Social Enterprise in the News 2019

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

December 2019

Bringing Safe Sanitation to the Developing World
Ideas & Insights, December 18, 2019
Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member change:WATER labs, founded by Diana Yousef, ’03BUS ’04SIPA, works to solve the world's sanitation issues, such as the lack of toilets and waste-disposal systems in much of the developing world, with the creation of the iThrone, a stand-alone waste-evaporating toilet that requires no electricity or plumbing infrastructure.

2019 the Responsible 100
City and State NY, December 18, 2019
Phoebe Boyer ’93, president and CEO of Children's Aid, was honored for exemplifying the core principles of CSR at City and State New York's Responsible 100 event.

Powered By Faith, Religious Groups Emerge as a Conduit for a Just Solar Boom
NPR, December 15, 2019
Religious institutions are increasingly addressing social and economic inequality; Donnel Baird ’13, CEO of BlocPower, commented on how the key way to expand clean energy is by exposing more communities to solar, and the way to do that is through institutions that they trust.

What Happens After Prisoners Learn to Code?
The Atlantic, December 13, 2019
In this article on how Slack is hiring formerly incarcerated coders, Katherine Katcher, ’07CC, founder of Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Root & Rebound, commented on how a job without support is usually not enough.

Photos: President Bill Clinton Visits Bed-Stuy’s Cornerstone Baptist Church
BK Reader, December 11, 2019
President Bill Clinton visited a Bed-Stuy church to check out the energy-efficient upgrades that resulted from a Clinton Global Initiative University commitment. The retrofit was provided by BlocPower, where Donnel Baird ’13, is CEO.

Can ‘Scooby Doo’ and the Rest of the Dollar Vans Go High-Tech?
The New York Times, December 11, 2019
Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio venture Dollaride hopes to generate more business for dollar vans and challenge the public bus system. The venture's mission is to make transportation accessible to anyone anywhere, starting with the people who live in transit deserts.

Why Prominent Silicon Valley Investors Trusted An Ex-con With Over $5 Million To Fund His Multimillion-Dollar Company, Part 1 of 2
Forbes, December 9, 2019
Camille Beatty ’21 wrote about how Frederick Hutson raised over $5M to fund his company Pigeonly, which provides simple and affordable ways to stay in touch with the incarcerated. Hutson has been a guest speaker in the ReEntry Acceleration Program course.

Markets Are Putting a Price on Climate Risks
Yahoo Finance, December 4, 2019
Professor Patrick Bolton's recent research showed that investors are pricing a carbon risk premium at the firm level and that divestment effects from large investors do not generally explain carbon risk pricing patterns.

Medicare for All to Get Its Day in House Commerce Panel
Politico, December 4, 2019
Manmeet Kaur ’12, CEO of City Health Works, was a speaker on a panel that discussed how the healthcare system is focusing too much on single diseases instead of multiple chronic diseases. The panelists shared some promising approaches to addressing the disease burden in communities.

First University-Wide Scholarship Program for Displaced Students
Columbia News, December 4, 2019
A monumental undertaking that has the potential to transform global education for displaced students the world over: Columbia's new University-wide Scholarship for Displaced Students. The scholarship began as a program for Syrian refugees at the center and was founded by Professor Bruce Usher. We are proud to see this program expand! Read more in the Washington Post here.

Call for Proposals for Earth Institute Sustainability Primers
State of the Planet (Earth Institute), December 4, 2019
The first book in the Earth Institute's Sustainability Primers series was Professor Bruce Usher’s Renewable Energy: A Primer for the Twenty-First Century, which offers a concise introduction to the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

5 Women Entrepreneurs Making the World a Better Place
Columbia Magazine, December 1, 2019
Five ambitious alumnae use their ingenuity and goodwill to make meaningful change around the globe, including two of our Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio members: Sylvana Q. Sinha, ’04LAW, founder of healthcare venture Praava Health, and Sabrina Natasha Habib, ’16SIPA, founder of child education venture Kidogo.

November 2019

Happy Family Organics Founder on Being Inspired By Her Immigrant Parents and Transforming Baby Food
ABC News, November 26, 2019
Shazi Visram ’04, founder of Happy Family Organics, talked about creating baby food recipes in her kitchen to having the number one organic baby food company in the country.

Learn How to Code: Free Columbia Program for Formerly Incarcerated Individuals
Center for Justice, November 25, 2019
Justice Through Code (JTC) is a coding bootcamp that will serve as a gateway for formerly incarcerated individuals to explore potential careers in the technology sector. The program is a partnership between the Center for Justice and the center.

Columbia Bizcast: A Feast of Social Change
Ideas & Insights, November 19, 2019
The podcast had conversations with alumni whose food-based businesses are making a social impact: Wissam Kahi ’04 and Manal Kahi, ’15SIPA, co-founders of Eat Offbeat; April Tam Smith ’10, founder of P.S. Kitchen; and Ethan Brown ’08, founder of Beyond Meat.

Let’s Talk About Loneliness: Supportiv Releases New Article Collection On How To Feel Less Alone
EIN News, November 13, 2019
Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Supportiv, founded by Helena Plater-Zyberk ’06, shared its latest collection of articles, giving readers ideas to ease their struggle with loneliness.

New Veterans' Services Chief on Why Military Personnel Make Great Entrepreneurs
Crain's NY, November 11, 2019
James Hendon ’12, commissioner of the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services, talked about providing support for veteran entrepreneurs.

Saudi Aramco Offers Some Details on Coming Stock Offering
The New York Times, November 9, 2019
Professor Geoffrey Heal commented on how the interests of new investors in Saudi Aramco will be protected. He said that potential investors had to weigh the trade-offs between Aramco’s enormous, low-cost oil resources and questions about how the company might be managed in the future.

Consulting Firm CEO on Why the Census Matters to Nonprofits
Crain's NY, November 7, 2019
Katie Leonberger ’08, president and CEO of Community Resource Exchange (CRE), discussed how the firm helps nonprofits achieve their goals in a financially sustainable way.

Democratic Candidates’ Wealth Tax Plans Would Shake Up Billionaire Philanthropy
Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2019
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, commented on how "new taxes and a significant expansion of the public sector might alter the current social compact, encouraging the wealthy to donate to more niche causes."

Case Studies Reveal How Donors are Changing the World One Scholar at a Time
GrantCraft, November 5, 2019
Philanthropic advisor Jane L. Polin ’88 was interviewed on her series of 12 new GrantCraft case studies for Scholarships for Change, an open-access website that explores how donors use scholarships as a force to accelerate change. The series spotlights established programs with an impressive record of change.

Evolve Announces Julius Mokrauer as Managing Director
Yahoo Finance, November 4, 2019
Julius Mokrauer, board member of the investment board for the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, was named managing director of Evolve, where he will seek out new investment opportunities as well as work with Evolve's current portfolio.

How India's Local Recyclers Could Solve Plastic Pollution
TED, November 1, 2019
Mani Vajipey ’13 is co-founder and CEO of Banyan Nation, a technology-driven recycling company that is changing the way India looks at plastics, recycling, and waste management.

October 2019

New Age SME Lenders Know How to Deal with Slowdown, October 17, 2019
Hardika Shah ’09, founder and CEO of Kinara Capital, is quoted in this article on how SME lenders are seeing the unorganized sector as a lucrative market opportunity to scale up their business and remain in the game.

Columbia Bizcast: Kesha Cash '10
Ideas & Insights, October 16, 2019
On this episode, Bizcast revisited the conversation with Impact America Fund founder Kesha Cash ’10, and how she cultivated her passion for impact investing and social responsibility at the School.

An Innovative Toilet Called the 'iThrone' Shrinks and Dehydrates Poop—No Plumbing or Power Required
Business Insider, October 14, 2019
Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member change:WATER Labs, founded by Diana Yousef, ’03BUS ’04SIPA, developed a toilet called the iThrone, which uses a breathable membrane to absorb water out of waste.

What Is Burnout? How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed at Work
Health, October 10, 2019
Helena Plater-Zyberk ’06, founder of Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Supportiv, discussed how she developed chronic insomnia after starting a new job, which led her to launch the anonymous online peer support network.

Could There be an "Organic" Label for a Product's Climate Impact?
CBS News, October 7, 2019
Companies are betting that the climate-friendly labeling will translate into more consumer pressure and force bigger companies to catch up, if for no reason besides good marketing. Professor Geoffrey Heal said that companies are keen to publicize the fact that they're low carbon, and consumers interested in consuming sustainably can safely buy their products.

Columbia Bizcast: The Polarization Project
Ideas & Insights, October 2, 2019
Brianna O’Brien Lowndes ’19, Charlie Kreitler ’19, and Emmett Lamb ’19 founded the Polarization Project, a discussion series where a faculty expert speaks on a global issue and students engage in a lively debate afterwards. In this episode, the group hosted Professor Bruce Usher, who spoke about the intersection of climate change and business.

A Focus on Ethics
Chronicle of Philanthropy, October 1, 2019
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisor, urges foundations to take action to tamp down growing mistrust in how foundations and their wealthy benefactors use their power.

September 2019

The iThrone Evaporative Toilet Answers The Call For Healthy Cities
Forbes, September 29, 2019
change:WATER Labs, founded by Diana Yousef, ’03BUS ’04SIPA, is developing an alternative to flushing waste called the iThrone, a portable, space-saving, waste-shrinking toilet that eliminates up to 95 percent of daily waste on-site for dwellings and communities that lack power or plumbing. In fall 2019, the venture planned to conduct its first pilot deployment in a district school and hospital in Uganda, providing sanitation to 500-1,000 people.

Entrepreneur Middle East's Achieving Women 2019: Medea Nocentini, CEO, C3
Poets & Quants, September 24, 2019
Medea Nocentini ’07, co-founder and CEO of Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3), is one of a growing number of UAE-based professionals using their spare time to build commercially sustainable solutions for social issues.

The Most Interesting New MBA Courses at B-Schools This Year
Poets & Quants, September 22, 2019
Professor Damon Phillips's course, Foundations of Entrepreneurship, was highlighted as one of the most notable MBA courses.

Mona Sinha on How Women Can Use Their Wealth to Do Good
Wall Street Journal, September 16, 2019
Advisory board member S. Mona Sinha ’93, chairwoman of Women Moving Millions and a longtime advocate for gender equality, shared how women can embrace their inner philanthropist and feel comfortable owning their success.

Propina App Sends Tips Directly Into Pensions for Coffee Farmers
Daily Coffee News, September 13, 2019
Crawford Hawkins ’15, co-founder and CEO, and Viviana Salazar ’15, CFO of Grupo Crawford, launched Propina earlier this month with two apps that send tip money directly to Colombian coffee growers and harvesters, including support for Venezuelan migrants working on Colombian coffee farms.

The Economic Benefits of a Tech-first Traveler Safety Strategy
Phocus Wire, September 6, 2019
Michael Becker ’93, CEO of GeoSure, wrote about how technology and media help solve problems such as safety conditions while traveling.

Accion Venture Lab Launches New Fund, Quadruples Capital for Inclusive Fintech Startups
Yahoo Finance, September 4, 2019
Vikas Raj ’10, managing director at Accion Venture Lab, is quoted saying that there is strong potential for inclusive fintech startups to reach historically underserved communities while generating returns.

Professor Bruce Usher on Books for Budding Social Entrepreneurs
Columbia News, September 3, 2019
Professor Bruce Usher chatted about climate change, his dream team to fight our socioeconomic challenges, and a list of inspiring books for budding social entrepreneurs.

August 2019

This Alumnus Helps Hundreds of Underserved NYC Students Get into College
Ideas & Insights, August 16, 2019
Charon Darris ’13, executive director of the Adams Street Foundation, makes sure that 90 percent of students at a Brooklyn school get accepted to college.

As Politics Creep Into Philanthropy, Beneficiaries Come Under Fire
The New York Times, August 16, 2019
In this article, on how charitable organizations can find themselves targets of protests caused by the actions of their benefactors, Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisor, says that nonprofit boards should have a policy around asking a director to resign.

Closing the Opportunity Gap in the United States
Columbia Business School Newsroom, August 6, 2019
Are Americans primarily suffering from income inequality or lack of opportunity? At the 2019 "Social Enterprise Leadership Forum," leading scholars diagnosed the problem and proposed solutions.

What Moody’s Recent Acquisition Means for Assessing the Costs of the Climate Crisis
GlacierHub, August 1, 2019
Professor Bruce Usher offers his insights on Moody’s acquiring a majority stake in Four Twenty Seven, a leading provider of insight on economic climate risk. He explained that it's a powerful signal that they reached the point where they believe it is important to have a deeper understanding of climate risks and how those risks are ultimately priced into financial assets.

July 2019

A New ‘Sustainability Bond’ Got 10 Times the Investor Interest It Needed
Barron's, July 31, 2019
Daniel Nissenbaum ’88, president and CEO of the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), is quoted in this announcement of the fund's first public debt offering with a $100 million sustainability bond.

Mimi Boublik Elected as Board President at Jericho Project, Nonprofit Ending Homelessness
Markets Insider, July 23, 2019
Advisory board member Mimi Boublik ’90 was elected as president of the board of directors at Jericho Project, a nationally-acclaimed nonprofit ending homelessness at its roots in New York City.

The Bill to Green America's Electricity Industry Is as Big as the Banking Bailout
Forbes, July 23, 2019
In a recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, Professor Geoffrey Heal estimates that the bill for greening electricity is going to be as big as the banking bailout.

What Does It Mean to Have a Meaningful Job?
Ideas and Insights, July 12, 2019
Professor Stephan Meier's recent scholarship suggests that it’s not just the mission of workplace that matters, but factors such as autonomy, competence, and “relatedness,” or feeling connected to an organization, that defines a meaningful job.

2019 Best EMBAs: T. Robert Zochowski, Columbia Business School
Poets & Quants, July 1, 2019
T. Robert Zochowski ’19 was selected as one of the 100 Best and Brightest Executive MBAs for his commitment to the field of social enterprise. Robert was honored with the Carson Family Changemaker Award in 2019 and was involved in the center's Nonprofit Board Leadership Program, Social Enterprise Club, and Green Business Club.

June 2019

Why Serving on a Nonprofit Junior Board is Essential
Columbia Business School Newsroom, June 20, 2019
Lindy Gould ’19, Natasha Gabbay ’20, and Kyle Wetzold ’20 share their thoughts on how serving on a nonprofit junior board supports your career while also affording opportunities to give back to the community & network with like-minded peers.

Theatre Row Appoints New Leadership
Broadway World, June 18, 2019
Josh Landay ’18 has joined Building for the Arts, the nonprofit that administers and programs Theatre Row (the off-Broadway complex), as chief of staff. Josh has built a career in arts and media strategy, nonprofit program direction, arts education, and onstage performance.

To Reach its Economic Dreams, Bangladesh Needs to Rethink Healthcare
Council on Foreign Relations, June 17, 2019
Sylvana Q. Sinha, ’04LAW, founder of Praava Health (a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member) wrote this piece on how the venture is raising the bar for healthcare in Bangladesh through international-standard doctors, diagnostics and technology, and a value-based care model that puts patients first.

This Refugee-Run Catering Company Cures Homesickness With Hummus
Mother Jones, June 14, 2019
A profile of one of the chefs at Eat Offbeat, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portoflio member that provides culinary employment opportunity for refugees.

Knitwear Company Stitches Together an At-Home Workforce
The Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2019
Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member ALTRD, co-founded by Stephanie Estey, ’10BC, is mentioned in this article on luxury retailers that employ immigrants to perform customer alterations such as hemming.

Going Fossil-Free May Be Cheaper Than You Think
Ideas and Insights, June 7, 2019
Featuring insights from Professors Geoffrey Heal and Bruce Usher, this article examines how the United States and China are rapidly transitioning to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar and if it will be fast enough to help avert catastrophic climate change.

What Economists Think About Democrats' New Education Proposals
NPR: Planet Money, June 4, 2019
Professor Jonah Rockoff is one of several economists trying to quantify how vaulable teachers are and posits that teacher pay should be tied to classroom performance.

Would You Survive Parole?
Columbia Magazine, June 1, 2019
This article recounts a simulation the center hosted with Reinventing Reentry and Hour Children, which captured the frustrations of reclaiming a life after prison.

May 2019

Delivering a Solution to Hunger
Ideas and Insights, May 16, 2019
Mohsin Memon ’14 and Dilip Rao ’17 started food-ordering platform Sharebite as a way for companies to help employees do good while ordering takeout.

Laws Capping Building Emissions Could be Gold for Proptech
Crain's, May 7, 2019
Donnel Baird ’13, CEO of BlocPower, and Marshall Cox, ’13SEAS PhD, founder of Radiator Labs (a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member), are both profiled in this article on how laws that cap building emissions will promote investment and growth in green tech.

Beyond Meat More than Doubles in Trading Debut
Financial Times, May 2, 2019
Beyond Meat, founded by Ethan Brown ’08, shares more than doubled on their debut on Nasdaq. The group’s shares opened at $46 and surged as high as $72.95.

April 2019

Russell L. Carson is Recipient of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership
Philanthropy Roundtable, April 2019
Russell L. Carson ’67 was selected as the 2019 recipient of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership, which personifies the ideals of personal responsibility, resourcefulness, volunteerism, scholarship, individual freedom, and helping people to help themselves. Read the interview on how he applies his years in business to selecting leaders and investments in philanthropy here.

2019 Best 40 Under 40 Professors: Vanessa Burbano, Columbia Business School
Poets & Quants, April 22, 2019
Professor Vanessa Burbano is named one of the Best 40 Under 40 Professors for her focus on corporate social responsibility and the impact it has on employee motivation and behavior.

How Bonbouton’s Connected Insoles Track Health And Keep Data Secure
PYMNTS April 17, 2019
Linh Le, ’09SEAS, CEO and founder of Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio member Bonbouton, explains the challenges IoT companies face in becoming the intermediary between patients and healthcare providers.

The Secret to Changing the World Is in Your Wallet
Ideas and Insights, April 15, 2019
Buy the Change You Want to See, by Jane Mosbacher Morris ’12, is a roadmap to ethical consumption for the average shopper.

March 2019

Crain's 40 Under 40: Manmeet Kaur, 36
Crain's, March 25, 2019
Manmeet Kaur ’12, founder and CEO of City Health Works, was named 40 Under 40 for the Harlem-based organization making community health workers an integral part of the health system.

Techstars Looks for Startups to Help Mitigate Mounting Social and Environmental Risks
Impact Alpha, March 18, 2019
In this article on how the new opportunity in tech accelerators being social and environmental risks, Kesha Cash ’10, founder of Impact America Fund, spoke to how her fund targets firms using technology to create jobs and opportunities in low-income U.S. communities.

Foundations Need to Judge Themselves on More Than What They Fund
Fast Company, March 18, 2019
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is quoted in this article on how big foundations are being encouraged to not just consider the success of their grantees, but to also audit themselves to see what effect they are having more broadly than just giving money.

Small Bookstore, Big Mission
Ideas and Insights, March 4, 2019
An article on how Words Bookstore, founded by Jonah Zimiles ’08, embraces the autism community and its stories.

Aligning Resources for Good: Incorporating SRI into a Philanthropic Framework
Green Money, March 4, 2019
Professor Melissa Berman, advisory board member of the center and CEO of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, wrote this piece on how philanthropy is quickly transforming to incorporate advocacy and investing, presenting opportunities to create change.

February 2019

PG&E Bankruptcy and the Coming Climate-related Business Failure
The New Yorker, February 26, 2019
In this article on the business failures related to climate change, Professor Bruce Usher foresees three kinds of climate-related risks that may cause companies to fail in the future: physical risks, policy-related risks, and technological risks.

Business and the Effects of Global Warming
The Economist, February 21, 2019
Peter deMenocal, the center's Climate Science and Investment Conference partner at the Earth Institute, is mentioned in this article on how many companies are not tackling the results of global warming, and that the annual conference brings executives and investors together with academics to understand how new advances in climate science can inform investments in specific sectors of the global economy.

WRI: Investors Face Significant Sustainability Data Hurdles
Environmental Leader, February 15, 2019
Giulia Christianson ’11, senior associate at the World Resources Institute and head of sustainable investing for the global research nonprofit, conducted an analysis that found that investors still face significant sustainability data challenges.

Fighting Climate Change May Be Easier Than We Think
CNN, February 12, 2019
Professor Geoffrey Heal wrote an op-ed on how combatting climate change by generating electric power without fossil fuels may be less expensive and easier than originally thought to be.

January 2019

Reasons to Be Upbeat about Clean Energy
Ideas and Insights, January 15, 2019
Professor Bruce Usher discusses his new book Renewable Energy: A Primer for the Twenty-First Century on how the transition to renewable energy is happening faster than many realize and that it is quickly replacing fossil fuels as the world’s primary source of energy.