Monday, October 30, 2006

[Admin.] Custom Search Engine - Up and Running

Near the top of the sidebar, we're hoping you'll notice our newest feature ... a "custom search engine".

Thanks to Google CO-OP, which provides ...
a platform that enables you to customize the web search experience for users of both Google and your own website.

And, the VSEF is customizing a search engine specific to social enterprise.

We're updating the search parameters daily. Give it a "spin".

We're also hoping you'll like it.
--------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef


Labels: ,

Continue reading this item ... AddThis Social Bookmark Button

[Opportunity] Director Sustainability - UBC

Yes. UBC.

UBC has retained Ray & Berndtson, to find a "Director, Sustainability".

Here's the posting:
Located on 400 of the most beautiful hectares of land imaginable, the main campus of The University of British Columbia is stunning. With a population of over 60,000 students, faculty, staff and residents, UBC is the only self-contained city/university in North America and is among the top ten municipalities in the province. In 2005 the university reached out to the Southern BC Interior with the establishment of UBC Okanagan.

UBC is one of 300 leading educational institutions around the world that signed the 1990 Tailories Declaration, an important action plan for incorporating sustainability into higher education. To date, UBC stands out as a leader in putting its commitment into practice. Critical to this success was the creation, in 1998, of the country's first Campus Sustainability Office.

The Office of Sustainability operates within both the academic and operational areas of the campus. It is responsible for sustainability initiatives in the planning, development and operation of the campus lands and faculties and for sustainability initiatives in teaching and research activities. The founding Director of Sustainability has worked with a talented team to make UBC an international leader in the Sustainability movement. The Director's retirement has lead to a search for her successor. The ideal candidate is a recognized leader in sustainability who through his or her career has lead the development of a broad range of programs that contribute to the development of a strong financially, environmentally and socially sustainable organization. The Director will be an inspirational leader who will have the ability to motivate others and affect transformation in a very sophisticated and complex environment.

Explore this opportunity to join a world class leader in sustainability by contacting Stephanie Falls.

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

The notice ran on the Ray & Berndtson and Business for Social Responsibility sites.

Funny ... they didn't use Canadian Business for Social Responsibility.


I wonder if anyone from the Wreck Beach Preservation Society is applying for the role?

--------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, UBC, Sustainability, Vancouver


Labels: , ,

Continue reading this item ... AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Micro-Finance: Seeking a Reciprocal Benefit

At the recent Root 'n' Fruit Unconference, a number of proto-Yunus-types were keen to see market capital made available to advance the social missions of local social enterprises.

So, I'm pretty confident they were happy with the Nobel committee selection for the Peace Prize. But c'mon ... Peace? Why not economics?

On that subject ... here are a few items that didn't meet the dealine for our newsletter. Enjoy and share ...

* Microcredit, Macro Issues is a commentary written by Walden Bello for The Nation. Here's a snippet ...
In other words, microcredit is a great tool as a survival strategy, but it is not the key to development, which involves not only massive capital-intensive, state-directed investments to build industries but also an assault on the structures of inequality such as concentrated land ownership that systematically deprive the poor of resources to escape poverty. Microcredit schemes end up coexisting with these entrenched structures, serving as a safety net for people excluded and marginalized by them, but not transforming them. No, Paul Wolfowitz, microcredit is not the key to ending poverty among the 75 million people in Andhra Pradesh. Dream on.

Perhaps one of the reasons there is such enthusiasm for microcredit in establishment circles these days is that it is a market-based mechanism that has enjoyed some success where other market-based programs have crashed. Structural-adjustment programs promoting trade liberalization, deregulation and privatization have brought greater poverty and inequality to most parts of the developing world over the last quarter century, and have made economic stagnation a permanent condition. Many of the same institutions that pushed and are continuing to push these failed macro programs (sometimes under new labels like "Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers"), like the World Bank, are often the same institutions pushing microcredit programs. Viewed broadly, microcredit can be seen as the safety net for millions of people destabilized by the large-scale macro-failures engendered by structural adjustment.

[With thanks to Audeamus.]

* Millions For Millions, is by Connie Bruck for The New Yorker. Here's a snippet ...
Yunus is a mesmerizing salesman. In the eighties and early nineties, the Grameen Bank received close to a hundred and fifty million dollars in soft loans and grants; today, funded by savings deposits from borrowers and others, it essentially supports itself. It has disbursed more than $5.3 billion to nearly seven million borrowers who have no collateral; ninety-six per cent of them are groups of women, who meet once a week and, through incentives, help to insure their individual loan repayments. (Traditionally, Third World banks lend only to men. Yunus says that he developed the policy of lending mainly to women not only because they were more responsible about re-paying the loans but because families benefitted more when the women controlled the money.) To cover the high cost of servicing these small loans, borrowers pay interest rates of up to twenty per cent, and Grameen claims that it recovers ninety-eight per cent of the loans. Some of Grameen’s numbers have been challenged, but no one disputes Yunus’s assertion that, contrary to traditional banking doctrine, the poor can be reliable borrowers, even at high rates of interest. These days, Yunus raises money for the Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit group that supports microcredit institutions around the world. Many are related to the Grameen Bank, but only loosely; Yunus believes in locally designed, run, and controlled institutions.

[With thanks to Polya at Fast Company.]

--------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, MicroCredit, Innovation, MicroFinance


Labels: , , , ,

Continue reading this item ... AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Home of One's Own

Housing is an everyday news story in Vancouver. It's a story populated with groups ranging from Habit for Humanity to the more grassroots Anti-Poverty Committee.

So today's post at Social Catalyst, "Housing + Social Enterprise", got me thinking.

The post refers to Chris Hill's documentation of the opportunity available to UK housing associations to nurture the growth of social enterprise. The work is clear and concise with sectoral case studies.

Here's a link to Chris' document Enterprising Associations.

--------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, Nonprofit, Housing


Labels: ,

Continue reading this item ... AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Get Free Shots from
Blog Network: