Speak Shop Wins Top Honors in Business Plan Competition for Socially Responsible Tech Companies
Monday, June 6, 2005
Speak Shop, a pioneer in online face-to-face Spanish tutoring, was awarded ?Best Social Return on Investment? in the Social and Environmental Technology (SET) Inventors Challenge, tying with Differential Dynamics. The SET business plan competition challenges technology companies to save the world and investors to fund profitable solutions to global problems.
The SET Challenge attracted entries from around the world. Judges evaluated financial profit potential, as well as each entrant?s social return on investment (SROI) based on magnitude, clarity and credibility. Measuring SROI makes it possible for companies to estimate their impact to society in dollar terms.
Speak Shop, which enables Spanish language teachers in Guatemala to profit from tutoring online using audio and videoconferencing, aims to bring more money and stability to thousands of people in developing areas. Until now, teachers depended entirely on the seasonal waves of study abroad students for work.
Speak Shop estimates that in 10 years it will generate a whopping $57 million dollar social return to teachers living in impoverishing conditions as a direct result of being able to teach online. It was this ?social return? potential that garnered Speak Shop a top prize in the SET Challenge. Speak Shop will be featured in the SET Catalog to be released today. The catalog summarizes the 11 finalists and winners and is the first step of what will become an extensive online community and publishing platform.
Release found here.