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Social Impact Blog

Blog Posts

Oct 2, 2019
Philanthropitch 2020: Apply now

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
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 […]

Sep 13, 2019
Good Calls: Franklinton Social Enterprise Fortuity Plans to Employ 500

All photos provided by Fortuity If you take the 10 bus line west on Broad Street, not long after you pass COSI and drive into the rapidly changing neighborhood of Franklinton, you’ll pass the construction for the Gravity development project just before landing directly in front of Fortuity. Company co-founders Fred Brothers and Katie Robinson […]

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 […]

Aug 16, 2019
SocialVentures’ Positioned to Prosper Makes Social Enterprise #EasyToUnderstand

  Photos courtesy Eric Ndenzaho   Tuesday, August 6 marked the fifth annual Positioned to Prosper event, hosted by SocialVentures at Columbus Museum of Art, to celebrate the advancement and achievements of the social enterprise sector in Central Ohio over the past year, and more broadly, over the past five years.   Major sponsors Ernst […]

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, […]

Jul 18, 2019
Eleventh Candle Co. Fights Human Trafficking One Candle at a Time

Photo by Susan Post Over the last three years, all but one woman has successfully completed Eleventh Candle Co.’s training program. Amber Runyon, founder, credits these impressive results to the company’s small class sizes, as she traditionally employs four to six human trafficking survivors at a time. By creating a safe space and close knit […]

Jul 12, 2019
Ruling Our Experience (ROX) Grows Along with Social Enterprise Scene in Columbus

When Lisa Hinkelman tells the story of Ruling Our Experiences (ROX)—its start, its (and her) growing pains, and its growing relevance today—it sounds remarkably like a metaphor for the social enterprise universe in which her now eight-year-old nonprofit operates. When Hinkelman formally founded ROX in 2011, she recalls that not only was there no one in the […]

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 […]