The Social Impact Blog
The Social Impact Blog covers the latest research, thinking, and developments in social enterprise and in improving the sustainability of the social sector. Posted approximately once per week, by reading this blog you will become better informed about the challenges facing nonprofits and social enterprises and find ideas on how you can make a difference in our society through the impact of for-profit and nonprofit socially-focused organizations.
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Impact investing is not a new term, but it has been expropriated by the general investment community as a marketing term that sounds more appealing than ESG and more specific than sustainable investing. This trend is making it more difficult to distinguish investment in companies that are committed to creating social impact, which we call social enterprises.
I welcome the number of efforts to recognize and encourage companies to do good in the community. Many labels are being created, yet it would be a mistake to make qualifying for a particular label the criterion for being considered a good company.
Pelotonia’s success is an excellent example of the value of capital to empower good planning and good implementation. The lack of sufficient capital to plan for and absorb surprises is often what gets new social enterprise start-ups into trouble.
Open Letter to Aspiring Social Entrepreneurs: “Let me be the first — and perhaps only — person that recognizes you for your bravery and courage; a sacrifice to align purpose within the motivation for profit.”
The challenge of a weekend program, however, is what to do next. The unbelievably high energy of a weekend event can lose momentum quickly without some structure and guidance to hold the team and its energy together. Working with GiveBackHack, the Center for Social Enterprise Development is taking a whack at the hack by offering the weekend participants “Next Steps”, an evening of structure.
Impact measurement has the potential to be a powerful marketing tool for social enterprises and nonprofits but recent interviews reveal a preference for stories as validation of the “social” value of social enterprises and nonprofits.
As we learn more about what works in fostering more entrepreneurship, here are a number of recent lessons for economic development officials, grant-makers, investors, and entrepreneurs that can help Central Ohio continue to develop a thriving environment for new businesses.
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