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Measuring the 'Other' Bottom Line

Should a bank that strives to lift millions of people out of poverty be shunned by investors because its profit margin is not like Wells Fargo’s? Should food manufacturers that serve starving children lose out because they can’t match General Mills’ bottom line?

Those who invest in “social entrepreneurs” agree that, no, such enterprises should not be judged on profits alone. Social or environmental impacts are necessary bottom lines as well. But so far there is no standard way to measure that “social impact,” despite its crucial role in helping investors compare potential investments and helping owners improve their operations.

Finding ways to measure social impact is the focus of a Nov. 20 conference at Santa Clara’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS), Change that Counts, Building Sustainable Social Business. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the California Mission Room in Benson Memorial Center of Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, California, 95053. Read more.

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