Title

How do you Measure Saving the World?!

Poster Number

29

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

David Keefe

Abstract/Artist Statement

Social Entrepreneurship (SE), the concept of applying business practices and entrepreneurial thinking to solve the world's social problems, is a rapidly developing field. SE has the potential to help millions of people across the globe get out of poverty, get educated, and get decent health care. It has put hope in the minds of thousands of individuals who have gone out and started their own SE organizations. Many development programs in the past have been very unsuccessful .(such as international foreign aid programs or loans from the IMF, for example) because they establish dependency of the poor on aid. SE offers a good alternative because it helps individuals to help themselves as opposed to creating dependency, for example a micro loan in Bangladesh that allows a woman to start her own business and finally feed her children. Unfortunately, without good assessment techniques, the field of SEisin danger of being unsupported because of the lack of qualitative and quantitative measurement of outcomes. What the field of SE needs, and this research project looks at, are some universal agreements on standards and measurement methods in order to determine significant positive social impact. Research findings thus far show that current measurement of impact is largely anecdotal. A few organizations measure social impact in a quantitative way by comparing specific indicators before and after the entry of an organization, high school attendance rates for example. My conclusion is that good quantitative as well as qualitative measurement and evaluation must be adopted on a wide scale in order for social entrepreneurs to do legitimate work. Organizations need to look at demographic statistics before and after they do their work as well as get feedback from the population they are serving in order to determine whether they are actually making a difference and not just claiming results.

Location

Wendell Phillips Center, 1st floor hallways

Start Date

3-5-2008 1:00 PM

End Date

3-5-2008 3:00 PM

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May 3rd, 1:00 PM May 3rd, 3:00 PM

How do you Measure Saving the World?!

Wendell Phillips Center, 1st floor hallways

Social Entrepreneurship (SE), the concept of applying business practices and entrepreneurial thinking to solve the world's social problems, is a rapidly developing field. SE has the potential to help millions of people across the globe get out of poverty, get educated, and get decent health care. It has put hope in the minds of thousands of individuals who have gone out and started their own SE organizations. Many development programs in the past have been very unsuccessful .(such as international foreign aid programs or loans from the IMF, for example) because they establish dependency of the poor on aid. SE offers a good alternative because it helps individuals to help themselves as opposed to creating dependency, for example a micro loan in Bangladesh that allows a woman to start her own business and finally feed her children. Unfortunately, without good assessment techniques, the field of SEisin danger of being unsupported because of the lack of qualitative and quantitative measurement of outcomes. What the field of SE needs, and this research project looks at, are some universal agreements on standards and measurement methods in order to determine significant positive social impact. Research findings thus far show that current measurement of impact is largely anecdotal. A few organizations measure social impact in a quantitative way by comparing specific indicators before and after the entry of an organization, high school attendance rates for example. My conclusion is that good quantitative as well as qualitative measurement and evaluation must be adopted on a wide scale in order for social entrepreneurs to do legitimate work. Organizations need to look at demographic statistics before and after they do their work as well as get feedback from the population they are serving in order to determine whether they are actually making a difference and not just claiming results.