Entrepreneurs encouraged to pledge 2% of proceeds to charity following an exit

Founders Pledge has partnered with accelerator MassChallenge to make more start-ups aware of the Brent Hoberman-backed philanthropist initiative

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The Founders Pledge has announced today that it has partnered with “the world’s friendliest” start-up accelerator MassChallenge as it looks to encourage more entrepreneurs to commit to donating a minimum 2% of their personal proceeds to social causes, following an exit.

The partnership will see MassChallenge – the global not-for-profit accelerator – share information about the Founders Pledge initiative with its alumni of 835 businesses alongside future founders (applications for its next UK cohort are set to open on May 19).

Launched in June 2015, the Founders Pledge is a philanthropic initiative set up by Founders Forum for Good to bring about “global change” and claims to be the simplest way for business owners to “commit to social responsibility and leverage success for the greater good”.

The organisation – which is backed by serial entrepreneur Brent Hoberman – has received pledges totalling $70m from 244 companies to date including DueDil, Swiftkey (recently acquired by Microsoft for an estimated $250m), alongside recent pledges from Mass Challenge companies Pronto and Shoot.

Co-founder David Goldberg came up with the idea after noticing that start-up founders “often lacked the time, resources, and support to give back to society effectively, if at all.”

Goldberg said that the average pledge of founders to date has been 4% – entrepreneurs can commit to a maximum pledge of 25% – and pointed to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as pioneers of new approaches to philanthropy.

Explaining the goals for the Founders Pledge at a roundtable in London this morning, Goldberg said that he intends to have 2,500 ‘pledge’ businesses within the next 12 months and said that the overarching aim is to “empower the world’s best entrepreneurs and […]creative classes.”

Also at the event, Hoberman revealed that Founders Forum will be launching a new programme tomorrow at 10 Downing Street; Founders of the Future; which will focus on the “DNA of successful entrepreneurs”.

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