Our international partners accomplish amazing things with volunteers. Read their stories.
Volunteer assistance is critical to enabling our international partners to create change in their communities. Many of them have shared the work they were able to accomplish with the help of international volunteers. Read their stories below.
What is a “Social Enterprise”? print story
July 13, 2012
Invest2Innovate, United States
In recent years there has been a growing interest in the field of “social entrepreneurship”. As consumers are becoming more conscious of how their dollars are spent, and as social issues which were once on the fringe of society are becoming more mainstream (climate change is one example of this), the idea that businesses can serve a social purpose as much as a financial one is become a more commonly accepted idea. Universities have started offering classes and degrees in social entrepreneurship, organizations supporting social enterprises such as Echoing Green and Ashoka have seen an a surge in applications from social entrepreneurs looking for assistance, and major NGOs and aid organizations including USAID are now growing their efforts in this space. Given this wave of attention, funding, and online advances that make doing businesses easier and cheaper than in the past, its clearly a very exciting time to be getting involved with social enterprises.
However it can still be tricky to define what exactly a “social enterprise” or a “social entrepreneur” is. At Invest2Innovate (i2i) we proudly support social enterprises in Pakistan, where we’re seeing great innovation and enthusiasm by local entrepreneurs looking to put their ideas to work to address social challenges facing the country. Need an example? Here’s an in-depth look at one of the social enterprises we’re currently supporting:
EcoEnergy Finance (http://ecoenergyfinance.org/)
EcoEnergy Finance is a non-profit social enterprise working to provide affordable clean energy solutions to the rural poor in Pakistan. EcoEnegry Finance’s key objectives include both job creation in rural Pakistan, as well as increased adoption of safe, clean energy for communities. The organization works with local NGOs to sell solar powered lanterns to communities without grid-connected electricity and who instead are forced to use expensive, unhealthy, and potentially dangerous, kerosene or natural gas in order to have lighting.
EcoEnergy Finance is just one of the social enterprises that i2i is currently supporting. To learn more about our enterprises check out our website: http://invest2innovate.com/enterprises/
And stay tuned – we more exciting enterprise news coming this summer!