Africa Social Enterprise Forum 2009
 
It’s been almost three weeks since the Africa Social Enterprise Forum (ASEF) took place in New York.  As ASEF’s co-chair, I can proudly say that the event went beyond our wildest dreams.  The standing-room-only forum gathered a diverse audience comprised of Africans and non-Africans, students, professionals, entrepreneurs and investors at the Desmond Tutu Center.

Our goal in creating ASEF was to provide: 1) access to information and 2) opportunities for action around social enterprise in Africa.  The buzz about the event, turnout, and post-event feedback have all confirmed that ASEF was a unique initiative which met the need for a large-scale, visible, and focused forum on social enterprise in Africa.  ASEF also confirmed that the major funders in the social enterprise arena need to diversify their portfolio.  Since the event, we’ve received inquiries from foundations and investors who are looking for up and coming African social entrepreneurs.  We’ll continue to work with Beyond Profit to share these stories and highlight Africa as a hub for social innovation.

A few takeaways from ASEF:

Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist: Craig delivered our morning keynote with a healthy dose of humor.   What is interesting, and perhaps quirky, about Craig is that he is aware of, and honest about, his shortcomings.  Many entrepreneurs prefer to be their own boss, but Craig instead opted to be a customer service guy at Craigslist and hired a CEO that he believed was better for the job.  Craig’s lessons learned as an entrepreneur are invaluable for anyone in any part of the world.

Andrew Zolli, Curator and Executive Director, PopTech Andrew delivered the afternoon keynote and closed with an impactful statement: “If given the choice between the sexiest business model and the best entrepreneur we would pick the best entrepreneur anytime.”  Andrew advised social entrepreneurs in the room to be prepared to fail, often – it’s expected.  Learn from it and “change your religion” accordingly.

Jacob Lief, Founder & President, Ubuntu Education Fund: Jacob spoke on the scaling up and due diligence panel, where he challenged the term “scaling up.”  He explained that Ubuntu’s approach is to “scale down” – to go deeper into a community and focus on changing lives, rather than simply touching them.

Antony Bugg-Levine, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation: Antony’s comments on the Social Financing panel echoed his article in the May/June 2009 issue of Beyond Profit about the absence of intermediaries between social investment capital and those who need it.  “Intermediation, or the placement of money between investors and the businesses and projects that can use it productively, is generally sub-scale and inefficient.”  Antony’s remarks present a huge opportunity for existing investment intermediaries to jump into the social investment arena or for new players to fill this void.

Footage and photos from ASEF are available online.  Also check out co-chair Magogodi Makhene’s blog on Social Edge for her take on the event. Email us at 2009asef@gmail.comfor more information.


Please note this article was originally posted at Beyond Profit

10/7/2010 11:47:54 am

In your life, there will at least one time that you forget yourself for someone, asking for no result, no company, no ownership nor love. Just ask for meeting you in my most beautiful years.

Reply
10/22/2010 01:58:40 pm

You see, "Practice makes perfect. " I wish that practice bring us progress somewhat.

Reply
10/25/2010 07:21:55 pm

Excellent internet site, the place did you arrive up with all the information on this piece of writing? I’m happy I observed it although, I'll be checking again quickly to find out what other posts you could have.

Reply
10/27/2010 06:54:46 pm

MeiLanJu bamboo can achieve, piano, chess, Calligraphy and painting can contented feeling. ChangYuan storage space, Internet friendship everlasting message. Friend is more walk more wide, message is connected to two lines, The space is common to see, The virtual world show love.

Reply
11/26/2010 02:11:37 pm

*The more you learn, the more you know.

Reply
11/28/2010 02:09:46 pm

Happiness depends on our attitudes to life

Reply
11/30/2010 03:22:06 pm

Se trata de un excelente article.Thank usted para compartir!*

Reply
12/17/2010 10:50:35 am

This article was Very helpful. Actually, I am fond of reading online punjabi news. Thanks for writing such a complete ..
thank you for sharing.

Reply
4/17/2011 05:27:40 pm

The actual holy bible shows that ladies introduced sin as well as passing away to the globe, which your woman brought on nov the actual competition, which your woman had been arraigned prior to the common sense chair associated with Bliss, attempted, ruined as well as sentenced. Relationship on her had been to become a situation associated with bondage, maternal a period of time struggling as well as concern, as well as alone as well as subjection, your woman had been in order to perform the actual part of the determined by male's resources for those the woman's materials desires, as well as for all your info your woman may wish... This is actually the Holy bible placement associated with lady quickly summed upward.

Reply
4/19/2011 05:14:21 pm

If you wish to be the best man, you must suffer the bitterest of the bitter.

Reply



Leave a Reply.