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Blog Posts

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

Check out our latest article in The Metropreneur to learn about Azoti, a social enterprise with innovation that is helping farmers, consumers and revolutionizing the farm-to-table experience.

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

Read our May article for The Metropreneur to learn about Bonifier, a “virtual sidekick” startup that helps chronically ill children throughout the pediatric patient experience, and how the company is expanding its’ reach during a pandemic. 

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 […]

Oct 11, 2019
Work the Real Reward for Winners of Social Enterprise Awards

When HonestJobs.co and Nature’s Touch Landscaping & Lawn Care were named winners of The Metropreneur’s annual Social Enterprise of the Year Awards presented in partnership with SocialVentures at Aspire 2019, there were no red carpets, no smoke machines, gold statuettes, or long-winded, political speeches. For Ramona Wheeler of Nature’s Touch and Harley Blakeman of HonestJobs.co, […]

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
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, […]