful. I highly recommend you listen to a replay of the webinar if you missed. Here is a link to listen to the whole webinar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiEodlOcI1g
Alternatively, should you want to listen to only some of the speakers, here are links to specific presentations.
First, Alvin Lam discussed the development of venture philanthropy in Asia (with focus on Hong Kong), and how to bring private equity disciplines to venture philanthropy, and how venture philanthropy can help promote social entrepreneurship. He reviewed examples of successful social enterprises – finding sustainable business models. https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ty6h9gjgqnzgzz/alvinlam.mp4?dl=0
Then, Evelyn Windhager Swanson introduced the approach that Technoserve (TNS) uses to create sustainable investing by becoming the go to organization for social impact consulting for many governments, AID organizations and foundations when it comes to designing & implementing programs. She highlighted their approach with a few examples such as the Partnership with Clinton/Bush foundation, USAID & Coke’s juice division which helped revitalize the mango production in Haiti after a major earthquake. She also highlighted their work with Nespresso to create the first South Sudanese coffee exports. https://www.dropbox.com/s/dckyiwum2vvxa4c/evelynwindhaggerswanson.mp4?oref=e&n=386378360
Rosalind Copisarow focused her presentation on how to create transformational social and economic impact within for profit and Not-for-Profits organizations. She illustrated her approach by highlighting her work with the base of the human pyramid, and how the billion people earning less than $2 per day while apparent beneficiaries of charity actually represent a great consumer market opportunity. Her many examples of the poor bootstrapping themselves into the middle class was inspirational. https://www.dropbox.com/s/mh07a1d4evarxlh/rosalindcopisarow.mp4?oref=e&n=386378360
Paul Bergman then reviewed the evolution of Miracle Corners of the World, Inc. (MCW), a nonprofit organization focused on international youth leadership and community development from its inception to the present. He discussed the challenges of doing international non-profit work from another country, and the importance of using a tool like RASCI to ensure that organizations operate most effectively and achieve their potential when this type of cultural/geographical distance exists. https://www.dropbox.com/s/pj4ul0294hbgbvs/paulbergman.mp4?oref=e&n=386378360
Finally, Davis Smith discussed his transition from small business owner to CEO of a large venture backed corporation and then to his most recent startup which is aiming to tackle global poverty through business. He addressed the emergence of Benefit Corporations and the need for business leaders to start thinking beyond their bottom line. Davis' presentation starts 1 hour 14 minutes into the overall webinar.
We will be holding our second social impact webinar in the second half of October. This webinar will cover Institutional funder perspectives and experiences. The whole spectrum of debt, equity, public sector grants, venture philanthropy and private donations, will be covered, from both investor and investee perspectives.
I am also pleased to let you know that in the soon to be released new LIAA website we will have a forum dedicated to social impact investing, and we will all be able to share information with one another.
Finally, I wanted to let you know that Sherryl Kulhman, The Managing Director of the Wharton Social Initiative, is kindly inviting us to join her and other fellow Wharton alumni at a private reception in Philadelphia from 4:30-7:30pm on October 7, 2015 at the Argonaut Hotel, a short walk from the SOCAP venue. Hosted by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, the reception will celebrate the launch of their groundbreaking report on impact investing financial performance, liquidity, and mission preservation. They will be providing canapés and an open bar. Space is limited – please RSVP here! For additional details or questions, please email Tyler Hoffman: email@example.com.
I look forward to learning from all of you as we continue to learn from one another how to more efficiently make the world a better space.
Chair, LIAA Committee on Continuing Education and Professional Development