MM Memo 03.24.18

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Each week, we compile and summarize the top articles on corporate social impact, impact investing, and conscious capitalism from around the world, and deliver it to your inbox every Saturday morning for you to enjoy and digest.  

Feel free to shoot us an email with any feedback, insight, tips or suggestions. If you like what you are reading, we would love it if you would share it with your friends.


WHY SOCIAL ENTERPRISE CAN BE A WIN-WIN SCENARIO FOR YOUR COMPANY'S FUTURE

Ideally, a social enterprise wouldn’t just turn a profit; it'd be a business that practices corporate social responsibility, helping the outside world without having to rely on donations or adhere to the same guidelines as traditional nonprofits. Therefore, it's important that if you add socially responsible practices to your business, you must ensure they'll also support the bottom line. Building a business with the betterment of people at its core will pay off if you incorporate a few strategies.


 
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HOW TO MAKE CSR EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY

Do you believe that corporate social responsibility is important to your company, but that it’s someone else’s problem? A recent Harvard Business Review article entitled “How to Make Sustainability Every Employee’s Responsibility” posits that question (albeit substituting “sustainability” for “corporate social responsibility”) and suggests that while many companies talk about sustainability and integration, it’s much harder to get people to act individually to achieve these corporate goals.

Author CB Bhattacharya attributes this syndrome of thinking that an issue is someone else’s problem as one of ownership. He suggests that ownership refers to feelings of connection that we develop toward an appealing object such as a company or idea, and that feelings of organizational ownership can lead to greater job satisfaction, engagement, productivity and profits for employees and stakeholders. He asserts that companies can gain competitive advantage by transforming their stakeholders from bystanders into owners by making sustainability – or social good – part of their purpose by using a framework with three phases: incubate, launch and entrench.


OPIC LAUNCHES A NEW WOMEN'S INITIATIVE

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation officially announced 2X, its new women’s initiative on Wednesday, just ahead of International Women’s Day. Through the initiative, OPIC will invest $350 million in projects that support women ranging from increasing financing to women-owned businesses, to improving access to water, and creating job opportunities. The goal is for that investment to bring in an additional $1 billion in investment from the private sector.

Kathryn Kaufmann, OPIC’s managing director for global women’s issues, told Devex it was the largest one-time commitment by a single United States agency for global women’s economic empowerment. “We want to change the market,” she said. “We want to send a message to the market that gender matters,” she said. Although the initiative doesn’t have specific sector targets, it will likely be starting with the financial sector, where there is a $300 billion credit gap for women, Kaufmann said.


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