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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While businesses that create social impact are still a minor part of the Central Ohio economy, the amount of activity and engagement in this business sector expanded significantly in the past year. Summarized in the recently released report State of Social Enterprise in Central Ohio (available by download at http://www.cincohio.com/socentincbus-report/), progress occurred in three areas.
We are partnering with Cardinal Health’s management development program called LEAD to evaluate the community’s need and desire to address this problem and to assess the technical challenges and demands of such an undertaking before we start fundraising for the project.
Next week I hope many will join us in celebrating our many steps. Those who register will receive an advance copy of our second annual State of Social Enterprise in Central Ohio.
August provides us three opportunities to celebrate the energy, excitement, and innovation of social enterprise in Central Ohio.
Working with the social enterprises we have identified in Central Ohio, the Center for Social Enterprise Development has begun to collect data on their economic and social impact. The effort remains at an early stage and we have assembled impact data for one-third of the enterprises.
There has been a movement away from 85 page business plans toward leaner descriptions of a business, often called a “pitch”. A pitch is also an excellent way for an entrepreneur to maintain focus on vision and strategy while living in the “weeds” of daily operations. For a social entrepreneur, the pitch can also be the best way to stay anchored on social impact while promoting the product and its value to the customer.
The “selling” that a social enterprise does must first and foremost be to a customer. It doesn’t help to excite a customer about social impact if the customer doesn’t know what you are selling. A customer needs some basic information that a donor to a nonprofit does not need in order to make a decision
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