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Measuring the "Other" Bottom Line

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009

SANTA CLARA, Calif.,  Nov. 4, 2009—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.

“As social entrepreneurship has grown and matured, it has become glaringly clear that entrepreneurs and investors alike need a common set of measurements from which to gauge success going forward,” said Radha Basu, managing director of CSTS. “We hope this conference will help to crystallize the issues of most importance in this effort.” 

The Change that Counts conference brings together working social entrepreneurs, social investors, and specialists in investment metrics to explore the issues and strategies that are shaping the social sector today. 

In attendance will be top investors and leaders in social entrepreneurship like Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, and Jerry Glenn, futurologist and director of The Millennium Project. In addition, the 2009 Tech Laureates—the 15 world-changing, winning social entrepreneurs who will be honored Nov. 19 at the annual Tech Awards Gala—will be on hand to share with investors their own stories, and how they believe social impact should be measured. 

Among the other attendees:

•    Matt Flannery, co-founder and CEO of social investing micro-finance innovator, which has helped facilitate more than $93 million of small, “micro-loans” to entrepreneurs worldwide  
•    Tatyana Mamut and Aaron Sklar of IDEO's Evaluation for Social Innovation initiative. They will be part of a moderated panel addressing the relationship between social impact metrics and social investment practices 
•    Anne-Marie Burgoyne, portfolio director of Draper Richards Foundation, responsible for identifying and supporting the Draper Richards Foundation Fellows
•    Marc Koska, frequent speaker and co-founder of Star Syringe, a manufacturer of a safer syringe for use in worldwide health-care markets
•    John Kohler, Redleaf Venture Group and Executive Fellow, Global Social Benefit Incubator

For more information click here.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,758 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus masters and law degrees, and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masters universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse, SCU Media Relations
Assistant Director

Tags: CSTS, social entrepreneurs

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