The statement made by Ahmad Ashkar, founder and CEO of the Hult Prize Foundation, that "charity alone is not enough," is no longer as controversial as it was in 2009. Today, this idea has become mainstream, as organizations increasingly deploy capital to the world's poorest through sustainable businesses, instead of traditional altruistic charity.
The fact that we're seeing this fresh focus on the uses of capital to achieve social benefits tells us that there is a real opening now for vastly greater collaboration between impact investors and community banks. It's up to us to create a finance infrastructure that enables social enterprises to thrive.
In the startup world, Eric Ries has helped push forward the notion that the goal of a startup is to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. In fact, it's my very favorite definition of a startup. As a social entrepreneur, so too is your job to learn -- not just about your organization but also about yourself as a leader.
Through social enterprise you can make an impact and a profit, a definite win-win and a major reason for its popularity as a business model. But while more entrepreneurs are incorporating social good into their business, the struggle that comes with balancing the management of a new company and tackling important social issues can be a bit of a mystery to them.
Businesses do not exhibit emotions. Neither do products. But humans do. Which is why video is such a potent business tool. Watching someone on video instantly adds an extra dimension - a more personal, more authentic interaction. Video generates more of an emotional response than any other means of remote communication.