Skip to main content
Sep 13, 2013

Getting the Federal Government to Embrace Social Enterprise SEEED Act


Social enterprises (“SEs”) are businesses that use the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance their social, environmental and human justice agendas.
Social Enterprises Produce Direct, Measurable Economic and Social Benefits

  • Entrepreneurship: SEs work to power innovation, productivity, and economic growth in the for-profit sector. They play a vital and increasingly important role in the development of vibrant and healthy local economies.
  • Economic Opportunity: SEs are economic engines, improving human capital and creating jobs in communities that need economic renewal.
  • Fiscal Responsibility: SEs reduce the myriad costs of public support for people facing barriers by providing a pathway to economic self-sufficiency for their employees.
  • Public Safety: SEs make the community in which they operate safer by disrupting cycles of poverty, crime, incarceration, chemical dependency, and homelessness.
  • Social Justice: SEs give a chance to those most in need. Many social enterprises, because of their focus on employing people facing barriers, encourage the growth of businesses that are owned and operated by people of color, women, and immigrants as well as those that employ alternative business models.

The SEEED Commission Act of 2013

  • Introduced in May 2013 by Representative Cicilline (D-RI), the Social Enterprise Ecosystem and Economic Development (“SEEED”) Commission Act (H.R. 2043) has been referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
  • The SEEED Act would establish a Commission on the Advancement of Social Enterprise (“Commission”) to examine and make recommendations on ways the federal government can support and utilize SEs.
  • The Commission would identify ways the federal government can work in collaboration with, and support of, SEs to create greater social and economic returns while addressing community challenges.
  • The Commission would provide recommendations on how the federal government can build the capacity of SEs, by looking at how loans, debt financing, grants, procurements, the tax code, tax incentives, and credits for non-profits, can be put to best use in supporting social entrepreneurship.
  • The Commission would last for approximately 2 years: 1 year to establish criteria by which to identify SEs, and another year to submit a report on the Commission’s findings.

I urge you to support the SEEED Act, which will enhance the role SEs can play in promoting economic growth and advancing social justice