Program partnerships


SEAD brings together interdisciplinary partners through a coordinated effort across Duke University and leverages institutional relationships and networks to create an integrated global health social entrepreneurship hub for diverse stakeholders across the globe. SEAD, in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the USAID Higher Education Solutions Network (HESN), mobilizes a community of practitioners, investors, policymakers, faculty, staff, and students to identify, assess, help develop, build capacity of, and scale solutions, technologies, and business models for healthcare delivery and preventive services in developing countries around the world. Through this program, SEAD will capture lessons learned and policy implications to ensure that our work impacts both entrepreneurs on the ground and the broader development community.

the hitachi foundation

The Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs Program from the Hitachi Foundation program identifies and shines a spotlight on new leaders who are using the power of business and innovation to fight domestic poverty. In addition to $40,000 in funding over two years offered by The Hitachi Foundation, Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs benefit from technical assistance in the form of a mentorship program organized Investors’ Circle. Investors’ Circle matches each awardee with an IC investor mentor and facilitates collaborative work on strategy, operations, and marketing.
Apply to be a Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur. Eligible entrepreneurs are using their businesses to lift low-income community members out of poverty. Applicants must have started a business that is now between one and five years old and the entrepreneur must have launched the business before reaching age 30. Businesses can be legally structured as for-profit or nonprofit, but they must operate on a revenue-generating model (and not rely primarily on grants or donations) and have been operating for at least the last 12 months.  The first round application deadline is March 28, 2013. To  learn more, please visit

giirs: global impact investing ratings system

GIIRS is one of the leading players in setting the standard for the social and environmental performance of companies and funds. Investors' Circle is proud to be the first GIIRS partner, requiring presenting companie to go through the rating system, providing access to ratings to our members and venture fair attendees, and naming GIIRS as our exclusive metrics provider.
What GIIRS does Driving Capital Beyond SRI to Impact.  The impact investing industry is facilitating investments that are not only socially responsible, but which also actively create positive social and environmental impact. In order to scale the impact investing marketplace, investors require an independent third-party impact ratings product that is comparable, transparent, and easy to use. Learn more about impact investing from the GIIRS perspective. GIIRS, a project of the independent non-profit B Lab, will assess the social and environmental impact (but not the financial performance) of companies and funds using a ratings approach analogous to Morningstar investment rankings or S&P credit risk ratings. GIIRS will include the following features: Company Ratings and Fund Ratings Ratings in developed and emerging markets globally Aggregate ratings, as well as ratings within numerous impact areas and industry sectors Social and environmental performance metrics and key performance indicators specific to different industries, impact areas, and investor preferences Benchmarking and analytics for longitudinal comparability
What is a GIIRS rating? GIIRS will provide both company and fund impact ratings, each with current and historical analyses of impact performance for comparative use. Company Impact Rating— is a rating of the social and environmental impact of an individual company, including an overall rating, ratings in 15 sub-categories, and key performance indicators (KPI's) relevant to the company's industry, geography, size, and social mission. Fund Impact Rating— is a rating of a fund's impact based on the aggregated and weighted impact ratings of its underlying portfolio companies, including the aggregated Company sub-category ratings and relevant KPI's for the fund. GIIRS will also offer a Fund Target Rating product to assist fund managers in their fundraising process and a Track Record Report at the end of their fund cycle to assist in raising a follow-on fund.

GIIRS is a comprehensive and transparent system for assessing the social and environmental impact of companies and funds with ratings and analytics.

GIIRS Pioneer Funds are leading private equity and venture capital funds that make impact investments in companies in both developed economies like the U.S. and Europe, as well as throughout the global emerging markets. GIIRS Pioneer Funds will participate in a private beta of version 3.0 of the B Impact Ratings System and will be the first funds to receive a GIIRS Impact Rating. For more information about GIIRS, please visit