On April 5th, 13 students from the Social Enterprise Institute traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to take part in the Clinton Global Initiative University conference […]
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.
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.
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.
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.