Fall 2010 Newsletter

Measuring and Creating Excellence in Schools: A Research Report

The Social Enterprise Program has produced a research report presenting the views of thought leaders in the field of education on the theme of measurement and accountability in schools. Read the report online.

Measuring performance — of students, teachers, schools, and entire school systems — has emerged as a critical tool for innovative educational institutions and a point of emphasis for the current administration in Washington. Yet evaluation is difficult and also very costly, so it’s critically important to do it right—picking the right outcomes, measuring them properly, and using the results to improve the quality of education.

This report is a result of our inaugural 2010 Social Enterprise Leadership Forum, which brought together educational leaders from New York City’s public, private, and nonprofit sectors for an exchange of ideas on how to apply evaluation effectively. See videos from the event, speaker presentations, and related articles.

USAID Announced Development of Innovation at Annual Social Enterprise Conference

Rajiv Shah, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, announced the agency's launch the Development of Innovation Ventures Program. The news came during his keynote speech at the 2010 Social Enterprise Conference. The initiative reflects President Obama's investment in social innovation, and Shah announced that the fund is investing in its first eight ventures.

"Even with these existing, surprising capabilities, USAID is still in need of reform. That's why, since assuming leadership of the Agency, I've made it my top priority to embrace a spirit of innovation," Shah said in his closing keynote speech.

The 2010 Social Enterprise Conference — Redefining Return: Financing and Scaling Social Innovation — hosted more than 575 students and professionals across a variety of sectors. Other speakers included Peter Blom, CEO and chairman of Triodos Bank, who received the Botwinick Prize in Business Ethics and discussed his company's strides in paving the way for sustainable banking and investments, and Robert Annibale, global director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development.

Watch video of all speakers and discussions from the conference.

Summer Fellows Address Social and Environmental Issues with Business Skills

The Social Enterprise Program funded 48 MBA students through the Summer Fellowship Program. These MBAs worked as summer interns at nonprofits, social ventures, NGOs, and in the public sector.

Jason Ballet ’11 worked with Acumen Fund in India, a social venture capital fund that works to fight global poverty through entrepreneurial investments. Ballet evaluated potential agricultural investments, including a software firm with a mobile phone application that communicates price and buyer information to farmers in local languages. He worked with a team to develop a customer acquisition strategy and revenue model for a joint venture with the software firm and Acumen Fund.

Closer to home, David Goldberg ’11 worked at the Robin Hood Foundation, a grant maker for organizations aiming to fight poverty in New York City. Goldberg worked with the economic security portfolio, which is responsible for programs to generate and increase income among people living in poverty, including ex-offenders and people recovering from substance abuse. He investigated a potential collaboration with CUNY as well as the investment cost in helping someone find a job and how this cost might vary for beneficiaries who access the services of more than one grantee. For these projects, he drew heavily from what he learned in his flex-core course, Strategy, Structure, and Incentives.

The Summer Fellowship Program provides support to students engaged in summer internships that create social and environmental value, allowing these organizations to gain MBA talent at an affordable cost. Find out how to hire a Summer Fellow. Make a gift to the Summer Fellowship Program today.