“Forget Capitalism – Profit will be a dirty word”

Sir Ronald Cohen was interviewed by The Sunday Times which published on 25 October 2017 an article about his revolutionary vision to put purpose at the heart of capitalism. You can download a PDF of the article or visit The Times website to read it online

The organisation

Ethos is a Mexican think tank dedicated to transforming research and experience into clear and concrete public policy recommendations to address the main development challenges facing Mexico and Latin America. Their multidisciplinary and international team consists of political scientists, economists, designers, communications professionals, lawyers, and international relations experts with a wide range of experience in politics, academia, and the public sector. Each member of the team is dedicated to creating innovative and comprehensive research and proposals.

The investment

Interest in impact bonds has increased over the past few years. The impact bond, a financial mechanism that harnesses private capital for social services and encourages the successful achievement of outcomes by making repayment contingent upon success, has been proposed as one way to address some of today’s most pressing social and economic challenges. As of June 2017, 81 Impact Bonds had been implemented in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania. The Impact Bonds implemented to date have addressed different issues, including education, early childhood development, recidivism rates, and health, among others. The first impact bond was implemented in the United Kingdom in 2010 in an attempt to reduce recidivism. Since then, two Impact Bonds have been implemented in Latin America, with the most recent implemented in Colombia to provide skills training and employment support to vulnerable, unemployed individuals.

The impact

Impact Bonds are unique tools for delivering social services, encouraging collaboration between the public and private sectors, incentivizing the development of monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, and focusing on results and the efficiency and effectiveness of social services. The Impact Bond structure may result in a variety of benefits to all parties involved. For the government, they lower the financial risk of testing social interventions with minimal evidence behind them. Additionally, they represent cost-saving opportunities by shifting the public sector towards a focus on prevention programs and linking the spending of public resources to interventions that achieve measurable results. For investors, impact bonds offer the opportunity to achieve not only financial returns but also significant social impact. For service providers, Impact Bonds offer increased flexibility in how their programs are implemented. Additionally, with the support of other stakeholders, service providers can improve their performance management systems and establish rigorous evidence of the success of their program. Lastly, Impact Bonds benefit the general population by ensuring that public spending is more transparent and by ensuring that governments operate more effectively on all levels. Read the full case study  

The organisation

The Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) is a collaboration between ANDE and Emory University designed to explore key questions about enterprise acceleration. With the support of Citibanamex, through Fomento Social Banamex, GALI is working to increase understanding of acceleration and early-stage ventures in Mexico. Since 2005, hundreds of accelerator programs have emerged around the world. Funders, including governments, corporations, and private foundations, are investing in these accelerators for their potential to grow successful ventures, create jobs, and build investor pipeline. Despite this interest, we know little about accelerator effectiveness or how differences across programs influence venture performance. To address this gap, Social Enterprise @ Goizueta at Emory University and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) launched the Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) in collaboration with a consortium of public and private funders. GALI builds on the Entrepreneurship Database Program at Emory University, which works with accelerator programs around the world to collect and analyze data from the entrepreneurs that they attract and support.

The Initiative

Since 2013, the Entrepreneurship Database Program at Emory University has been partnering with accelerators and entrepreneur support programs to collect detailed data from entrepreneurs during their application processes. These entrepreneurs, including those not selected into a program, are then surveyed annually to gather valuable follow-up data.

The Impact

Since 2013, the pace of venture capital has grown, supported by government, banks, and corporations. In addition, Mexico City has become a social enterprise and impact investing hub for Latin America, with a high density of intermediaries that support entrepreneurs. Impact investors often struggle to develop a pipeline and are interested in accelerators as a way to build investment-ready businesses. This report summarizes application data collected from 461 ventures operating in Mexico that applied to participating accelerator programs between 2013 and early 2016. To learn more about accelerator programmes in Mexico read the full case study here

The organisation

In September 2014, the Failure Institute was born as the research arm of Fuckup Nights. Given the increasing amount of documented cases on failure to which we had access, we assumed both the mission and the responsibility to share that information through studies and publications with the disruptive style that has always characterized us. Our mission is clear: We want the Failure Institute to help decision makers make better-informed decisions on businesses, academia, and public policies. Fuckup Nights is a global movement (251 cities, 79 countries, 25+ different languages) where stories of failed businesses and projects are shared.

The initiative

The literature on entrepreneurship and business topics is extensive; however, the focus is centered on case studies of success. Business failure as such has been underestimated as an object of study in several papers. This situation has created an information shortfall in databases and case studies. Our objective is to encourage the study of this subject, and understand the relevance that documenting and researching failure has. A better understanding of why ventures fail so that the lessons and efforts of these entrepreneurs are not lost is vital for preventing others from walking the same paths that lead to frustration and discouragement.

The impact

The failure of the Mexican social entrepreneur is a phenomenon that can only be understood from a multidimensional perspective. In the statistical analysis, a high, positive and significant correlation was found among the causes related to the following factors: entrepreneur, product/ service, project management, the board of directors, resources and infrastructure, clients/users, context, and partners/volunteers. Learn more about the ‘Causes of Failure in Mexican Social Enterprises’ here
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