Anshula Chowdhury founded Social Asset Measurements in 2011, at the age of 23. The company currently has booked revenues of about $1 million; Chowdhury is planning to undertake a seed financing round in September.
“We use a methodology called “social return on investment,” which has been used pretty broadly. Essentially, it allows you to figure out what the dollar value of a social or environmental impact would be. So if a company hires somebody, that spending is obviously reflected on its balance sheet. But how do you reflect in your records how that decision will also indirectly boost a government’s income tax revenue? Or decrease the use of emergency medical care services, which happens when people are actually healthy and have any kind of economic well-being.
“We measure everything that’s not part of the cash flow, balance sheet or income statement but is still considered material to an organization. Take mining as an example. There are a lot of non-financial factors that affect their work. If they’re not managing environmental resources or social issues in a responsible way, it can actually lead them to lose shareholder value. It’s not like the financial health of an organization can be found only on their balance sheet. A lot of companies get blindsided by these risks and don’t have a way of demonstrating the value they are creating.”
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