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The definitive business advent calendar: 2 December – Today’s surprise is…

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Giving.

That’s quite apt for this time of the year, isn’t it?

Mark Zuckerberg is currently on a mission to heal the world and make it a better place, for you, for me, and the entire human race. Seriously.

Today he launched the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with his wife Priscilla and declared that they would donate 99 per cent of Facebook shares, equivalent to $45bn, to “advance human potential and promote equality”.

It means the social network mastermind will use his considerable capital to invest in technologies and campaigns that can cure diseases, improve learning and energy, and reduce poverty.

The launch has coincided with the birth of their child Max, who has inspired them to provide her and all children with a better planet.

One of the most interesting points Zuckerberg raised was: “Can we cultivate entrepreneurship so you can build any business and solve any challenge to grow peace and prosperity?”

Founders Pledge is a notable programme that’s out to make a difference – one that calls on members to donate two per cent of their personal income to a social cause following a company exit.

The project was dreamt up in 2013 and was spun out of digital entrepreneur network the Founders Forum and is a division of the not-for-profit Founders Forum for Good.

Between 2010 and 2014, there were 155 exits from the tech industry at around £183m each – that’s equivalent to £22m for social giving if the UK’s founders had committed two per cent of their earnings to the Pledge.

As of June 2015, however, over 50 leaders had embraced the philanthropic campaign, including those from SwiftKey, Zopa, DueDil and Huddle – amounting to £18.5m.

David Goldberg, director of Founders Forum for Good, said: “Over the last ten years, the tech and digital sector has grown an inspiring group of founders that are building game-changing businesses.

“Through the Founders Pledge, this new generation of entrepreneurs has a mechanism to give back apply their disruptive mindset to be a change for good. The initial level of commitment has already been fantastic and we are looking forward to seeing how this drive for change grows and expands in to a global movement.”

Read more on philanthropy:

To coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, a study found 94 per cent of social enterprise leaders believe their ventures deserve more recognition from investors and the public.

With the likes of Zuckerberg and the Founders Pledge campaigning to make a difference, even from just two per cent, it seems as though the support for philanthropic endeavours could be on its way.

See you tomorrow for day three in the definitive business advent calendar!


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