Tag Archives: Social Enterprise

The Rise of Social Enterprise: A Review of “Not Business As Usual”

by: Abraham Sidibe

This past week, the Dingman Center partnered with the Center for Social Value Creation to host a movie screening of “Not Business As Usual”, an informative documentary created by Institute B in 2014 about the transformation of the business world from capitalist to conscious capitalist.  The movie told the stories of several social entrepreneurs who are bringing humanity back into business. Institute B is an entrepreneur accelerator for businesses that put profit and societal value on equal footing as profits. They develop entrepreneurs by providing education, consulting and funding. They are also the same people who helped shape the business cultures of Starbucks, IKEA, and lululemon.


Miss the screening? Watch the full film here.

The film is an incredible resource for those who want to fix a social problem through business because it documents the history of social business and shares the stories of social entrepreneurs who are working to be a force for positive social and environmental change. One interesting thing I learned from this movie is that sustainability metrics continuously evolve. There is always a way to be more sustainable and have lower impact products, starting with the supply chain. Although there is also no way to have entirely zero impact when producing products, there are ways to minimize those negative effects.

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Terp Toolkit: Incorporating Social Impact into Your Business Model

by: Sara Herald

Social impact, long considered to be the exclusive territory of nonprofits, is becoming an integral part of for-profit businesses across the globe.  From huge corporations like Unilever to local startups like Misfit Juicery, generating both profits and social good is gaining acceptance as good business practice.

This shift isn’t necessarily based in moral arguments such as “it’s the right thing to do”, but rather in solid business fundamentals: that’s what customers want.  As more and more Millennials enter adulthood, they want to start up, work at, and buy from companies working to achieve social good.  84% of Millennials “consider a company’s involvement in social causes in deciding what to buy or where to shop” and they report “increased trust (91%) and loyalty (89%) in…companies that support solutions to specific social issues.”

If Millennials expect companies they engage with to have more than one bottom line, how can aspiring entrepreneurs of all kinds deliver on those expectations? The key lies in moving from a donations mindset to an operations mindset.
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6 finalists remain after the Do Good Challenge Semifinals

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By: Megan McPherson

The small classroom setting of the Do Good Challenge Semifinals felt intimate and understated, but the passion of each student shined just as brightly in that classroom as it may have on some grand stage. As each team pitched their eight weeks of social impact to the judges panel, I tried in vain to capture the morning’s energy with numerous photographs and tweets.

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Great startups that are solving the world’s most pressing social issues

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By Adriana Kao, MBA 2016, CellShare team

After the nerves have settled, the Hult Prize, the world’s largest student competition to solve the world’s toughest challenges, has its finalist teams. These finalists came out of the five regional finals held in Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, Shanghai and London on March 12, 2016.  The UMD team, comprised of two grad students, an undergraduate student and an alum, competed in and experienced the regional competition held in Boston.  Although the UMD team did not go through to the next stage of the competition, it was a terrific experience, in terms of exposure, professional and personal learning experience.

The Hult Prize held in Boston, hosted at the Hult International Business School, was fast-paced and dynamic.  There were 58 teams that descended on Boston, from Colombia to France, from India to Nigeria. All sorts of schools were represented and the make-up of teams were as diverse as can be; there were engineers, architects, entrepreneurs, food scientists, bankers, social workers and of course, plenty of business students. It was humbling to be part of such an amazing congregation of people, with such diverse talent and experiences, and all united with the vision to help alleviate poverty in the world’s urban crowded areas.

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Would you choose a cushy Wall Street job or $1M to help solve a global social problem?

The Dingman Center co-sponsored several students that are attending the 2016 Hult Prize regional finals competition in Boston this week. Look forward to more blog posts from attendees.

By Adriana Kao, MBA 2016, CellShare team

The title question was the road in the fork that many Hult Prize participants had to face at some point in their journey. The Hult Prize, created in 2009, is a global case competition that challenges students around the world to develop innovative social enterprise solutions for the most pressing global problems, including provision of clean water, addressing the food crisis, and improving childhood education. The winning team receives $1M in seed funding and continued mentorship to launch their social enterprise idea. Sounds pretty neat, doesn’t it?  All there is standing in the way between your brilliant idea and $1M are 5000 teams from all around the world with equally brilliant ideas.

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EnTERPreneur Academy Profile – Triple Impact

To celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Dingman Center is featuring a series of blog posts about our EnTERPreneur Acadmey, a program to help guide student ventures from idea to launch. The Academy provides members with a variety of resources including startup fundamentals workshops, advising, office space, selling opportunities and seed funding. The Academy’s three stages Idea Shell, Hatch and Terp Startup provide students with specific resources and requirements that suit the level of progress for their ventures.

Our last featured startup is Triple Impact, founded by EnTERPreneur Academy member Abby Murray and her co-founders. Abby is a senior at the University of Maryland who came up with Triple Impact as part of the Smith School’s Social Innovation Fellows Program. Triple Impact won the Audience Choice Award for the Pitch Dingman Competition at last year’s Social Enterprise Symposium (hosted by the Smith School’s Center for Social Value Creation) and is poised to do great things in the Corporate Social Responsibility space.  Read the Q&A to find out more about Triple Impact!

Q: Please describe your business.

A: Triple Impact works closely with a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility department or leadership development team to provide the corporation’s employees a system where they can leverage their skills to support underdeveloped communities. We coordinate meaningful corporate service projects both domestically and abroad that provide benefits the company, the employees and the community. Through these meaningful projects, we strive to transform communities and enrich companies through developing employee leadership, world awareness and motivation.

Q: How did you get the idea for your business?

A: In the fall of 2011, my partners and I were brought together by the Robert H. Smith School of Business’ Social Innovation Fellows program where we were given the assignment of developing a business plan for a non-profit or social enterprise. We soon realized that we all had a similar view: one should not have to choose between conventional and altruistic career paths. Triple Impact was created to be a solution for having to choose between going into a corporate setting or the field of development/non-profits after graduation.

Q: What phase is your venture in and what are your next steps?

A: We recently presented to our first potential client, the R.H. Smith School of Business, which is developing a leadership institute for its top-performing faculty and staff.  We are also registered as a Benefit L.L.C. in Maryland. From a marketing perspective, we have created a website and set up various forms of social media.  We are currently in the process of scaling our business plan to a more manageable size and setting realistic goals for the next year. Additionally, we are working to form strong partnerships with both local and global non-profits as well as organizations in the development field. This will not only be very helpful to us from an informational perspective but it will give us access to communities worldwide.

Q: What drew you to become entrepreneurs?

A: We are all business students with entrepreneurial mindsets as well as a passion for service. As a result of our involvement in the Social Innovation Fellows Program, we saw that it was possible to combine these two passions. Triple Impact is a company that we all truly believe in and we can all see ourselves spending the rest of our careers working towards our ultimate goal: to live in a world where all corporations enrich the world we live in as part of their normal operations.

Q: As a student startup, what are some of the challenges that you face?

A: Like many startup companies, Triple Impact faces challenges in obtaining customers. While we have done extensive research, built our networks, and honed our leadership skills with service projects abroad, we face challenges in identifying ways to convey our value to potential clients. To address these challenges, we have been proactive in seeking advice from investors, professors and mentors to build a plan to not only boost our experience but also our confidence. We are also focusing on understanding our market, clearly identifying our unique value proposition and establishing an experienced set of advisors who can offer advice while lending credibility to our venture.

Q: How did the Dingman Center contribute to the development of your start up?

A: The Dingman Center has always been a great resource and has truly been the differentiator in the development of our company. We participated in the Pitch Dingman Competition this past March and received $250 in seed funding by winning the audience choice award. With this money, we were able to advance our business by printing business cards and hiring a web designer. Through working with the Dingman Center and the momentum we gained from Pitch Dingman, we were able to reach out to our first investor who contributed $1,000 to help kick start our business.

Q: What about being a part of the EnTERPreneur Academy excites you the most?

A: We are all incredibly excited about being a part of the EnTERPreneur Academy. When building a venture from scratch, it is always great to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share the same passion for entrepreneurship. The idea of collaborating with other student entrepreneurs who can also make an impact on the development of our business is really exciting. In addition, having a designated office space where all four of our founders can meet is also a great help given our busy schedules.

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