Sometimes you hit pay dirt when attending conferences with multi-track sessions and sometimes not. Fortunately, TiEcon 2007 offered such a rich assortment of brain candy during two days of intense interaction that an attendee's biggest problem was deciding where to scramble next.
The May 18 parallel session Social Entrepreneurs: The New Agents of Business & Social Change was a well-executed endeavor that provided a good balance of practical innovation and vision for current or aspiring social entrepreneurs and investors.
Moderated by Hari Sreenivasan, CBS news anchor, who had rushed from covering the unfortunate fires in Florida to fulfill his TiEcon 2007 duties served as metaphor for the commitment shared by the panelists:
- Association for India's Development, focusing on the edges of education in India
- KIVA, a social endeavor providing loans for entrepreneurs
- Corporate social venture Salesforce.com Foundation
- Skoll Foundation, a systemic change agent for social entrepreneurs
- World of Good, a social enterprise that began as an MBA project
KIVA President, Premal Shah, was quick to point out "We're not about poverty pornography, we're about business." In fact, a healthy $1.7 million business touting a 95 percent loan repayment rate by its micro-financed entrepreneurs for a cool $6.5 million to date.
Who says doing good doesn't pay?