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social enterprise

Celebrating the Power of Artisan Enterprise to Change the World

Read the full remarks by the Secretary of State

According to research from the Inter-American Development Bank, if the creative economy, globally, were a country, it would already be equal to the fourth-largest economy in the world with the fourth-largest workforce and ranking ninth in the value of exports. That’s just the beginning. One advantage of the Information Age is the ability to be able to potentially increase markets for products that have traditionally been sold just locally, or out of a kiosk, or to tourists when they’re coming in. Not anymore. With... read more

Getting Beyond Hype: Four Questions to Predict Real Impact

Read the full commentary "Getting Beyond Hype: Four Questions to Predict Real Impact" from Stanford Social Innovation Review

...we really do need to sort good ideas from bad, and it ought to happen before we stoke the fires of publicity. At Mulago, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out if start-ups with a new “thing”—a product, service, or technology—are likely to create real impact in the lives of the people we’re trying to serve. Over time, we’ve evolved a set of four questions that help us make better predictions. 

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We Want to Know Exactly What You're Trying to Accomplish

Read the full commentary The Eight Word Mission Statement from Stanford Social Innovation Review.

As investors in impact, we—the Mulago Foundation—don’t want to wade through a bunch of verbiage about “empowerment,” “capacity-building,” and “sustainability”—we want to know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. We want to cut to the chase, and the tool that works for us is the eight-word mission statement. All we want is this:

A verb, a target population, and an outcome that implies something to measure—and we want in eight words or less. 

....With a good eight-word mission, you can... read more

Falling Somewhere on the Spectrum of Meaning

 Read the full commentary Why Meaning Beats Marketing from Unreasonable Institute

Every product lies somewhere on a spectrum of meaning. Those at the high end of the meaning spectrum truly transform customers’ lives. Those at the low end of the meaning spectrum make small, forgettable differences. The companies at the low end of this spectrum have few options than to try to outspend via marketing channels....

So instead of pouring your marketing budget into advertising or sales channels, try to find the person or group whose lives you significantly change.

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A Rallying Cry for a New Story of the Economy

Read the full commentary The Economy at the Edge from Unreasonable Institute

Building a disruptive economy by bringing the voices in from the edges to the center is very powerful. We celebrate a real economy, an economy in service to life. We seek the creatives, the disruptive, the entrepreneurs, the heretics, the dispossessed—all the people who have been told to shut up. These people from the margins now hold the greatest promise for saving our asses—in the artistic, creative, and entrepreneurial edges that are where the magic is. They will... read more