What Facebook reveals about social ventures

peterroberts

Peter Roberts, professor of organization & management, Director of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta

In a recent article for the Harvard Business Review, Peter Roberts, professor of organization and management, director of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta, discusses research efforts by Social Enterprise @ Goizueta, which explored how Facebook provides insight into identifying which ventures are worth the investment.

The focus of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta is applying business acumen and market-based solutions to achieve meaningful and enduring societal impacts. The center seeks to identify and illuminate the factors that induce and impede the realization of important societal impacts.

Below is an excerpt of Robert’s article, “Facebook Presence is an Important Clue to a Social Venture’s Future.”

Fledgling social entrepreneurs may have a lot of passion, but they usually don’t have much of a track record, a circumstance that leaves would-be backers to wonder: Which have the potential to become genuine world-changers? Which are likely to achieve significant social impact within an attractive business model? Potential customers are also left wondering: Which of these ventures are worthy of my attention and support?

It turns out one of the best clues may be on Facebook.

Last summer, Social Enterprise @ Goizueta set out with Village Capital, a peer-based accelerator program, to learn (among other things) whether social entrepreneurs with larger social-media followings are showing greater commercial promise. In an analysis of data from roughly a hundred social entrepreneurs, we found a clear connection between a venture’s Facebook presence and its commercial performance.

Click here to read the entire article.

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