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Oct 25, 2017

Nonprofits Demonstrate Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Last night Central Ohio celebrated innovation and entrepreneurship in the nonprofit sector at SocialVentures’ Nonprofit Sustainability Showcase.  Five nonprofits presented their plans for new social enterprises and joined nine other nonprofit-owned social enterprises in a Showcase for 140 members of the community to learn about their products and services and how every purchase they make can create social impact.

If these five can secure $810,000 of start-up grants or investments, their plans anticipate that within five years they can produce annual sales of over $6 million with combined profits to support their missions of $450,000 per year.  

Two of these social enterprises used the evening to celebrate the launch of their new businesses from plan to reality.  Community Shares of Mid Ohio announced the formal launch of In(form)ed, their new online platform to compete and manage essential local, state, and federal filings for nonprofits, allowing their nonprofit customers to focus more of their time on their missions and less on meeting compliance deadlines.

US Together and Columbus International Program announced both their formal merger and joint launch of Welcoming City Career Connections, their job placement service for the new American community that already has its first contract with a local company.   And their new business has teamed with Empowerbus, another newly-launched local social enterprise to provide reliable transportation to and from work for their employees.

Also presenting their new social enterprises were 

Center for Balanced Living presented its social enterprise to generate revenue to support its mission of research and education on eating disorders.

Equality Ohio presented its social enterprise to generate revenue to support its mission of advocacy for the LGBTQ community.

Rebuilding Together Central Ohio presented Mod Squad, its social enterprise to generate revenue to support its mission of making homes safe and accessible.

YMCA of Central Ohio presented Family Fun Factory, its social enterprise to generate revenue to support its mission of bringing families together.

Joining them in the Showcase were the following social enterprises already being operated by local nonprofits:

  • Nature’s Touch is operated by Alvis 180.  They sell landscaping and lawn care services and the revenues they generate support their mission to turn lives around.
  • Transitions is also operated by Alvis 180.  They provide commercial cleaning services and the revenues they generate support their mission to turn lives around.
  • In(form)ed is operated by Community Shares of Mid Ohio.  They sell compliance services for  nonprofits and the revenues they generate support their mission of securing resources to empower member nonprofits in Central Ohio.  
  • ReStores is operated by Habitat for Humanity Central Ohio.  They sell used building supplies and the revenues they generate support their mission of bringing people together to inspire hope, build homes, empower families, and develop communities.  
  • Downsize with a Heart is operated by Furniture Bank of Central Ohio.  They provides services to help folks downsize to a smaller home and the revenues they generate support their mission to provide furniture to central Ohio families and individuals struggling with poverty and other severe life challenges.  
  • Furniture with a Heart is also operated by Furniture Bank of Central Ohio.  They sell gently used furniture and the revenues they generate support their mission to provide furniture to central Ohio families and individuals struggling with poverty and other severe life challenges.
  • Food for Good Thought is a nonprofit bakery which.  sells gluten-free baked goods in order to provide employment support to individuals with autism.  
  • Equitas Health Pharmacy is operated by Equitas Health.  They operate this commercial pharmacy and the revenues they generate support their mission to be the gateway to good health for those at risk of or affected by HIV/AIDS, for the LGBTQ community, and for those seeking a welcoming healthcare home.
  • Prizm is operated by Equitas Health. Prizm is a statewide LGBTQ lifestyle publication that focuses on current events, health, arts & culture, fashion, politics, news, travel and entertainment. 100% of its profits are reinvested back into the organization’s community-based health and social services.

We are delighted to be able to highlight the enterprising work being done by local  nonprofits  — nonprofits who recognize that sustainability requires innovation and a commitment to developing strong social enterprises.

Learn more about these fourteen local social enterprises and 91 others at our online Marketplace, where you can search for social enterprises by area of impact, product or service, location, stage of development, and degree of transparency.  And follow current developments on Facebook, Twitter, and in our newsletters.

Allen Proctor, President and CEO