Beyond the land of the unicorns

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

When most people hear the word “unicorn,” images of a majestic white horse with a glistening, magical horn spring to mind. However, in business jargon, unicorns refer to privately held startups with market valuations of more than $1 billion—think Uber, Snapchat, and Airbnb—which operate across a range of sectors and are united in using technology as the basis of their business model.

Technology and Millennials Are Driving Business Strategy and Social Change

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

Doing well by doing good is now expected for businesses, and moral leadership is at a premium for CEOs. For today’s companies to maintain their license to operate, they need to take into account a range of elements in their decision making: managing their supply chains, applying new ways of measuring their business performance that include indicators for social as well as commercial returns, and controlling the full life cycle of their products’ usage as well as disposal.

The MIF in 2015

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

We find ourselves at the end of another busy and fulfilling year at the MIF. We asked our colleagues Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen, Tomas Miller, and David Bloomgarden, who oversee the development and execution of new projects, to each share a few words about what they saw as the highlights of 2015 for their teams. 

Social entrepreneurship enters the mainstream

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

Trends is on vacation this week. This post ran previously on our blog.  

Once a niche concept at the intersection of business and development, “social entrepreneurship” is now mainstream. A social entrepreneur, according to Ashoka founder Bill Draper, who coined the term in 1980, is a person with system-changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems. A social enterprise is one that deliberately expands access to goods, services, income, and employment opportunities for vulnerable populations as part of its core business while seeking return on investment. Social entrepreneurship is increasingly appealing to people, and the idea of using a MBA degree to do good while doing well has grown in popularity on campuses and in businesses around the globe.

Corporate ‘venturing’ is producing tangible social impacts

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

Companies are beginning to understand that they are uniquely positioned to scale up proven solutions to social and environmental problems, and that they have a role in addressing the challenges associated with poverty. The private sector played a key role in developing the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and companies are working to align their core business strategies with the global economic development agenda. The reasons are twofold. First, the most advanced companies no longer see corporate social responsibility activities as just a social duty and peripheral to core business. With half of global output, or 40% of market value, originating in emerging markets, companies realize that these markets are essential to the future of businesses that are seeking international opportunities and growth.