On August 2, 2016, the Center for Social Enterprise Development (CSED), joined by social entrepreneurs, funders and community partners, came together for its second annual Positioned to Prosper event at the Columbus Museum of Art. Since CSED’s inception, more than 85 local social enterprises have been identified, making social enterprise one of the fastest-growing sectors in Central Ohio.
Elaine Luttrull of Columbus College of Art and Design and CSED Chair and Allen Proctor, President & CEO of CSED, along with Susan Post of The Metropreneur, Sheri Chaney Jones of Measurement Resources Company, Mary Lyski of Double Comfort and Tom Katzenmeyer of the Greater Columbus Arts Council, all shared major achievements that took place throughout CSED’s second year (also featured in CSED’s annual report, The State of Social Enterprise in Central Ohio). Here are a few highlights from the event.
Exciting Advances in Columbus Momentum
- CSED launched Central Ohio’s first two intensive social enterprise accelerator programs, SE Catalyst™ and SEA Change, to help organizations move from concept to launch. The SEA Change Pitch event will take place on August 19. The SE Catalyst Pitch Event will take place on October 25. You can sign up for email updates when you download the 2016 Annual Report to stay up-to-date on these events.
- CSED has also identified a strong network of subject matter experts willing to volunteer their time to help these emerging social enterprises. Over 45 have helped mentor entrepreneurs to date.
- For the first time nationally, an EY Entrepreneur of Year award went to a social enterprise in 2016: Columbus-based Equitas and AMC Pharmacy.
- On Saturday, August 20 at McFerson Commons in the Arena District, the SEA Change Festival will bring together bands, vendors and booths featuring as many local social entrepreneurs as possible. All are welcome to come celebrate and experience what our community entrepreneurs have to offer. Visit the festival’s Facebook page to learn more.
Making a Difference
CSED provides a directory – an easy place for customers throughout Central Ohio to find social enterprises that offer a wide range of products and services. We are up to 85 social enterprises; and this directory is available as part of our annual report. To date, we have profiled 31 of these 85 social enterprises. Take a look at the incredible impact that only these 31 have made:
- 1,333 jobs created that would not otherwise have existed.
- $16.3 million generated in payroll, which means taxes to state and local government, and hope of financial stability to their workers.
- $29.9 million in revenue.
- Brought education to 7,500 people.
- Provided over 18,000 meals to the hungry.
Supporters Recognizing the Potential of Social Enterprise
ECDI, a major local micro-lender, invested $250,000 in local social enterprises in the last year. The Columbus Foundation funded three social enterprises, and since 2009, has funded 28 social enterprises through 32 grants totaling $1,483,950. The Tony R. Wells Foundation continued its active role in making sizable investments in social enterprise. The Business of Good Foundation from Cleveland also made its first investment in a Central Ohio social enterprise last year. Finally, two more investors are eager to become active in Central Ohio in the coming year: Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) Foundation and Pipeline Angels.
Most recently, interest-free micro-loans became more accessible to local social entrepreneurs through Kiva Columbus, thanks to Reese Neader, Mayor Andrew Ginther, and numerous other local supporters. If you are interested in becoming a lender, visit us.kiva.org/Columbus. CSED has established a special fund to lend to local social entrepreneurs through the Kiva Columbus platform in the coming year.
From welcoming these many firsts and reflecting on the significant accomplishments of our 85 social enterprises, Columbus is indeed positioned to prosper. We hope that you will participate in CSED’s initiatives, promote and purchase goods and services from these 85 organizations that give back exponentially to our community, and continue to build on the momentum that year two has generated. Please contact us to learn how you can get involved by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.