Billion describes itself as a crowdfunding platform for social good aimed at solving huge, global issues. This sounds like exactly what the world needs! Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dicko Sow, who handles Business Development with Billion.
Let’s talk more about the term “social good” and how this relates to businesses in 2015.
‘Social Good’ can be described as a good or service that benefits the largest number of people in the largest possible way. Some classic examples of social goods are clean air, clean water and literacy; in addition, many economic proponents include access to services such as healthcare in their definition of the social or "common good".
The capitalism-based definition of business states that companies exist only to provide the maximum possible return to shareholders. This has often not run parallel to serving the common good in ways such as promoting clean air and water, and financial independence for all citizens. As corporations focus more on corporate sustainability efforts and social responsibility, their business models may expand to include more social goods in their day-to-day strategies and operations.
We hope this gives you a better idea of the term “social good”.
Does this description of “social good” fit in line with Billion? Are there any other categories, other than clear air, clean water, literacy, workforce development, or healthcare, which you would qualify as addressing a “social good”?
Dicko Sow: Absolutely! Our mission is to help create lasting social change in the communities that we live in. And as long as individuals that pitch on our platform have ideas that address a form of social aspect in our communities, then we believe that idea aligns with our mission.
What are some issues dealing with social good in Columbus, Ohio that you would like to see addressed?
Dicko Sow: Some ideas that have already been pitched on our platform include addressing housing inequalities, climate change, and safety, among many others!
How does Billion differ from other crowdfunding sources, such as kickstarter, gofundme, indiegogo, etc?
Dicko Sow: Billion is different because we are the only platform that supports global issues. Our competitive crowdfunding platform then helps us bring that major issue to the forefront. We believe that by combining competition with crowdfunding, we can make a much bigger impact in our communities.
I noticed that you describe yourself as the “world’s first competitive-crowdfunding platform for social good.” Many people, especially in the sports world, believe that competition, the act of competing, is a great thing. No crowdfunding platform has this ‘competition-type’ approach.
Describe the competitive approach with Billion. Do you believe that this will motivate entrepreneurs more?
Dicko Sow: We are allowing anyone with an idea about social change in the community to pitch their idea on our platform. Once the idea is entered, movements will face off against each other. Throughout each iteration, the movement with the most funds will move on, with the funds from the losing movement reallocated to another movement of the donor’s choosing. We believe that this competitive style will provide more publicity and support to the worthwhile causes, and also some serious capital for the winning movement. We believe that the movement has a better chance of succeeding with all of the benefits they gain from being on our platform.
The Columbus Independents Day Festival is a celebration of music, art, performances, food and fun that fuels Columbus’ creative spirit. This 2-day festival located in the heart of Columbus’ vibrant East Franklinton neighborhood, Independents’ Day 2015 will host live music on four stages, an array of local arts showcases, marketplaces featuring some of Ohio’s most celebrated vendors, amazing food and drink, live interactive features… and so much more!
I understand that Billion will be holding its’ first crowdfunding cycle during the Columbus Independents’ Day Festival on September 19 – 20?
What should we expect?
Dicko Sow: Expect to come in and have an awesome time supporting some great social causes! We will have our top ideas face off against each other using an augmented reality game created by Multivarious Games. Points that are won will be allocated to the player’s movement of choosing, and the movement with the most points will walk away with all the funds raised through the bracket.
How can someone submit their idea to get involved?
Dicko Sow: To submit your idea, please head to our website at www.billioneffect.com and check out the “Pitch Your Idea” section. We look forward to reviewing your idea!