Social Innovation Book Project: Creating Value-Based Ventures
A vibrant snapshot into the rapidly evolving space of social innovation
A user-friendly, visual book
Our book presents a framework for understanding social innovation through first-hand interviews with leaders, entrepreneurs and changemakers in the space. We analyze breakthrough innovations to identify a set of best practices that create both economic and social value.
Topics covered in our book
Through examination of new business models, legal structures and financing sources that are taking shape globally, this book will be an actionable resource for changemakers engaged in this evolving sector.
How are firms like Whole Foods, Patagonia and Danone integrating socio-economic values into the core of their business practices?
What innovations are emerging from traditional sectors like healthcare and construction?
How are new startups redefining social impact and creating new ways of generating social and economic value?
How does the expanding market potential of impact financing affect funding choices for value-based businesses? (The impact investing market potential is estimated at $650 Billion, a fivefold increase from estimates from just a few years ago)
How are trends like mindful consumption, the shared economy, virtual currencies and conscious capitalism fundamentally changing business models? How can new businesses embrace the shift?
The problem-- a market gap
As we explored the available literature, we found that that there are a number of resources on social innovation. There are books, blogs, and journals---but many of these are either written for a niche audience (e.g. nonprofit professionals, investors, etc.) or provide a detailed analysis of a specific sub-specialty within the field. There is a need--a market gap--for a user-friendly book that provides an overview of key concepts of social innovation and serves as a launch pad for individuals wanting to engage in this space.
Our solution-- a book that will:
Examine the new business models, legal structures and financing sources that are emerging globally in the area of social enterprise
Profile cutting-edge examples of social innovation internationally, across sectors (business, nonprofit, startup), and industries (e.g. healthcare, finance, etc.). The idea is to present a breadth of emerging examples of value creation--and then do a deep dive on a select few
Outline best practices based on hard won lessons from a diverse group of entrepreneurs, business leaders, and value-based companies
Help entrepreneurs navigate the rapidly evolving landscape of the social innovation space
Traditionally, caring for the environment or society was the purview of nonprofit organizations; profit maximization was the clear mandate for businesses. However, this binary model is clearly limited and there is an increasing movement to explore new, more holistic models of value creation. Yet, the dominant legal, financing and business structures are designed for a binary world--a world where an entity can function either as a profit-maximizing business or a social/environmental nonprofit, but not as both.
A paradigm shift: mapping critical macro trends that impact the future direction of the new economy
The limitations of capitalism are increasingly evident and leading-edge companies like Patagonia, as well as entrepreneurs across sectors are rethinking the role of business in society. This is an exciting time of creative experimentation where visionary leaders are engaged in creating a new economy, an economy that applies business principles to create a better world. Traditional boundaries between profit-maximizing businesses and philanthropic-minded nonprofit organizations are dissolving and people are increasingly interested in generating both profits and socio-economic value.
Questions that guide our book
As Shivani and Neetal unpack this new, evolving space, they ask emerging and established social enterprises a core set of questions:
Who are the people, companies, and entrepreneurs engaged in creating social and economic value?
What legal structures have they chosen, and why?
Are they employing traditional business models, new ones, or hybrid models?
How have their social enterprises been funded? Traditional capital, impact investing, or something else?
What challenges have they faced, what would they do differently, and what suggestions do they have for social entrepreneurs entering the space today, or in the future?
The book will address these questions through tangible examples and conversations with the people and organizations at the forefront of the social enterprise movement.
Why we need you: empower us to do this right
Writing this book is a passion project for both of us. There are many ways to help develop the ecosystem of social innovation—and this is our way of contributing. We want to produce the best work possible and we need a talented team to make that happen. Your participation will help us:
Bring on board a talented graphic designer who can help us realize our vision and clarify complex information through clear and compelling graphics
Work with the best copy editing resources that our budget allows
Complement the eBook version with a small soft copy run of 300-500 books
We want to get this book out to you as soon as possible so that it emboldens your vision and fuels your drive. Any support, monetary or social media sharing or in-kind offerings, will help us to create a compelling book that can inspire a changing mindset of business and mission.
Ask the authors
Q. What’s the format of the book?
We want our book to be useful, accessible, and actionable. The book will be graphic-rich and rely upon well-illustrated infographics, models and charts that present complex information simply and clearly. It will be available as an eBook and in a select number of soft copies.
Q. Is this book US centric or global in scope?
Our book is international in scope and looks at innovative firms/entrepreneurs across the globe--including Asia, Africa, South & Latin America and the United States.
Q. Who is this book for?
This book is for leaders and doers interested in better understanding the social enterprise space. The subjects we cover will resonate with:
Social entrepreneurs: existing entrepreneurs and those interested in starting a social enterprise
Business leaders: those in large enterprises interested in incorporating impact into their business
Emerging market professionals: those engaged in creating products, services & solutions for customers in emerging markets
Impact Investors: people who invest for impact in addition to profit
Legal and policy leaders: people who are at the forefront of social impact law and policy
Career explorers: people who are looking to create a career path in this space.
Q. If I back your project, where will the funds go?
The funds will be used for:
Working with a talented graphic designer & cover art
Engaging an experienced copy editor
Conducting research with leading entrepreneurs and companies
Publishing costs, including a small print run of 300-500 copies
Marketing and promotional events
A small portion will go toward fulfilling campaign rewards
Q. Why write this book now?
This is an exciting time to take a look at this evolving space while its still very much in the making! Social enterprise is no longer in a nascent stage and there is now a critical mass of people and firms engaged in this sector. However, a healthy and supportive ecosystem is still very much in development. This is a unique point in time where dominant paradigms of value creation are in flux and people from a wide swath are actively experimenting with models that are effective.
Q. Who are the authors?
We are Neetal and Shivani--and are drawn together by a shared passion to create fulfilling careers that combine the best of the business sector and the social sector. Neetal’s legal background and Shivani’s business background, combined with both our experience in the non-profit sector, allows us to bring a unique perspective to this project. Following are a few details:
About the Authors
Neetal Parekh is a writer, attorney and social media strategist. She founded Innov8Social in 2011 to explore the growing field of social innovation, and her work has been featured in online publications such as the Stanford Social Innovation Review, TriplePundit, and Social Earth. Since taking a corporations class in law school and learning about fiduciary duties owed to shareholders, she has wondered if there were other ways to structure a business that incentivize pursuing both impact and profit. When she began following and covering the benefit corporation movement in California in 2011 she knew that thinkers and doers were already pursuing this question. Writing this book is a dream come true and she is excited to share what she and Shivani are learning about this fascinating space.
Shivani Khanna received M.A. in Psychology before pursuing her MBA at Santa Clara University. She currently provides business consulting insight to international clients focused on emerging markets and engages in extensive fieldwork in Africa and Asia. Her experience is in developing solutions for base of the pyramid customers in emerging markets, specifically with a focus on financial services and global market development. Her past work experience spans both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. During her work as a Business Leader at Visa Inc. she saw a huge untapped opportunity to create value and impact through developing financial services and solutions for people outside the formal financial sector. Shivani is affiliated with organizations such as the Hub SOMA and Conscious Capitalism. She is passionate about combining the best from both the business world and the social sector to create a third space that provides wealth and dignity.