Aspire returned for their 7th year of Central Ohio Social Entrepreneurship Awards, recognizing outstanding achievements for businesses creating social impact, hosted by Roosevelt Coffeehouse, the Metropreneur and Columbus Underground. This year’s winners were:
Social Enterprise of the Year – Freedom a la Cart
I’ve had Paula Haines and April Thacker as guests on the People Helping People Podcast – and I just love what they’re doing — running a catering business that provides jobs to victims of human trafficking… and also a work environment that fosters their development to help make sure they succeed. So excited about their upcoming cafe… stay tuned.
Emerging Social Enterprise of the Year – HonestJobs.co
While Wild Tiger Tees was honored to be nominated as a finalist for this award, we’re very excited that the award went to our friend and fellow social entrepreneur, Harley Blakeman, for his social enterprise, HonestJobs.co – the second-chance job board for those with barriers to job entry. He’s been on fire since he launched at the beginning of the year, not only building a platform that’s gotten jobs for previously incarcerated but also hiring exclusively from this population as well.
Nonprofit Sustainability Award – Nature’s Touch Landscaping & Lawn Care
The awards were the first time I learned about this company – using their lawn care business to teach those with barriers to employment, and offering sustainable, long-term employment and entrepreneurship in green infrastructure landscaping.
Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy is an interesting look from HBR on how your purpose can impact your growth. In one example, they compare Purina and their purpose, “Better with Pets”, and Mars Petcare, “A Better World for Pets”, and how these slightly different nuances have led to different business approaches. Purina has focused almost solely on food, while Mars Petcare acquired the Banfield Pet Hospital in 2007, and over the last decade expanded their pet care to grow into one of Mars Inc’s largest divisions – and its transition from product to services was a big leap propelled by their vision.
My main takeaway: It’s not about lip-service, use your purpose to guide the direction of your business. (And as a bonus, they describe how Neste became #2 on the world for most-sustainable companies.)
Santa Clara University’s “Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins” program, established by the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship in 2018 is helping develop social enterprises. Their goal is to bring in expertise to help programs impacting refugees, migrants and human trafficking survivors become more sustainable.
“There needn’t be a division between what’s best for humanity and the bottom line.” Okay, the tagline was the best part of the article, and honestly, the rest of the article didn’t make much sense to me… suggesting that having purpose was less costly than conventional advertising, and will somehow recession-proof your company? Stick with the tagline, it’s all you need to know.
WE Social Entrepreneurs works to help young Canadians take their ideas for social change to the next level. They run conferences to inspire and teach social entrepreneurship, understanding that charity has its limits and there are ways to get participants to bring social issues they care about to the table and show them another way…
David Hertz co-founded Brazilian company Gastromotiva and works to alleviate global hunger by providing cooking classes and nutrition education. He recently won $100K from being awarded the Bronfman Prize – an award that goes to young humanitarians whose work is grounded in their Jewish values and is of universal benefit to all people.