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Twitter Roundup – May 21: Pay-what-you-like restaurant chain, The Blue Sweater Challenge, Kiva founder’s new venture

   /   May 21st, 2010Business, News

And we’re back! Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few thought-provoking tweets from the last week:

Last week, National restaurant chain Panera Bread (@panerabread) opened a community café with a twist. Rather than charging money, cashiers offer receipts with suggested prices and point customers to donation boxes.  Customers pay what they like, or volunteer time and pay nothing. If the model succeeds, Panera will open similar cafes around the country and donate its profits to charity.

While there are a handful of other ‘pay-what-you-can-afford’ restaurants in the U.S., Panera–with $2.8 billion in annual sales–is the first chain to adopt the model. Panera cofounder Ron Shaich stepped down from his role as CEO last week to head up the new initiative. Learn more about it here.

Jacqueline Novogratz (@jnovogratz), founder and CEO of the Acumen Fund, a global venture fund dedicated to fighting poverty, is traveling the world to promote Acumen’s work and her book, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World. In a piece for the Huffington Post, she describes her experiences in Nairobi, Kenya working with youth organizers in the Kibera slum to create an award for local groups devoted to changemaking. They moved quickly and awarded six Kenyan entrepreneurs with financial resources.

Hey, remember a few weeks ago when we mentioned Jessica Jackley’s new startup, ProFounder, and its quest for a CTO? Well, the crowdfunding platform for U.S.-based entrepreneurs (think business-focused Kickstarter) made news again this week, with a $50,000 prize won off a pitch competition at the latest gathering of the Summit Series—an invite only community of young social entrepreneurs. Nathaniel Whittemore (@socialentrprnr) wrote an excellent piece on the competition and ProFounder’s future.

Did we miss anything extraordinary? Let us know. Tell us what tweets should be in our next Twitter Roundup at @DowserDotOrg.

2 Responses

  1. [...] to a story we featured last month in the Twitter Roundup—remember national restaurant chain Panera Bread’s pay-what-you-wish concept? Well, according to figures released to the Associated Press, it’s working. Approximately 60-70% [...]

  2. Jailen says:

    Fell out of bed feeling down. This has bgrithened my day!