WJF Update: Our 10th Anniversary

Greetings and Salutations. I hope all is well with you.  
This year marks the William James Foundation’s 10th anniversary. 
In ten years, we have worked with more than 750 for-profit social impact start-up ideas.
More than 425 of those companies launched.
More than 200 of them are running today. 
These companies work in more than 70 countries. 
Forty percent of them are managed by women. 
They employ more than 2,500 people.
Those 2,500 people have jobs that are making the world a better place – working on the hardest problems in the world. Turning waste into fuel. Turning former child soldiers into productive members of society. Turning HIV+ women into visibly valued contributors to their community. Turning disaster and poverty into hope and pride. And turning investments into profitable social, environmental, and financial returns. And we’ve done this with your help. So thank you.  

More than 800 members of our community, like you, have volunteered their time as mentors and reading judges so that today’s social entrepreneurs can stand on the shoulders of those who went before.  Now, in our tenth year, we are looking at new ways to engage our incredible pool of experts: We created a mentor network to give our entrepreneurs year-round access to our community. We are bringing together an investor network which is leading to new clients, strategic partnerships, and investments for our companies through our Green Grab events. We have become go-to advisers to our peers for giving feedback to competition entrants, and for helping entrepreneurs tell their stories in a way that makes life easier for their investors and champions. And, through the Impact Accelerator Network we are acting as a convener, bringing together the various players who support impact entrepreneurs into a coordinated and cooperative field. To cap all this off, we’re bringing our community of entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors together to support each other. And we’d like you to join us.

 So please come to Washington, DC July 18-20, and join us at our annual gathering for presentations from world-changing entrepreneurs, high-level conversations from individuals who are creating and shaping the field of impact accelerators and  investing, and practitioner-focused gatherings of those on the bleeding edge of how business is can make a better world. But here’s the thing. We know times are tough. Conferences like this usually run $500 – $800. But we want everyone to attend, so we’re keeping the price at $250 for those who have supported us before. But in order to make that work, we need to sell every ticket.  So, can you come? If you can not make it to DC in July, can you buy a ticket for an entrepreneur? (If you donate to the ticket-for-an-entrepreneur fund, that is a charitable donation.) You’re not just showing your support to us. You are supporting entrepreneurs making an impact in the struggle against poverty, against the subjugation of women, against the depletion of fossil fuels and the destruction of our planet.  
Buy a ticket for an entrepreneur so we can bring them into the conversation. Together we can us make this happen for another ten years. Since you’ve read this far, I have your attention.
So I’ll also mention that we’re still accepting reading judges for the 2013 full plan round. You can help decide who presents in July. The reading period is May 6th – 27th.
Thank you all for the work that you do.  
Sincerely, Ian T. Fisk
Executive Director, The William James Foundation
Where you’ll find us this 
April 25th- 28th: SVN (San Diego, CA)
April 26th-27th: SEEED (Providence, RI)
May 20th-22nd: Agora Partnership’s Impact Investing in Action (Washington, DC)
June 17th-20th: The LOHAS Forum (Boulder, CO)
July 18th-20th: The William James Foundation’s 10th Annual Gathering
Most other times — at the Affinity Lab in Washington, DC. If you’re in DC, please come and visit us.
Just in the past week, I’ve met with entrepreneurs from Liberia and Cambodia, and tomorrow I’m meeting with one from California. We want to hear your stories.

WJF Community Notes 
Congrats to Dr. Wayne Curtis, William James Foundation board member, and newly minted doctor of leadership and change.