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Mar 17, 2021

SocialVentures Bids Farewell to our Leader

The Board of Directors of SocialVentures is both saddened and delighted to announce the retirement of our founder Allen Proctor. While Allen has been an enthusiastic promoter of social enterprise in Columbus and has grown SocialVentures from a sprout of an idea to well-known authority on virtually all aspects of social enterprise, he has expressed the desire to retire and take the next step in his journey. “The Board of Directors owes a debt of gratitude to Allen for his untiring work on behalf of SocialVentures and feels the weight of the task to find his successor,” said Andrea Applegate, SocialVentures’ board chair.

Applegate continued, “While we will miss Allen’s presence in the day-to-day operations of SocialVentures, we are excited to continue building on the foundation he’s laid, moving forward with our ongoing mission of advancing remarkably good businesses—businesses that intentionally integrate social impact as a non-negotiable component of their business model.”

Proctor has shared the following regarding his next steps:

“While many of you may already know, it is time to make official my planned retirement from SocialVentures.  My last day will be at Positioned to Prosper on August 3, which I hope will be in-person so that I can personally thank all of the many people that have helped me to make social enterprise a reality in our region.” Proctor leaves SocialVentures confident that it will continue to lead the transformation to advance the vision of a community where positive social impact is integrated into every business in a sustainable way. 

The board and staff have used the past pandemic-burdened year to envisage the next stage of development, SocialVentures 2.0. The board recently welcomed five new members who possess a wealth of expertise. This will be a solid bridge of continuity for Proctor’s successor.

“While founders may sometimes feel anxious about letting their ‘baby‘ go, I am excited by what SocialVentures plans for 2021 and beyond,” said Proctor. “I know that it will be catalyzed by the energy, ideas, and passion of the next generation of leadership.” 

Since its founding in 2014, SocialVentures has accomplished the following under Proctor’s leadership:

  • Helped more than 100 local social enterprises, half nonprofit and half for-profit in their journey to sustainability;
  • Supported more than 380 individuals through custom consultation, networking and learning opportunities;
  • Benefited more than 5,300 individuals have from SocialVentures’ speaking, blog and social media outreach;
  • Embraced as a viable, for-profit business model and that half the social enterprises are owned or led by women;
  • Made a difference in closing the economic and social divide that became even more visible during the COVID pandemic. In just seven years, social enterprises in our ecosystem have become the largest creator of supportive employment for individuals facing barriers to conventional employment such as past incarceration, drug addiction, human trafficking, chronic homelessness, or developmental impediments.

SocialVentures invites the community to celebrate Proctor at the annual event, Positioned to Prosper, which is the largest gathering to celebrate social enterprise in the state. 

Under the direction of SocialVentures’ board chair, Applegate, a diverse search committee has been formed to find Proctor’s successor.  Any candidates excited by entrepreneurship, social impact, and transforming a community are invited to submit a resume and cover letter to before March 31.