#19 Social innovator's weekly round-up

Foreign investment food crisis

GRAIN – an NGO which supports the agricultural sector – has found that foreign investors injecting large sums of money into the land of rural communities in Africa and Asia are setting up complex corporate structures to facilitate tax avoidance and large payouts to their directors.

Private sector investment into agriculture has increased following the global food crisis of 2008, which was seen as a positive step by the World Bank, but new research by GRAIN suggests that some foreign investors are preventing the economic development of local communities.

Social investment fit for Millennials

Los Angeles based start-up Nvestly has launched an online social investment platform with social media features that allow users to share and compare returns with friends. The platform aims to make social investment more accessible by enabling novice investors to share information easily and track the performance of their investments in a single place.

Deloitte help boost UK social enterprise sector

An independent evaluation of the Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers programme has revealed that the social enterprises in the second year of the programme have on average seen a 38% average growth in their revenue. The programme offered over 40 enterprises in the UK more than 5,000 hours of professional services support.

A decade of innovation at Oxford

This month marks the 10th anniversary of Skoll Scholars at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. The Skoll scholarships provide financial support to up to five students a year to join the Oxford MBA, which is focussed on developing entrepreneurial solutions to urgent social and environmental challenges.

Shared innovation space opened in Canada

Over $400,000 worth of investment from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and London Life has been used to purchase a new Social Innovation Shared Space that will be used to bring together Ontario's "community changemakers". The space will host workshops, classes and events to encourage the sharing of knowledge and the development of solutions to Canada's social and environmental issues.

£1.5m funding to source tech savvy social entrepreneurs

A new start-up accelerator programme – launched by The Key Fund, The RSA & Dotforge – is offering UK-based entrepreneurs who are using technology to create positive social change £30,000 and the resources needed to help them develop their business. The programme has received funding from the Cabinet Office’s Social Incubator Fund and is managed by Big Lottery Fund. Applications for the two accelerator programmes being run in 2015 are open until Novermber 17th. 

Sweden's start-ups are changing the world

Skåne, the southernmost region of Sweden, has developed into a hub for global innovation in recent years. Hundreds of start-ups, such as eDiabeat, have emerged from the district. eDiabeat is an app designed to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes. 

UK National Business Awards announce 2014 finalists

The finalists for the Ashbridge Business School Leader of the Year award – one of the most prestigious accolades at the UK National Business Awards have been announced. The award recognises the personal imprint of the UK’s most high profile leaders on the culture and success of their organisations.


Photo credit: Antoine Beauvillain