Tag Archives: small holder farmers

Doing Something That Changes Lives Every Morning, One Cup at a Time….

SEI students visiting fair trade cooperatives in coffee country, Nicaragua

If you are one of the millions of people who drink coffee every morning, consider drinking Green Mountain Coffee, or using one of their Keurig machines. Here’s one reason why.

I was walking up a steep hill in 100 degree heat in Northern Nicaragua earlier this month, with 25 of our social enterprise students, as part of our senior capstone class. We were in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and in one of its poorest regions, when we came upon a sign saying that Green Mountain Coffee, through its corporate social responsibility program, had supported a poor smallholder farmer cooperative with community investments.

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Teaching Impact Investing in High Performance Social Enterprises

Photo Credit, Brooks Canaday/Northeastern University

The idea of “impact investing” is gaining a great deal of attention these days, including in undergraduate education. While many institutions have offered classes in strategic philanthropy in recent years, and of course in traditional business investing for many, we have focused our efforts at SEI on developing educational programs for a new third way of investing. This new investment discipline involves socially minded investors providing capital to both for profit and non-profit enterprises that are committed to efficiently addressing social problems in both a sustainable and innovative way.

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In the Field Update from Kenya

The past two months have flown by here. I originally planned to come here to independently research Kenya’s microfinance landscape—seeking to understand how Kenyans, both in rural areas and in the slums of Nairobi, use rotating savings and credits associations (ROSCAs) and accumulating savings and credit associations (ASCAs) to manage their finances— rather than the MFIs in the country. But then while co-oping in China and thinking about my experiences at Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, I decided I wanted to learn more about approaches to income development beyond increasing access to financial resources.

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A First Hand Look into Rural Poverty in Kenya

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With two co-ops at social investing firms under her belt, Rosie Sharp, a senior studying finance and social entrepreneurship with a minor in international affairs had developed a comprehensive understanding of impact investing and rural agriculture. In August 2011, a co-op opportunity with One Acre Fund enabled Sharp to put her knowledge into practice. Sharp spent […]

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