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2011 Social Enterprise Conference At a Glance

The 2011 Social Enterprise Conference convened more than 700 professionals, students, alumni, and faculty members.  The conference’s theme of Social Innovation a Networked World focused on how technological advances are and transforming business.


Highlights of the day included Leymah Gbowee, the afternoon keynote speaker who was announced as a 2011 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize that morning. The conference served as her first public speaking appearance as a Nobel Laureate, and she discussed her personal experience in leading the grassroots women’s movement that ended the 14-year civil war in Liberia.

The Social Venture Pitch session, the most well attended session of the day, featured emerging for-profit social entrepreneurs who pitched their enterprise to a panel ofimpact investors and advisors — all in eight minutes. Theentrepreneurs were considered for a potential investment of $250,000–500,000 by Jalia Ventures / Serious Change, LP. The session highlighted the common interaction between investor and entrepreneur, the questions and thoughts that come up when impact investors encounter an entrepreneur who wants to generate both financial and social returns, and what key elements entrepreneurs should convey in their elevator pitch. Following the pitch session, Jalia Ventures is conducting further due diligence on MicroHeath, Dental Kidz, and Wash Cycle Laundry for a potential investment.

The breakout sessions focused on four core areas — supporting innovation, promoting sustainability, advancing technology, and building communities — and covered topics across sectors and areas of expertise, including education, climate change investing, impact investing, philanthropy, healthcare, emerging markets, community development, and more.

See videos and photos from the conference.

Related posts:
Social Entrepreneurship Coming Full Circle, at Columbia’s Social Enterprise Conference
Technology Plus Humanity: An Equation for Social Collaboration
Supporting Innovation: Designing a Better Social Enterprise.

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