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Blog Posts

Sep 11, 2020
How a Conversation Over Dinner Turned Into a “Hub” for Social Awareness – and Coffee

In 2017, the doors to Third Way Café opened in the Greater Hilltop area at 3058 W. Broad St., its owner blissfully unaware of the booming social enterprise it would soon become.  “It’s a coffee shop with a different outlook on things,” Owner Tim Rush explains. The café, which was named to represent a “third […]

Aug 14, 2020
From Plastic to PPE: How this Social Enterprise Pivoted During a Pandemic

Tyler Bonner never thought he’d be making face shields when he first founded Zero Waste Event Productions in 2011. After working with Rural Action, where Bonner spent two years cleaning illegal dump sites and working with local events to reduce waste sent to the landfill, he eventually took over operations. It was then that the […]

Jul 9, 2020
Cova Owners Navigate Hurdles & Virus Complications to Nurture Coworking Community

Perhaps you could call Meghan and Josh Boone’s social enterprise startup a co-labor of love. The couple opened Cova Cowork at Gravity in Franklinton in late 2019, fueled by their experiences visiting and working in shared spaces, and finding a need for that same kind of environment to foster remote work-life balance in Central Ohio. The […]

Jun 29, 2020
Azoti Evolves to Find New Ways to Connect Local Produce with Consumers

In 2012, David Ranallo learned that the food space needed his help. After working with direct-to-consumer programs in several industries and learning about the power of decentralization, he discovered that the same could be applied in the food and farming sector.  “With the meat processors, the big farms, there are very few middle-class farms; everything’s […]

Jun 29, 2020
‘Digital Imaginary Friend’ Helps Kids Process Their Emotions Through Chronic Illness—and a Pandemic

French for “to improve,” Bonifier was developed to do just that. Founder Ryan Scott came up with the idea for a web-based app— a virtual sidekick called Pip—two years ago to improve the pediatric-patient experience. Scott’s goal is for Pip to help alleviate the fear, anxiety and loneliness experienced by sick children. “1.7 million kids receive inpatient treatment (every […]

Feb 14, 2020
Clintonville bakery thrives by putting employees with disabilities front-and-center

Glance above the counter at the Clintonville bakery Food for Good Thought, and it’s right there, printed in red. In 2018, the bakery’s customers tipped $653. These above-and-beyond incremental dollars provided more than 70 hours of paid employment to the individuals with disabilities, whose pictures hang on the opposite wall. But those numbers are now […]

Jan 24, 2020
Modcon Living Continues to Make an Impact with Help of Social Enterprise

If you’re of a “certain age”—read, “OK, Boomer”—you likely remember the late ‘60s, early ‘70s ABC series “The Mod Squad.” The series featured an unlikely trio of undercover detectives, each representing a segment of the era’s counterculture, tackling big, sticky cultural issues. Today, Columbus has its own Mod Squad in the form of a social enterprise founded […]

Dec 13, 2019
A Cut Above: Putting Employees First While Remaining Profitable

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 Lawn Care and Patriot Pride Painting have a customer mix that is 60 percent commercial and 40 percent residential, with Franklin […]

Nov 8, 2019
Double Comfort Doubling Down on Growth

Social enterprise pursues market expansion, profit growth in pursuit of serving those with less. A lot has changed over the past two years at Double Comfort Foods. Gone is the Short North restaurant that once occupied 505 N. High St. in Columbus. Gone is the staff who worked the front and back of house. And […]

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 […]