Weekend Briefing No. 14

PROFIT & PURPOSE WEEKEND BRIEFING is a selection of insightful articles on social innovation. If you would like to receive this every Saturday as an email, Sign up HERE.


#bringourgirlsback. The world’s eyes have been focused on Northern Nigeria after the abduction of over 250 school girls by Boka Haram, who is threatening to sell them into slavery. The social media campaign #bringourgirlsback to pressure action to rescue the girls has gained major traction, including an instagram post from first lady Michelle Obama and support from Malala Yousafzai.


But Nigeria’s not all bad. Nigeria has been one of Africa’s economic success stories and is one of the MINT’s. With 177 million people—more than 62% of them under age 24—it is today the continent’s largest economy, already 30% larger than South Africa. The World Economic Forum on Africa is currently underway in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, where my friend Blair Miller worked with leading businessmen in Nigeria to commit to addressing child and maternal health. Their tech scene is booming and this scrappy college student built a car that runs on solar and wind power out of… well… scraps.


Solar roads. Since most pavement is soaking up sun all day long, a couple of entrepreneurs had an idea: Why not put it to use generating solar power? The Solar Roadways project, now crowdfunding on Indiegogo, hopes to re-pave the country in custom, glass-covered solar panels that are strong enough to drive on while generating enough power to light the road, melt ice and snow, and send extra energy to cities. Read more at Fast Company.


Environmental, Social and Governance Reporting. ESG reporting by corporations is on the rise, so Ernst & Young surveyed investors to see what they think of this reporting. Two-thirds of investors use different techniques to evaluate non-financial disclosures. Investors were more likely to value information which came directly from the company itself rather than from third-party sources. In addition, among those that never consider ESG information in their decision-making process, the main reason for rejecting it was that they felt it was not material. Investors said that, for the most part, they used non-financial performance as a good benchmark for risk. Some risks, such as history of poor governance or the absence of a strategy to create value in the long term, were held to be more important than others.


PROFIT & PURPOSE WEEKEND BRIEFING is a selection of insightful articles on social innovation. If you would like to receive this every Saturday as an email, Sign up HERE.