Tips and inspiration for changemakers from the social impact crowdfunding website, StartSomeGood

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This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: Networking, Conferences, Social Entrepreneurship All Over the Globe, and More!


Social entrepreneurship is all around the globe.

We are almost done with 2 months of 2017. How has it been for you in terms of starting good?

Check below for new links to events, news reports, and inspirational articles. We hope you find them useful!


Opportunities and Events

Social Entrepreneurs Networking Evening – March 2, Haymarket HQ

If you are in Sydney and want to meet fellow aspiring entrepreneurs or have drinks with founders (and maybe learn about internship or job opportunities with them) of established social enterprises, join this networking event on March 2 at Haymarket HQ. Tickets are for $15. Grab yours now!

#StartingGood Social Enterprise Virtual Summit – March 21-31

Do you want to know more about how to start good this year? We are bringing you a FREE webinar where you will hear from seasoned social entrepreneurs and experts regarding practical tools you would need to start good. Stay tuned and register your interest! It is available to you no matter where you are in the world.

7 ‘Can’t Miss’ Conferences for Entrepreneurs in 2017

Forbes has listed out some wonderful entrepreneurship conferences for you if you are in the US (or plan to be in the coming year). Check them out!


News, Reports, Insights

Report: Canada Ranked Second-Best Country for Social Entrepreneurs

Next to the US, the Thomson Reuters Foundation, in partnership with Deutsche Bank and Global Social Entrepreneurship Network found that Canada is the second-best country for social entrepreneurs in terms of environment for scaling and growing these businesses.

Promoting innovation through social entrepreneurship

Read about what social entrepreneurship is like in the Philippines and how they use this to promote innovation within the country.

The lives and lies of social entrepreneurs

Regarding making money, white lies, scepticism, a lonely life… Read all about what these truly mean for social entrepreneurs.



Social Innovation – the Last and Next Decade

Call this a short history lesson in terms of the space we are in – that is, social entrepreneurship. See how it has been in the past 10 years and see where it is going. It is all interesting and good fun!

10 Ted Talks For The Freelancer Who Needs Inspiration

There is nothing like motivation from a good TED talk. If you are a creative freelancer, these ones could be targeted directly at you. Enjoy!

9 inspiring books every woman entrepreneur must read

Are you a woman entrepreneur and was wondering about books to add to your reading list? Well, you are welcome! Here are some you can check out.


Let us know if you have events, opportunities, resources, news, insights, and other articles you would like to share. Email us at with “TWISE” in the subject line.

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This Week in Social Entrepreneurship: 2017 is the Year


Happy New Year from StartSomeGood!

Happy new year, everyone! We trust you all had wonderful celebrations filled with food, fireworks, and tons of laughter.

To kick off this year, we collected a couple of links relevant in our social entrepreneurship world that could be of interest to you. Scroll down and enjoy!


Opportunities and Events

2017: A Year for Social Entrepreneurs

StartSomeGood co-founder Tom Dawkins has a new year’s message especially for you. Read and find out what opportunities you have with us here at StartSomeGood.

Social Entrepreneurship Pitchfest at Pausefest 2017

Do you have a social enterprise idea that you would like to see come true? Get the chance to pitch it at Social Entrepreneurship Pitchfest at Pausefest 2017 in Melbourne, Australia! There will be a pool of experts in the realm of social enterprise, start-up and technology to share ideas and rub elbows with. Applications are open until 5pm, Monday 16 January 2017.

Social Business Consultant Fellow with Alterna Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

Grab this internship opportunity at Quetzaltenango, Guatemala that offers a unique chance for a hands-on experience at supporting local entrepreneurs who have a shortage in access to high-quality business services. You can apply until 7 February 2017.


News, Reports, Insights

The Gates effect: Social Entrepreneurship Reframes Charity

Read about how social entrepreneurship is reframing charity in South Africa and what they call “The Gates effect”.

Putting Community First in Social Innovation Education

Here is a good read on how educators can teach students to become collaborative community partners. This article is part of a series from Stanford Social Innovation Review regarding the future of social impact education.

Entrepreneur Designs New Electric Wheelchair and Car for Quadriplegics

Talk about innovation for a cause! Read all about how an entrepreneur designed this wonderful tool for quadriplegics.



Meet The Social Entrepreneurs Giving Back Around the Globe

In this life of social entrepreneurship, it is always a great encouragement to know that you are not alone. Read this article to meet other social entrepreneurs making an impact in other parts of the world.

7 Social Entrepreneurs on How They Finally Got Their Big Break

Some entrepreneurs talk about their success stories. Read and be inspired. Whether you have gotten your big break or not, know that it is never too late for a breakthrough.

Day in the life: Social entrepreneur and philanthropist connects volunteers globally

Stuart Rees Jones, social entrepreneur and philanthropist, is the founder and chief executive of Camps International, which is known as a for-profit social enterprise providing experiential learning experiences for students worldwide. Read this article on how he goes about his day. Take mental notes, too. You could learn a thing or two.


Email us at for suggestions of links to include in this series. Include “TWISE” in the subject line.



The best conferences for social entrepreneurs in 2016

Photo from SOCAP 2015

Photo from SOCAP 2015 at Fort Mason, San Francisco.

As a social entrepreneur or community organiser, your time and your funds are often precious, so you have to be selective about the events you attend. Here’s our selection of the most valuable conferences happening this year, where you’re more likely to find collaborators, funders or partners, to gain new insights and perspectives and to be inspired by those who came before and what’s possible when people put their mind to making a difference.

If you think we missed anything crucial please mention it in the comments!

Sankalp Africa Summit
February 24-26 in Nairbo, Kenya.
The third Annual Sankalp Africa Summit will continue the exciting conversations on entrepreneurship, innovation and inclusive development. All conversations at this year’s Summit will revolve around the theme of “Spurring the Entrepreneurship Economy”. It will take a comprehensive look at the different strata of society which shape, influence, and stimulate inclusive and high-impact enterprises, while also building markets to efficiently carry these businesses to scale, enabling them to reach their full potential. Over the last 2 years, Sankalp Forum, a global platform with regional editions, has convened over 1200 diverse stakeholder groups in Africa with the intent to create an ecosystem approach to enterprise-led development. We invite you to participate in this exciting movement and look forward to meeting you!

Find out more.

Nexus Australia Youth Summit
March 6 – 8, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.
The Nexus Australia Youth Summit will bring together young philanthropists, impact investors, social entrepreneurs and allies – including family business members, successful entrepreneurs, and inspiring social change leaders. Connecting the financial, intellectual, creative, and social capital of our generation in action-oriented, solutions-focused, and safe space, the Nexus Australia Youth Summit aims to inspire learning and collaboration between a uniquely powerful network of peers. They will discuss the challenges facing the world today and innovative solutions to them.

By application only, applications close January 26.

Nonprofit Technology Conference
March 23-25, 2016 in San Jose, California.
The Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) is the U.S. nonprofit sector’s signature technology event. They assemble over 2000 of the best and brightest nonprofit professionals from around the world. Together, they collaborate, innovate, and discover new ways to spark change with technology.

Find out more.

Skoll World Forum photo by globalX on flickr

Ambition at Skoll World Forum 2014

Skoll World Forum
April 13-15 in Oxford, England.

Each year, nearly 1,000 of the world’s most influential social entrepreneurs, key thought leaders, and strategic partners gather at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School to exchange ideas, solutions, and information. The Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship is the premier international platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Our mission is to accelerate the impact of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs by uniting them with essential partners in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage, and large-scale social change.

By application only. Applications due January 31.

OuiShare Fest

May 18-20 in Paris, France.
OuiShare Fest is an international event that takes place each May at teh Cabaret Sauvage in Pais. It gathers a global community of 1500 entrepreneurs and social innovators, non-profit and business leaders, grassroots activists and public officials ready to step out of their comfort zone and head towards new frontiers. After the Gold Rush… is the moment for action. Are you ready?

Find out more.

Asian Venture Philanthropy Network Annual Conference
May 23-25 in Hong Kong.
The Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) is a membership network headquartered in Singapore that seeks to increase the flow of financial, human and intellectual capital to the social sector, and to improve the social impact effectiveness of members across the Asia Pacific region. They promote venture philanthropy in the broader philanthropic and social investment communities and provide specific networking and learning services to meet the needs of our members. Their annual conference brings together the key players in impact investment and venture philanthropy in Asia.

Find out more.

Anthea Watson Strong presenting at PDF.

Anthea Watson Strong presenting at PDF.

Personal Democracy Forum
June – exact dates TBA – in New York, USA.
PDF brings together close to 1,000 top technologists, campaigners, hackers, opinion-makers, government officials, journalists, and academics for two days of game-changing talks, workshops, and networking opportunities, offering an inspiring look into what’s ahead for the entire civic tech field.
Find out more.

Nexus Global Youth Summit
July – exact dates TBA – in New York, USA.
Nexus is a global movement to bridge communities of wealth and social entrepreneurship. We work to unite young investors, social entrepreneurs and allies to catalyze new leadership and accelerate global solutions.
Founded in 2011, Nexus puts the hope and promise of young people on the world stage by bringing together leaders at Nexus events around the world for inspiration, education, dialogue, and collaborative problem solving.

By application only. Find out more.

Social Capital Markets (SOCAP)
September 13-16 in San Francisco, USA.
Social Capital Markets is dedicated to accelerating a new global market at the intersection of money & meaning and is probably the world’s leading conference for the growing impact investing sector.

Find out more.

Opportunity Collaboration
October 9-14 in Cancún, Mexico.
Convene with thought leaders in social change from around the world. Learn best practices and the latest techniques & technologies to meet your greatest challenges. Connect with people who can contribute to your efforts. Find people with similar challenges and learn solutions. Find organizations with resources and capabilities to help you achieve your goals. Catalyze new paths to success. Build new and better processes, more efficient organizations, and better business models. Forge alliances and partnerships to multiply your impact.

By application only. Applications now open.

The Feast Impact East
October – exact dates TBA – in NY, USA.
The Feast Impact is an epic event that brings together inspired people from across disciplines to apply their skills to world-changing opportunities for innovation. Over three days, each participant will share what they know, gain personal and interdisciplinary insight, and advance the work of today’s greatest entrepreneurs.
Through collaboration, embodied experiences, and unlocking the power of our human potential, we create an experience of abundance unlike any other.

Find out more.

Meaning Conference
November – exact dates TBA – in Brighton, UK
Meaning is the annual gathering for people who believe business can and must be a force for positive change in our dynamic and volatile world. Their speakers are international thinkers and doers from business, academia and activism, each bringing an individual perspective on the challenges and opportunities we face.

Find out more.

The Fast Company Innovation Festival
November 9-12 in NY, USA.
Surprising conversations, keynotes, hands-on workshops and performances will take place in unexpected NYC locales. The most creative companies from around the city will open their doors to attendees for fascinating, in-depth tours. All featuring some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, technology, design, fashion and beyond.

Find out more.

Web of Change
November 28-December 2, 2016 in Big Sur, California.
The Web of Change annual conference brings together the foremost thinkers and doers in social media, digital strategy and social change. Web of Change events are where progressive organizers and digital strategists come to up their game, candidly share frontline experiences, reflect deeply on their impact and find the network and meaning needed to do transformational work.

Find out more.

What else is worth our attention? Let us know in the comments!

SOCAP photo by dianaconnolly101, PDF photo by Doc Searls and Skoll World Forum by global X, all used under a Creative Commons License.

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Working in the service of Innovation



I recently had the pleasure of representing StartSomeGood at the Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards, a joint venture of the domain administrators from both countries which recognises outstanding projects enabled by the internet. I was happy enough just to be there as a finalist for the Innovation Award and was thrilled and surprised when we were announced as the winner.

I hadn’t expected to win and hadn’t prepared any remarks but I knew immediately what I wanted to say as I walked up to receive the award.

This award is special for us because our founding mission is to support greater innovation in the social sector. When my co-founder Alex Budak and I first starting talking about creating a crowdfunding platform specifically for social entrepreneurs, non-profits and community groups the issue we thought a lot about was how do we fund the new and unproven in the social sector? In other words, how do we fund social innovation?

And the answer is, for the most part, we haven’t. At least, nowhere near enough. Because to fund innovation is to embrace failure, and the traditional funders of the social sector – governments, foundations and corporate givers – have been failure-adverse, which leads to a lack of support for genuine innovation which is by definition those things we’re not sure will work.

We know from the wider startup community that the greatest impact is often created by those ideas which initially look ridiculous, which are risky and have a reasonable chance of failure. But it’s these ideas that, when they do work, can create systemic transformations.

What the social sector lacked essentially was angel investors. Risk-tolerant supporters prepared to come on-board early and give you a chance to prove that your idea can work. Once you have some evidence of that those traditional funders become much more accessible, much as a startup will move from angel funding to traditional Venture Capital.

So we thought, that could be us! Not us individually (we worked for non-profits so our philanthropy was somewhat limited) but all of us, collectively.

Crowdfunding is an incredible tool for bringing together an early group of passionate supporters to allow new projects, enterprises and approaches to launch, try something different, and prove that their idea can work.  Unlike many traditional funders crowdfunding supporters are hungry for new ideas and new possibilities. They are prepared to back unproven changemakers who present a credible plan and a lot of determination; they want to help make things happen.

Whether that’s open source mapping in Nepal, supporting asylum seekers through social enterprise in Australia, tackling poaching in Africa or providing medical services to underserved communities in the US, we need new approaches to address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities of this century. We are so proud to have supported incredible social innovators in 30 countries so far (including Australia and New Zealand of course!) who are stepping up to make a difference.

It’s nice to be considered innovative ourselves but more deeply than that we exist to work in the service of innovation. So this award is not just for us, it’s for the innovators, dreamers, entrepreneurs, activists, community builders and storytellers who have used our platform to bring new things into being. Thank you all for giving us the opportunity to work with you.

Here’s a quick interview I did on the awards night:

If you have an idea which can change the world, we would love to work with you to. You can get started here today.

And if you’re one of those traditional funders looking to better support innovation in your community or for the issues you care about we would love to talk. Find out how we’re helping governments, foundations and even banks to better support innovative social impact projects here.

Together we can bring a more innovation social sector into being.


Tom is co-founder and CEO of StartSomeGood. He previously founded three non-profits, an event production company and a Burning Man theme camp. You can follow him on Twitter at @tomjd.