Social Finance Round Up: Call for Papers at Academic Conference on Responsible Investment

SocialFinance.ca produces a weekly round up featuring social finance related news, insights, job openings, and events. We source the content for these round ups from Twitter, an RSS reader, and directly from our community of social finance practitioners. Below is our round up for the weeks of February 13, 2012 and February 27, 2012.

Recently on SocialFinance.ca

Jana Svedova published Financing Social Returns in Southeast Asia:Barriers on February 14th, 2012

Jana Svedova published Financing Social Returns in Southeast Asia: Synergy Social Ventures on February 15th, 2012

Sara Lyons published Social Impact Bonds May be Coming to Ontario: Celebrations and Cautions on February 17th, 2012

Ryan MacLean published Video: Catherine Clark on Social Impact Assessment on February 18th, 2012

Carissa Vados published Redefining Risk in Impact Investing on Feb 20, 2012

Ryan MacLean published Lessons from Jonathan Greenblatt at the NYU Social Innovation Symposium on February 21, 2012

Tim Masson published Learning from the B(enefit) Corp Assessment on February 22, 2012

Jocelyn Ling published NYC Pipeline Fellows: So, you want to be an angel investor? on February 24, 2012

Canadian and International News

The EBD Group announced the inaugural Partnering for Global Impact conference, which aims to provide an effective platform for collaboration between impact investors, philanthropists, social entrepreneurs and organizations looking to support and deliver social impact around the world.

InSight at Pacific Community Ventures and the Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI) at Harvard University have received a grant of $1 million from The Rockefeller Foundation to continue work in policy innovation on private investment for public good.

A call for papers has been issued for The Principles for Responsible Investment and the Canadian Business and Ethics Research Network (CBERN)’s Fifth Annual Academic Conference on Responsible Investment, taking place this October in Toronto. Deadline for submissions is April 30th.

Vancity has announced The Good Money™ Impact Venture Challenge for students and recent graduates building businesses that create positive change. Deadline to apply is March 16th.

Betsy Martin and Ann Jackson have launched a new firm, Jackson/MartinReimagine Investment to help Canadian foundations, institutional investors, individuals and families mobilize capital in ways that make a positive impact.

A Toronto start-up has launched uniiverse, an online person-to-person marketplace for services and activities. The site is built on the “sharing economy”, with users offering cooking classes, rent out their power tools or organize car sharing.

Microfinance has taken off in China, growing almost 64 per cent over last year and employing over 47,000 people.

But on the other hand, new total social finance in China– a measure that includes bank loans, off balance sheet lending and funds raised through the bond and equity markets – fell 45% compared to a year ago.

Muhammad Yunus is expanding his joint venture companies with global brands Adidas, BASF, Veolia, and Watami,to tackle social problems ranging from malnutrition to poor healthcare.

Social Finance Learning and Best Practices

In a Guardian advertising feature, the UK’s Charity Aid Foundation examines social investment options for the, er, lower net worth investor. Get started with as little as 100 pounds!

In their Globe and Mail column, Craig and Marc Kielburger are asked for advice about charities starting a social enterprise. They offer practical advice on whether to start a social enterprise within an existing organizational structure, to create a separate for-profit corporation, or to forget the whole idea.

In an interview with Forbes, Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund, talks about his recent book, Impact Investing with Jed Emerson. It argues that impact investing is transitioning from its initial phase of proving the concept through deals to a more mature phase which will require a social movement to build new systems.

In a special report on Financial Innovation, the Economist looks at social impact bonds in the context of the now much-derided financial instruments that eventually led to the 2008 meltdown. It looks at key challanges to SIBs and argues that no instrument is inherently good or bad, its about greed and excess.

In a Guardian blog entry, Felix Oldenburg, the European director of Ashoka argues that going forward all organizations will need to define their role in social change and attract changemakers.

Examining the regulatory emergence of the B Corp in the US. Are they a response to the psychopathic personality of the modern corporation?

Having reached the milestone of 5,000 ratings, Mercer reports on its evaluations of investment managers based on their integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. They report on the scope of their research and the attributes of those getting the highest ratings.

The Huffington Post covers the evolution of microfinance in Bangladesh, including the emergence of borrows taking on multiple loans from different providers. Surprisingly, this practice of taking on a lot of debt is working well.

Hotfrog CEO Laurie Lane-Zucker is asking what we mean by “impact”. He defines impact entrepreneurship as “social entrepreneurship 2.0”: impact is as much about the ecosystem of business as it is about the individual enterprise.

David Roodman, referencing his new book Due Diligence, looks at the long history of microfinance and argues that while a lot has changed, there are lessons from the past that we need to heed.

An article in Microfinance Focus argues that microfinance institutions are attracting large deposits from local clients, something local banks can’t compete with: high yield portfolios.

Coverage of a Guardian and Ben and Jerry’s organized conference about social enterpise in times of austerity. How do small enterprises compete against big multi-nationals? What opportunities to mergers offer? How does this impact innovation?

Peter Deitz blogs about Social Actions being acquired by Guidestar. He argues that when small start-ups are taken over by larger organizations it allows them to be sustained and flourish, and allows their founders to move on to their next great idea.

Alex Wood argues that B Corps are the latest evolution of capitalism. In the context of rthe ecent global economic turmoil, their time may have come.

An analysis of a crowdfunding competition to gain entry to the Unreasonable Institute has found that that network size matters more than entrepreneurial skill.

The Guardian covers the challenges associated with social impact bonds, particularly for smaller organizations. Are they able to cope with the negotiating, monitoring and reporting requirements?

In an interview, Charles Gould, Director-General of the International Cooperative Alliance argues that cooperatives will be the face of big business in 2020.

Upcoming Events

World Water-Tech Investment Summit 2012
February 28-29, 2012, London, United Kingdom

SOCAP: Soul
March 3, 2012, Hub SOMA, San Francisco 

Social Enterprise Dragons (Enterprising Non-Profits)
March 8, 2012, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC

Toronto for Acumen 101
March 15, 2012, Centre for Social Innovation (Spadina), Toronto

100WHF-Stanford PACS Conference: Alpha & Altruism – Channeling the Power of Finance for Social Change
March 23, 2012, Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston, MA

Oxford Jam ’12
March 28-30, 2012, Oxford, United Kingdom

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Impact Days
April 2-3, 2012, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Powering deals with purpose – Partnering for Global Impact 2012
July 9-10, Lugano, Switzerland

Did we miss any news, insights, or events? Use the comment form below to add to this round up.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/benimoto/603815615/

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