Really BIG honor for me yesterday – I can hardly believe it. I, along with PCV, was named to Forbes’ Impact 30, the magazine’s list of 30 top social entrepreneurs. Not only does this award recognize the great work that PCV does—and, okay, let’s be real, it will help us raise more funds to do that work in the future—but it is also a huge personal honor. Some of my heroes are on the list—Wendy Kopp of Teach for America and Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen Fund, to name two. And I’m thrilled to be on the list with PCV portfolio company founder, Jeff Mendelsohn of New Leaf Paper.
You can find the full list of the Impact 30 here. As you look over the list and read the bios, you’ll see that people around the world are using market-based models to tackle immense social problems—Jane Chen of Embrace developed a device that keeps low-birth-weight babies warm even when the electricity in hospitals and clinics fails, a common occurrence in the developing world. Martin Fisher and Nick Moon of Kickstart produce a manually operated pump that allows farmers to pull water from a river, pond or shallow well and irrigate up to 2 acres of land. And Sara Horowitz started the Freelancers Union, which provides reasonably priced health insurance to the self-employed in the United States, a population that has been perennially under- and uninsured.
Looking at this list reinforces my single core belief—business MUST be a force for positive social change here in the States and around the globe. Commercial activity is central to our survival—we need it to put a roof over our head, food on the table and clothes on our backs. But if we are not careful, business will also be central to our destruction. The work I do here at PCV helps to make business a FORCE for positive social change—that’s why I do it! We work with businesses to help them grow responsibly, to create quality jobs that pay fair wages and provide health, asset-building and training benefits. And we work to educate investors and policymakers about how to deploy capital and other resources effectively—for social impact and financial return—in vulnerable communities.
Over the next several weeks, you won’t be seeing me in this space. I’m off for a few weeks traveling India with my husband, Jon, and my 12-year-old son, Zevan. I’ve never been to India before, but I’m sure I’ll be seeing people and places that will reinforce my commitment to PCV, the work we do here, and the power of business to make a difference. More about that when I return!
Phir milenge…(Hindi for “See you later.”)
-Beth, Executive Director