Global social innovation round-up #03

UK-based bank breaks 2014 social enterprise targets

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) supported more than 4,000 social enterprises to access finance, expertise and markets in 2014 as part of its Inspiring Enterprise initiative. The bank had initially set itself a target in 2012 of supporting 2,500 social enterprises by the end of 2015.

As part of the initiative RBS has also provided skills development and mentoring support to just under 20,000 female entrepreneurs and more than 65,000 young people interested in starting up an enterprise over the past two years. By the end of 2015, it aims to have supported 100,000 young entrepreneurs. Since 2008, RBS's majority shareholder has been the UK government.

India’s vice president criticises new CSR laws

Hamid Ansari last week said that corporate social responsibility (CSR) cannot be enforced through legislation and must instead be voluntary. His comments come after the country's Companies Act, which came into force last year, requires certain businesses to commit 2% of their average net profit of the preceding three financial years on CSR initiatives annually.

Ivy League business school puts social enterprise on the curriculum

New York City’s Columbia Business School has opened the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise – a specialised hub that will act as the centre point for all the teaching and research into social enterprise at the School. The initiative has been launched as a result of rising interest in the sector from both undergraduate and graduate students.

Review to analyse impact of government funding on third sector in England

The Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England have announced the launch of a review which aims to assess the impact of government and statutory sector funding on the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and to consider whether changes are required to better support the sector. The review is to be chaired by Alex Frost from Shared Lives Plus.

Luxembourg pledges commitment to impact investment

The Association of the Luxembourg Funds Industry (ALFI) – the official not-for-profit representative body for the Luxembourg investment fund industry – last week pledged to increase the percentage of responsible investments made across the fund centre. It set out that an ideal market would consist of 70% UCITS funds, 20% of alternative investment and at least 10% of responsible investment with a measurable social or environmental impact.

Ugandan-Dutch mobile phone social enterprise receives US$1m

TTC Mobile, a social enterprise and certified B Corporation, has received US$1.1m in social investment from the ABN AMRO Social Impact Fund in the Netherlands. TTC Mobile, formerly known as Text to Change, promotes positive social change through mobile technology, for example by helping organisations collect data and measure impact using in emerging markets and launch campaigns. 

Global Impact Forum calls for social entrepreneurs to step forward

Applications are now open for entrepreneurs with a business proposal that tackles a social or environmental challenge in sectors including education and energy, to present at the Global Impact Forum held in Zurich later this year. 

Successful applicants will give a 10-minute presentation and be in with the chance of receiving between CHF 250,000 to CHF 5 million in funding to kick-start their proposal. For more information on how to apply click here.


Photo credit: Alain Ferraro