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Posts Tagged ‘Social enterprise’

Published in Microfinance Insights, May/June 2009 (I just realized I never uploaded it here!). Read the article here, or just see the text below.

Depending on your perspective, Sarayu Natarajan either had an impressive or underwhelming first day as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.  As she entered the marble-tiled office, she was escorted to the IT room, where she was given a laptop and related accessories.  She was then provided with a bank account, where her healthy salary would automatically be deposited every month.  She was introduced to her mentor (“Development Group Leader” in McKinsey-speak), who promised her an intellectually rewarding career, while gently warning her of the potentially erratic hours.  She even met the travel team, who would book business class flights and five-star hotels for her whenever required.

By conventional standards, Sarayu had “made it” in the post-college, professional sense of the phrase.  After excelling at one of India’s top universities, she had been recruited by a prestigious multinational firm, a path that was understood and respected by her peers.

So why did Sarayu – along with a growing number of talented consultants, investment bankers, venture capitalists and other professionals – decide to give it up?  Why are individuals moving from a plush professional life to careers in the social sector,1 which are, by definition, not as glamorous or as remunerative? (more…)

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Published in Beyond Profit magazine, April 2010.  Click here for the PDF, or read the text below.  And share your thoughts!

Suppose that you are a socially minded individual with US$300,000 of spare cash to invest.  You want to invest in something socially relevant and, if possible, something unique.  You do not mind waiting years before seeing your returns materialize; as long as your money is helping society progress, you consider your investment solid.  Given these conditions, how would you invest your money?

Three young social entrepreneurs have boldly declared that, for investors with these criteria, they would be worthwhile investments.  Unlike most up-and-coming entrepreneurs, they are not looking for investments into their organizations; rather, they are looking for investments into themselves. They are essentially asking for large upfront infusions of equity, which they will use as they see fit. In return, they are offering a percentage of their annual income–specifically, 3-6%–for life. (more…)

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