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Mentor Capital Network: Where Mission Drives Margin

When: July 9-10

Where: Conference Room 1 & breakout rooms, The United Nations Headquarters


***Discount code ($150 off general admission) available. Please let us know if you're interested! (email


Overview : Tickets : Agenda : Speakers : Volunteering : Hotels : Sponsorships

The Mentor Capital Network (MCN), formerly known as the William James Foundation, and the United Nations Office for Partnerships are bringing together the MCN's 2015 Sustainable Business Plan Competition finalists at the United Nations in New York City on July 9-10, 2015.

MCN identifies and supports entrepreneurs who are building mission-driven companies for the long-term; creating truly sustainable business models that support the UN's Global Development Goals. Our primary program is our William James Sustainable Business Plan Competition which provides feedback, mentorship, promotion and prizes to the entrepreneurs participating, as well as highly qualified pipeline for our investors. 

Finalist Presentations from:

  • Estufa Doña Dora sells clean, efficient cookstoves in Guatemala to the 735,000 families that buy all of their cooking wood, through vertically integrated field activities of flexible financing and selling the cookstoves.

  • Eqalix is developing the first plant-based skin substitute wound dressing, to replace currently marketed products that are made from culturally sensitive sources (cadavers, embryonic materials, cows, pigs), which may be sold at disruptive prices due to a cost structure roughly 1/10 that of current products.

  • RemitRight is a cost comparison website that allows you to quickly compare sites and find the service that meets your needs of international money transfers, a "KAYAK for remittances." They are currently providing services to El Salvador, Mexico, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

  • Sanivation provides a household sanitation service and affordable fuel to residents living in the parts of Kenya where current toilets are too expensive and require infrastructure that local residents are not set up to invest in.



  • Paul Saginaw: Co-Founder of Zingerman's. The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses has 17 partners, employs over 500 people and generates over $40 million in annual sales from eight separate businesses operating in the same community. Co-Founder Paul Saginaw has used these companies as a way of fostering entrepreneurship in his community, and often be found sharing his stories to help others do the same
  • Tyler Gage: Co-Founder of Runa. Runa makes energizing beverages with guayusa ("gwhy-you-sa"), an Amazonian "super leaf" that has as much caffeine as coffee and double the antioxidants of green tea.  Runa now supports over 3,000 farming families in Ecuador that grow guayusa organically, and Runa products are sold in over 8,000 stores across the US and Canada. Co-Founder Tyler Gage  was named a Forbes “30 Under 30 Entrepreneur" in January 2013 and the Citizen Leader of the Year Award in January 2014 by the Specialty Food Association. 

Conversations we are having (a very partial list)

  • Working with existing culture to provide disruptive technology
  • Multi-Year, Multi-National, Bleeding-edge research on creating the best mentor-entreprenur match
  • Using Business to Create Community
  • More than money: A whole eco-system to support social entrepreneurs
  • Behind the curtain at a real investment pitch.
  • Getting the most our of your mentor
  • Cross-Sector Collaborations
  • Cutting Edge Financial Innovation for Social Benefit
  • Where Mission Drives Margin
  • Scaling Impact for the short and long term
  • Investor Readiness
  • Martyrdom in Social Change
  • How to Use "Knowledge of Change"
  • Achieving Growth valuations for social enterprises

Featuring more than three dozen social enterprise leaders, including representatives from:

ZingermansPomegranate ConsultingCurtis ConceptsRuna

WelloEstufa Doña DoraRemitRightSanivation

SMEFUNDSFuego Del Sol HaitiLumeter NetworksIron Goat

MaternovaWall Street Without WallsSunSaluterTeysha

1000ecofarmsToilets for PeopleZenful BitesBlocPower

EvaptainersShore to Shore AdvisorsImpact HubCovalent

convenors.orgBethesda GreenChange:WaterEqalix

Solve for GoodPearlman and PearlmanGham PowerNetcito