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Social Impact Blog

Blog Posts

Oct 2, 2019
Philanthropitch 2020 is coming

Apply by Tuesday, Nov. 12, for your chance to cash in on more than $100,000 in donations & funding Over the past half dozen years, Philanthropitch, the social impact fast-pitch competition, has been on a mission to scale innovative nonprofits in communities around the nation. Presented by the AEP Foundation and featuring SocialVentures as a […]

Sep 26, 2019
Taking root

Farm-to-table food-grower preps for sustainability, 2020 launch John Schrock is an engineer who has an idea for how to transform the farm-to-table movement. Having worked on the concept for several years, this summer he plugged into SEA Change, an accelerator program in central Ohio focused on jumpstarting social enterprises. Roots Up will manufacture and operate […]

Sep 24, 2019
A cut above: Lawn-care venture’s business strategy puts people first

Eddie Rapp operates two social enterprises owned by Lutheran Social Services. The businesses are dedicated to moving men out of homeless shelters by providing supportive employment to residents in the Lancaster shelter system. Fairhaven Lawncare and Patriot’s Pride Painting have a customer mix that is 60 percent commercial and 40 percent residential, with Franklin County […]

Sep 24, 2019
Next Up: New breed of enterpreneurs shaking up central Ohio, re-inventing business as usual

Social entrepreneurs are the new generation of change agents in Columbus because they combine social impact with strong business sense. In 2015, SocialVentures could count only 18 such businesses, but now they number more than 100. These are the entrepreneurs who last year created 253 new jobs for people who have typically been excluded from […]

Aug 16, 2019
A different tack on testing

Institute rethinking what leads schools, students to improvement School Performance Institute launched as the learning and improvement arm of the nonprofit United Schools Network. Its core purpose is to study and spread school design and improvement best practices to high poverty schools. It combines what it has learned from more than 120 school visits across […]

Jul 25, 2019
Reflections on 5 years:
Two SocialVentures board members look back—and ahead

The social enterprise sector in Central Ohio has expanded from 18 businesses to almost 100 since the launch of SocialVentures in 2014, accounting for nearly 2,400 jobs and $49 million in payroll. The sector has become the largest local job creator for individuals traditionally excluded from employment: ex-offenders, recovering addicts, survivors of trafficking, chronically homeless, […]

Jun 27, 2019
Pearl in the Rough:
Social enterprise launches 24/7 video health-care conferencing for at-risk rural populations

When we talked with founder Merry Korn last year, she was planning a beta launch of a new rural healthcare business, Pearl TLC (Tele Life Care), a remote monitoring service providing 24/7 access to healthcare via video conferencing with nurse case managers and support care coordinators. It’s seen as a way to provide access to care to […]

May 3, 2019
The social enterprise evolution: CleanTurn founder reflects on rapidly changing industry

When John Rush began contemplating a move from Chicago to Columbus nearly a decade ago to launch what would become CleanTurn, he knew he wanted to do something different. Something bigger and more flexible than a traditional nonprofit. Something that enabled the organization to partner with multiple nonprofits and the public without depending on grants […]

May 2, 2019
Besa making it easier for companies to encourage volunteering

When we last talked with Matt Goldstein in 2017, Besa was just launching its new corporate product, Besa Promise. Targeted to corporations, Besa Promise helps companies track and coordinate their philanthropic programs with their community volunteer programs. Adding a corporate product has been transformational in allowing Besa to evolve its services and to use the […]

Apr 11, 2019
Hot take: Employee focus one of restaurant’s keys to success

AT A GLANCE What: Hot Chicken TakeoverWho: Ashley Leach, Director of Finance and AdministrationBusiness: Casual Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant Based: ColumbusFounded: 2014Website: www.hotchickentakeover.com Ashley Leach joined Hot Chicken Takeover in 2015 and has been central to its success and growth. From just five employees as a pop-up in Olde Towne East, the restaurant has grown […]