Daniel Cowen

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2013

Capstone Advisor

Professor Tom Lumpkin

Honors Reader

Associate Professor, Political Science, Prof. Hans Schmitz

Capstone Major

Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises

Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations


In today’s society we rely on non-profits and government institutions to ameliorate our most pressing problems. Everyday these organizations employees work tirelessly to help people most in need. Their efforts are recognized and commendable, but they are constantly limited by countless restraints like lack of funding, slow service innovation, and accurate impact measurement tools. Implementing a new sector that would effectively combat the problems that organizations battle when they are doing their best to solve other people’s problems would exponentially improve services.

In this paper I start by outlining the societal problems that are especially prevalent in Syracuse, but characteristic in the rest of the country. Next I describe my solution’s architecture, detailing all its components and how it specifically overcomes the problems confronted by traditional service organizations. Although the bulk of my idea is original thought, there are successful institutions that how accomplished pieces of my proposal, proof that my idea is plausible.

Social impact bonds (SIBs) are a recent solution to inconsistent financing. After describing their purpose, I annotate three case studies about SIBs founded recently. The first two targeted prison recidivism, one in Peterborough, England, and the other in New York City. The third SIB is about Boston’s attempt to reduce homelessness. SIBs are effective tools for increasing upfront investment and driving innovation, while social impact exchanges sustain investment throughout program and service lifetime.

The standard stock exchange helps companies expand their products and services, and diversifies their investment stream. The social impact exchange is the same idea, but focused solely on service and socially mission oriented companies. The exchanges also increase community engagement and support for various organizations doing good. The two cases I talk about in the paper are on opposite sides of the world. Asia IIX is in Singapore and was founded by Durreen Shahnaz a few years ago. BVS&A is in Brazil, and is financially supported by the main Brazilian Stock Market. For both SIBs and Social Impact Stock markets to be successful they rely on strong impact measurement tools.

At the end of the paper I describe randomized control trials, a measurement tool traditionally used in medical sciences, and apply them to social impact. I end with an outline of how to implement, assess, and fund my idea specifically in the city of Syracuse.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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