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.
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.