We Media PitchIt! Challenge
Filed Under:

* media
* journalism
* competition

Deadline: January 20, 2010. US$25,000 prize

Are you a storyteller? An influencer? A connector? An idea person?

We Media and Ashoka’s Changemakers are looking for the most innovative ideas inspiring a better world through media. Be part of the 2010 We Media PitchIt! Challenge.

ENTER your solutions from now until January 20, 2010. The top finalists will pitch their ideas at We Media Miami, March 9-11, 2010. The best entry in each category–non-profit and business–will receive a $25,000 prize to help launch their new venture.
What happens when people have the power to tell their story?

We Media and Ashoka’s Changemakers have teamed up once again to find and launch the best new ideas for inspiring a better world through media. In the We Media PitchIt! Challenge, we’re looking for groundbreaking solutions from all fields that incite action, encourage collaboration, and lead society to knowledge.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, we will provide $50,000 in seed funding to help launch the best solutions. One business and one non-profit venture will each receive $25,000 in seed capital.

Entrants will have the freedom to collaborate with potential partners and investors, while the global online community will discuss, debate and improve upon the most creative solutions.

All finalists will participate in the sixth annual We Media Event in Miami, March 9-11, 2010, and present their ideas to a panel of judges as well as potential funders and partners.

The competition will be open to individuals from all countries. We consider the following criteria:

* Media Focus: Ideas should reflect the theme of the competition. We are searching for innovative ideas that use media to create social change.
* Idea Stage: We’re looking for early-stage ventures or brand new ideas that have not yet been launched or built. These may be entirely new ventures, new companies or new projects from existing organizations.
* Business or Non-Profit: There will be two categories: business and non-profit. In the business category, the funding must be used to support the start-up of a new business that will have a sustainable revenue model. In the non-profit category, the funding should be used to support the launch of a non-profit venture or the development of a new project for an existing non-profit organization.
* Completed Form: Entries must be fully completed and submitted before the deadline of January 20, 2010.
* Language: Entries should be submitted in English.

B. Assessment Criteria

There will be several stages to this process:

1) The community’s comments will be included in the evaluation process.

2) The finalists will be selected by a combination of We Media and expert judges. Finalists will be announced on February 3, 2010.

3) Each finalist will attend We Media Miami March 9-11, 2010 and make a formal presentation to attendees and a panel of expert judges. There will be separate expert panels for business and non-profit ideas.

4) We Media PitchIt! Challenge finalists will each receive the following travel assistance for attending We Media Miami 2010:

* Up to $300 toward a coach airline ticket
* 2 nights lodging in Miami
* Registration for the entire We Media Event
* A display location in the gallery

5) Winners each receive $25,000 in seed funding: The judges will select one business and one non-profit entry. Each winner will receive $25,000 in seed funding.

Judges will consider the following criteria:

* Innovation: Is the idea innovative? This is the knock-out test. The idea should represent a disruptive innovation that changes the way media works. The innovation should demonstrate a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field and have the potential for large-scale expansion. We look for innovative business practices, entrepreneurial quality and a plausible sustainable model.
* Story Telling: Does this idea tell a story in a new or innovative way – or enable others to tell their stories? Does it create and apply a unique storytelling experience through journalism, discovery, narrative, exposition, or new methods and metaphors? We are looking for ideas that change the way we experience or understand storytelling. In this context, we define storytelling broadly.
* Social Impact: Does the idea affect social conditions, stimulate citizenship, raise awareness, influence public policy, or marshal support for an idea of broad social significance? Does this idea present a solution for increasing access, knowledge or connection for all? The idea may address a specific underserved community or the society at large, but ultimately it is important that the innovation has a potential for application or replication globally. It is also important that the idea does not have a negative environmental impact.
* Sustainability: Will the innovator be able to launch and sustain this idea? For an innovation to be truly effective, it should have a plan for securing financial backing and community support. We are looking for social entrepreneurs with ideas that are financially sustainable and scalable. We will also consider the experience and capacity of the innovator (or team), who will be expected to launch the idea.
* Design: Does the idea creatively engage multiple levels of intelligence and understanding of complex information with clarity, style, and meaning?
* Pattern Change: Does the idea pioneer original approaches and paradigms?
* Purpose: Does the idea express a purposeful vision through values reflecting ethics, credibility, responsibility and authenticity?
* Community: Does the idea seek to organize a community, virtual or geographic, in a new way?


Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Competition – Latin America 2010
Filed Under:

* social business
* social enterprise
* World Economic Forum
* social entrepreneurs
* competition
* awards
* social change
* Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship
* Latin America

Nomination & Application Deadline: 31 January 2010.

The Search and Selection process for the Social Entrepreneur of the Year was established to recognize outstanding social entrepreneurs around the globe, an initiative of The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is a not-for-profit, independent and neutral organization, founded in 1998, with the purpose to advance social entrepreneurship and to foster social entrepreneurs as an important catalyst for societal innovation and progress. The Foundation is under the legal supervision of the Swiss Federal Government and is headquartered in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland.

The Regional Search in Latin America is open to all organizations in the region, except those whose headquarters are based in countries where a national competition is already open or planned (Brazil, Chile, Venezuela).

Having read the criteria for selection, if you believe you qualify as a candidate, please apply by 31 January 2010.



The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organisations and Social Change

Publication Date
March 1, 2009

This is a free, download-able, do-it-yourself guide for leaders and facilitators working with local organisations to function and develop in more healthy, human, and effective ways. The guide, with its supporting website, includes tried and tested concepts, approaches, stories, and activities. Its purpose is to help stimulate and enrich the practice of anyone supporting organisations and social movements in their challenges of working, learning, growing, and changing to meet the needs of our complex world. Although it is aimed at leaders and facilitators of civil society organisations, it is also designed to be useful to anyone interested in fostering a healthy human organisation in any sphere.

Contents include the following:

* Chapter 1 – Shaping our World:
New ways of looking at organisations and social change
* Chapter 2 – Inside Out:
Towards understanding ourselves, other people, and how we change
* Chapter 3 – People to People:
Creating and working with relationships in organisations
* Chapter 4 – Through the Looking Glass:
Observing and understanding organisations
* Chapter 5 – Stepping into the Unknown:
Facilitating change in organisations
* Chapter 6 – Finding a Home for Change:
Supporting, grounding, and sustaining change
* Chapter 7 – Staying Alive to Change:
Learning and innovating in organisations

Click here to access this document in PDF format in chapters or the entire resource.
Barefoot Collective
Number of Pages

Doug Reeler
Community Development Resource Association (CDRA)

P.O. Box 221
South Africa
Tel: 027 21 462 3902
Fax: 027 21 462 3918
CDRA website
for direct links: http://www.comminit.com/en/node/296953/348

West Coast Village Capital

* social business
* social entrepreneurs
* social finance
* social change
* social innovation fund
* social investing
* social enterprise
* social impact investors

Application deadline January 7, 2010.

If you have a business idea to help improve the world, we’re interested. West Coast Village Capital (WCVC) is a social venture program that brings entrepreneurs together to learn from and support each other’s social enterprises. We also put the investment decision in the hands of entrepreneurs themselves. Entrepreneurs participating will rank one another as the companies most ready for seed capital; the highest-ranked will be eligible for up to $100,000 per enterprise. Submit your application by January 7th, and you may be a WCVC Member by January 15th!

Inspired by the village bank model used in microfinance throughout the world, Village Capital is an innovative investment model built on the hypothesis that entrepreneurs, working intimately together and providing peer support to one another, will be able to efficiently and wisely allocate investment to one another’s companies. The Village Capital program is sponsored by First Light Ventures, sister enterprise to Gray Ghost Ventures. The West Coast Village Capital will be run in conjunction with pilots in Mumbai (partnered with DASRA/Social-Impact), New Orleans (The Idea Village), and Boulder (The Unreasonable Institute).
The Village Capital program will give participants the opportunity to:

* Network with other social entrepreneurs within and beyond their own sectors
* Share challenges and lessons learned with professional peers
* Refine and strengthen their business models and pitches.

In addition, participants will work together in five groups of six and have the opportunity to serve in the role of investor as they evaluate each other’s businesses as potential investments:

* First Light Ventures will invest up to a total of $500,000 in the 5 – 10 businesses that rise to the top in the community-driven due diligence process. Participating businesses also may receive funding from First Light independent of the WCVC process.

WCVC is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It will be hosted at the Hub-Bay Area, which supports WCVC with marketing, meeting space, and access to its vibrant community of entrepreneurs, creative professionals and community leaders. For more information, visit http://www.vilcap.com; Twitter: @villagecapital; @hubbayarea.

Business Development Intern, Cape Town, South Africa (volunteer -stipend may be negotiable)

Based in Cape Town, heart social investments (HSI) is introducing a suite of social investment options that will provide Investors with multiple ways of funding sustainable solutions to Africa’s social and environmental problems. HSI’s portfolio will allow investors to allocate capital to impactful investments in the form of debt, equity, and grants.

By partnering with HSI, Investors will have the unique ability to invest into sustainable strategies for tackling the pressing issues our society currently faces. These Social Enterprises are innovative, market driven solutions to social, environmental, and economic problems in the community. These businesses, given their social orientation and start-up status, cannot typically access funds through traditional channels in order to finance their operations. With this challenge in mind, HSI and its investors are able to provide vital funding to such social enterprises by offering affordable financing in the form of business development loans.

In conjunction with the loan funding, the social enterprises in HSI’s investment portfolio will be further supported by business development consulting services from heart’s Incubator (a section 21 organisation). The Incubator offers social entrepreneurs business development support in the form of process methodology, consulting services, mentorship, infrastructure, training, operational support and governance through various phases of development. This combination of affordable financing and powerful management consulting services will give social entrepreneurs the resources they need to be successful.

HSI is currently developing its business platform and is still in a startup stage with amazing potential for growth. We need intelligent, strategic, and resourceful interns to help us build our business. We need interns who can step in and help support the team with the following areas:

developing & implementing investment management systems:
Fund accounting
Investor relations
Performance reporting
web based investor portal

Sales & marketing:
Brand management
Fund development
Event coordination

Business strategy support:
Oganisational procedures/protocols audits
Internal resource management
Maximizing networking opportunities
Stakeholder relations

Sean Kane
head of business strategy & development
heart social investments

tel +27 (21) 442 9600
direct line +27 (21) 442 9634
cell +27 (78) 701 3967
fax +27 (21) 447 9371
email sean@heartglobal.org

The Women’s Wellbeing and Development Foundation (WWD-F), in Costa Rica, works mainly with women living with HIV/AIDS through the Granos Solidarios and GMAS programs, however, WWD-F also felt the need to help out the children affected by HIV/AIDS. Recognizing that it is important for these children to enjoy their childhood; to play; to laugh; to feel loved and respected. Above all, these marginalized children need to feel that they are not different from any other children, and that they are still an important and valid part of their community.

To assist these children, WWD-F created the Illori Project which organizes educational workshops for children affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as those living in high social risk situations. These workshops awaken the children’s creativity through dance, art and music, offer exercises to improve their flexibility, motor coordination and equilibrium, and use creative visualizations to develop their concentration, attention and memory. An important part of these workshops is to convey to the children different values, like respect, empathy, generosity, etc.

These workshops take place monthly, with an average attendance of 50 to 70 children at each workshop. The workshops have become so popular that WWD-F not able to accommodate all the children who want to participate. This Christmas, WWD-F wants to hold a Christmas Party, complete with gifts for each child, on the 22nd of December at the Parque del Este, in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Therefore, they are currently seeking gifts-in-kind donations as well as financial support to cover the costs of the party, food and gifts. Just know that is will be the ONLY gift these kids receive this holiday season.

Donations can be made through their website, http://www.wwd-f.org, or alternatively you can send a check (if you reside in the USA) to:

22 Ravenscroft Drive
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
Tel: (506) 241-3736

If you reside in Costa Rica, WWD-F’s bank details and address are as follows:

Name: WWD-F
Name of Bank: Bac San Jose, Costa Rica
Account Number: 906417993 (American and Foreign Currency)
Account Number: 906418017
Urbanización Montelimar, del costado oeste de los Tribunales 500 m norte y 100 m este, frente a Radio Sonido Latino, casa color papaya. Calle Blancos, Goicoechea, San José.
Tel: 2241 3736
Apartado postal Nº 1323, Correo de Guadalupe, San José

For all other countries, please donate through their website: http://www.wwd-f.org.
And please add “Costa Rica” to all donations. If at all possible, please send an email to sonia@wwd-f.org advising her of your donation so she can send you a photo of the party.

Any questions? Contact Sonia Torres at sonia@wwd-f.org