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Building a Successful Social Venture by Eric Carlson and James Koch
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Building a Successful Social Venture

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Building a Successful Social Venture by Eric Carlson and James Koch
Paperback $59.95
Sep 18, 2018 | ISBN 9781523095940

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  • Sep 18, 2018 | ISBN 9781523095940

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“This remarkable book brings you the power of three great entrepreneurial traditions: the 500 years of extraordinary Jesuit changemakers for the good, the business spirits and tools of Silicon Valley, and the wave of social changemakers and entrepreneurs who are changing the world more deeply every year.”
—Bill Drayton, CEO, Ashoka

“Jim Koch and Eric Carlson have drawn on more than a decade’s experience with hundreds of social enterprise ventures working in communities around the world. From that rich database they have assembled a unique and valuable field-tested guide to business plan development that puts market-based approaches in service of social and developmental goals.”
—Dr. Al Hammond, serial social entrepreneur and principal author of The Next 4 Billion

“Rooted in Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial DNA, this practical guide will help social entrepreneurs build ventures that can scale their impact in serving the unmet needs of humanity and empower students with the knowledge and skills they need to transform their ideas into sustainable realities.”
—Dr. Thane Kreiner, Executive Director and Howard and Alida Charney University Professor, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Santa Clara University

From Social Entrepreneurs:

“Where else can one find out how to go about developing a business plan with both impact and profit in mind? Where else does one find a guide to convert intractable social problems into opportunities for realistic dreamers to tackle through effective social ventures? Jim Koch and Eric Carlson’s book Building a Successful Social Venture provides a powerful guide for social entrepreneurs like me, who must permanently battle the tradeoffs between social impact and sustainability. The book is a treasure.”
—Martin Burt, PhD, founder, Fundación Paraguaya (2005 Skoll Awardee), Poverty Stoplight, and Teach a Man to Fish

“The information found here is detailed and pertinent, with real-life insights into the origins and functioning of social enterprises. Step-by-step guidelines, examples, and charts offer a critical but encouraging perspective on building and scaling social impact.”
—Neelam Chibber, cofounder and Managing Trustee, Industree Crafts Foundation (2011 Social Entrepreneur of the Year India Awardee), and Schwab Fellow

“The term ‘social venture’ has been notoriously ill-defined over the past decade. The authors bring much-needed definition to the space. This will be helpful for investors, regulators, and entrepreneurs alike going forward. At Kiva, we benefitted greatly from the Global Social Benefit Incubator in getting started. This work can help us take it to the next level!” 
—Matt Flannery, cofounder and former CEO, Kiva (2008 Skoll Awardee), and cofounder and CEO,

“The knowledge captured by the book is amazing. I wish we had a book like this for reference in 2002–03 when we went about setting up Ziqitza. Back then there was no concept of ‘social venture.’ I believe this is a good foundation for anyone who is looking to start a social venture. Attending GSBI was a great experience for me; I learned so much in the short time I was on campus.”
—Ravi Krishna, cofounder and Director, Ziqitza Health Care (2013 Times of India Social Impact Awardee)

“A comprehensive guide and tool kit for these times. Koch and Carlson illuminate the field with research, case studies, and critical specification checklists. Their work makes it clear that social entrepreneurship has a vital role to play in the personal and collective transformation required to create a more harmonious and equitable world.”
—Ronni Goldfarb, founder and former President and CEO, Equal Access International (2016 Tech Awards Laureate)

“Carlson and Koch have written an informative guide that shows readers the unique opportunity that social entrepreneurship offers to address complex societal challenges and offers specific, engaging, and practical guidance for those of us eager to create financially sustainable and beneficial social ventures.”
—Sara Goldman, cofounder, Heart of the Heartland

“This book is the culmination of James Koch and Eric Carlson’s dedication to mentoring hundreds of social enterprises, from formation through scale. There’s never one right way to build a company, so they have aggregated and analyzed the different lessons learned from many organizations. This book is well worth the read for any aspiring or practicing social entrepreneur!” 
—Lesley Marincola, founder and CEO, Angaza (2018 Skoll Awardee and 2016 Tech Awards Laureate)

“I have had the honor of learning many of the concepts presented in this book directly from Jim and Eric at Santa Clara. I applied many of these concepts at Husk Power Systems and raised funding to scale. This book does a phenomenal job of providing a very detailed and easy-to-follow framework for launching and scaling successful businesses focused on solving the world’s biggest problems. Concrete case studies are presented in a succinct way to illustrate how these frameworks can be applied effectively. I would highly recommend both social entrepreneurs and successful social enterprises to read this book and use it as a reference to continually evolve.”
—Manoj Sinha, cofounder and CEO, Husk Power Systems (2009 and 2013 GSBI alumnus)

“An inspirational, holistic, and practical resource with real-world lessons and examples. A must-read for early stage ventures as well as ventures moving along the path to scale. I admire Jim and Eric’s completeness of vision and their true and unwavering commitment to building social ventures and mentoring the social entrepreneurs who lead them.”
—Elizabeth Hausler, founder and CEO, Build Change (2017 Skoll Awardee)

From Undergraduate Beta Tests of Building a Successful Social Venture:

“University students hunger for effective theories of positive social change: Building a Successful Social Venture provides them a feast. Unlike most textbooks about social entrepreneurship, Building a Sucessful Social Venture challenges students to drill down into business models and how these can drive change in society. My students have drawn rich insights in enterprise-led social transformation from this book with direct application to action research projects around the world. Subsequent to using this book in two classes, four students received Fulbright Awards.” 
—Keith Douglass Warner, OFM, Senior Director, Education and Action Research, and Director, Global Social Benefit Fellowship, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Santa Clara University

From Santa Clara University MBA Students:

“I really enjoyed the class and definitely will be applying it to a future social venture I’ve wanted to create since I was much younger. Maybe I’ll see you at the GSBI in a few years!”
—Bhargav Brahmbhatt

“This was by far my favorite class in the MBA curriculum. I’ve learned so much from the weekly assignments and roundtable discussions. I just developed my first ever business plan for work, which was a huge undertaking, and I would have been so lost without this course.”
—Erin Horiuchi 

“It was a great learning experience for me and I am sure I will be using the concepts in my social venture.”
—Sijith Salim

“I thoroughly enjoyed the class, and I learned a lot about social entrepreneurship and MoringaConnect. It was a great experience working on a business plan for a real company with founders who are trying to make a real impact on the lives of farmers in Ghana. I will definitely take the lessons learned with me, and I hope to apply them throughout my career and personal life.”
—Brooke Langer

From Academic and Industry Experts:

“Complementing and extending prior Base of the Pyramid work, Carlson and Koch’s book provides something new and important: a business planning paradigm designed specifically for the unique opportunities and challenges facing BoP entrepreneurs.  The outcome is an entrepreneurs’ roadmap for building better social ventures.”
—Ted London, Adjunct Professor, Ross School of Business & Senior Research Fellow, William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan, and author of The Base of the Pyramid Promise:  Building Businesses with Impact and Scale

“This excellent workbook takes the reader through the steps in the process of developing and running a social venture. The examples are richly described and make the concepts come alive.”
—Madhu Viswanathan, PhD, Professor, Diane and Steven N. Miller Centennial Chair in Business, Founder of Subsistence Marketplace Initiative, Gies College of Business University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and author of Bottom-Up Enterprise: Insights from Subsistence Marketplaces.

“Carlson and Koch have crafted a rare primer that offers inspiration and guidance for every stage of the entrepreneurial journey. Building a Successful Social Venture shines as a text for undergraduate and graduate students of social innovation. The authors offer deep experiential wisdom and theory-driven frameworks built upon the practice of hundreds of social ventures. The stakes for social innovation are high for us all, and the authors place commendable emphasis on execution with a social consciousness—including actionable tools for investors, managers, and entrepreneurs who care about meaningful social change. This book is invaluable.”
—Geoffrey Desa, PhD, Associate Professor of Management and Social Innovation, San Francisco State University

“What a wonderful overview of the field with amazing tools for not only understanding conceptually but also moving the ideas of social innovation and social venture into practice.”
—Adrienne Falcon, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Public and Nonprofit Leadership, and Director, Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership, Metropolitan State University 

“I feel very privileged to have been part of the first ten years of the Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley—as a mentor, coach, friend, and teacher. In their book, Eric Carlson and James Koch brilliantly capture the lessons learned from the first ten years of their accelerator, informed by a unique combination of the Jesuit commitment to social justice and Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial and innovation-driven culture. This is a must-read for all social entrepreneurs serious about scaling their impact.”
—Charly Kleissner, PhD, cofounder, KL Felicitas Foundation, Toniic, 100% Impact Network, and Social-Impact International 

“The authors have decades of experience on what it takes to build a social enterprise. It is no easy feat, and this book provides a detailed manuscript for entrepreneurs, with examples, exercises, and resources touching on each aspect of building a business. In the age of ‘fail fast,’ this is a book on ‘build it to last.’ The authors also trace the arc of shared experience and the original thesis behind creating social impact to guide both new enterprises and today’s corporations in creating a better tomorrow.”
—John Kohler, Executive Fellow and Senior Director, Impact Capital, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Santa Clara University

“Jim and Eric’s book comes at a great time. Solving the world’s toughest social issues—such as poverty, access to energy, health care, and education—has not occurred with top-down philanthropy. This “Guide for Social Entrepreneurs” simplifies that process of teaching social entrepreneurship from a bottom-up perspective. It is not an academic thought piece but rather draws from the experience of hundreds of social enterprises, both successful and unsuccessful; learning perhaps as much or more from the failures as from the successes. I highly recommend it.”
—Brad Mattson, Chairman, Siva Power; former Lead Mentor, GSBI; and founder and former CEO, Novellus and Mattson Technology

“This is the most practical and useful book for anyone thinking about developing a social venture that combines market-based principles with a social mission. Written by two authors who have deep experience working with hundreds of social ventures from around the world, every chapter, case study, and exercise is based on a solid foundation of lessons from more than a decade of experience with the GSBI program. This book is essential reading for social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and others interested in this sector.”
—Saurabh Lall, PhD, Assistant Professor of Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Management, School of Planning, Public Policy and Management, University of Oregon

“Professors Koch and Carlson have captured the essence of what has become the gold standard for social entrepreneur success and growth. With over ten years of practical implementation, involving hundreds of social entrepreneurs, they thoroughly detail the development of sustainable, scalable social business models and plans; clearly explain ‘bottom-up innovation through social ventures’ and social change theory; and offer sound practical advice to overcome key challenges that all social entrepreneurs must deal with. I’ve been a social entrepreneur mentor for almost fifteen years, and this book is my number-one tool to accelerate the success of social businesses.”
—Dennis Reker, Lead Mentor, GSBI, and former senior executive, Intel

“From the perspective of someone who, in parallel with an international business career, has devoted more than fifty years to the development of bottom-up approaches to poverty reduction and social innovation, I find Building a Successful Social Venture by Eric Carlson and James Koch to be a magnificent contribution to this field and an invaluable handbook for those who wish to start, grow, fund, or evaluate a social venture—whether nonprofit or for-profit. This guide creates a historic and social context within which practitioners can better understand the significance of what they are doing, and it provides them with the tools they need to become effective at doing it. I believe it should be required reading for anyone who wants to change things for the better in a sustainable way.”
—Robert H. Scarlett, Board Chair, Venn Foundation; Trustee, Sundance Family Foundation; and Member, President’s Circle, Accion

“The Miller Center at Santa Clara University has continued to be a source of rigorous and serious work with social entrepreneurs worldwide—contributing invaluable insights that have significantly influenced our own development and the field of social entrepreneurship. We believe that this new book based on the Santa Clara University experience will help thousands of entrepreneurs.” 
—Alfred Vernis, Associate Professor of Business Policy and Strategy and cofounder, Institute for Social Innovation, ESADE Business School, ESADE–Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain

“This fantastic resource sets a framework for social ventures as essential actors in the global economy. The middle part is the recipe: the how-to for social entrepreneurs. The beginning and end position social ventures as answers to needs in society and the economy that have not been, and arguably cannot be, addressed any other way. Social ventures are simultaneously a ‘new thing’ in terms of their legitimacy in the eyes of academics and conventional businesspeople, and they’re all around us. We all probably interact daily with, or may even already be part of, one, often without realizing it. This book illuminates the potential to improve the world in what we may already be doing and shows how we can do it even more powerfully. While newcomers to social entrepreneurship will find this an indispensable resource, it may be even more important for experienced social entrepreneurs because it will remind you of how mighty your work really is.”
—Sara Olsen, founder and CEO, SVT Group

Table Of Contents

Part I: Background
1. Top-Down and Bottom-Up Theories of Social Progress
2. The Market at the Base of the Pyramid
3. Paradigms for Social Venture Business Plans
Part II: Managing a Sustainable/Scalable Social Business
4. Mission, Opportunity, Strategies
5. The External Environment
6. The Target Market Segment
7. Operations and Value Chain
8. Organization and Human Resources
9. Business Model
10. Metrics and Accountability
Part III: Execution
11. Operating Plan
12. Financing
13. The Path Forward

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