Author Archives: SEI at Northeastern

Panera Cares Cafés: Inviting Dr. V for Lunch!

Panera Cares 2

Along comes Ron Shaich, founder and co-CEO of Pan­era Bread, and most recently the cre­ator of Pan­era Cares cafés. Pan­era Bread is among the most valu­able pub­licly traded restau­rant com­pa­nies, with more than 1,600 restau­rants and a mar­ket cap­i­tal­iza­tion of more than $5 bil­lion. Pan­era Cares looks and feels a lot like Dr. V’s Indian eye care hos­pi­tals, adding an inno­v­a­tive new twist to the idea of cor­po­rate social responsibility.

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Social entrepreneurship vs. traditional entrepreneurship

In our lat­est research that appeared in the Jour­nal of Social Entre­pre­neur­ship, Chan­tal Har­tog (Panteia/EIM Busi­ness and Pol­icy Research, The Nether­lands), Brigitte Hoogen­doorn (Eras­mus Uni­ver­sity, The Nether­lands) and myself explored the dif­fer­ences between social and com­mer­cial entre­pre­neur­ship from an orga­ni­za­tional per­spec­tive. Indeed, the con­cur­rent social and finan­cial value cre­ation is likely to result from inno­v­a­tive busi­ness mod­els and sus­tain­abil­ity strate­gies that might dif­fer from com­mer­cial ones. How­ever, empir­i­cal stud­ies to date have tended to focus on a given set of (usu­ally suc­cess­ful) social entre­pre­neurs and omit con­trol groups. Indeed, despite grow­ing atten­tion and recog­ni­tion of the social entre­pre­neur­ship phe­nom­e­non, the related research field is still in its infancy, char­ac­ter­ized by a mod­est base for the­ory build­ing and test­ing pur­poses and a lim­ited num­ber of empir­i­cal stud­ies, mostly designed as case studies.

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WEVE MOVED! Please visit us at 

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New Impact Investing Course

SEI New Impact Investing Course

Social impact invest­ing is a rapidly emerg­ing sec­tor within the global invest­ment com­mu­nity in which investors fund inno­v­a­tive enter­prises ded­i­cated to cre­atively solv­ing the world’s most dif­fi­cult social prob­lems, such as extreme poverty, access to clean water, san­i­ta­tion, agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tiv­ity and lit­er­acy. His­tor­i­cally, these ini­tia­tives were orga­nized as non-profits or char­i­ties and received fund­ing from dona­tions and grants from foun­da­tions and gov­ern­ment agencies.

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Social Enterprise Institute Heads to Clinton Global Initiative University

President Bill Clinton & Jon Stewart at CGIU 2012

Launched by Pres­i­dent Clin­ton in 2007, the Clin­ton Global Ini­tia­tive Uni­ver­sity (CGI U) aims to engage the next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers on col­lege cam­puses around the world. CGIU con­venes annu­ally with over 1200 stu­dents, in part­ner­ship with youth orga­ni­za­tions, topic experts, and celebri­ties to dis­cuss and develop inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to press­ing global chal­lenges. CGI U’s five focus areas include: Edu­ca­tion, Envi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alle­vi­a­tion, and Pub­lic Health.

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Reverse Innovation & Social Entrepreneurs

Blackman Auditorium, Reverse Innovation Lecture (c) Northeastern News

Reverse inno­va­tion is char­ac­ter­ized by ultra low-cost, high qual­ity and uni­ver­sal access to address the needs of deprived pop­u­la­tion in urban and rural areas of the devel­op­ing world. Such inno­va­tion is “reverse” when it is brought “back” to devel­oped coun­tries such as the US. The con­cept of reverse inno­va­tion poten­tially applies to all indus­tries, from telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and trans­porta­tion, through edu­ca­tion, to health care.

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