WJF Update: 4 June, 2013

Congratulations to the 2013 Finalists in the William James Foundation’s Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Four of the six category finalists have been announced. They are listed below, in alphabetical order by category: 
Finalists for the Venture Phase Category: Access Afya, Morale Fashion Group, Wecyclers.
Finalists for the Idea Phase Category: Colectivo 1050First AccessMoWoza.
Finalists for the LOHAS Prize: The Fresh Connection, Sole PowerYellow Leaf Hammocks.
Finalists for the Affinity Lab Washington, DC Prize: BlocPower, Clovest, Triea Systems
Honorable Mentions (overall): Next Step New Co.Yellow Leaf Hammocks, Lumeter Networks
These are an amazing group of entrepreneurs. A few interesting tidbits: the six leading firms (the idea- and venture-phase finalists) are all led (or co-led) by women, which is the first time we’ve had an all female presentation slate. And all of them base their operations outside of the United States, which is another first for us. 

The LOHAS finalists will be presenting at the LOHAS Forum in Boulder, Colorado, on June 19th.  The rest of the finalists listed above will be presenting at the William James Foundation’s 10th annual gathering.

Ian T. Fisk
Executive Director, The William James Foundation

p.s. I’ve been to several interesting conferences recently. I particularly enjoyed Agora Partnership’s Impact Investing in Action. 
William James Foundation’s 10th Annual Gathering
 Washington, DC | July 18-20, 2013
Each year The William James Foundation brings together entrepreneurs, mentors, and funders who are working to make the world a better place through creating, collaborating, and investing in social innovators from across the globe.

We expect the 2013 conference to be our best ever. It will continue to build the sustainable business industry’s capacity to meet today’s challenges. The annual gathering will offer networking opportunities, and the opportunity to learn, share and expand upon new ideas to support this field.

Impact Investing in Action  The WJF Team recently attended Agora Partnerships’ “Impact Investing in Action Conference” in Washington, DC. Serving both as volunteers and participants, the team participated in impact investing workshops, listened to expert panels, and networked with experts in the field. Three days well spent! Be sure to watch “Impact Investing: The Movie,” which was screened during the conference.

Many of the discussions, particularly those around creating in the industry of impact accelerators, that were held at the Agora Partnerships event will be picked up at the William James Foundation’s annual gathering in July.

On Our Calendar 
Upcoming social enterprise events where you will find members of the WJF team:
June 11th -14th: BALLE (Buffalo, New York)
June 18th – 20th: LOHAS Forum (Boulder, Colorado)
June 24th: Honest Tea / DC Net Impact Event (Washington, DC)
July 10th: Unreasonable Climax (Boulder, Colorado)
July 18th -20th: William James Foundation Gathering (Washington, DC) 

WJF Community Notes – June 4, 2013
Congrats to WJF Finalist Keo K’jay for their mention in the Forbes article, “Can Marketing Your Social Impact Harm Your Social Impact?” 
2012 WJF entrant LuminAID Lab won the first place prize of $100k in the 2013 Midwest Clean Energy Challenge earlier this month. 

On Our Reading List
“What Do You Call This Kind of Investing? The Grid.” Bloomberg Business Week, May 15th, 2013.
Entrepreneurship and Social Impact in the Middle East – Business as Unusual?” All Things Digital, May 15th, 2013.
“New Ideas About Social Entrepreneurship: Yes, They Still Exist.” Global Envision, May 6th, 2013.