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Solar Sister’s founder on applying the AVON model to solar energy in Africa

One-year-old start up, Solar Sister is using cosmetics company AVON’s model to distribute solar energy in Uganda, Sudan, and Rwanda.  To learn more about the “business in a bag” model…

Slideshow: Inzozi Nziza creates a market for ice cream in Rwanda

It’s an unlikely place for an ice cream shop, and an even more unlikely batch of people to be running it. Inzozi Nziza, or “Sweet Dreams” in Kinyarwanda, is Rwanda’s…

Counterintuitive innovation that works: Five takeways from Stima Systems at SOCAP

“We don’t sell our products, we don’t market them, and we don’t take them to our clients” -  CEO Konrad App of micro-leasing solar energy company Stima Systems. Showcasing at…

How to get a social enterprise off the ground: The importance of surveying the field

So you’ve got the next Great Idea to solve a social or environmental problem; or the beginnings of the next Great Idea — where do you go from here? How…

Peace Direct: Tapping into the power of local social entrepreneurs to build peace in conflict regions

Over the past 15 years, more than five million people have been killed in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). More than 400,000 women are raped…

Nuvana brings social technology and arts education together to inspire youth

Artists have long enjoyed the creative space at the intersection of social networking and technology, using the Internet to generate new forms of art and more engaging platforms to experience…

Mini case study: BlueEngine addresses the need for academic rigor through intensive tutorials

PROBLEM: The “achievement gap” in education is one of the most pressing equal rights issues in the United States: all over the country, public schools students in low-income, largely minority…

How to get a social enterprise off the ground: Making an idea for social change become a reality

So you’ve got the next Great Idea to solve a social or environmental problem; or the beginnings of the next Great Idea — where do you go from here? How…

Mini Case Study: How to recruit top talent, when you can’t pay top dollar

PROBLEM: In 2009, the co-founder of Anza Technologies, a startup that designs and delivers high-quality, income-generating products to African farmers, was confronted with one of the biggest obstacles facing most…

Brooklyn Bridge to Cambodia; Ownership and empowerment at the heart of a water pump sales startup

Lack of access to water is a crucial roadblock in the path from poverty to wealth for many rural societies. Without irrigation techniques, farmers must rely on rainfall that may…

Twitter Roundup: March 4 – Free design toolkits, the Big Society Bank analyzed, and mother-owned businesses

Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few interesting tweets from the last week: Human-centered design work is…

StartSomeGood launches with new crowdfunding tools for social innovators

You’ve probably heard of Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, two of the largest, and most successful, crowdfunding websites. Both platforms focus on raising money for independent artist-focused projects — whether that’s a…

Quench: Development lessons in a startup

International development projects have long been subject to critiques that they are unsustainable, inattentive to local needs and overly costly. But young self-starters continue to see value in bringing their…

Interview: A Spoke to reinvent fast food

Could a jiu-jitsu approach to fast food be the best way to beat it? 24-year-old entrepreneurs David Gumbiner, Deborah Meisel and Ian Sherman of The Udon Project formed The Spoke…