Case Study

An inside look at one organization

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Too Good to Fail

By James E. Post & Fiona S. Wilson 9

In August 2010 the US government closed ShoreBank, one of the country’s leading social enterprises. Why did ShoreBank fail?

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The Problem with Fair Trade Coffee

By Colleen Haight 27

Fair Trade-certified coffee is growing in sales, but strict certification requirements are resulting in uneven economic advantages for coffee growers and lower quality coffee for consumers.

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Better Vision for the Poor

By Aneel Karnani, Bernard Garrette, Jordan Kassalow, & Moses Lee 10

Several social enterprises are attempting to provide eyeglasses to the 500 million to 1 billion poor people who need them. Why haven’t any of the organizations succeeded on a large scale?

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Market-Minded Development

By Hima Batavia, Justin Chakma, Hassan Masum, & Peter Singer 5

Acumen Fund uses impact investing to tackle global poverty. It's approach has garnered attention, but does it change aid?

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Do No Evil

By Suzie Boss 6

Google DotOrg launched in 2004 with bold ambitions and almost $1 billion in seed funding. But the results have been less than stellar.

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Fueling Growth

By Sonali Rammohan

Riders for Health has created a novel approach to maintaining health transport vehicles in sub-Saharan Africa.

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LEED the Way

By Brandon Keim

The LEED green-building certification system is one of the fastest growing nonprofits in America.

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Strength Through Flexibility

By Kim Jonker 1

Over the past 17 years, the Forum for African Women Educationalists has delivered high-quality education to millions of girls across 35 African countries.

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A Fine Green Niche

By Maria Shao

Maria Yee established her eco-friendly, high-end furniture company long before going green was the done thing. Two decades later, her company's environmentally sound practices not only reflect a planet-friendly ethos, but also drive a market-friendly creative edge.

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The Profit in Nonprofit

By Bethany Coates & Garth Saloner 13

Why Kiva chose to be a 501(c)(3), what this tax status buys the organization, and how being a nonprofit poses challenges.