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A Woman on Mars.

2013 January 18

I am not sure what your plan is in 2013 and what’s your wish for the new year. 

Some 34,000 people wanted to build Death Star and wrote a petition to the White House asking for it, supposedly for the purpose of galactic domination. Unfortunately the estimated budget of USD 840 quadrillion required for the mission makes it a complex demand in these though economic times and I am pleased to read that the US Administration doesn’t support blowing up planets (PS I would love to see the rationale for that budgeted amount!)

Some other people want to build a human colony on Mars. To these people Nasa gives supplier contracts. I am obviously talking about Elon Musk, arguably one of the most inspiring entrepreneurs in the world, according to many, for sure according to me. Being a good entrepreneur he set up a budget, gathered a team, built a coalition and, of course, set up a company: SpaceX.

So I start 2013 with two certainties and one question. First, read more…

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Wedu – the new venture of a former Fellow

2012 December 10
by Mario

This post was originally posted on the Acumen fund blog (here) on December 5th, 2012.

On September 28, 2011, I left New York. Little did I know that the entrepreneurial seed planted in me while training in New York and working for Husk Power Systems in India as a part of the Acumen Fund Fellows Program was going to blossom in the coming months. The growth of that seed was so vigorous that the job I found after the fellowship could not contain it, and I felt the sense of urgency to start Wedu.

Ly Chhay, Wedu’s first student from rural Cambodia (right) and Ruby from UNWOMEN, who is a supporter of Wedu (left)

Wedu’s mission is to catalyze the development of women leaders in the Least Developed Countries by providing inspiring mentorship and financial access to university education. Like Acumen, we value the importance of local leadership. That’s why we work in higher education in Cambodia and Myanmar, with a focus on encouraging these young leaders to improve the communities they come from. At the same time, we hope they use their skills to design scalable models for improvements that can work in other parts of the world. Sustainability is another important aspect of our work. Social impact comes first at Wedu, but read more…

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Connecting the Dots

2012 August 15

Khalil Gibran says that work is love made visible. 

(Andrea) This last year has brought me to various corners of the globe to promote clean energy and energy access in emerging markets.  The path can be grueling, unpredictable, and a little isolating.  But taking steps towards that vision and refining it along the way  gives deep satisfaction.  What we don’t discuss as much  is the community of people you begin to know and the relationships you cultivate of likeminded individuals.  What I’ve learned to be true, is that there is a small community of incredibly motivated and creative individuals who share either a common vision, passion, or line of work that takes them around the world as well.  We bring with us different nationalities, gender, religion, and on and on.  No matter if it’s Nepal, Philippines, a remote village in Pakistan, India or New York, you read more…

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Lesson Six: Nobody wants to Do It

2012 July 29

Talking about social entrepreneurship is cool! Going to Socap is cool! Writing about social entrepreneurs, their tormented, passionate stories is very cool! Doing an internship in a social enterprise is cool and looks really good on the CV. Supporting  social enterprises is very cool, like creating advisory services, investment circles, fundraising platforms. Most of the people belonging to the surrounding community for social enterprises want to be based in cool parts of the world, like New York, San Francisco, London maybe Hong Kong or Nairobi, places that in most cases are far from the large markets of rural India, mainland China, Sub-Saharan Africa.

But how many people want to commit ten read more…

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Lesson Five: not all about IT

2012 June 28

“I want to have impact, I will crowdsource  the design of an opensource app for ultralight tablet using  geobased…. etc etc etc…!” Technology is fantastic, it is enabling hundreds of millions of individual to do things inconceivable few years ago.  Indeed, in the words of Arthur C. Clarke “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

However, if there is one thing that will be in your face as soon as you start thinking pragmatically read more…

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Lesson Four: It is Solitary

2012 May 18
tags:
by Mario

Social entrepreneurship is solitary. I have already mentioned this topic in a previous post (here), but this time I take it more personally.

 Many people will love your work, but few people truly understand what you do and more importantly why you do it. As a social entrepreneur you will find a lot of times that you are explaining your vision once again to a new person, a journalist, a potential investor, or a person met in a bar and they will look at you in admiration or with skepticism. Very few times you will be able to spot in their eyes the level of empathy that will give you full satisfaction.

You may be read more…

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