April, 2009Archive for

TechnoServe: hand up not handout

The latest story from TechnoServe is about Peet's Coffee buying coffee from Rwanda. TechnoServe programs focus on developing entrepreneurs, building businesses and industries, and improving the business environment. Partnering with Peet's they are working on developing a vibrant coffee industry in war-ravaged Rwanda. Peet's have announced that they will sell a special blend of the Rwandan coffees in their 191 cafés and online this summer (2009). Business Week (May 4, 2009) has an article abo...

Gestures and natural language to operate my laptop?

The popularity of the Wii game console that can sense gestures and voices may it seems, be the way of human/computer interaction by as soon as next year. Microsoft and HP are advanced already. HP plans to incorporate more gesture features into its TouchSmart PCs later this year. The TouchSmart tx2z Tablet PC can already do some amazing touch screen gesture recongnition. A system that can recognize human gestures could provide a new way for people with physical disabilities to interact with co...

The Tao of Sustainability

John Ehrenfeld's excellent book, Sustainability by Design, should be the starting point for anyone thinking about sustainability. With his business, academic and scientific backgrounds, he stresses a non-mechanical approach to the subject and talks about the importance of being over doing. Many in the business are starting from the point of view of curing what's wrong, rather than from the point of view of starting from the heart. Here is his view of sustainability in a nutshell (apologies to m...

Sustainability: what’s in the shadows?

In 1989, the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) articulated what has now become a widely accepted definition of of the word Sustainability: "[to meet] the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The word is much used these days. In the business context, it is often used as an alternative for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), or even interchangeably with Triple Bottom Line (TBL). In any case...

E=R

Knowing that entrepreneurs are the best economic stimulus for any economy, the Kauffman Foundation's "E=R" campaign is driving home this simple equation: Entrepreneurs Equal Recovery. Take a trip to the Real Clear Markets website and learn more, as well as finding many opportunities.

Making a Profit and Making a Difference

Social entrepreneurs take the best of social activism and business enterprise and stir them together seamlessly. The numbers of new ventures is staggering. Social entrepreneurs—enterprising individuals who apply business practices to solving societal problems, such as pollution, poor nutrition, and poverty—are now 30,000 strong and growing, according to B Lab, a nonprofit organization (my company WorkSavvy is a founder member) that certifies these purpose-driven companies. Together, they represe...

Convergence in Business

Nothing ever stays the same. However much we want life to go on as normal, it never does. Business forecasting is often soothsaying as much as science, no matter how hard management science tries to prove the opposite. Using scientific research-based principles to improve an organization's ability to make rational business management decisions may be a useful discipline, but on its own spells trouble. The Neuromarketing Blog is published and authored by Roger Dooley. It is well worth followin...

Opt In Now

Opt In Now is a new microfinance organization that enables people to make loans direct to entrepreneurs in the developing world. When you give your money to OptInNow, they call that "funding a loan" to empower entrepreneurs. With greater support in hand businesses grow. Entrepreneurs hire others in the community, allowing them to provide for their individual families, affecting change where it is needed most. They look for people with the passion to make a difference and a vision for success. Th...