If only MY Facebook profile could come to life one day

Coffee consumption per capita…

Rank Country Coffee Consumption
1  Finland 12.0 kg
2  Norway 9.9 kg
3  Iceland 9.0 kg (2006 data)
4  Denmark 8.7 kg
5  Netherlands 8.4 kg
6  Sweden 8.2 kg

Now, why is it that the Scandinavian countries (+ fake Scandi Netherlands) have the largest coffee consumption per capita…

Could it be that it’s so dark and cold that it’s all but necessary to have that amount of coffee?

The Taxing Cost of Being Poor

Then there’s credit. The poor don’t have it. What they had was a place like First Cash Advance in D.C.’s Manor Park neighborhood, where a neon sign once flashed “PAYDAY ADVANCE.” Through the bulletproof glass, a cashier in white eyeliner and long white nails explained what you needed to get an advance on your paycheck — a pay stub, a legitimate ID, a checkbook. This meant you’re doing well enough to have a checking account, but you’re still poor.

And if you qualify, the fee for borrowing $300 is $46.50.

That was not for a year — it’s for seven days, although the terms can vary. How much interest will this payday loan cost you? In simple terms, the company is charging a $15.50 fee for every $100 that you borrow. On your $300 payday loan — borrowed for a term of seven days — the effective annual percentage rate is 806 percent.

The cost of being poor is apparent everywhere.

My very first cheque book

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I used to think cheques were so cool when I was a kid. Sadly, once I got old enough to have an account – cheques were completely out of favor. However – in India they are still used, so with my newly opened account I now have a cheque book! Yay! Only problem remaining is someone to actually write a cheque too. Damn.

Are you engaging with Google yet? If not, time to check it out

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Google has summarized all their services that can be useful for non-profits on a single page – check it out and learn about how your non-profit could have better outreach & operations with free support from Google. Read more at google.com.

Is there even such a thing as social business?

A recent article I read as part of the preparation for our CEO’s attendance at the Skoll World Forum, got me thinking of one of the discussions that I’ve had with the other fellows and people I know about social business. The discussion basically questions if there really is such a thing as “social” business? Isn’t in the end business, when it comes down to it, always about making money? Will the incentives not always be there to seek profit as opposed to social impact? Vice-versa, if the social impact motive is there – will the business not loose out and become unsustainable?
The article in question was calling for new legal and corporate structures, to address parts of this issue, saying that with the appropriate governance structures the incentives can be aligned and external stakeholders such as program participants, funders and supporters can be re-assured that what they’re actually standing behind is indeed on proper “social” ground. 

While working with Waste Ventures, I have been seeing quite how complicated this can get for a hybrid social enterprise – understanding the structure that we have been building can be tricky at times, with a combination of charity and for-profit entities. A simpler way of doing it, with alternative corporate formats might indeed help enterprises like us along.

However – I always get the feeling that corporate and legal structures can’t quite cover the whole issue, and while they are necessary, I do think there is a fundamental question that needs to be answered – is it in fact so that in the end all corporate organizations will divert to focus on profit as opposed to impact (and is that even a bad/unwanted

thing?!) and if not, what is required from the founders, the corporate structures, the governance and the ways the businesses are set-up to retain the social mission focus?