A Look Back on the Week

To help our readers better digest the prolific number of posts that appear throughout a given week, the ThinkChange India team will be providing weekly recaps on what posts garnered the most interest and also we will highlight some older posts that we feel deserve to be featured again.

From Sunday to Sunday — The Top Posts of the Week

  1. Santosh wrote on the development of a new social capital exchange. (62 views)
  2. A post by Prerna on For Love of Water (FLOW) enjoyed the second spot this week. (40 views)
  3. Shital’s reporting on women barefoot solar engineers also got much attention this week. (31 views)

Highlighted Jobs, Internships and Other Opportunities

  1. SKS Hyderbad is soliciting applications for a summer intern and Program Director. (31 views)
  2. An internship for Source for Change also gained noticeable attention this week. (30 views)
  3. Another post on an essay competition on climate change and health also received some focus by our readers this week. (29 views)

Reaching into the Archives

In this section we will link back to an older post that we believe deserves to be featured one more time.

Fresh off of the launch of ThinkChange India, Vinay wrote an Op-Ed on the value of having both arrogance and humility with regard to being a social entrepreneur. The post originally was published on March 3, 2008. (106 views)

We hope that these weekly recaps will help you better navigate our site and to make it even easier for our readers to keep up with everything exciting that is going on in India. Also, as always, we encourage all of you to keep commenting and participating as that is the best feedback to make sure we are doing a good job.

Best,

The ThinkChange India Team

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Credit Suisse to launch their own social index

Hot off the news that M-Cril will be launching their own social capital exchange, as reported by Santhosh, and also the plans by Xigi.net to create a social capital index that I spoke about some time back, Credit Suisse plans to launch its own Social Responsibility Index. As reported by Microcapital.org:

Credit Suisse will launch in the coming weeks an index that encompasses social responsibility criteria in addition to strong valuation and performance characteristics. The index will be composed of stocks that rank highly on both social responsibility criteria and financial ratios, the latter being defined by HOLT, Credit Suisse’s proprietary financial analysis tool. The index will offer investors exposure to a portfolio of stocks that are screened for strong characteristics in terms of corporate performance, valuation and momentum using HOLT’s proprietary framework. Coupled with a well established method of identifying socially responsible companies, including assessing political, environmental, labor, and human rights issues, the approach used in the systematic screening process has shown in simulations to consistently identify stocks that collectively outperform the market.

This project is part of the bank’s larger push to focus on the social investing and BoP markets as evidenced by other initiatives taken by the company. The full story can be read here.

Op-Ed: Microfinance revisited and its role in reaching the missing middle

Two weeks ago I wrote about James Surowiecki’s article in the New Yorker that brought forward the inherent limitations of microfinance to actually generate a substantial number of jobs in a developing country. Since then it seems as if I was not the only one (surprise surprise) to take notice of Surowieki’s conclusions and it has even brought pioneers like Acumen Fund‘s CEO

Novogratz gave some credit to Surowiecki’s argument that not everyone in society is an entrepreneur and that in fact most people simply want a predictable, stable job with defined roles. Novogratz, however, distinguished her stance through her anectdotal experience with women’s access to credit and how throughout her experience they have overwhelmingly been favorable towards it. She says that this desire for credit provides the rest of us with critical lessons on how to address poverty.

However, the desire for credit on its own in no way makes someone an entrepreneur. Every teenager in America has an affinity for credit, but just because they are willing to spend that money somewhere does not make them some sort of innovator. Likewise, Surowieki’s argument highlights that for the most part microloans are not utilized for business expansion, but rather they help tide businesses over during rougher times, a la a bridge financing round. These funds like simple credit cards are used to cover funds that someone has already spent before — not towards future capital investments. It is that ability to reinvest ones funds towards scalability and expansion that is truly entrepreneurial.

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Social Capital Index Unveiled by Xigi.net

The other day, we posted an article by PSD Blog suggesting that the new development paradigm still suffers from the same shortcomings of the old guard. Today, we have come across one initiative to help address those concerns, as Xigi.net has released a new Social Capital Index that intends to be a tracking tool for investors to monitor and compare various blended value investments.

We have launched the Social Capital Index, a timely tracking of investments in the social capital market, including social enterprise, (health, education and workforce development) fair trade, digital inclusion, and some clean tech and microfinance investments. Over time we will be able to size the Social Capital market and its growth trajectory in each sector

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