Social Enterprise in the News

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Highlighting Tamer Center for Social Enterprise initiatives, ideas, alumni, and faculty members featured in the news.

September 2021

The Climate Crisis is Real … and Escalating CBS Experts Weigh in on What We – and Business – Can Do About It
Columbia Business School, September 21, 2021
As the world continues to confront the threat of climate change, Columbia Business School's Bruce Usher, Shiva Rajgopal, Geoffrey Heal, Vanessa Burbano, and Sandra Navalli ’03 discussed how business must play a leading role in how society will develop solutions to this challenge.

July 2021

Introducing the Worker Insights Initiative
LinkedInPlus, July 20, 2021
Justine Zinkin ’02, CEO of Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, announced the Worker Insights Initiative, which will ""bring the lived reality and complex financial lives of low-wage workers more powerfully to the market"" by ensuring that worker voices are at the forefront of creating a financial economic system inclusive of all workers.

June 2021

Digital Bank Steps in To Help Black Businesses Affected by COVID-19
Essence, June 29, 2021
The pandemic has taken its toll on everyone, but it has been especially hard on small Black-owned businesses, which "[closed] at higher rates than other businesses during lockdowns and received less PPP funding.” Kelly Ifill ’17 wants "to create a more level playing field for Black entrepreneurs to build businesses with the barriers historic systems of oppression have created.” Kelly is working to close the racial wealth gap and provide resources for small Black-owned businesses through Guava, a full-service digital bank created to serve Black entrepreneurs, where she is founder and CEO.

Cargill Backs Cow Masks to Trap Methane Burps
Bloomberg, June 1, 2021
Food giant Cargill will start selling the Tamer Fund for Social Venture portfolio member Zelp's methane-absorbing wearable devices for cows, which could help the industry cut greenhouse gas emissions. Zelp is co-founded by Patricio Norris ’12 and Francisco Norris.

May 2021

MBA Graduates Take On a Green Hue as Fewer Choose Fossil Fuel Career
Financial Times, May 31, 2021
Since 2006, 20 percent more students have been recruited into the renewable and environmental industries, and Columbia Business School is one of the top business schools sending MBAs into sustainability careers.

Activists Crashed Exxon’s Board, but Forcing Change Will Be Hard
The New York Times, May 27, 2021
Professor Geoffrey Heal commented that Exxon could both help the world reduce emissions and make money doing so, such as using their offshore oil drilling to build offshore wind farms and spending on technology that removes carbon from the atmosphere and making it affordable.

Columbia Business School Students Award $100,000 Prize Through Competitive Evaluation
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, May 26, 2021
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors partnered with MacArthur Foundation-affiliate Lever for Change and the School to create an educational opportunity for students in the Global Philanthropy course — taught by Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors — that taught them how to assess the  100&Change 2021 and select one proposal for a $100,000 award.

Hardika Shah | Financial Inclusion for Small Business Entrepreneurs
Anchor: Let's Grab Coffee, May 13, 2021
Hardika Shah ’09, founder and CEO of Kinara Capital, discusses driving financial inclusion for small business entrepreneurs in India.

SwagCycle: Upcycling of Branded Merchandise, With Ben Grossman
Anchor: Sustainability Explored, May 12, 2021
Ben Grossman ’06, founder of SwagCycle, discussed how the startup is helping to responsibly manage the lifecycle of branded merchandise by keeping it away from landfills.

An ESG Starting Guide for Young Practitioners
RS Metrics, May 11, 2021
RS Metrics, founded by Maneesh Sagar ’03, is a market-leading company for satellite imagery and geospatial analytics for businesses and investors. Written by Konstantina Yaneva, '18CC, they published this guide with resources and useful information for anyone who is trying to keep up with the increasing interest in the field.

Oil Industry in Transition
Columbia Energy Exchange, May 11, 2021
Both speakers from the 2021 Climate Science and Investment Conference, Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, spoke with Professor Jason Bordoff, founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy at SIPA, on aligning the oil and gas company's strategies with the world's climate ambitions. 

April 2021

Welcome To the 2021 Celebration of Columbia's Vibrant Entrepreneurship Community!
Startup Columbia, April 16, 2021
Donnel Baird ’13, CEO of BlocPower, was named Columbia's entrepreneur of the year and served as a judge for the #StartupColumbia Tournament of Champions, which was won by Beverly Leon ’20, founder of the civics engagement learning platform Local Civics.

The 2021 Nonprofit 40 Under 40
City and State NY, April 25, 2021
Greg Bangser, Ashleigh Washington, and Alice Wong, past participants of the Programs in Social Enterprise Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals, were named to the 2021 Nonprofit 40 Under 40.

Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson Announce Increased Support for Nonprofits and Human Service Providers
City of New York, April 23, 2021
Phoebe Boyer ’93, president and CEO of Children’s Aid, said that the announcement of NYC adding $120 million in funding to nonprofits and human service providers over two years is apt recognition that a healthy nonprofit sector is essential to a more equitable city. 

A Recovery for All of Us: Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Porter, DYCD Commissioner Chong Announce Innovative Summer Rising Plan
City of New York, April 13, 2021
Phoebe Boyer ’93, president and CEO of Children’s Aid, commented that the city's Summer Rising plan, which will provide academic support and enrichment opportunities for children, is an exciting opportunity for schools and communities to work together.

Meet Columbia Business School’s MBA Class Of 2022
Poets & Quants, April 6, 2021
Students attribute Columbia Business School's commitment to social impact as one of the top six reasons the School offers such a unique educational experience. Neimy Escobar ’22 in part chose the School because of its uniquely combined finance with sociai impact curriculum, and was specifically excited to take Professor Bruce Usher's courses at the intersection of finance, social, and environmental issues; and impact investing played a major part in Aditya Shankar ’22's decision to enroll.

March 2021

CBS Startup Stories: BlocPower
Columbia Business School, March 30, 2021
BlocPower founder Donnel Baird ’13 discusses what he learned at the School, the future of renewable energy, and his advice to early-stage entrepreneurs. 

The Small Business Savior
Entrepreneur, March 29, 2021
Hardika Shah ’09 attributes the genesis of Kinara Capital, where she is founder and CEO, to when she was at Columbia Business School, where she was motivated to tackle socio-economic inequities by using for-profit models.

Block by Block, He Aims to Fight Injustice and Save the Planet
The Washington Post, March 26, 2021
Donnel Baird ’13 brings solar panels and clean heat to low-income neighborhoods through his startup BlocPower, where he is CEO.

Care Coordination Startup Unite Us Raises $150M
MedCity News, March 16, 2021
Veterans and founders Dan Brillman ’12 and Taylor Justice ’14 raised $150M for Unite Us, a software startup working with insurers to address members’ social health needs.

The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Data Science
Fast Company, March 9, 2021
GeoSure, where Michael Becker ’93 is CEO, was named one of Fast Company's “10 Most Innovative Companies in Data Science."

Indian Fintech Firm Kinara Capital Bags $7M in Funding for Women Entrepreneurs
Tech in Asia, March 8, 2021
Indian fintech firm Kinara Capital, where Hardika Shah ’09 is CEO, secured $7M in funding for women entrepreneurs.

February 2021

Bridging the Great Divide
Columbia Business Magazine, Winter 2021
Bridging the American Divide, taught by Professors Bruce Usher and Todd Jick, seeks to understand the roots of polarization in America and train future business leaders to heal the rift.

How Black Investors Have Led the Charge to Close the Funding Gap for Entrepreneurs
Crain's New York, February 22, 2021
Donnel Baird ’13, CEO of BlocPower, a green energy retrofit company, secured a $63 million investment backed by Goldman Sachs and American Family Insurance.

De Blasio Kicks the Education Equity Can, Again
NY Daily News, February 19, 2021
Crystal McQueen-Taylor from StudentsFirstNY — and past participant of the Programs in Social Enterprise Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals, shared leadership advice on how to improve the public education system.

How I Built Resilience: Beverly Leon of Local Civics
NPR: How I Built This, February 18, 2021
Beverly Leon ’20, founder of Local Civics, discussed the edtech startup that uses game-based learning to encourage kids to strengthen their civic leadership skills.

The 2021 Nonprofit Power 100
City and State NY, February 17, 2021
Programs in Social Enterprise past participants Joanne Page, Phoebe Boyer ’93, Melissa Aase, Tiloma Jayasinghe, and Peter Goldberg were recognized for their leadership across major New York nonprofits.

Justice Through Code Is a Free Coding Program for Those Impacted by the Criminal Justice System
Amazon Web Services, February 16, 2021
Justice Through Code, a joint program between the center and the Center for Justice, teaches Python and other computer science basics to formerly incarcerated individuals, providing alternative paths for people reentering society.

Former Inmates Rewrite the Code of Their Lives
Amazon Web Services, February 16, 2021
Amazon Web Services announces their sponsorship of Justice Through Code — the joint program between the center and the Center for Justice that brings coding qualifications to formerly incarcerated individuals — through its commitment to workforce programs.

Justice Through Code - The Big Idea
Amazon Web Services, February 15, 2021
Program founder Aedan Macdonald and students shared their stories and experiences with Justice Through Code (the joint program between the center and the Center for Justice) and how, together with Amazon Web Services, the coding program has given them hope for the future.

How the Bezos Divorce Could Change Philanthropy Forever
Bloomberg Businessweek, February 11, 2021
Jeff Bezos's commitment to environmental gifts is huge, but Professor Bruce Usher commented that while his funding can buy us time, he must also focus on specific barriers that he thinks he can unlock.

Bezos and Bloomberg Among Top 50 US Charity Donors for 2020
Star Tribune, February 10, 2021
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), commented that there has long been change building among private donors to support community-led efforts of recovery and resiliency led by people of color.

The Gender Factor in Investing
Columbia Business School: Leading Through Change, February 9, 2021
Professor Damon Phillips and Dana Kanze, PhD ’19, explored how bias can affect the funding of female-led ventures.

Will Jeff Bezos’ Philanthropy Provide a ‘Halo Effect’ for Amazon? Critics Say Yes
MarketWatch, February 8, 2021
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), hopes that publicized philanthropy inspires more philanthropy instead of leading people to believe that the problem is already solved.

How Beyond Meat's CEO Turned a 'Big Problem' Into a Massively Successful IPO
Inc., February 5, 2021
Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown ’08 talked about solving global challenges, what's next in food innovation, and the company's journey to a successful IPO.

January 2021

Three Ways Global Leaders Can Prioritize ESG impact
World Economic Forum, January 29, 2021
Donnel Baird ’13, CEO of BlocPower, said that enlightened business leaders of impact-focused venture funds need to commit to investing in women and underrepresented founders, who historically lack access to capital.

Governor Cuomo Announces Extension of Partnership With HelloFresh to Combat Food Insecurity Among Veterans
New York State Governor's Office, January 27, 2021
James Hendon ’12, commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans' Services, commented that the partnership provides healthy meals to those who have faithfully served our nation and their families.

Making an Impact With Kesha Cash
Columbia Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Design, January 22, 2021
Impact America Fund founder Kesha Cash ’10 talked about what impact investing means for IAF; how her work in Wall Street and Main Street has shaped her mission-driven vision; and how IAF uses the rigors of business to invest in overlooked and underserved communities in a way that creates long lasting, sustainable growth for those communities.

Is America Ungovernable Now?
The New York Times, January 20, 2021
Professor Ray Horton wrote that Trump’s electoral base has felt for a while that their values have been under attack and that transformations in core components won't change in the short run.

CBS Leadership Speaker Series featuring Anne Eidelman ’10 and Professor Emeritus Ray Horton
Columbia Business School: Leadership Speaker Series, January 11, 2021
Anne Eidelman ’10, CEO of Blue Engine, and Professor Ray Horton discussed Anne’s experience as an equity-driven leader, dedicated to improving the education system.

SunCulture COO, Jonathan Saunders
Second in Command: The Chief Behind the Chief, January 4, 2021
Jonathan Saunders ’14, COO of innovative Africa-based agritech company SunCulture, talked about his track-record in building infrastructure for growth stage organizations that leads to institutional and governmental investments.

From Prison to Programming
Columbia Magazine, January 1, 2021
Justice Through Code, the joint program between the center and the Center for Justice, offers people recently released from prison a free ten-week boot camp in coding, providing them a pathway to long-term sustainable careers in tech.