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UK, Canada and United States Named Best Places For Social Entrepreneurs

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The results of a global perception poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation together in partnership with Deutsche Bank, UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs and the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN), has named the UK, Canada and the USas the best countries to be a social entrepreneur.

The poll – the very first of its kind – surveyed almost 900 experts in the world’s 45 biggest economies to establish trends, opportunities and challenges related to this fast-growing sector, one using innovation to address critical social and environmental problems.

Social entrepreneurship is growing rapidly around the world.

Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation said: “From training rats to detect landmines, to offering micro-lending to Indian farmers, a growing number of entrepreneurs are creating sustainable business ideas to solve social problems and improve the lives of marginalised communities. We hope this poll will provide the industry with a benchmark to spearhead future growth.”

While the United States, Canada and the UK topped the list as the best nations for the industry, Turkey ranked worst. Also ranking poorly were Venezuela, Brazil and Ireland, countries where support is lacking for social enterprise.

However, in the UK, Brexit was also identified as a risk that might penalise the sector, together with the decision to move responsibility for social enterprise from the Cabinet Office – a department at the heart of government – to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Overall, the analysis shows that social entrepreneurship is gaining momentum around the world, with 85% of participants witnessing growth in their own countries. However nearly 60% of the experts mentioned the trend is being hampered by low understanding of the sector, the challenges in raising funds and the lack of adequate government support.

“The UK has been a pioneer for social entrepreneurship, thanks to a vibrant movement and strong Government support, helping it to become one of the top three places in the world to be a social entrepreneur,” said Mark Norbury, Chief Executive of UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs. “Social  entrepreneurs are passionate about solving social problems, but they are also committed business people – so to sustain this level of growth and momentum they need continued support from all parts of government, business and wider society.”

According to the survey, Canada, Singapore and the United States are the best countries providing capital for the sector. Belgium, the Philippines and India also ranked well in providing access to funding. In particular, experts believe India is playing a key role in developing business ideas that could then be scaled to regions such as Africa where similar social problems persist.

“As evidenced through this study, there is a pioneering group of entrepreneurs that are using innovative business models to drive positive change in all societies around the world, said Lareena Hilton, Global Head of Brand Communications & CSR, Deutsche Bank. Whilst it is encouraging to see a global footprint emerging, it also shines a light on the work needed to improve understanding of the sector and the obstacles to become investment ready. Being part of this research enables Deutsche Bank to shape the support for investment readiness through our Made for Good programme that will help build momentum and capacity for this exciting sector; at the same time helping to further develop the market and
conditions for success.”

The research identifies Santiago and Nairobi as the leading hotspots for social entrepreneurs, together with Berlin, London and Hong Kong. Santiago in particular emerges as a strong eco-system for the sector, with the government offering entrepreneurs equity-free funding, working spaces and mentoring opportunities in an effort to boost social entrepreneurship.

Finally, the poll acknowledges the rising role of women within the industry. 68 per cent of those polled said women were well-represented in management roles. The Philippines ranked as the top country where women are succeeding as social entrepreneurs, while Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand took five of the other top ten slots.

The findings from the poll will be unveiled today, Sept 15, in San Francisco at SOCAP16, the world’s biggest event for social capital markets.

For more information visit poll2016.trust.org

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Green Weddings Trend: Why 70% of Newlyweds Are Going Green

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A couple of months ago, my best friend got married to her new husband. They are both very eco-conscious people, so they decided to have a unique twist on their wedding. They asked for the following:

  • They arranged a carpool with their friends.
  • They didn’t have any balloons. Instead they used umbrellas.
  • They used plant materials instead of plastic confetti.
  • My friend insisted her husband not purchase a diamond. In addition to being ecologically conscious, she didn’t like the idea of having a stone that was used in conflict zones.

My friends aren’t the only ones making these changes. In fact, nearly a quarter of all newlyweds are organizing green weddings.

Green Weddings Are Becoming the Norm

People are more concerned about green living than ever before. They are trying to incorporate environmental protectionist ideas into every facet of their lives, even the most intimate, such as marriage. A growing number of people are trying to have green weddings, which can make a big difference in reducing their carbon footprint.

How much of a difference can this make? Here are some statistics to bear in mind:

There are a number ofreasons that green weddings are becoming more important. Here are a few.

People Are More Worried About Environmental Preservation than Ever Before

Green living in general is becoming a greater concern for most people. Even younger conservatives are breaking from their older counterparts by insisting on fighting climate change. According to a poll from Pew Research earlier this year, 75% of Americans say that they are very concerned about protecting the environment. Having green weddings is a good way to act on this concern.

One of the biggest changes people are making is using recycled products for their green weddings. This is explained by the research from Pew:

“Overall, 32% of U.S. adults say they are bothered a lot by people throwing away things that could be recycled. Roughly six-in-ten Americans (61%) who say they always try to live in ways that protect the environment say it bothers them “a lot” when others throw away things that could be recycled. Among those who are less focused on environmental protection, only a quarter say it bothers them a lot when others don’t recycle. People who are environmentally conscious are also twice as likely as others to say that seeing someone incorrectly putting trash in recycling bins bothers them a lot (42% vs. 21%).”

Indifferent Politicians Are Driving them to Take More Initiative

Many politicians in power have been very hesitant to take action on climate change. Many of them have openly stated that it is a hoax. These politicians are forcing people to do what they can in their own lives to make a difference. Making small changes, such as hosting green weddings, is a great way to improve the environment without waiting for political momentum.

Cost and Simplicity

A couple of the biggest reasons that people want to host green weddings have nothing to do with their concern for the environment. Running green weddings is simply cheaper and simpler than having a massive, traditional one. One of the biggest changes is that they are buying green engagement rings from the best brands.

Green Weddings Are the Future

Green weddings have become very popular over the past few years. They will probably account for close to 90% of all marriages by 2025. People that are planning to get married should look into the benefits and plan accordingly.

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Green Tech Start-Ups: Are they the Future?

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Endless innovations are occurring in green companies, reinventing the industries they belong to. Gradually, they are beginning to amass more success and popularity. Consequently, these factors serve as a good indicator for green technology businesses, and their development must begin somewhere.

Green tech start-ups boast a wide array of opportunities for the economy and environment, while boosting recruitment openings with valuable services. While the technology industry is littered with high revenues and competition, the green tech start-ups are the clear sign of a cleaner future.

Fulfilling a Genuine Need

Many tech companies will market themselves as the ultimate tech giants to shift stock and make profit. As they all vie for attention through warped corporate rhetoric, there is only one ethical winner; the start-up green tech company.

Some argue that mainstream tech businesses have grown far too big, branching out into other industries and standing between the consumer and practically everything they do. However, green tech start-ups go beyond the shallow ambitions of a company, answering a call to sincerely help the customer and climate in any way they can. Of course, this is an attractive business model, putting customers at ease as they contribute to a humanitarian cause that is genuine through and through.

After all, empathy is a striking trait to have in business, and green tech start-ups maintain this composure by their very nature and purpose.

Creating Opportunities

Despite the pursuits for clean energy still needing more awareness, green tech is an area that is ripe for contribution and expansion. There’s no need to copy another company or be a business of cheap knockoffs; green tech start-ups can add a new voice to the economy by being fresh, fearless and entrepreneurial.

Technology is at its most useful when it breaks new ground, an awe that eco-friendly innovations have by default in their operations. Of course, green tech start-ups have the chance to build on this foundation and create harmony instead of climate crisis. Ultimately, the tech advancements are what revolutionise clean energy as more than an activist niche, putting theory into practice.

Despite the US gradually becoming more disengaged with green technology, others such as China and Canada recognise the potential in green technology for creating jobs and growth in their respective economies. The slack of others spurs them on, which creates a constant influx of prospects for the green tech sector. Put simply, their services are always required, able to thrive from country to country.

A Fundamental Foresight

Mainstream technology can seem repetitive and dull, tinkering with what has come before rather than turning tech on its head. Since 2011, technology has been accused of stagnation, something which the internet and petty app services seem to disguise in short reaching ideas of creativity.

However, green tech start-ups aren’t just winging it, and operate with a roadmap of climate change in the years ahead to strategize accordingly. In other words, they aren’t simply looking to make a quick profit by sticking to a trend, but have the long-term future in mind. Consequently, the green tech start-up will be there from the very start, building up from the foundational level to only grow as more and more people inevitably go green.

They can additionally forecast their finances too, with the ability to access online platforms despite the differing levels of experience, keeping them in the loop. Consequently, with an eye for the future, green tech startups are the ones who will eventually usher in the new era.

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