Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kovin Naidoo, Eye Care Through Social Enterprise

Kovin Naidoo, ICEE founder
Deutsche Welle presents the profile of a South African social entrepreneur, Kovin Naidoo. He earns a living for himself and many others by providing prescription eyewear and eye care services at an affordable rate. The business model that Naidoo operates, the International Centers of Eye Care Education (ICEE), is to be celebrated, as it creates employment and allows for replication, so that many eye clinics are opened and part-subsidized by the government to help fill the gap between the high need for eye care services and the shortage of clinics with affordable solutions.

Naidoo currently heads the ICEE. In 2010 his great work was recognized, as the Schwab Foundation named him as its social entrepreneur in Africa. To view their profile for Naidoo, click here. Naidoo is also an Ashoka fellow. To view his Ashoka fellow profile, click here. Congratulations to this accomplished social entrepreneur.

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Schwab Foundation @SchwabFound
Ashoka @AshokaTweets
Deutsche Welle @DW_English

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Leymah Gbowee Speaks at the Social Enterprise Conference at Columbia University

On October 7th, 2011, Nobel Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee spoke with Harold Evans at the Social Enterprise Conference hosted by Columbia Business School. Leymah Gbowee is the Founder and Executive Director of Women Peace and Security Network (WISPEN-Africa). Harold Evans is editor at large at Thomson Reuters.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Growing Importance of Africa to New Zealand

Author: Luigi Wewege

New Zealand is starting to realize the importance of an emerging Africa and this is no more evident than with the recently created Ambassador for New Zealand to the African Union and Ethiopia position.

Luigi Wewege (on the right),
SEADiaspora contributor and
Senior Advisor at Auckland Tourism,

Events, and Economic Development
with Murray McCully (on the left),

New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs.
New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully mentioned in his September Press Release that appointing a dedicated Ambassador to the African Union and Ethiopia demonstrates New Zealand’s clear intent to increase commercial and diplomatic engagement in a continent of growing economic and political importance. Minister McCully envisions that the newly created position will play a significant role not only in contributing a New Zealand perspective on security, humanitarian and aid issues but also working to open doors to the African market for New Zealand exporters.

African Nations themselves are also carefully re-examining their linkages to New Zealand with several Honorary Consul positions having been created of late with the most recent an Honorary Consul for Botswana in Auckland established in June of this year. With the focus of the world on the Rugby World Cup currently under way in New Zealand there are two African Nations that have qualified. Both South Africa and Namibia have shared strong ties with New Zealand since liberation.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Reliance-Profitability Spectrum

Social Enterprise! The new catch phrase. The world’s top business schools are now fully incorporating it in their programs. Schools of public policy also include social enterprise as a topic in their curricula. In academia and in the aid and non-profit world, social enterprise is a frequent topic of discussion; albeit, during the second decade of the twenty-first century, there needs to be a stronger emphasis on the concept of self-reliance and sustainability for Africa. Further, social enterprise needs to be considered as a business model as much as it is viewed as a vehicle for social change. Such emphasis carries importance for a social enterprise’s long-term commitment to a social cause.

In any setting, organizations can be viewed from several angles. Among the most important are the way an organization is funded, and the impact that it has. For Africa, self-reliance and sustainability deserve precedence. Looking through the lens of degrees of reliance, social enterprises can be placed in three categories on what we can call the Reliance-Profitability Spectrum: other-reliant social enterprises, self-reliant social enterprises, and profitable social enterprises. The last two are more desirable due to the autonomy and financial growth they afford.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tim Cambell's Words to Social Entrepreneurs

Tim Cambell, winner of The Apprentice, is the creator of a social initiative called The Bright Ideas Trust, with the scope of inspiring and supporting entrepreneurs of the next generation. Speaking at the British Library and HSBC series, he offers a few words of advice to social entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of the business and profitability aspect of social enterprise.

Join The Bright Ideas Trust
Follow on Twitter @Bright_Ideas