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Center for Socially Responsible Business

Investing Within: Innovative Financing for Domestic Social Ventures

Friday, April 13, 2012
8:00 am–6:00 pm
First Floor, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business

With domestic unemployment and poverty on the rise, it's evident that the traditional strategies are no longer sufficient for building thriving communities and economies. New forms of financing, such as mission-driven venture, social impact investing, or innovative nonprofit enterprises are increasingly part of the solution. Join Mills faculty, students, and industry experts to learn more about who is breaking the mold, what is working, and how we can adapt these innovations to create economic and social value in our communities.

Download the agenda.

See videos of conference sessions at Vimeo (Search on CSRB).


  • Focus on new/unique ways to create social impact; e.g. for-profit, nonprofit, hybrid / emerging legal structures.
  • Address funding/financing challenges for social ventures; e.g. build patience around investment returns - like slow money movement
  • Explore what is new in social enterprise, social impact investing, triple bottom line, nonprofits utilizing business models for success, etc.
  • Domestic focus with highlight of transferable international best practices

General Format

  • 8 am: Breakfast/ Registration
  • 9 am: Opening Remarks
  • 9:15 am: Social Venture Investing
  • 10:15 am: Venture Founders Panel
  • 11:15 am Networking Break
  • 11:45 am: B Corp, Alternative Structures
  • 12:45 pm:  Lunch outside; Table Topics
  • 2 pm: Microfinancing Practices
  • 3 pm: Breakouts - Education and Oakland
  • 4 pm: Microphilanthropy / Viral Giving
  • 5 pm: Networking/ Cocktail Reception

Opening remarks:  Conference organizers will guide conference participants through the newly defined and evolving world of social ventures.

  • Deborah Merrill-Sands; Dean and Glenn and Ellen Voyles Chair in Business Education, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business

Session 1: Social Venture Financing: Investing for Maximum Impact
Description: Join industry experts and thought leaders in a conversation surrounding social impact investments.  Learn about the roots of these types of investments, why it is unique, how it will change the sector, and where it is headed in the future.

Session 2: Venture Founder Panel
Description: Founding a social venture takes a special blend of passion, expertise, creativity and commitment.  In this panel, three founders of successful social ventures will share their perspective on the process of creating and funding a social impact start up.

Session 3: Alternative Structures, B Corps, & More:  Turning the Traditional Business Model on its Head
Description: Historically held to strict financial returns, the for-profit sector is typically unable to be as philanthropic as companies might aspire.  With new business models, businesses are able to create greater positive social impact, while still fulfilling a robust bottom line.  Industry experts will explore what these emerging legal structures look like, who is financing and supporting these alternative models, and how benefit corps and other models impact California law and local businesses.

  • Moderator: Tom Thomas, Associate Professor, Management, San Francisco State University; Visiting Associate Professor, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business
  • Mike Hannigan, President,
  • Dermot Hikisch, Director of Business Development, B Corporation
  • Kyle Westaway, Social Entrepreneur, B Corp Specialist and Attorney

Session 4: Microfinance: Third World Goes First—Domestic Adaptation of International Best Practices
Description:  Since microfinance began in 1970s by Professor Muhammad Yunus; hundreds of organizations have mobilized to help low-income persons in third world countries.  Microfinance has had mixed success in the US; until now. Panelists will discuss how this model can be adapted to help low-income people domestically, what is currently being done in this field, and why access to finance is important to the US economy.

  • Moderator: Arturo Noriega, Founder and Managing Director at Centro Community Partners
  • Maika Hemphill, Portfolio Manager, North America, Kiva
  • Megan Fielding, Head of Investment Supply & Business Development, MicroPlace
  • Steve Wright, Director of Social Performance Management Center, Grameen Foundation

Session 5—Breakout Sessions

Breakout 1: Inside Look at the Investor & Grantee Relationship: A Case study in venture philanthropy for education
Description: Sit down with Draper Richards Kaplan as well as two of the grantees in their education portfolio. Draper is a unique funder with strict funding guidelines; so this conversation will be your chance to hear first-hand how unique funders like Draper Richards Kaplan work, and how their grantees drive greater impact as a result of this type of funding.

Breakout 2:  Impact in a Microcosm:  A Case Study of Oakland's Social Impact and Innovation in Financing Local Initiatives
Description: Oakland is a unique blend of both for-profit and nonprofit businesses that are looking to create large-scale social and economic impact.  Join local leaders in a discussion surrounding what programs are launching in the area and how they are setting the stage for long-term change with meaningful results.  Find out who is spearheading these innovative initiatives and explore which sectors are yet to get involved.  This session is your chance to contribute to a change for a thriving Oakland.

Session 6: MicroPhilanthropy / Viral giving: Turning the Giver Into the Gatherer
Description: Think you don't have what it takes to be philanthropic?  Think again.  Not only do individuals have the power to give a little, but also together, their small gifts are adding up to big results.  Through the technology of social media and online giving, donors are not only empowered to decide which ideas are the most deserving of their dollars, but they are also creating a new and powerful network of givers.  Join our panelists as they discuss best practices in mobilizing individuals to contribute to causes and the tools that have made gaining support for causes more effective.

  • Moderator: David Meader, Director of Center for Socially Responsible Business, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business
  • Mike Balducci, Director of Product Marketing, Fundly
  • Carolina Martín, VP of West Region,
  • Lisa Nash, Executive Director of Blue Planet Network

Lunch Table Discussion Hosts:

  1. Jeff Chow, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
  2. Jason Harvey, Executive Director, Oakland Food Connection
  3. Kiki Mills Johnston, Full Circle Fund
  4. Kyle Westaway, Benefit Corp Lawyer
  5. Lisa Nash, CEO, Blue Planet Network
  6. Jenny Kassan, Katovich & Kassan Law Group
  7. Naldo Peliks, Director of Operations and Business Advisory Services, Centro Community Partners
  8. Hannah Dithrich, Grameen America, Oakland
  9. Kim Vu, Tech Credit Union
  10. Jennie Peterson, Investment Analyst, New Island Capital
  11. Esther Park, VP, Strategy & Business Development, RSF Social Finance
  12. Megan Fielding, Account Manager, MicroPlace
  13. Mike McConnell, Principal, Niman Ranch
  14. 14–20: OPEN SEATING

Visit our annual conference archive for information about past Center for Socially Responsible Business conferences.



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Last Updated: 2/24/17