Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Social Venture Network Announces 2009 SVN Innovation Award Winners

Eight Pioneering Socially Responsible Business and Nonprofit Leaders Named Honorees, All To Be Recognized Oct. 23 at the SVN Fall Conference in La Jolla, California

Submitted by:Social Venture Network

Categories:Ratings & Awards

Posted: Oct 12, 2009 – 06:55 PM EST

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 12 /CSRwire/ - Social Venture Network (SVN), the country's leading peer-to-peer network of socially responsible entrepreneurs, investors and nonprofit leaders, has announced five winners and two honorable mentions for the 2009 SVN Innovation Awards. Now in its third year, the Awards program honors and supports the next generation of socially responsible and sustainable business and nonprofit leaders by providing them access to the people and resources within the SVN community that can help them achieve the next level of success.

A panel of 16 judges, including investors, CEOs, academic and nonprofit leaders, selected 13 finalists from the many applications received by SVN. The judges were looking for entrepreneurs who are addressing the world’s most pressing social and/or environmental problems. After a final round of judging during which the finalists were assessed on their innovation, impact, and ability to scale their work, the judges selected these five inspiring winners and two honorable mentions:

Brent Baker, Tri-State Biodiesel - New York, NY: Brent is the CEO and founder of New York City based, Tri-State Biodiesel (TSB), which operates one of the largest waste cooking oil collection companies in New York. Under Brent-s leadership, TSB is the first, most well-known, and biggest biodiesel company in the region, and a national leader in urban, sustainable biodiesel. Brent is a pioneer of the biodiesel movement and has been a biodiesel educator since the fuel emerged in the United States about 14 years ago. He is a nationally known spokesman on biodiesel and related issues.

Shannon Boase, Earthcycle Packaging - Vancouver, BC: Shannon is founder and CEO of Earthcycle Packaging. Earthcycle has used the design brilliance of nature to develop innovative sustainable packaging made from a renewable resource, palm fiber, which composts in less than 90-days, turning into a healthy contribution to the soil. The reuse of palm fiber also eliminates the air pollution that results from the burning of the fibers. Having gained immediate momentum in the US and Canada, Earthcycle's packaging is now currently available in select Wal-Mart, Publix, Safeway, Loblaw's, Kroger and Wegmans, among other retailers.

Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun, D.light Design - Palo Alto, CA: Sam and Ned are co-founders of D.light Design, an international consumer products company that serves customers without access to reliable electricity. The mission of D.light is to enable households without reliable electricity to attain the same quality of life as those with electricity, beginning with replacing every kerosene lantern with clean, safe, and bright light. D.light has sold tens of thousands of solar lanterns, providing bright light to over 300,000 individuals in India, East Africa, and around the world.

Mark Hanis, Genocide Intervention Network – Washington, DC: Genocide Intervention Network empowers individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide. As a grandchild of four Holocaust survivors, Mark became involved in the anti-genocide movement when he was outraged by the international community's inaction when the Darfur conflict began. Based on Genocide Intervention Network's investment guidelines, institutional investors in 27 states, 23 U.S. cities and 61 universities have placed targeted restrictions on their Sudan-linked investments, and eighteen countries have launched divestment campaigns based on the model.

Gregg Keesling, Workforce, Inc. – Indianapolis, IN: Workforce Inc.'s (WFI) dual mission is to help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully transition back into civil society by providing transitional employment supported by a host of social services and to keep as much waste as possible - especially electronic waste - out of Indiana's landfills. WFI launched its first recycling enterprise in late 2005 with 2 employees. WFI has since grown to 56 employees and has processed 5 million pounds of electronic waste. WFI has served more than 190 formerly incarcerated individuals with a recidivism rate of 11%, a dramatic improvement over the national norm of 70%.

Honorable Mentions:

Joseph James, Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO) - Columbia, SC: CEO's mission is to assure that rural, African-American communities in the South, are part of, and benefit from, our nation's new, growing green economy. CEO works in three areas: 1) Developing inner-city farmers markets, to create new markets for black farmers and to bring fresh produce and health services to low-income, black communities. 2) Creating a biodiesel system, which will convert oil seed crops and waste cooking oil into biodiesel 3) Assisting black farmers and forest landowners to produce, harvest and process biomass into renewable fuels.

Ben Powell, Agora Partnerships - Washington, DC: Agora Partnerships gives developing world entrepreneurs the management tools, networks and financing needed to launch successful, socially-responsible companies. Agora Partnerships' focus is on serving the "missing middle"- entrepreneurs running businesses that are too big for microfinance and not large enough for traditional commercial lending. Agora finds great entrepreneurs and gives them practical, hands-on help and the opportunity to obtain equity financing from an investment fund specifically designed for them.

"This year, our judges faced a tremendous challenge in selecting our final group of winners and honorable mentions. We are proud to support such an impressive group of entrepreneurs who are working to build a just and sustainable economy," said Deborah Nelson, Executive Director of Social Venture Network. "We look forward to recognizing all of our honorees during our fall conference and integrating them into the SVN community, where they'll be able to tap into a wealth of resources, ideas and connections."

SVN Innovation Award winners will be honored at the invitation-only SVN 2009 Fall Conference, to be held October 22-25 at the Estancia La Jolla outside of San Diego, California. In a special ceremony on the evening of Friday, October 23th, each of our winners and honorable mentions will have the opportunity to share their pioneering work with an audience of nearly 300 socially responsible business CEOs, investors and social entrepreneurs.

To support them as they grow their enterprises, Innovation Award winners will each receive a one-year membership in SVN. They will be promoted for one year on the SVN website and be partnered with select SVN leaders, who will provide mentorship and make helpful introductions throughout 2010.

Since 1987, SVN has inspired a community of innovative business leaders, investors, and social entrepreneurs to collectively pursue a more just and sustainable economy, through the growth of such initiatives as socially responsible investing, organics, fair trade, sustainable consumer products, local economies, and green building. SVN champions this effort through member-led initiatives, sharing of tools and best practices, Peer-to-Peer Learning Calls, the SVN Book Series and bi-annual conferences that empower SVN members to work together on behalf of this shared vision.

About Social Venture Network
Founded in 1987 by Josh Mailman and Wayne Silby, Social Venture Network (SVN) is a peer-to-peer network of CEOs, investors, and nonprofit leaders committed to building a just economy and sustainable planet. SVN believes in a triple bottom line for business, one that values healthy communities and the human spirit, as well as high returns. SVN members are part of an expanding global network of pioneering entrepreneurs who share this vision and are helping to transform the way the world does business.

Notable SVN members include Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's, Eileen Fisher of Eileen Fisher Inc., Priya Haji of World of Good, Reem Rahim of Numi Tea, Adam Lowry of Method Products, Inc., Judy Wicks of White Dog Café, Julius Walls, Jr. of Greyston Bakery, Amy Domini of Domini Social Investments, Jeffrey Hollender of Seventh Generation, and Gary Erickson of Clif Bar Inc.

1 comment:

Anay said...

Thanks for the post. Whats even more exciting is D.light's new ultra-affordable product-Kiran. At just $10, Kiran replaces 2 kerosene lanterns, provides 8 hours of light on just 1 day's charge, and pays for itself in less than 4 months. We are hoping it allows D.light to further penetrate the BOP and provide more people access to high-quality, modern lighting.
Stay in touch and check out our new website shortly!
Anay - d.light design