Social Enterprise in the News

202020192018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

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

June 2020

Mobile Developer Tru Luv Enlists Investors to Help Build a More Inclusive Alternative to Gaming
TechCrunch, June 29, 2020
Evolve Ventures (where adjunct assistant professor Julius Mokrauer, board member of the investment board for the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, is managing director) is an investor in #SelfCare, an alternative to gaming that serves previously underserved groups of people.

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Publishes Impact Investing Handbook
Pensions & Investments, June 26, 2020
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, where professor and center advisory board member Melissa Berman is CEO, released a handbook on impact investing, offering frameworks and actionable tools to help asset owners align investments with values.

Racial Equality Groups Grapple With Surge in Donations
Martinsville Bulletin, June 24, 2020
Professor and center advisory board member Melissa Berman, CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, talked about how corporations across America are making much bigger commitments than they have in the past to support racial equality and social justice groups.

The 2% Solution: Inside Billionaire Robert Smith's Bold Plan to Funnel Billions to America's Black-owned Businesses
Forbes, June 19, 2020
Robert Smith ’95, founder, chairman, and CEO at Vista Equity Partners, said that big banks and large companies need to spend the next decade investing directly in Black-owned businesses to reverse corporate America’s history of structural racism.

COVID-19 and Beyond: Recover, Reopen and Rebuild by Investing in Community Health
United States of Care, June 18, 2020
Shoshanah Brown ’04, CEO of AIRnyc, co-authored this piece on how to recover, reopen, and rebuild, we need investment in both human capital and technology. AIRnyc community health workers had a substantial role in the New York City COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition, launched in April.

The Tax Rule That Inspired Billionaires and Movie Stars to Back Climate Moonshots
Bloomberg, June 16, 2020
Climate activism and warnings from scientists show investors that there is money to be made on climate change. Professor Bruce Usher said that a government's inaction on climate change is a big problem for startups with innovative technologies.

Trump and Transgender Rights
The New York Times, June 15, 2020
Advisory board member S. Mona Sinha ’93, chairwoman of Women Moving Millions, and Gloria Steinem wrote that the Trump administration’s new rule erases trans people’s civil right to health care.

Trailblazer Feature: My Investing in the Road Less Traveled
Confluence Philanthropy, June 8, 2020
Erika Karp ’91, founder and CEO of impact investing advisory firm Cornerstone Capital Group, wrote about how to work toward a vision of profit with purpose.

The First Year Out
Marie Claire, June 8, 2020
Makeda Davis was part of the pilot cohort in the spring 2020 semester of the Center for Justice and center's coding intensive program Justice Through Code (JTC), which serves as a gateway for formerly incarcerated individuals to explore potential careers in the technology sector.

Summer and After-school Programs — Five Ways to Provide for the Other Half of Education Amid the Coronavirus
Hechinger Report, June 2, 2020
Alison Overseth ’84, CEO of Partnership for After School Education (PASE), co-authored this piece on what districts can learn from New York City about providing youth services.

We Are Using Our Powerful Graphene Technology to Fight COVID-19
Bonbouton, Spring 2020
Portfolio venture Bonbouton started pre-selling graphene face masks and donating 10 percent of every pre-sale order to portfolio venture Made in Brownsville, a creative youth organization that engages in place-based community revitalization and helps young people learn marketable hard skills in STEAM.

What's Driving the Scale of Sustainable Investing
The Economist, Spring 2020
Courtney Thompson ’17, vice president of global sustainable finance at Morgan Stanley, talked about how better data empowers investors to change the markets in ways that reflect the issues they care about.

May 2020

Building the Expertise of the Next Generation of Philanthropic Leaders Through Competitive Evaluation
MacArthur Foundation, May 26, 2020
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 Top 100 and select one proposal for a $100,000 award.

Accion Venture Lab Takes Equity Stake in Colombian Fintech R5, Provider of Online Loans, Car Insurance
MicroCapital, May 15, 2020
Accion Venture Lab, where Vikas Raj ’10 is managing director, purchased an unspecified amount of equity in Colombian fintech firm R5, an online insurance and lending platform that is committed to their customers’ financial health and well-being.

Al Harrington Talks COVID-19 And Cannabis, Need For Racial Justice And ‘Never Giving Up’
Forbes, May 15, 2020
In February, Viola CEO Al Harrington announced the launch of Viola Cares, a social equity- and reentry-focused initiative, and its partnership with Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Root & Rebound (founded by Katherine Katcher, ’07CC), which is dedicated to restoring full citizenship to every justice-involved person in America.

Downtown Nonprofit Leader Fears for Future of Vital Sector
E Broadsheet, May 14, 2020
Reflecting on the impact of COVID-19, Katie Leonberger ’08, president and CEO of Community Resource Exchange (CRE), expressed concern that many small nonprofits may close up entirely, shrinking the nonprofit sector and cutting communities off from vital support.

Overheard at the Mission Investors Exchange: Inclusive and Catalytic Capital
Impact Alpha, May 12, 2020
In an effort to address racial and economic disparities, Kellogg Foundation will look to its mission investments in fund managers like Kesha Cash ’10 of Impact America Fund, which backs entrepreneurs of color, to help drive an inclusive recovery.

Mayor Names Real Estate, Construction Advisory Council
Real Estate Weekly, May 11, 2020
The Construction and Real Estate Sector Advisory Council includes green energy entrepreneur Donnel Baird ’13, CEO of BlocPower, which helps buildings reduce their energy usage.

Here's Who Is Advising De Blasio On Reopening NYC Schools
Patch NYC, May 11, 2020
Phoebe Boyer ’93, president and CEO of Children's Aid, was selected to be part of a panel of education leaders and advocates appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio to guide the city's reopening plans.

In It Together: A Conversation With Anna Houseman ’21
Ideas & Insights, May 7, 2020
Anna Houseman ’21, 2020–2021 co-president of the Social Enterprise Club, talked about her daily routine, personal ethics, and staying productive during the pandemic.

Your Pipeline of Impact Deals in Emerging Markets Is at Risk: Three Things You Can Do About It
Impact Alpha, May 6, 2020
Agora Partnerships, where Ben Powell ’05 is CEO and founder, provides entrepreneurs with the information, networks, and emotional support they need to navigate the pandemic.

We Are Using Our Powerful Graphene Technology to Fight COVID-19
Bonbouton, May 6, 2020
Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member, founded by Linh Le, ’09SEAS, pivoted to develop a graphene mask — a multi-layered, reusable, breathable mask that blocks virus-containing microdroplets.

April 2020

After a Decade of Building and Investing in African Companies, Emilian Popa Explains Why He Is Bullish on These Five Industries
How We Made It in Africa, April 30, 2020
Investor and entrepreneur Emilian Popa ’10, founder of Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Ilara Health, is bullish about the distribution, SME lending, transportation, electricity, and health care industries in Africa.

The State of the Modern Political Economy
Ideas & Insights, April 29, 2020
Professor Tano Santos, Professor Ray Horton, and Dean Emeritus Glenn Hubbard discussed the impact of the pandemic on American and international political economies.

Alumni Food Entrepreneurs Team Up to Feed NYC Healthcare Workers
Ideas & Insights, April 29, 2020
Fundraising efforts, along with a generous donation from Beyond Meat, founded by Ethan Brown ’08, helps restaurant P.S. Kitchen, owned by April Tam Smith ’10 and Graham Smith ’21, provide meals to health care workers.

Michelle Obama Partners With Beyond Meat to Build a Healthier America
VegNews, April 27, 2020
Partnership for a Healthier America — an organization founded by Michelle Obama — featured a keynote speech from Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown ’08. Beyond Meat launched the Feed A Million+ campaign in response to the pandemic.

Praava Health Launch COVID-19 Self-assessment Tool, Chatbot, Webpage
The Daily Star, April 27, 2020
To help patients navigate the pandemic, get clarity on confusion they may have regarding their own risk, and have access to resources, Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Praava Health, founded by Sylvana Q. Sinha, ’04LAW, launched an online self-assessment tool, a Facebook chatbot, and a COVID-19 webpage.

Providing Debt Relief for Emerging Economies
Ideas & Insights, April 23, 2020
Professor Patrick Bolton has a plan to ensure that debt relief for middle-income countries is used for COVID-19 funding and not private debt obligations.

“Retrofit Milwaukee” Launched by BlocPower on 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
American Family Insurance Institute, April 22, 2020
BlocPower, where Donnel Baird ’13, is CEO, partnered with American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact and Common Ground to launch an initiative to retrofit Milwaukee, which will help transition buildings to cleaner, cost-efficient heating and cooling equipment.

Secrets of Wealthy Women
Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2020
In this encore episode, advisory board member S. Mona Sinha ’93, and chairwoman of Women Moving Millions, discussed how women can work together to help society's most vulnerable people and why she's raising awareness about gender inequality.

New York Begins Manufacturing Low-Cost Ventilators
VOA News, April 22, 2020
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), where professor and center advisory board member Melissa Berman is CEO, commented that their plans to help scale up production of low-cost ventilators in the developing world have enormous potential in the global south.

Himalaya Capital Founder and Columbia University Trustee Li Lu Donates $1.5 Million to Aid Healthcare Workers
Ideas & Insights, April 22, 2020
University Trustee Li Lu ’96, founder and chairman of Himalaya Capital, donated $1.5 million to the Guardians of the Angeles Charitable Foundation to support the frontline health care workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

These Face Masks for Cows Have Nothing to Do With Coronavirus
Bloomberg, April 21, 2020
Co-founded by Patricio ’12 and Francisco Norris, Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member ZELP created a wearable device intended to reduce cattle’s methane emissions by up to 60 percent.

Ventilator Response Project in NYC Addresses Tremendous Need
Tech Rebupblic, April 20, 2020
In response to a New York volunteer tech consortium that planned to quickly produce thousands of MIT's innovative FDA-authorized automatic resuscitators. Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, said that "the efforts [of this consortium] represent coordination on a global scale."

Praava Health Launches Telemedicine Services During Coronavirus Outbreak
The Daily Star, April 20, 2020
Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Praava Health, founded by Sylvana Q. Sinha, ’04LAW, introduced several new telemedicine options in response to COVID-19 for all patients and the broader community.

Protecting the Citizens of Rural Islamabad Against COVID-19
Medium, April 19, 2020
In the midst of COVID-19, Tamer Fund for Social Ventures porfolio member Saving 9, co-founded by Usama Javed Mirza, ’17TC, delivered medical first aid training and awareness to schools and organizations, and used the funds generated to conduct development projects with rural populations.

"We’ve Been Working Around the Clock to Provide Food to People in Need’: Happy Family Organics Founder
Yahoo Finance, April 18, 2020
In response to the pandemic, Happy Family Organics, founded by Shazi Visram ’04, provided food to people in need, as well as service to the accounts that support most families.

Mayor Frank and Words Bookstore Present Storytime Book ‘Lambslide’ by Ann Patchett
The Village Green, April 16, 2020
Jonah Zimiles ’08, co-owner of [words] Bookstore, partnered with the Mayor of Maplewood, NJ to provide online storytime to children during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Crisis Presents an Opportunity for New Lending Players in MSME Space
Hindu Business Line, April 16, 2020
Hardika Shah ’09, founder and CEO of Kinara Capital, said that MSMEs are the backbone to reviving local and national economies. The lender was prepared with a range of EMI-based and credit line facilities for MSMEs, available for the short-, medium- or long-term tenure, without any property collateral.

Climate Finance and Policy in the COVID-19 Era
Ideas & Insights, April 16, 2020
Columbia University experts Jason Bordoff and Bruce Usher discussed climate finance and policy in the COVID-19 era.

Why Stakeholder Capitalism Is a Good Bet in Times of Crisis
Columbia University Press Blog, April 16, 2020
Adjunct professor Georgia Levenson Keohane wrote about what COVID-19 means for ESG and impact investing, and how innovative finance can solve our most pressing long term problems.

Kenyan Startup Ilara Health Launches Readiness Package to Help Fight COVID-19
Disrupt Africa, April 10, 2020
In response to the pandemic, Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Ilara Health, founded by Emilian Popa ’10, launched a readiness package for clinics and pharmacies outside of cities and towns, including a self-assessment chatbot and digital symptom checkers.

Uncertainty Is the Mother of Invention
Philanthropy Women, April 5, 2020
In response to the pandemic, advisory board member S. Mona Sinha ’93, chairwoman of Women Moving Millions, wrote about how collaborative philanthropy, gender lens investing, and connecting across communities can breathe innovation into flawed systems.

March 2020

Three Imperial Academics Win ERC Advanced Grants Worth €6.5M
Imperial College London, March 31, 2020
Professor Patrick Bolton received a ~$2M grant from the European Research Council to investigate how firms take into account the environmental and social impact of their activities.

Charities Will Rely More Heavily Than Ever on the Superrich
Chronicle of Philanthropy, March 31, 2020
In this article, on how donors at all giving levels will be hit by the crisis, Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, said that middle class donors will likely be in no position to give and that, in fact, they’re in need of help themselves.

Early Data Sharing Can Contain Pandemics: A Call For Collaboration
Medium, March 30, 2020
The travel safety company GeoSure, where Michael Becker ’93 is CEO, analyzes data from thousands of sources at once and applies predictive analytics to create risks scores. In response to COVID-19, they have analyzed unstructured data such as changing airline and train schedules, and their capacities, for valuable insights and signals.

Women's ENews Reschedules 20th Annual 21 Leaders For The 21st Century Awards Gala
Broadway World, March 30, 2020
Advisory board member S. Mona Sinha ’93, chairwoman of Women Moving Millions, will be an honoree at the 20th annual 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Awards Gala, which honors those who have helped promote and empower women and girls around the world.

Leader to Leader: Phoebe Boyer
NYN Media, March 26, 2020
Phoebe Boyer ’93, president and CEO of Children's Aid, talked about how her Columbia MBA helped prepare her for this role, and how managing a large legacy organization poses unique challenges.

Confronting Racial and Gender Inequity: Q&A with Nancy O. Andrews & Daniel Nissenbaum
Low Income Investment Fund, March 24, 2020
Daniel Nissenbaum ’88, current president and CEO at Low Income Investment Fund, talked with former president and CEO Nancy O. Andrews, about the evolution of the community development sector.

COVID-19 Responses and Support: A Message From Melissa A. Berman
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, March 17, 2020
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), said that philanthropy is more important than ever given its ability to nimbly lead with flexibility and innovation.

How to Build A Body From Scratch, Altered Carbon-style
SyFy Wire, March 17, 2020
In this article, on how to build a body from scratch, EpiBone, co-founded by Nina Tandon ’12, is mentioned for using technology that would create an entirely fabricated skeleton.

Recycling in the United States Is Broken. How Do We Fix It?
State of the Planet (Earth Institute), March 13, 2020
Professor Ron Gonen ’04, CEO of Closed Loop Fund, talked about how China’s decision to stop accepting the world’s contaminated materials may prove to be a boon to the US recycling industry.

How to Help: In This Era of Anxiety and Struggle, Supportiv Launches Article Collection on How to Help Others
EIN News, March 11, 2020
Supportiv, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member, founded by Helena Plater-Zyberk ’06, published a selection of articles that instruct how to preserve your own energy and well-being while serving as an emotional support for people you care about during times of crisis.

Startup Street: How India is Going Big on Digitisation, All About Helping Farmers and More
CNBC, March 9, 2020
Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member, Kheyti, founded by Kaushik Kappagantulu ’17, provides technology solutions for small farmers to ensure 50,000 small farmers move out of poverty by 2024.

Discovering the Highest and Best Use of My Worth
Philanthropy Women, March 5, 2020
Advisory board member S. Mona Sinha ’93, chairwoman of Women Moving Millions and a longtime advocate for gender equality, talked about her commitment to organizations that uplift women to ultimately create a gender equal world.

Kinara Capital, a Fintech Company, Launches its HerVikas for Women
IBS Intelligence, March 4, 2020
Kinara Capital, founded by CEO Hardika Shah ’09, announced their new HerVikas business loans, which aim at the acceleration of financial inclusion of women entrepreneurs in India.

February 2020

The Planet Is Screwed, Says Bank That Screwed the Planet
New Republic, February 25, 2020
Economists today argue that more aggressive carbon pricing is necessary to fight global warming. Using an approach closer to the one used by financial economists, Professor Kent Daniel was part of a team that worked out their own model, which couldn't get the the price per ton of carbon dioxide to be lower than $125.

Why You Should Hire an Ex Con
BBC, February 18, 2020
Lucas Tanner ’92, COO / CFO of Greyston Bakery, talked about the company's open hiring practices (no interviews, screening, etc.) to allow formerly incarcerated individuals to gain employment.

Community Builders: Leo Woodberry + Donnel Baird
Sea Change, February 18, 2020
Donnel Baird ’13, CEO of BlocPower, talked about how the company helps green building efforts in communities of color and eases access to capital for minority-owned businesses.

Climate Change: Can the Insurance Industry aAfford the Rising Flood Risk?
Financial Times, February 18, 2020
Professor Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh was quoted in this article on how floods were once considered too irregular to insure against, but that global warming has changed the calculation.

Jeff Bezos’s $10B Climate Pledge Could Spur Giving
Barron's, February 18, 2020
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), said Jeff Bezos's pledge of $10 billion to combat climate change is a game changer in terms of spurring philanthropy.

Billion-Dollar Giving Streak Shows New Sense of Urgency Among 50 Top Donors
Chronicle of Philanthropy, February 11, 2020
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), commented on how the reason for the philanthropic boom in 2019 is because the rich are getting richer.

Meet the US Startup That Helps Immigrants Struggling to Build Credit History
Your Story, February 3, 2020
Social entrepreneurs Naveen Qureshi ’19, Towers Wilen ’19, and Andrej Paule ’19 were profiled for creating Sable, which helps immigrants build up their credit history and start accessing financial resources.

January 2020

This Makeup Primer is Revlon’s First Clean-certified Beauty Product
Fast Company, January 30, 2020
Debra Perelman ’00, advisory board member of the center and CEO and president of Revlon, said that it took a year to formulate and certify the company's first product to meet the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) criteria for safety.

How Virtual Reality Turns Students into Scientists
TED Talks, January 28, 2020
Jessica Ochoa Hendrix ’09 is bringing science to life in schools across the United States via her company Killer Snails.

Australia Day Honours 2020 - Announced
Australian Government, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, January 26, 2020
Sandra Navalli OAM ’03 received the well-deserved Australia Day Honours's Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to international education. This notable achievement rightly recognizes her commitment to social enterprise at the School.

These Are the Favorite Charitable Causes of the World’s Wealthiest Families — And Climate Change Is Not One of Them
MarketWatch, January 25, 2020
A new report by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors—where Professor and advisory board member Melissa Berman is CEO—and Campden Wealth sheds light on the favorite causes of the one percent.

Finalists Named for 2020 PW Bookstore of the Year
Publishers Weekly, January 23, 2020
Co-owned by Jonah Zimiles ’08, [words] Bookstore was named one of five finalists for the Bookstore of the Year award.

Power to the People
State of the Planet (Earth Institute), January 22, 2020
Professor Geoffrey Heal provided guidance to students that are part of the Energy and Environment Practicum, which helps empower students as they explore their career interests and build their experience in the global energy and environment field.

EcoPlum Founder Gia Machlin is a 2020 Enterprising Women Award Winner
PR Cision Newswire, January 22, 2020
Gia Machlin, ’91BUS ’87SEAS, president of EcoPlum, was named a 2020 Enterprising Women award winner, which recognizes winners in categories based on annual sales revenue of their businesses.

Global Inclusive Fintech Accelerator Catalyst Fund Announces New £12 Million GBP ($15 Million USD) Commitment From UK Aid and J.P. Morgan to Advance Financial Inclusion in Emerging Markets
Tullahoma Tennessee News, January 20, 2020
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), commented on how RPA is proud to be a part the Catalyst Fund, which aims to advance financial inclusion for underserved people across the world.

A New Generation of Philanthropists Are Ticked Off at Trump — And Their Parents
Vox, January 13, 2020
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, advises traditional foundations on how to award money. She talked about how politics could threaten and transform neighborhood charity.

Kesha Cash of Impact America Fund Shines a Light on ‘Shadow Economies’
Technical.ly, January 8, 2020
In this podcast, Impact America Fund founder Kesha Cash ’10 talked about how industries and corners of the market are overlooked or ignored by mainstream funds, often due to their association with underrepresented communities.

First Rounders: Nina Tandon
Hubhopper, January 8, 2020
Nina Tandon ’12, co-founder and CEO of EpiBone, a bone reconstruction company, talked about tackling her company's first Phase 1 trial in this podcast.