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We need solutions that transform marginalized communities into protagonists, not only social project beneficiaries. What are the ingredients of an innovative approach to increase the impact of a business that is solving critical social problems?

Photo by Barbara Rosner Being an entrepreneur is like cooking. At first glance, we all could try. All we need is access to a great recipe, the ingredients and tools (such as financing, an entrepreneurial spirit, or an online community of mentors) to guarantee a delicious dish in the end. At first sight, yes, it’s easy! But, what if we don’t have the necessary money or the ingredients? What if we don’t have an oven or a [...] More ›

Meet the New NESsT

By Nicole Etchart and Loic Comolli, Co-CEOs of NESsT After nearly 20 years of developing social enterprises, our work and our strategy have evolved to encompass so much more than what we ever had envisioned when NESsT started. At the time, there was philanthropy and there was business, but very few people had the guts to try to combine both. NESsT was founded to champion social enterprises and prove that the model works. [...] More ›

Engaged Philanthropy Offers Innovative Solution for Investing in Social Change

 By Paul Shoemaker, Founding President, Social Venture Partners International Wherever I travel, it’s clear that communities are confronting big problems. Traditional philanthropy of the cheque-writing variety is not strong enough to solve them. Instead, I’d like us to think about what might be possible if we contributed our intellectual and social capital as well as our money; if we pooled the charitable contributions of multiple people and made more substantial grants to organizations that are leading [...] More ›

Retalhar Offers Women in Brazil Dignified Livelihoods

Women in emerging market countries face some of the greatest barriers to earning income to support their families. They are more likely to work in the informal economy, trying to survive with uncertain and low-paying jobs. Thanks to your support, NESsT enterprises like Retalhar in Brazil are seeking to provide dignified livelihoods for women in their communities — offering dignity and hope for a better future for these women and their families. Marcia saw her [...] More ›

NESsT Connects Entrepreneurs with Investors at SOCAP15

One of the greatest challenges cited by early-stage social entrepreneurs is the ability to find investors and secure financing to support their ventures. NESsT’s own research has highlighted how this gap in funding is limiting the potential of many social enterprises to grow and scale in emerging market countries. NESsT directly invests in and collaborates closely with the enterprises in its portfolio to prepare them to gain funding with co-investors, including coaching [...] More ›

Scaling Social Enterprise Impact by Investing at the Early Stage

By Nicole Etchart, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, NESsT The growth of the social enterprise economy in the past two decades is due to its success in addressing entrenched social and economic problems.  The persistent problems of unemployment, poverty, social exclusion, poor social services, and environmental degradation – even in fast-growing emerging market economies – call for new, innovative solutions. Neither pure market-based nor pure public sector approaches have effectively confronted these problems. Social enterprises offer a hybrid response [...] More ›

Social Entrepreneur Profile: Isabel Medem, CEO, X-Runner

Isabel Medem, CEO of X-Runner, a Peruvian waterless sanitation system used in the slums of Lima, is the first social entrepreneur to be interviewed by the Latin American Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) about the impact of its efforts on the local community. X-Runner has been a member of the NESsT portfolio in Peru since 2014. Read the full interview below (also posted here on the LAVCA website). LAVCA: Please [...] More ›

Local Entrepreneurs Help Generate Sustainable Income for Farmers & Fishermen in Rural Poland

NESsT supports social enterprises through start-up and incubation support, empowering our portfolio enterprises to impact their communities through job and income opportunities for marginalized groups. NESsT Poland initiated its first portfolio of social enterprises in 2014, with five enterprises that are beginning to achieve their social impact goals. One very promising NESsT Enterprise is Eko Bielska Kraina, an online marketplace for healthy, certified bio-products made by small-scale farmers and fishermen. Located in southern Poland, Bielska Kraina [...] More ›

Join NESsT at Social Enterprise World Forum, July 1-3 in Milan

NESsT is excited to be a speaker at the 8th Annual Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF2015), which will be returning to Europe in the city of Milan from July 1-3, 2015. The central theme of the SEWF2015 is “Growing a New Economy.” The SEWF2015 will take place alongside the World Expo, and will bring together the most highly regarded voices in the field of social entrepreneurship, social enterprise and sustainable development, including Professor Muhummad Yunus, [...] More ›

Loan $25 to Help Inka Moss Bring Jobs to 15 New Communities in Peru

Please loan $25 to help Inka Moss expand its business and give dignified income opportunities for people in the Andes of Peru.