WE BELIEVE … There are significant unmet social needs in Central Ohio. The traditional grant-dependent non-profit model is insufficient and unsustainable, and government funding only goes so far. Without innovative, targeted solutions, more people - and our community - will suffer.
We believe social business holds the solution. Business has the power to change lives, strengthen communities and transform the world, for the better. When business has a social mission everyone benefits: shareholders, employees, consumers and those in need. Today, entrepreneurs are using the power of business to meet social needs, measuring their success with more than one bottom line.
We need more of these innovative sustainable approaches to meet all the social needs in our community. But we also know that 8 of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. To improve our community, we must improve the odds for those committed to making a difference.
WE EXIST TO … Advocate for, develop and fund businesses that solve social problems in our community.
FOR … Businesses that intentionally integrate social impact as a non-negotiable component of their business model.
SO THAT … Entrepreneurs, consumers and beneficiaries of their mission-driven endeavors are all better positioned to prosper.
IF WE DO … Social impact will no longer be dependent on charitable giving or public funding, but sustainably woven into the fabric of our economy, supported by policy and peers. More and more businesses – and business leaders – will be inspired to define their success not by profit alone, but by the impact they have.
Our mission is achieved through three programmatic spheres: Build the Movement, Business Acceleration, and Access to Capital.
The first sphere seeks to create informed consumers and is addressed through networking and public speaking, an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, monthly articles in Business First and Metropreneur, and a monthly newsletter and blog. Our online Marketplace searchable listing of social enterprises, our new Business-to-Business Buying Guide are ways to inform consumers. Our annual State of Social Enterprise in Central Ohio report and annual Positioned to Prosper and Nonprofit Sustainability Showcase events are major efforts to broaden public awareness of social enterprise activity in our community. In 2018 we launched a Social Impact Validation Seal pilot. In early 2019 we will evaluate whether this is a viable new business for us.
The business acceleration sphere seeks to create smart entrepreneurs and was refocused in 2017 toward operating social enterprises. In 2019 we are slimming down to open time for revisiting what the social entrepreneurs need and want. This year we will focus on the Expert Eval plan review program, matching entrepreneurs with expert mentors, and partnered services with the Small Business Development Center, Rev1 Ventures, and the OSU Fisher College of Business. In 2019 our legacy startup program, Nonprofit Catalyst accelerator for nonprofits only, will shift from our sponsorship to that of United Way of Central Ohio. You can always see a current list of offerings at http://socialventurescbus.com/programs/.
The access to capital sphere seeks to create dedicated investors in social enterprise and is represented by our management of Social Ventures Fund LLC and by our trusteeship for Kiva Columbus and our small account for making our own Kiva loans. In 2019 we are partnering with the Small Business Development Center to coordinate the Kiva Columbus program and to offer Columbus Funds, a bi-monthly panel and networking program on non-grant funding hosted at Rev1 Ventures.
WE BELIEVE … There are significant unmet social needs in…