Brilliant Bonus
The Ohio based social enterprise accelerator, SEA Change had their pitch event last month. The Metroprenuer has a great write-up of the teams that participated, many of whom are launching new ventures making a social impact. Awesome read for some fresh new ideas that are tackling social issues in new ways. Read on for some inspiration!
Edinburgh is a delightful Scottish city known for its music festival, medieval architecture and a beautiful castle has now launched a social entrepreneur and charity hub called Montgomery Street Lane. It’s a place for changemakers to work, collaborate and socialize to help boost ideas. It’s the home of bOuncet, a social enterprise which uses trampolines to engage through innovative occupational therapy, and the Rwanda Coffee Project, which helps coffee corporative in Rwanda access the international market.
The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI) exists to help develop small businesses, especially to overcome the hurdles they face getting off the ground. ECDI is well known for its Food Fort – a kitchen incubator and home for many of the food trucks in Columbus, Ohio. But Hollywood Cleaning, LLC is a company that utilized ECDI’s Capital for Construction that helps minority-owned subcontractors get the funding and support they need. They were able to structure a finance and coaching program with Hollywood Cleaning for them to be debt-free within the year.
Conscious Step is one of many social enterprises looking at how to transform boring business ideas to make an impact. Adam Long left his strategy position helping charities raise money when he was confused by the resistance towards charities starting for-profit businesses to fund their work. He built Conscious Step to be free of the strings attached to donor funding, giving them more freedom to take risks, incentivize staff and even give away socks. Even better, their impact to date, “Conscious Step has funded 110,000 trees through Trees For The Future, 216,000 months of clean water through water.org and 25,230 meals through Action Against Hunger.” All from socks that have a little purpose sewn in.
 Cold Soup
Steve Cook, founder of a top Philadelphia restaurant, Zahav, started the Rooster Soup Company about 5 years ago. His mission was simple – build a restaurant that could use some unused chicken bones for a signature dish, and at the same time raise money for the Broad Street Ministry. Only, it didn’t end up making a profit, so this year, they shut it down. In his reflection, “My high-profile social enterprise shut down, but it wasn’t a total failure“.