In this week’s podcast, I spoke to Jerry Valentine, founder of RenterMentor – a startup using technology to connect people with affordable housing. Jerry worked in the Columbus Housing Authority and was an expert with the complexities of housing vouchers and connecting tenants with hard to find landlords. And decided it was time to make the process a whole lot easier. He’s a great example of a social entrepreneur taking his in-depth knowledge of a social issue and using it to solve a problem in a new way.
Youth experiencing homelessness is an issue I’m very passionate about. And it’s been hard to miss the news about the homelessness crisis in California. Fortunately, L.A. just dedicated $11.8M to youth experiencing homelessness – which sounds great, but personally I don’t see a clear path. They have passed measures since 2016 for supportive housing (combining affordable housing with social services), and rental subsidies – but their progress is slow-moving.
On the other end of the spectrum, Goldman Sacs is now requiring you to have at least 1 diverse leader on your board before they agree to take your company public, with an emphasis on women. The reasoning is mostly economic: diversity on your board leads to statistically better performance. (Or it means that women are smarter and make better leaders?) At least they practice what they preach (4 of their 11 board members are women). Their net earnings in 2018… $10.46 billion. (On the upside, they do interesting work in sustainability and make pretty reports, including a 10,000 Small Business project).
To further underscore the importance of diversity, here are 13 women in a fantastic series who are leaders taking social entrepreneurship to the next level. (Hey, tonight, I interviewed Tanya from Spice Up – a budding social enterprise here in Columbus – building cross-cultural connections through food events that highlight immigrant chefs and their stories.)
And because it’s a cold, overcast Monday, here are some inspiring trends of city municipalities in the US taking action to move towards clean energy. 155 cities have committed to 100% community-wide renewable energy; Philadelphia and Cincinnati have signed significant deals for 20-30% of their energy to come from renewable sources. The point is that more collaboration is happening to make it easier for individuals and businesses, and cities to access renewable energy.
It’s a bit too late for Christmas shopping, but I just discovered DoneGood – an online marketplace, focused on making it easy to find and purchased products with a social impact. They do a great job of qualifying companies and products, so you understand the impact you’re making through the goods you purchase. They have a beautiful online storefront too.
Better Angels started with a goal to bridge the ever polarizing gap in our politics. But they’ve become a national movement, with local chapters in each state hosting Red/Blue Workshops and also a series of subject-specific debates which are
And it turns out there are areas of agreement that transcend party membership. “There’s a pretty solid consensus that A, the politicians aren’t serving us, and B, the money in politics makes it wholly corrupt,” he says.