Our First-Ever Social Impact Pitch Night: What We Learned—and How You Can Get Involved

Net Impact NYC recently held a pitch night with four new startups working in the social impact space. Each startup’s business model relied on a web-based platform to serve as a virtual connector for very specific communities. Fcancer and Agora for Good both use online platforms to connect donors to nonprofits, though each takes a different approach in providing value and communities served. Eat Offbeat and NaTakallam seek to empower refugees through employment opportunities and help them harness skills that these populations already possess. Here’s more details on these awesome organizations–and ways to get involved: As it’s name implies, FCancer’s mission is to fight cancer. Instead of collecting dollars for to do so, the organization helps individuals donate skills to support nonprofits working in this space. Designers, photographers and animators rank among the volunteers who have donated work hours to support the work of nonprofits such as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Agora for Good takes a similar approach, but instead of just matching potential donors to projects, it works to provide the donor with added value in terms of promotion of nonprofits recommended by experts in the field and metrics that marry purpose and performance. Eat Offbeat appealed to the crowd’s palate as well as their sense of social justice. The organization employees refugees to cook and deliver meals whose origins are ‘off the beaten path’ (think Nepalese and Eritrean). Perhaps the most effective testament to the chef’s effectiveness came from the audience that night – an NINYC member who had dined on food provided by Eat Offbeat and deemed it delicious. NaTakallam, or Arabic for Let’s Talk, had also found an elegant solution to employ refugees, specifically Syrians,...

The Intersection of Social Enterprises & Environmental Sustainability

Can businesses do good and be profitable? Hunter Lovins, President and Co-Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and Time Magazine millennium Hero of the Planet, thinks so. On April 11, Lovins shared her thoughts on social enterprises and environmental sustainability at an event hosted by Net Impact NYC, Bard MBA, and MPOWERD, at COOKFOX architecture firm in Chelsea. John Salzinger, Co-Founder of MPOWERD, a New York City-based B Corp, moderated the conversation. There is a “personal case, a business case, and a society case for well-being,” which becomes apparent if we switch the predominant narrative from “he who dies with the most toys wins,” to one that reflects “wellbeing is the key to happiness,” Lovins said. Her latest endeavor, Leading for Wellbeing, brings together business leaders, policy makers, scholars, faith leaders, media experts, and change agents to create a world that works for 100 percent of humanity. On the business side, many social entrepreneurs are working towards this new narrative. MPOWERD, for example, makes clean energy products that are affordable, easy to use, and good for the earth—including Luci inflatable solar lights. MPOWERD wants to empower the 1.5 billion people in low-income countries still living without electricity by delivering Luci lights at prices they can afford. According to Lovins, social enterprises like MPOWERD have an important role to play in helping to solve energy poverty. Throughout the world, 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity. Many use kerosene lamps which can have negative effects on health. “It’s a wonderful idea to start a business, but incredibly challenging,” said MPOWERD’s Salzinger. As an impact company with an integrated bottom line, “it’s difficult to garner investment...

Careers in Depth: Social Impact in the Private Sector

Interested in social impact but not sure how to incorporate it into your career? You’re not alone. On April 4, Net Impact’s Fordham and NYC chapters joined forces to present an interactive conversation on social impact career opportunities in the private sector followed by a networking reception. Many of the attendees, who represented a variety of ages, races, and industries, were interested in transitioning into a more impactful career. The panel of industry experts moderated by Cal Zarin, Founder and Principle of Shared Value Media, included Erin Eriksson, Executive Director of the M?A?C AIDS Fund; Colleen Galvin, Senior Vice President, Citi Community Development; and Kyra Kaszynski, Strategy and Relationship Executive for the United Nations at Deloitte. The panelists provided insights, discussed trends, and shared their career paths with attendees.   On career transitions: The panelists emphasized the value of diverse work experience, encouraging job seekers to play up their strengths. “The best way to work your way up is out and in,” they agreed. Colleen recommended that those with a corporate background use their skills to volunteer for a nonprofit organization. Though she didn’t originally gravitate toward community development, by volunteering when she was unemployed, Colleen made new connections that helped her define her career-path. Even once you know what you want, getting there isn’t easy, and the panel revealed that it is equally challenging to transition from corporate to nonprofit as it is from nonprofit to corporate. While getting her MBA, Erin decided to focus on HIV and AIDS work with the intention of entering the nonprofit public health space. “The philanthropy world is hard to get a foot in the door, and once you have a...

Resource and Central American Program Manager – Busin

Organization Name: Busin Industry: SME Development Job Title: Resource and Central American Program Manager Years of experienced needed: 5 Job description: As Program Manager, the core responsibilities are to support the delivery of pro bono consulting services from our member volunteers to a portfolio of Fast Runners (the small and medium business owners in our program) in El Salvador. We track our success to the seasoned professionals we recruit who provide expert consulting to the Fast Runners. As we expand into new countries and grow our portfolio in existing countries, we need to expand our talent pool and ramp up our recruiting efforts. As Resource Manager, this person will take a leadership role in identifying and procuring experts and Host Companies for all Bpeace Central America programs. Apply at http://www.idealist.org/view/job/KNW24dc9zj74/...

Regional Council Member– Archimedes Project

Organization Name: Archimedes Project Industry: International Development Job Title: Regional Council Member Years of experienced needed: 1 Job description: Regional Council Members support the Archimedes Project by acting as Brand Ambassadors, Fundraisers, and Network Builders, helping the organization reach new audiences and access invaluable resources. Members work together to design and implement projects and events to raise awareness and funds for the Archimedes Project’s mission and initiatives to create market-driven solutions to global development challenges in clean water and sanitation. As a Council Member, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your skills, be the first to hear about, and contribute to, Archimedes Project initiatives, network with other dedicated professionals, and make a difference in the lives of those without access to clean water and sanitation. Apply at www.archgrp.org/lead...