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Blog Posts

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 […]

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 […]

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 28, 2019
Equitas Health aims to be ‘provider of choice’ for LGBTQ+ community

What: Equitas HealthWho: Billy Hardy, President & CEOBusiness: Healthcare organization serving the LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS communities, with pharmacy and primary-health facilities.Based: ColumbusFounded: 1984Website: www.equitashealth.com Bill Hardy is the President and CEO of Equitas Health. This rapidly-growing healthcare organization seeks to be the gateway to good health for those at risk of or affected by HIV/AIDS […]