Social enterprise

Youth is Not E-wasted on the Young

It's not every day that a fifth grader reads and article in The Wall Street Journal and decides to take action. But Alex Lin was very surprised to learn about the environmental hazards of discarded computers and decided to do something about it, right in his own town.

Alex’s e-waste initiative in Westerly, RI puts a twist on the problem of e-waste. It is solving two problems at once, by collecting local residents’ discarded computers, refurbishing them, and giving them away to families unable to afford new electronic equipment.

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Raising a Volunteer Force, One Browser at a Time

In Peru, where half the population lives below the poverty line, there will always be plenty of work for the country's many willing volunteers. The challenge is finding them, connecting them to the causes they care about, and organizing those efforts to make an impact.

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Trading in Tomatoes and Trust

In the Mendoza province of Argentina, a small community of entrepreneurs is preparing for the tomato harvest. With the help of 'solidarity investors,' they're purchasing seeds, irrigating and cultivating their land, and eventually making jars of fresh tomato sauce that just might make their way to your dinner table.

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Microfinance: An Island of Stability in the Global Economic Storm

The global financial crisis is opening eyes to creative ways to bank with the world's poorest borrowers, a move that could actually help struggling financial institutions generate more profit in difficult times.

While traditional investment markets freeze up or melt away, microfinance institutions (MFIs) that make small loans to poor people are now being appreciated as - ironically - a relatively safe investment in a potentially huge and largely untapped market. 

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Simple Clothes for a Complicated Time

Clothing shoppers are rethinking things these days: Can I be fashionable without being frivolous? Is it possible to buy chic clothing that's also eco-friendly? Do my consumer choices make a difference? Among the retailers answering yes to these questions is an online store billed as "Patagonia-meets-Prada."

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