Lessons Learned from the Columbia Social Enterprise Conference

Last Friday Co-founder Spencer Taylor and I attended the Social Enterprise Conference at Columbia University.  The conference’s goal was for speakers and attendees to engage in a deep dialogue about how to tackle major social and environmental challenges.  The series of keynotes, panel sessions, and workshops were held by leaders in the industry who have been transforming their organizations’ strategies to create greater impact.  While the conference touched on broader themes of social change and impact, in almost all of the keynote addresses or sessions I attended, I could relate the topics back to Launcht and to crowdfunding.

For example, the first discussion of the day between Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes, and Fernando Fabre, President of Endeavor Global, touched on the importance of equity investment.  In the discussion, Mr. Farbe highlighted that in order for entrepreneurs to thrive, they must have opportunities and resources available to them, one being early stage equity investment.  Solving the problem of early stage equity investment in emerging markets, through microfinance or crowdfunding, will significantly impact development.  2% of equity investment, for example, can increase a country’s GDP by 20%.  Crowdfunding, becoming more and more popular globally, will help economies thrive.

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