Rob Katz

Social Entrepreneurs Summit

Want to keep track of what’s going on in Switzerland this week?? Many will undoubtedly be following the glitzy World Economic Forum, but allow me to suggest an alternate: the Social Entrepreneurs Summit.? Also sponsored by the Schwab Foundation and held concurrently with the Forum, the Social Entrepreneurs Summit “provides an opportunity for social entrepreneurs to come together to share knowledge, experience, exchange best practice and benefit from cutting-edge knowledge in social enterprise planning, management, as well as communications and other aspects that they identify as critical to their enhanced performance.”

My Worldchanging colleague Jonathan Greenblatt is attending the Summit this week and has posted his first report from Switzerland.? As the founder of Ethos Water, Jonathan is a social entrepreneur himself.? He has also served as a Vice President at Starbucks, so he sees things from the large-company side of the coin as well.? In his first post, he observes that

While the conversation focused on facilitating the opportunities for investors, I found myself a bit at odds from a practitioner perspective. Deal flow for large-scale investors is important, but as a social entrepreneur myself, I see different near-term challenges. For example, when my business partner and I were starting Ethos Water, we both struggled to find accessible role models who could provide insight into best practices. My firsthand experience suggests that mentorship is one of the most critical gaps on the landscape and a daunting hurdle for would-be entrepreneurs.