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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 […]

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 […]

Apr 5, 2019
Straight from the heart

Furniture Bank’s two social enterprises provide needed support for nonprofit’s bottom line In 2016, Furniture Bank of Central Ohio launched its first social enterprise, Furniture with a Heart, a furniture thrift store, followed by its second venture in 2017, Downsize with a Heart, a service-based enterprise helping individuals declutter, pack and move into smaller homes. Now that […]

Mar 26, 2019
The daily grind: Roosevelt Coffee Roasters aims for break even, then breakthrough

Like so many social enterprises, Roosevelt Coffee Roasters works hard to build the long-term sales pipeline that will empower the organization to create significant social change. But long before the organization can break through the barriers of social injustice, the quest to break even and make good on the loans borrowed to start up the […]

Feb 27, 2019
Help SocialVentures Knock Out Poverty!

The time to Knock Out Poverty in central Ohio is NOW! Your online donation to SocialVentures at knockoutpoverty.org can help us win a portion of the $200,000 prize pool at stake in United Way of Central Ohio’s friendly bracket challenge, Knock Out Poverty. If you haven’t made an annual gift yet (or even if you have) […]