Convened by:

Opening Keynote

Tuesday, October 22 | 9:00 - 10:15 am 

Making Markets Work... For More People, in More Places, and in More Ways 

It is tempting – and in many ways justifiable – to see market-based activity as a primary cause of poverty and income inequality. After all, the selection logic that governs markets creates winners and losers, even in best-case scenarios. Without effective interventions and regulations, the differential consequences of winning versus losing become untenable. Despite these concerns, a growing number of practitioners and commentators are working to stimulate for-profit companies in order to combat poverty and inequality. Why? Because poverty is rooted in inadequate earnings and problematic access to products and services. The expansion of impact oriented business activity addresses these problems by providing the poor with more entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, along with more appropriate and affordable goods and services. I reflect on this evolving market movement by focusing on several years of work with impact-oriented entrepreneurs, women specialty coffee farmers, and entrepreneurs who launch businesses in marginalized U.S. neighborhoods.

About the Speaker 

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Peter Roberts, Emory University

Professor of Organization & Management

Founding Academic Director of Social Enterprise, Goizueta Business School.

Peter's research interests relate to how the behavior and performance of organizations evolve over time. Recently, he directs his interests in entrepreneurship and organizational performance toward topics in the field of social enterprise. His current projects focus on social entrepreneurs and accelerators, on microbusiness development, and on the global specialty coffee industry.

For the past several years, he has also been spearheading programs within Social Enterprise at Goizueta Business School, which focuses on making markets work for more people, in more places, in more ways. This led to the establishment of the global Entrepreneurship Database Program, the Start:ME accelerator program, and the Transparent Trade Coffee and Grounds for Empowerment.

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