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Need help on an impact investing question? Work with Duke MBA students this year

Posted By Carrie Gonnella, The Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke, Thursday, July 19, 2018
Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018

The CASE i3 Consulting Practicum (CASE i3CP) offers your organization the opportunity to engage with a team of carefully selected MBA students from Duke University on an impact investing question you are currently addressing.  You benefit from the passion, fresh perspective, independence, and technical expertise our students bring to the CASE i3CP.  Our students benefit from the opportunity to apply their academic learning to an of-the-moment issue in the impact investing space.

How it works:  We select 5 to 7 impact investing-related projects annually and match each client with a select team of Duke University Fuqua School of Business MBA students.  Teams spend on average 400 person-hours researching, analyzing, and making actionable recommendations that they incorporate into client deliverables.  Teams work remotely with you and are directly supervised by Cathy Clark, Duke faculty member and Director of CASE i3.

Previous clients and projects:  We're proud to have a 100% client satisfaction rate over the last 3 years.  Some of our 30+ previous clients include Calvert Impact Capital, World Economic Forum, Investors' Circle, SJF Ventures, Mercy Corps, Big Path Capital, and more.  You can read a Q&A with one of last year's clients, Quantified Ventures, here.  Some of our past projects have related to investment landscaping, impact assessment, product formation, and deal and industry diligence.

Final student deliverables remain confidential to the client, but a few of our clients have already gone public with the work our students did for them.  You can find a blog post by SJF Ventures here and from Investors' Circle's PCC fund here.

We're thrilled with the responses we've received from clients:  

  • “The CASE i3 Team was a dream to work with.  They were curious, diligent, and rigorous in their research and analysis – always ensuring that the work would be helpful and relevant to our organization in the long run.” – Calvert Impact Capital
  •  “We benefited greatly from the CASE i3 team’s diverse skill set and self-directed approach in analyzing opportunities for expansion.”  – Mercy Corps Social Venture Fund

How to apply:  Applications are open until August 31, 2018 to work with our MBA students over the 2018-2019 academic year.  To find more information on the work timeline and the online application, click here.  Email Carrie Gonnella at carrie.gonnella@duke.edu with any questions.

Tags:  Access to Finance  capacity development  education  finance  impact investing  impact investment  MBA  mentoring 

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Collaborate to make green mainstream

Posted By Leanne Feris, Fetola, Monday, February 26, 2018
Updated: Monday, February 26, 2018

Collaborate to make green mainstream

Dear friends and colleagues!

Are you keen to participate in our ecosystem, working to create a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable way of living, and doing business?

Have you heard of GROUNDSWELL Africa – Fetola’s new initiative to help solve environmental and social challenges by supporting viable business and social enterprise solutions? Targeting  water scarcity, resource efficiency and waste management, phase one of the drive to ‘make green mainstream’ is supported by seed funding from J.P.Morgan. It will take 30 entrepreneurs through an intensive growth program, and assist hundreds of others through the GROUNDSWELL helpdesk.

Fetola’s reputation is built on growing the economy and creating jobs, by building businesses that last. We invite your help to make sure this happens in the ‘green sector’.

How you fit in

Are you one of the skilled and passionate organisations or individuals in industry, government and research agencies that already work in the water scarcity, resource efficiency and waste management sector? Would you like to collaborate with like-minded people for mutual benefit, stimulating engagement and tangible results?

GROUNDSWELL is an opportunity:

·       to identify potential providers for your business;

·       to give back by helping young entrepreneurs (and to test the waters as a mentor if you haven’t done this before);

·       to talk to young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and offerings;

·       to showcase your business offering;

·       to spot potential partnerships; and

·       to create corporate enterprise and supplier development sponsorship packages.

 

Four ways to engage

Please let us know if you are keen to engage in the ecosystem as:

1.     Programme Advisory:  As external sounding board on an ad-hoc basis, when sector-specific needs and challenges arise. 

2.     Support to entrepreneurs: Providing sector-specific knowledge to the training and group mentoring taking place over the next 18 months. For example procurement opportunities, industry challenges and technical / legislative roadblocks.

3.     Volunteer mentoring:  Sector-specific support to supplement the business mentors.

4.     Networking & ecosystem events: Meet the entrepreneurs and engage in broader industry forums.

To register your interest in any of the opportunities, click here, or read more about it here. If you’d like to apply to the GROUNDSWELL programme, click here.

Alternatively, please pass on this opportunity to those in your network who might benefit.

Tags:  Acceleration  entrepreneurship  Environment  mentoring  Scale  sustainability  water 

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Three Powerful Tools for Fintech Practitioners

Posted By Jane Del Ser, Bankable Frontier Associates, Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

By David del Ser

(Watch our video)

Since we launched the Catalyst Fund in 2015, we have helped 15 fintech entrepreneurs deploy novel approaches to bring products and services to their customers. We have distilled the successful patterns and behaviors we have observed into toolkits and posts for those considering fintech methods for their businesses, whether they be startups or established players.


At a high level, successful fintech startups adopt principles of Design, Risk Management and Product Management, and also put modern technologies like smartphones, artificial intelligence and cloud computing at the core of their value propositions. At successful fintech startups Designers, Product Managers, CEOs and Engineers reinforce each other in multidisciplinary teams to explore the overlap between what customers find desirable, what engineers can build, and what the business requires to grow.

Design

The function of Design is to represent the voice of the customer at all times to make sure a company stays centered on what matters most. Design is not a one-off process. In the spirit of customer validation, designers keep tight feedback loops with customers throughout the product development process, from early prototypes to usability testing of new features.


Through user research (UX) techniques like online surveys and one-one-one interviews, designers invest heavily during initial stages in order to know their customers like the back of their hand; what are their problems and pain points, and how can their company help? In fact, designers segment customers into personas to allow the team to constantly keep in mind different user profiles and needs.


Aesthetics matter. Designers work hard to perfect a product’s UI and its look and feel, so it can live up to the high expectations created by WhatsApp or Google. But great design goes beyond just user research and visuals during early product design stages. Successful inclusive fintech startups map out the Customer Journey and Service Blueprint in detail to fully understand the perspective of the user each time they  interact with the company.


Ultimately, great design creates trust, that elusive quality that all startups are chasing and that distinguishes them from their competitors. We’ve captured our lessons for startups to build trust with their customers through their products or services in our Design for Trust Toolkit.


Product Management

But designers can’t work in isolation; they need someone to lead the orchestra - and that’s where a product manager comes in. The PM takes a big picture view and works to ensure that designers, engineers and marketers all work towards the same goal. Crucially, she makes sure the product or service goal is backed by data and evidence. She keeps the whole process nimble through quick agile iterations focused on the activities of users, from initial onboarding to the retention phase. For example, using A/B Testing and usage analytics she captures details of how each users is interacting with every screen to inform engagement.


The effective product manager is very focused on the key metrics for the business, such as customer lifetime value or acquisition costs. She also works hard to explore the best channels to find new customers, including viral referrals and social media. As an example, our portfolio company Destacame has seen lead acquisition costs dropping to less than $3 through these types of digital channels. We explore some of the different tools and frameworks to help startups focus as they chart their journey from idea, to minimum viable product (MVP) and growth in our upcoming product/market fit toolkit.

Modern Technologies

And finally, you can’t have good fintech without the “tech” that is enabling these new approaches.


Most important are the smartphones, which run fintech apps and also act as channels to find and interact with users. For instance, several of our startups use WhatsApp to offer customer support and drive virality, communicating with users in the way they prefer. Smartphones can also be used to generate and capture user data, which is particularly valuable when targeting low-income consumers who traditionally have been anonymous. In that vein, our portfolio company Smile Identity validates and authenticates customer identities using selfies taken on their phones.


In addition machine learning and other artificial intelligence systems can improve customer value propositions and to automate internal processes like credit scoring using data from smartphones and other new sources like satellites. As an example, our portfolio company ToGarantido is exploring chatbots for sales of their insurance policies and customer support. Harvesting is using satellite data to understand credit and insurance risk with just a GPS read. Worldcover doesn’t even need customers to file a claim as their satellite systems award them automatically.


And software engineering helped Escala and Paygo Energy to automate most of their back-office processes to be responsive to their customers. It is easier and more affordable than ever for startups to leverage affordable SaaS solutions to architect their systems. Likewise, cloud computing is also a powerful technology that offers simplicity, lower costs and flexibility. There is no need to commit capital to purchase hardware and the team requires less engineering talent to keep the servers going.

Conclusion

In our experience, companies that harness the powerful combination of design, product management and modern technologies create better and more tailored value propositions. That makes for happier customers, which is what makes businesses thrive. By driving more usage, the fintech triad can create more impact in low-income populations. And digital channels and automated processes can significantly lower costs of serving customers, allowing for expansion to new markets and reducing exclusion.


Learn more by joining us for our webinar on the Catalyst Fund toolkits during the ANDE Sector Update call in January. Register here.


Tags:  Acceleration  accelerator  accelerators  Africa  ANDE Africa  Base of the Pyramid  brazil  Business Models  capacity development  early stage ecosystem  emerging markets  entrepreneurship  finance  financial inclusion  fintech  Grants Rockefeller  impact investing  impact investment  inclusive innovation  India  India; ANDE members  innovation  Kenya  Latin America  mentoring  Mexico  SGBs; accelerators; East Africa  smaholder farmers  smes  social enterprise  social entrepreneurship  social innovation  webinar  West Africa 

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TBC Accelerator Programme - Deadline for Applications 30th April!

Posted By Claire Balbo, Toilet Board Coalition, Thursday, April 13, 2017
 BE A PART OF THE #NEXTBIGTHING!

The Toilet Board Coalition is a business platform enabling private sector engagement; connecting large and small companies through their Toilet Accelerator; and ensuring close collaboration between private, public and non-profit sectors, with the common goal to accelerate the business of sanitation for all. It was formed in 2014 by four corporate members — Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, Firmenich, and Lixil, together with leading international organisations, development banks and sanitation sector experts. 

For more information on the Toilet Board Coalition, visit our website.

In 2016 we launched our corporate accelerator programme, The Toilet Accelerator,  to facilitate private sector engagement and bespoke mentorship to sanitation businesses and entrepreneurs serving low-income markets. The Toilet Accelerator works with promising sanitation business models that have the potential to overcome current barriers to access, use and adherence at scale. More than toilets alone, we are supporting commercially viable businesses at every point in the sanitation value chain including circular economy waste management models, digital and mobile applications for sanitation and e-health.

Last Call for applications - deadline 30 April 2017
If you have any questions, shout out to Claire Balbo: balbo@toiletboard.org
THE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY OF THE DECADE
#WeCantWait

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  accelerator  entrepreneurship  mentoring  sanitation  SGB 

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Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Lieberman to Speak at ANDE 2016

Posted By Patricia Haines, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, Monday, September 19, 2016

Andrew Lieberman, New Programs Director at Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, will speak about best practices for mentorship at a breakout session at ANDE 2016 (Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs), the annual conference for the global membership network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets, taking place in Leesburg, Virginia, September 26-28, 2016.

 

Lieberman is the co-author of two white papers on social entrepreneurship: "The GSBI Methodology for Social Entrepreneurship: Lessons from 12 Years of Capacity Development with 365 Social Enterprises" and "Universal Energy Access: An Enterprise System Approach."

 

Panel Title: Mentorship-Best Practices and Lessons Learned

When: Tuesday, September 27th, 2016, 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Where: ANDE 2016, Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Virginia; Small Group Breakouts #2

What: Mentorship is a great way of providing technical assistance for SGBs (small and growing businesses) by linking seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals with SGBs to guide their leadership as they address growth challenges. There are several frameworks that have been developed to provide mentorship. This session will explore the best practices and lessons learnt from employing these frameworks.

 

Panel Members:

Moderator: Rob Schneider, USAID

Panel Participant: Andrew Lieberman, Miller Center

Panel Participant: Pradeep Suthram, Ripplework

 

For More Information:

Pat Haines, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, phaines@scu.edu, 408-551-7118

Colleen Martell, Martell Communications for Miller Center, cmartell@martellpr.com, 408-832-0147

 

Tags:  GSBI  Lieberman  mentoring  Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship 

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Announcing a New Impact Investing “Hard Skills” 2-Day Clinic: Financial Analysis and Modeling for Social Businesses, Projects and Impact Investing Funds

Posted By Erina McWilliam-Lopez, Center for Social Impact Learning at the Middlebury Institute of Internationa, Friday, April 8, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
What hard skills are required for a career in the impact investing? For starters, you are going to need to know the difference between debt and equity. You must be able to understand financial statements and how to create a financial model, analyses, and forecasting.

What is a social enterprise? What does “impact” really mean? The “impact space” spans across all industries. It is an exciting new approach that uses finance and business as a tool to address pressing environmental and social needs. Many purpose-driven people have worked “close to the impact” through the Peace Corps, or with a local nonprofit. However, the essential frameworks for social business design can be challenging to distinguish for those who have little or no background in basic finance.

We’ve designed a 2-day intensive clinic focused on the essential frameworks for financial analysis and modeling for social impact. The clinic is a comprehensive introduction that will break down key concepts. It has been designed as a primer to the Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) certificate training in social enterprise management and impact investing.

The clinic takes place the weekend prior to the upcoming FMS Monterey certificate training—June 4 & 5, 2016. It is ideal for incoming FMS participants as well as past alums who lack a solid background in finance. This course is also an excellent opportunity for professionals interested in gaining a foundational starting point for understanding how impact investing and social enterprise works. Check out the schedule for a break down of each day.

Workshop Fee: $450 (special pricing available for FMS participants)

To apply, submit your information here – https://fms1.typeform.com/to/x0JSWn

Course Instructor

Kim Kastorff founded both Kimpacto, Inc. and Global Success Fund, after many years in banking, investments, social responsibility & education, and understanding that social entrepreneurs & global businesses need affordable financial services, funding and greater collaboration, plus the increasing importance to demonstrate social impact. Today, there is an increasing trend for ‘Maximizing financial + social impact.’  Kimpacto further supports impact investors in connecting their personal mission with impact funds and social investment opportunities.

Kim’s goal is to promote financial inclusion and push for a more educated and financially sustainable global environment.  As a Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corporation, Kimpacto, Inc. is held to our global mission and a higher level of social, environmental, community and governance standards.
Kim is fluent in English & Spanish and brings her global finance, investment banking and Big 4 Consulting experience (U.S., Europe & Latin America) and holds an MBA in Finance, and a Masters in Research – Impact Investing and FINRA Securities Licenses (7, 63, 65).

THE CENTER FOR SOCIAL IMPACT LEARNING (CSIL) was founded at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in July 2014 to proactively advance millennial engagement in the emerging fields of Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing through three interrelated lenses: Academic, Experiential, and Action Research.

CSIL stands out among today’s impact-driven career programs because it’s designed to serve the full spectrum of emerging social entrepreneurs—from undergraduates to graduate students to accomplished professionals, offering them both valuable learning experiences in the social enterprise field and seamless transitions from one stage of professional development to the next. With a focus on social enterprise management and impact investing, CSIL offers world-class experiential learning opportunities including a unique career launchpad program named the Ambassador Corps, and the award-winning Frontier Market Scouts fellowship and training program.  CSIL acts as a vehicle for positive impact in communities around the world by partnering with small and growing social sector businesses and responsible investment funds seeking new talent, and then matching them with globally-minded and diversely-skilled professionals.  Visit go.miis.edu/csil

Programs

TheFrontier Market Scouts Fellowship Program
An award winning two-week certificate training program and corresponding social sector fellowship opportunity for young professionals and graduate students who seek a career in social enterprise management and impact investing. Visit: go.miis.edu/fms

Research Lab
An action oriented research unit focusing on case study analyses in emerging markets and seed state social venture management, with an emphasis in utilizing impact metrics and enterprise risk. The Research Lab launched January 2015, under the direction of Dr. Yuwei Shi.

Ambassador Corps
The Ambassador Corps program connects students to the front line of social impact with unique global internship opportunities.A select group of thetop undergraduate university students from across the US are chosen to do an 8 to 10 week international summer internships. Visit: go.miis.edu/ambcorps

 


 Attached Files:
Clinic Flyer.pdf (214.94 KB)

Tags:  Access to finance  bootcamp  early stage ecosystem  emerging markets  impact investing  impact valuation  jobs  mentoring  metrics and research  professional development  social enterprise  Social entrepreneurship  social impact  training 

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Join IdEA's E-Mentoring Group

Posted By International Diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA), Friday, November 14, 2014
Updated: Friday, November 14, 2014

 

IdEA is teaming up with MicroMentor to create a diaspora-focused community of entrepreneurs and volunteer mentors.IdEA's E-mentoring group offers a platform for diaspora engagement through volunteering, and provides professional development opportunities to diasporas, from budding entrepreneurs to seasoned business experts.

IdEA enables diaspora members to connect to each other and to opportunities to foster development in their countries of heritage. That is why IdEA is working with MicroMentor to offer opportunities for mentorship to our membership. MicroMentor is an online platform that connects entrepreneurs and business mentors. Now you can use IdEA’s network to mobilize your business potential, or to use your business expertise to give back to a budding entrepreneur.

You can sign up to participate as a mentor and help budding entrepreneurs build their skills and their businesses; or you can sign up as a mentee and take advantage of the experience and time our mentors provide to entrepreneurs like you. It's easy and free to join the IdEA group!


Tags:  diaspora  mentoring  mentors 

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Vital Voices 2014-2015 GROW Fellowship

Posted By Emilie Romero, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dear ANDE Community,

Vital Voices is excited to announce that it is now accepting applicants for the 2014-2015 VV GROW Fellowship Program.

VV GROW Fellowship Program Overview 

Vital Voices has launched the VV GROW Fellowship Program, a one-year competitive program to support growth-oriented women business owners to take their businesses and leadership to the next level. The program supports women-owned enterprises in, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa to set and achieve business growth goals with a unique blend of online learning, in-person training, and tailored support services.  

 The one-year program timeline consists of 4 components:

  1. A  competitive participant selection process and business needs assessment
  2. Online preparatory sessions with Harvard Manage Mentor and Vital Voices advisors before the training, that guide fellows in drafting a business plan that they will refine throughout the training
  3. An in-person regional training
  4. An opportunity to access follow-on services such as technical advising, webinars featuring technical experts, business to business opportunities, mentors, and small grants

Who Can Apply?

Vital Voices is seeking applications from women business owners from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, who:  

  • Own a businesses that has been in operation for at least 3 years,
  • Employ at least 3 staff (including temporary and/or seasonal workers), and        
  • Generate at least USD $40,000 in annual sales.

As an interested applicant, you:

  • Are motivated to build the skills and make the changes needed to grow your business,
  • Are excited to participate in a one year program including on-line and in-person training and access to business growth opportunities, and
  • Recognize the value of and participate in the tracking of the growth of your business for up to 3 years through methods such as surveys, calls, or additional opportunities. 

How Can Applicants Apply?

More information on how to APPLY can be found online at: http://bit.ly/1ffl7UQ. 

 When are Applications Due?

  • Applications for candidates located in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean are due March 2, 2014.
  • For candidates applying from the Middle East and North Africa, application deadlines are March 15, 2014.

Please share this with promising candidates who meet the requirements and are located in the regions mentioned.

Thank you!

Tags:  ANDE Members  Brazil  Business  business training  East Africa  Entrepreneurship  fellowship  Latin America  leadership  MENA  mentoring  Mexico  SMEs  West Africa  Women 

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Village Capital - October 2013 Update

Posted By Lily Bowles, Village Capital, Saturday, October 26, 2013

 

Village Capital has made four new investments over the past month, is launching three new programs (in India, Kenya, and the Netherlands), and has secured support to expand the Frontier Market Scouts program. Read below for the details:

1.Village Capital has made four new investments after the close of our most recent programs in India and the US.

  • The "Tech for Impact” program in Ahmedabad,India, in partnership with CIIE at IIM-Ahmedabad, participating entrepreneurs selected iKure, which enables better last-mile health treatment through wireless monitoring devices, and Edsix, which provides quality education for the poor through an adaptive learning technology. Learn more about both enterprises in this recent Times of India article.
  • This summer’s program in Louisville, KY,marked the first formal pilot of our”Problem-Based Approach.”Instead of developing programs around industries or geographies, the VilCap team has found it most effective to organize programs around the actual problems enterprises are solving–in Louisville, we focused on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the agricultural supply chain. One outcome: the two peer-selected companies–Spensa Technologies, which cuts farmers’ pesticide usage through smart insect monitoring, and Solar Site Design, which makes it easy and inexpensive for any home or real estate owner to design and implement a solar project–are building great businesses generating real impact, even though they don’t self-label as "impact” enterprises. These companies were highlighted in a fun Forbes article:"Surprise! You’re a Social Entrepreneur.”

2.New programs launching inIndia, Kenya, and the Netherlands this fall–and you’re invited to come meet the enterprises (dates and locations below).

  • "Edupreneurs,”a program Village Capital is operating in partnership with the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, features 15 top ventures providing affordable BoP education solutions in India. Learn more about the program here; join usSaturday, October 26th in Delhi for our Customer Forum; or save the date for ourVenture Forum: November 23rdin Bangalore.
  • Village Capital-Netherlands, in partnership with Impact Hub-Amsterdam and DOEN Foundation, kicks off next week. Join Executive Director, Ross Baird, to learn more about the program and Frontier Market Scouts-Netherlands (DeBaak Institute), hosted atImpact Hub on October 31st.

3.Do you know anyone eager to get build a career in impact investing? We’re excited to announce that, with the support of Shell and the Hitachi Foundation, we’re expanding the Frontier Market Scouts program.

The Frontier Market Scouts program, which Village Capital co-founded with the Monterey Institute for International Studies and Sanghata Global, has been a leading entry point for professionals into the impact investing sector. Over the past three years, impact investors such as Invested Development, Unitus Seed Fund, and Accion, as well as enterprises in our portfolio and elsewhere have provided an on-ramp for aspiring professionals.

Thanks to Shell and the Hitachi Foundation, Village Capital has been able to expand the Frontier Market Scouts program globally. Starting with this January’s training, there will be three campuses (with more to come):

  • The Monterey Institute for International Studies
  • The Sorenson Center for Global Impact Investing(University of Utah)
  • De Baak Institute(Netherlands)

If you know someone interested in a career in impact investing, please encourage them to apply to the Scouts program by October 15th–link here.

That’s all for now – we hope to see you at one of our programs or events over the coming months, ANDE members and friends!

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  accelerators  ANDE Members  early stage ecosystem  emerging markets  Entrepreneurship  High-Growth Entrepreneurship  impact investing  mentoring  Mexico  SGBs; Environment; accelerators; energy  social business 

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EO Seeking Corporate Mentors for Student Business Owners

Posted By Entrepreneurs' Organization, Friday, July 12, 2013
Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013

Alexandria, Virginia, USA (29 May 2013) – The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) today announced the expansion of its mentorship program to include student entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence by reaching the finals of the EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) competition. Thirty finalists in the 2013 EO GSEA competition will be enrolled in the mentoring program which, as part of the expansion, seeks to match corporate skills-based volunteers from global organizations with local students who run scalable businesses. EO is partnering with the online mentoring platform MicroMentor to help match the student entrepreneurs with mentors. (http://www.micromentor.org/mentor/global-student-entrepreneurship-awards) EO is also expanding the pool of mentors available to the GSEA students and public through a corporate outreach campaign. The program expansion is partially funded by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).

EO has been building the world's most influential community of entrepreneurs for more than 25 years, and is committed to recognizing and rewarding the emerging student entrepreneurs who are bringing innovation, enthusiasm, and drive to the world economy. EO is enhancing that commitment with mentorship, which is a key component to supporting emerging entrepreneurs. A recent Ernst & Young survey, Nature or Nurture, cited mentorships as the second most important source of learning (at 26%, just below higher education at 30%) among the factors which provide entrepreneurs with the skills needed to build successful businesses.

"The expansion of the popular and proven EO Mentorship program to include these students from around the world will greatly impact the success of the finalists for at least a year after the competition. We are reaching beyond our own membership to add outside corporate industry experts who have experience that will inspire and guide these future business leaders,” said Dan Heuertz, EO's Emerging Committee Chair, President and CEO of F & B Partners, and EO Chicago member. "We identified the growing trend of volunteerism in the corporate environment, and aligned it with an opportunity to engage experienced corporate leaders who offer a wealth of knowledge in mentorships. With this program expansion, EO is offering a value-added program to CSR managers, which provides a triple bottom line of benefits: to the company, the employee, and the student mentee.”

Incoming EO Global Board Chair Rosemary Tan, Owner of real estate development company Palam Mesra Sdn Bhd and EO Malaysia member, notes that the expansion of the program fits the EO 2013 call to action of Engage the World. "As successful business leaders, EO members are eager to give back to their communities and to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. One of the most valuable ways we can do this is to share our experience. Mentorship is a high-impact method for increasing business success.”

Randall Kempner, Executive Director of ANDE, stated that "the expansion of the EO mentoring program will build capacity for the SGB sector in emerging markets, by recruiting mentors from internationally-based companies which have employees who can interact locally with the students. EO's global presence and relationships with stakeholders, and the combined expertise on mentorship with the program partner MicroMentor, were major factors in the decision by the capacity development fund grant committee to support the project.”

The ideal criteria for selection of prospective mentoring volunteers is based on experience founding or co-founding a business, or having C-level experience in a company with revenues of more than US$1 million per year. (http://fs12.formsite.com/EntrepreneursOrganization/form13/index.html?1363701272197 )

The partners are also recruiting skills-based mentors with experience in functional business areas who can help mentees with specific issues, including but not limited to: Accounting and Finance; Human Resources; Financial Resources; Strategy; Marketing; PR and Communications; Social Media; and Technology. Prospective mentor matches for the GSEA finalists will be selected based on the competition finalist pool, and will receive customized training.

For more information on mentoring a high-potential student entrepreneur, please visit http://www.micromentor.org/mentor/global-student-entrepreneurship-awards, email mentorship@eonetwork.org, or call +1.703.519.6700.

Media Contact: Ryan Meyer, Entrepreneurs' Organization, +1.703.519.6700, rmeyer@eonetwork.org

About the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO)
The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a dynamic global network of more than 8,700 business owners in 35 countries. EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. Membership in one of EO's 124 chapters is by invitation only; the average member is 41 years old whose companies average annual revenues of US $18.3 million. For more information on EO visit www.eonetwork.org or call +1.703.519.6700.

About the EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)
As the premier global competition for high school, undergraduate and graduate students, the EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) annually represents over 1,700 student entrepreneurs from over 20 countries. Built on a mission to inspire students to start and grow entrepreneurial ventures, EO GSEA brings global visibility to pioneering student business owners, and offers access to a global network of mentors, resources and connections from the most influential community of entrepreneurs in the world. To nominate a student entrepreneur or to get involved, go to http://www.gsea.org/.

About MicroMentor
EO is piloting the GSEA Mentoring capacity development program with the technical support of MicroMentor, a Social Innovation project of Mercy Corps. For 33 years, the Mercy Corps worldwide team of 3,700 professionals has worked to improve the lives of 14.5 million people in more than 42 countries. MicroMentor is an innovative mentoring platform that connects small and growing business entrepreneurs with mentors. For more information on MicroMentor visit http://www.micromentor.org/ or call +1.503.896.5000.

About the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)
EO is a member of this non-profit global network of 175+ organizations which work to propel entrepreneurship in the developing world. ANDE is a member-driven organization housed within the Aspen Institute, an international non-profit that promotes enlightened leadership. The network's members provide financing and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) that create economic, environmental, and social impacts in developing countries. For more information on ANDE visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ande or call +1.202.736.2298.

Tags:  Corporate Responsibility  mentoring  Youth 

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