Impact Investing and Global Finance: The Big Picture

This article was first published in the Huffington Post Blog. Click here to read the original post. 

One of the interesting and important recent developments in wealth management has been the emergence of a group of clients committed to investing with impact across their entire portfolios, meaning they seek to deliver measurable positive social or environmental benefits with every dollar they put to work.

This includes high net worth individuals, often from the millennial generation, such as Leisel Pritzker Simmons and Ian Simmons, family foundations like the KL Felicitas Foundation, and philanthropic institutions like the F.B. Heron Foundation.

For any large investor, this “100 percent for impact” approach requires a significant commitment of time and effort to identify and vet a range of strategies, from public market investments that screen companies for high performance on social and environmental criteria or emphasize active shareholder engagement, to smaller private equity or debt funds providing capital to companies whose core mission is to create positive social outcomes through their products, services or operational approaches (in addition to linking philanthropic capital to their investments). Investors leading this charge are proud to construct portfolios in which they can identify choices for every asset class and are also starting to reap market-rate and sometimes market-beating returns. These are the pioneers of impact investing and we laud them.

But these especially committed individuals and organizations are just the tip of the iceberg in a larger movement. In fact their efforts build on decades of investing for impact. This includes by institutional investors who have utilized impact screens and shareholder activism as a risk reduction strategy over the past 30 years, and are finding ways to promote the environment through vehicles like green bonds, and through the vibrant work of intermediaries building products with specific outcomes in mind, including for renewable energy, affordable housing, accessible water, better health care, or higher incomes for underserved people and communities. And screening for environmental, social and governance factors is now a part of many global stock exchanges.

There is a lot of talk about “mainstreaming” impact investing, as if the practice is inherently distasteful and requires a special marketing campaign. But when you study what’s really going on in the world of finance today, as the three of us have from our different vantage points, what we see is the emergence of a new kind of capitalism, one that looks squarely to the future needs of the planet and to finance as a means to help achieve them.

As James Gorman, Morgan Stanley President and CEO, said on launching Morgan Stanley’s Investing with Impact platform and Institute for Sustainable Investing last November: “Our clients are increasingly turning their attention to what it takes to secure the lasting and safe supplies of food, energy, water and shelter necessary for sustainable prosperity.”

What are the key elements that link impact investing with finance? In our new book, Collaborative Capitalism and the Rise of Impact Investing, we describe the emerging tenets of a new, impact-driven capitalism:

    • An outcomes orientation: bringing additional rigor to an investor’s understanding and management of the ultimate effects of its capital on people and communities;
    • Transparency: sharing of information and practices to better align the strategic motivations of both those supplying capital and those receiving it; and
    • Attention to constituency: which emphasizes the clear social and economic value in building relationships with multiple cross-sector stakeholders and acting on their feedback.

Whatever words you prefer, these concepts are blending into the mainstream practices of finance, sometimes slowly, sometimes quite rapidly.

As the movement takes shape through the practical implementation of investment strategies, products and relationships that integrate these concepts, we predict confusion about the exact definition or parameters of impact investing will fall by the wayside. For now, the visible iceberg of impact investing may get much of our attention, but we urge everyone to look below the waterline for the big picture — the ramifications for business and investment writ large are significant.

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Ready, Set, Grow! Three insights that may help grow your social enterprise

This post was written by CASE Impact Investing Initiative (CASE i3) teammates and current Duke students Clayton Avent, Aaron Gress, Francisco Jimenez, Jesse Johnson, and Sumit Sharan.

A for-profit forestry social enterprise came to the CASE i3 Consulting Program (i3CP) for guidance on how to scale their business model and attract new capital from impact investors.  The business’ innovation was already attracting awards and press from conservation organizations, but the venture needs $10 – $20 million of additional capital to reach operational sustainability and improve the land of additional forest-dwelling communities.

The i3CP team first interviewed potential investors to understand their financial and impact requirements, then recommended business model enhancements to help the client attract impact investor capital.  Three insights from the i3CP team’s experience could be applied to other social enterprises looking to scale from innovation to operational sustainability.

i3CP Client’s sustainable agro-forest of plantains with mixed hardwoods

1. Do that thing you do:

The default for entrepreneurs is often to Do-Everything-Yourself.  They say, “Cash is low, so we’ll just D-E-Y.”  They end up spreading their limited resources too thin, slowing the growth of the business, or worse, failing to articulate to investors why they are best suited to deliver this new product or service to the market.  The fix is to look in the mirror and ask first, what your business does better than anyone else.  And second, what does your business need to control to ensure the delivery of timely, quality products or services to your customers?  Where these two answers intersect is where you should spend your time and money.

Our i3CP client’s core competency was in developing land partnerships with locals. However, the company was spending most of their resources building forestry management expertise, neglecting to develop a pipeline of new land partners. Based on advice from i3CP, the client has decided to contract the management of their forestry operations to a reputable international forest manager. With their new-found time they will focus on developing a pipeline of partner communities and better articulating the market size and scale potential during investor meetings.

2. Look inward when searching for new funds:

Many times start-ups can attract early customers but ultimately need to take their foot off the gas or close the business when fundraising dries up.  Often the most efficient way to raise money and scale is through internally generated cash.  Looking for self-funding projects within your business model can safeguard against this funding gap and create a virtuous cycle of cash generating, reinvesting, increasing attraction to outside investors, and ultimately growing into a sustainable business.

The i3CP team realized that the forestry enterprise company’s high internal rate of return (IRR) project was lacking interest from investors because there weren’t enough interim cash flows to fund operations and provide early liquidity options to investors.  The team recommended investing in a wood chipper to process the business’ own and neighboring plantation timber residue and delivering it to a cement factory looking to replace high CO2 emission coal with a renewable resource.  The adjacent business leveraged two existing resources: community contacts and wood residue, and allowed frequent and consistent cash flows to fund operations and growth.

3. Measure your impact:

A classic business school phrase is you can’t manage what you can’t measure.  Where this is most necessary is for social entrepreneurs trying to prove social or environmental value created from their business model.  Not only can this help attract initial investments, but research published by CASEi3 in 2013 showed that social entrepreneurs who could better articulate their impact through external ratings, etc. were correlated with higher financial growth.  Valuable impact metrics a) are directly influenced by the company and b) derive more marginal benefit to the business than the marginal cost needed to measure the metric.

The i3CP client was initially promoting carbon sequestration, biodiversity benefits, water quality improvements, and decreased pressure on virgin rainforest, among others.  While many agree these are environmentally positive goals, it was hard to measure and even harder to link outcomes directly to the company’s activities.  The i3CP team and the forest enterprise ultimately decided the primary risk to the community was soil erosion and degradation.  The business proposed to manage and highlight the positive impact on increased soil nutrient levels.  This metric was directly traceable to the company’s activities and already measured during normal forest operations.  All that remained was to clearly articulate this environmental metric as a company goal and report incremental improvements to investors.

The capacity for an impact entrepreneur to focus operations, harvest internal cash opportunities, and measure impact can improve their ability to cross the chasm from novel innovation to scalable business model.

To read about CASE i3’s other consulting projects or to find information about applying for a consulting team click here.

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SEAD Symposium Innovator Highlights – Round 2

This article was originally posted on the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) website. Click here for the original post.  

sead_round2_1This Friday is the Duke Symposium on Scaling Innovations in Global Health!  We’re excited to be welcoming the SEAD Innovators to Duke campus and giving the community a chance to learn about the exciting work they’re engaged in.

Our last blog post featured innovator attendees with operations in India. This week we’ve highlighted innovators working throughout Africa. We hope that you enjoy learning more about the organizations who will be attending the Symposium. If you would like the chance to meet these innovators in person, register for the Symposium here.

Changamka is a medical insurance provider that uses mobile technology and smart cards to facilitate the financing of healthcare services for the working poor in Kenya. Their maternity and family health plans allow customers to set aside small amounts of money over time to cover the costs of outpatient services, drug prescriptions, and consultations when health issues arise.

Changamka describes their plan as “the convergence of the 3Ms — M-technology, M-money, and M-health.” They have sold over 3,000 maternity plans and 12,000 family health plans, and hope to scale nationwide in 2014.

Jacaranda Health’s network of hospitals in Nairobi provides comprehensive maternity care at a fifth of the cost of other private hospitals. Jacaranda successfully uses technology interventions to provide the best care to clients. Patients can use mobile pre-payment services before delivery and after leaving the hospital, they can receive customized health tips and scheduling reminders through SMS.

Jacaranda Health’s clinics are located in peri-urban areas on the outskirts of Nairobi, where the maternal mortality ratio is over 700 per 100,000 live births. They have provided care to over 4,000 women at their hospitals and via mobile vans in their first year.

sead_round2_2LifeNet International partners with local community health centers to build their medical and administrative capacity through medical and management training, a growth financing loan program, and a pharmaceutical supply program that links rural clinics with regional wholesalers to increase access to medicines.

LifeNet’s partner network includes 43 church-based clinics in 14 provinces across Burundi and hopes to reach over 50% of the country’s 108 health clinics by the end of the year.

North Star Alliance operates a network of “Blue Box” clinics, converting shipping containers to mini-clinics which serve populations with increased health risks such as truck drivers and sex workers, as well as providing primary health care to community members. Their “containerized-approach” is standardized and semi-mobile, allowing for rapid production and deployment.

Penda Health is a healthcare provider in Kenya. Penda was launched in 2011 with the goal of bringing high quality, affordable outpatient healthcare services to low and middle-income women and their families throughout East Africa.

Penda utilizes a unique staffing model and a focused set of services that address key outpatient needs in order to bring down costs and consequently lower the price of services. Innovative marketing strategies and local partnerships allow Penda to establish important relationships with the community that help them successfully integrate into the local health system.

Riders for Health provide transportation solutions for health care workers in rural communities of sub-Sahara Africa. They use their expertise in managing the types of vehicles commonly used by health workers in remote regions of Africa in order to increase vehicle reliability and reduce disruptions in care delivery. Their management includes preventive servicing, driver training, fleet performance data, protective clothing for motorcycle riders, and optional add-ons such as pre-paid fuel plans and route planning.

Sproxil‘s award-winning Mobile Product Authentication™(MPA™) solution empowers consumers against product counterfeiting by using their mobile phones to ensure that they only purchase genuine products. Every year at least 700,000 deaths occur from the use of counterfeit TB and antimalarial drugs. With Sproxil’s system, these deaths can be avoided while also strengthening consumer trust.

Read more about SEAD Innovators here.

 

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2014 CASE Award Goes to Living Goods

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CASE is excited to announce the 2014 winner of the CASE Award for Enterprising Social Innovation (ESI), Living Goods!

Living Goods is a fantastic social venture that empowers the poor through networks of ‘Avon-like’ micro-entrepreneurs who go door-to-door teaching families how to improve their health and wealth while selling a broad assortment of affordable, life-changing products (e.g., soaps, fortified foods, cook stoves, solar lamps, etc). These networks of franchised micro-entrepreneurs leverage Living Goods’ brand, buying power and marketing tools, combining the best practices from the worlds of micro-enterprise, franchising and public health to improve the lives of the world’s poor.

CASE is inspired by Living Goods’ tireless efforts to promote sustainable, locally-driven economic growth and access to pro-poor products in East Africa via a model that creates livelihoods and improves health.   Living Goods has shown a commitment to monitoring their impact while continuing to innovate and scale that growth, making Living Goods an ideal candidate for the CASE ESI Award.

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Chuck Slaughter photo

Living Goods Founder and CEO Chuck Slaughter will deliver the CASE ESI lecture on Friday, April 4th as the keynote of the Duke Symposium on Scaling Innovations in Global Health.  For more information and to register, visit http://www.dukesead.org/2014-symposium.html.

Before founding Living Goods, Chuck Slaughter founded TravelSmith, the #1 brand in travel wear with over two million customers, and then served as an advisor with Golden Gate Capital, co-investing in 10+ catalog and retail businesses including Spiegel, Norm Thompson, Appleseeds, J Jill, Express, and Eddie Bauer. Chuck has also been named as a Draper Richards fellow and the Schwab Foundation’s 2013 Social Entrepreneur of the Year.


The CASE Award for Enterprising Social Innovation (ESI) recognizes outstanding individuals, organizations, or companies whose innovations blend methods from the worlds of business and social change to create sustainable social value that has the potential for large-scale impact.  Previous recipients have included E+Co (with E+Co Founder Philip LaRocco delivering the award lecture at Fuqua), VisionSpring (Jordan Kassalow, Founder & CEO), Benetech (Jim Fruchterman, Founder & President), KickStart (Martin Fisher, Co-founder & CEO), and Riders for Health (Andrea and Barry Coleman, Co-founders).   

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Pitching Investors in Global Health: Funding Lessons From Social Entrepreneurs

This post is written by Cathy Clark and Lila Cruikshank. This article was originally posted on the Huffington Post Blog

Over the past decade, business models serving the base of the pyramid (BOP) customers have attracted increased attention. At the same time, major development agencies and foundations have identified the public health segments of the Millennium Development Goals as priorities and have expanded programs to support and encourage innovation in health care for low- and middle-income communities around the world.

For social entrepreneurs working in global health, this is both good and bad news. Good, because there is more support to start enterprises and test their models on the ground. And bad, because once those entrepreneurs graduate from early-stage grants, navigating the terrain to secure capital to help scale their impact is both increasingly competitive and unclear. Several major programs, such as the Grand Challenges in Global Health programs run by USAID, The Gates Foundation and by the Canadian government, top out at grants of $3 million. As these ventures look to raise larger amounts of capital and, in many cases, to pursue models other than grant funding, it is a challenge to navigate and adapt to the needs and interests of different types of investors.

We at the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) have been studying this journey. A new accelerator working with global health social entrepreneurs, SEAD is a partnership between the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), a leading social entrepreneurship center at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and the International Partnership on Innovative Healthcare Delivery (IPIHD), an affiliate of Duke Medicine birthed by McKinsey & Company and the World Economic Forum to help global health innovators and major health providers work together to scale solutions. Together with our partners at USAID and other members of their Higher Education Solutions Network, we at SEAD have been studying the patterns of the marketplace to discern rules of the road.

We just released a new white paper on these lessons. The paper, “Fundraising for Global Health Social Enterprises: Lessons from the Field,” focuses on funding lessons from the global health social entrepreneurs who are part of our accelerator. They are based across the globe in Asia, Africa and Latin America, working to scale their impact through ventures that include providing last mile delivery, operating hospitals and clinics, selling micro-insurance, and using technology to combat counterfeit drugs.

Some of the key lessons include:

    • Pursue the Right Kind of Capital. Just because you want to have private sector capital does not mean it is appropriate for your venture. Many ventures spend too much time chasing debt or equity funding before they’ve done the hard work of pressure-testing their business model, understanding their unit costs as they scale, and building a compelling case for either recurring cash flows or a successful exit scenario.
    • Impact Investment is Not About Cash, but a Long-Term Partnership.Our innovators emphasized the importance of understanding the motivations of interested investors and working to sort investors by their financial and strategic motivations. Many investors in global health in BOP markets are still new to this kind of investing. Having identified an investor that is aligned with your geographic and impact area is just the first step; the real work involves getting to understand what they know, how they think, and what they will offer as an engaged partner over the term of the relationship to support both your business needs and your impact goals.
    • Target your Presentation to What Investors Need. One of our innovators started out with a pitch focused on: 1) what we do, 2) why it’s great, and 3) why you should care. He ended up revising his pitch to focus on questions more important to impact investors: 1) how big the market is, 2) what we are doing differently, and 3) how our company will be sustainable or make money. His company ended up raising over 10 million for the expansion of their low-cost health care clinic network in India.

The initial transition from grant funding to more and different funding is a challenging one. But global health social entrepreneurs can learn a lot from the lessons of their peers about how to effectively navigate the path.

Follow Cathy Clark on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@cathyhc

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SEAD Symposium Innovator Highlights – Round 1

This article was originally posted on the SEAD website. Click here to view the original post. 

sead_symposium_1We are closing in on the Duke Symposium on Scaling Innovations in Global Health! The office is bustling as we begin our final push to attract attendees, prepare our network of innovators for our panels, and organize the final event details.

Attendees including leading innovators within SEAD, senior leadership from our supporting organizations, Duke faculty and students, investors, and health system leaders interested in healthcare innovation will gather on Friday, April 4th to contribute to a thoughtful discussion. We hope that attendees not only leave feeling encouraged but with truly valuable connections. The Symposium includes what promises to be an engaging speech by Chuck Slaughter on creating livelihoods while scaling access to life-changing products, a moderated panel on “smart failure,” a networking reception with our 17 innovators, and much more.

Many of the SEAD innovators participating at this year’s Symposium are traveling from faraway places such as Kenya and India to highlight their innovations, tell their story, and describe the type of support they need to achieve growth to our audience. Each week, leading up to the Symposium we will highlight a small group of innovators participating this year! Round 1 is featured below and introduces innovators delivering care in India – Enjoy!

seed_symposium_2Interested in meeting our network innovators? Register for the SEAD Symposium here.

Arogya Finance: Arogya partners with hospitals and other healthcare providers by providing health loans within 24 hours to patients, approving patients based on a proprietary behavioral test rather than formal system requirements like a bank account or collateral.

Forus Health: Keeping in mind that in India there is only one doctor for every 1720 people, Forus develops affordable technology solutions that can easily be used by a minimally trained technician, thereby making health service accessible and scalable. Forus is also the creator of 3nethra- an intelligent pre-screening ophthalmology device.

Operation ASHA: Around the world, 14 million people suffer from tuberculosis. Operation ASHA created a community based program model that uses local workers in areas with high TB prevalence to set up local treatment centers integrated within existing community resources, like temples and shops.  The efficacy of the program is ensured by portable fingerprint identification system that tracks and compiles patient adherence data and alerts health workers to follow-up with a patient within 24 hours of a missed treatment.sead_symposium_3

SughaVazhvu Healthcare: Driven by their vision to touch a million lives in their pursuit of health equity, SughaVazhvu offers low-cost primary healthcare services through an easy to follow blue print clinic system. This includes a focus on evidence-based primary care, use of a proprietary health management information system, community engagement tactics and highly developed protocols to treat the most common 80+ illnesses.

Swasth India: With over 126,000 patients served Swasth India operates a chain of primary care centers in slum areas with a model that provide a 50% reduction in out of pocket expenses to the patient. Swasth India provides everything in a 150 square foot facility that offers access to a family doctor, rapid diagnostics on site, discounts on drugs, referrals with discounts, in patient day care services and more.

Vaatsalya: Currently operating over 17 hospitals and reaching over 100,000 patients per quarter Vaatsalya has created an efficient, franchise network model that specializes in a specific and limited set of health services that are in high demand in each local community. Vaatsalya was featured on IPIHD’s 2013 Study Tour {read more here}.

Find a full list of our SEAD Innovators here.

 

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Capacity + Capital = Impact

This post was written by Grace Webster, a second year Duke MBA student and student co-chair of the CASE Initiative on Impact Investing (CASE i3).  

As a part of the CASE i3 Speaker Series, Laurie Spengler, CEO of Enclude (formerly Shorebank International), visited Fuqua in December 2013 and shared some of her observations on global lessons for leveraging capacity with capital for impact.

Laurie Spengler pic

Laurie Spengler

Enclude is a professional services advisory firm with a focus on inclusivity among local economies.  Noting that capital and capacity are synergistically linked and financial support alone is not enough to grow entrepreneurs, Enclude seeks to provide financial credit solutions that meet the needs of diverse customers as well as connect small holder farmers with markets for their products, and rural communities to healthcare through mobile platforms.  Working around the world to bring together traditional financial institutions and entrepreneurs in emerging markets, Enclude applies a fresh perspective to disrupt the status quo with innovative, high-value solutions that deliver measurable results.

Laurie noted the recent release of the Impact Investing 2.0 case studies, and applauded these efforts for highlighting the full story of impact investors.  She thought our shared interest in and passion for impact investing is cause for celebration. However, we should not feel too comfortable with these internal successes of impact investing; there remain plenty of people who do not understand impact, impact investing, or businesses generating social good as well as people who think that this is all just a passing fad.  As such, there is a need to build alliances and reach out to explain and demonstrate blended social and financial value to those outside of our circle of friends.  While impact investing is focused on inclusivity, how do we push beyond our ‘small’ circle of practitioners and mainstream impact investing?  Laurie noted 3 ‘gaps’ to addressing the expansion of impact investing:

  • Communications Gap.  There is a difference between articulating an interest in impact investing and actually writing a check for investment.  Even further, for those coming into deals, there is a gap between the purpose of their impact and the actual terms of the transaction that they negotiate.  The disconnect between individual and institutional investors asking for impact investments and financial advisors who focus on fiduciary duty first and last is a particular focus area.  There is an opportunity to educate and motivate financial advisors to put “mission and impact first and last” by demonstrating tangible evidence that highlights successful business transactions.
  • Analytical Gap.  We are limited in the analytical tools that demonstrate financial and social return at the same level.  It is challenging to model the combination of financial, social, environmental, and developmental, returns that an investment can achieve in order to articulate the full value of an investment opportunity.  For many social entrepreneurs and impact investors, there is no existing market or business model to use as a benchmark for due diligence, and this represents a challenge for engaging new investors.  It is not just a matter of developing language for structuring deals in new geographies, markets, and industries, there is a lack of analytical tools to evaluate and articulate the risks and blended returns of emerging investments.
  • Ecosystem Gap.  Very few impact-focused advisory intermediary consultants exist to provide professional support in deal-making infrastructure.  Entrepreneurs are the party generating impact and they often need an advisor to help them prepare to take on an outside investor.  This entails ensuring financial transparency and accuracy for due diligence, evaluating and accessing capital, and structuring a deal that prices capital appropriately.  In traditional finance, an abundance of advisors assist small businesses with deal structuring, negotiating, and executing, but there is a dearth of support for impact-focused entrepreneurs and investors.  As impact investing becomes more professionalized, it is crucial that this level of the ecosystem strengthens and expands.

Inherent throughout Laurie’s presentation and woven through her talking points and anecdotes was the importance of communication.  Communication is needed for multi-national banks to know their audience and be aware of language and messaging.  Communication is needed for entrepreneurs to articulate their social and financial impact in a way that traditional and non-traditional investors can understand.  And communication is needed to bring these two groups together to establish rapport.  Each side must develop a different skill set and align motivations to build the business case for investment and gain buy-in from all agents.  There is a real danger in rushing into business relationships too quickly before sustainable, long-term investment objectives are identified.  As impact investing reaches an increasingly global network for capital and entrepreneurs it is important to adopt a holistic approach for complex solutions, drawing on a variety of services and tools across industries and actors.

Interested to hear more? View Laurie’s full talk below:

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CASE Advisor Ajmera Appointed Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Duke

This article was originally posted on DukeToday.

ajmera 170Maya Ajmera, who founded the non-profit Global Fund for Children while a graduate student at Duke, has been appointed the university’s first social entrepreneur in residence.

Ajmera will engage with all levels of the Duke community in social entrepreneurship and help create a learning environment that inspires and prepares future social entrepreneurs who can turn knowledge into action. The appointment, by Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, is effective for 2014.

Ajmera, who earned her master’s degree in public policy from Duke in 1993,  also will be a visiting professor of the practice of public policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Ajmera founded and spent 18 years presiding over the Global Fund for Children (GFC), a non-profit organization that invests in innovative, community-based organizations working with some of the world’s most vulnerable children and youth. GFC has awarded more than $30 million in capital to nearly 500 grassroots organizations in 78 countries, touching the lives of more than 9 million children.

Among her responsibilities at Duke, Ajmera will be speaking at campus events and in classes, working with students and potential employers in the social sector to foster career placement, collaborating with Duke faculty to promote the inclusion of social entrepreneurship into the curriculum, and developing a network of alumni social entrepreneurs and supporters.  She will also hold office hours to mentor emerging student social entrepreneurs and will coach student venture teams and lead “dynamo” feedback sessions.

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Announcing our 2014 SEAD Cohort!

This article was originally posted on the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) website.

fixing_global_healthcareWe all know that the U.S. spends far too much on healthcare.  17% of GDP?  Individual hospital bills for thousands of dollars?  But is any health system really perfect?  Is it actually possible to build a low-cost, high quality health system that serves everyone’s needs?

In terms of the system level – the jury’s still out on that one.  But if we look a little closer, really taking the magnifying glass to some broken models around the world, we see exciting forms of healthcare delivery bubbling up from social entrepreneurs.  Models that don’t require subsidy, serve patients in the way they deserve, and use technology as a true efficiency. Shipping container clinics providing healthcare to truck drivers across rural Africa, profitable health loans offered to patients in India with no traditional collateral, efficient/low cost health worker and supply chain training to improve health outcomes drastically.

Sound exciting?  We think so!

That’s why we’ve picked these organizations and a few more to join the 2014 cohort of entrepreneurs in the Social Enterprise Accelerator at Duke (SEAD)!  SEAD is a USAID- funded accelerator program run in partnership by CASE, IPIHD, DGHI and Investors’ Circle – to expand the reach of high impact healthcare social entrepreneurs serving low-income populations in emerging markets.

Part of SEAD involves addressing individual organization challenges – tackling access to funding, corporate partnerships, etc.  But the really exciting piece of this is how it impacts the field.  SEAD entrepreneurs are able to help each other, cross-share what works in India with Kenya and meet with government policymakers to work collaboratively on country-wide health issues.  At SEAD, we believe it’s all about investing in what works, helping great ideas scale and ultimately bringing innovative, effective models of healthcare delivery to thousands around the world.

Today we’re thrilled to announce this year’s cohort of SEAD entrepreneurs.  Talk about high impact- they’re truly the ones to watch.

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Calling All Alumni & Students: Reflections on Greg Dees

In order to celebrate the life and legacy of our dear friend and colleague Greg Dees, the Duke community will come together with Greg’s family, colleagues, and friends on February 11 for a memorial event and service. Event details can be found here. In order to include the voices of Greg’s students, we invite all Fuqua alumni who learned from him to share their reflections and memories as outlined below. We’re aiming to create a photo/video/text presentation from these contributions, no more than 10 minutes in length, that can be shown at the memorial event and possibly shared via the CASE blog and website afterward.

To that end, we’d love to hear from you about any of the following:

  • What Greg taught you
  • Your favorite memory of Greg
  • How Greg influenced your time at Fuqua
  • An action you’ve taken because of Greg – i.e. taught a class, founded a social enterprise, pursued specific work in the social sector

Please submit your thoughts on the above topics via one of the following media to Mailande Moran at gregdeesfuquamemorial@gmail.com by Friday, February 7 at midnight:

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