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Social Impact Blog

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Blog Posts

Nov 9, 2018
Social Enterprise In(form)ed Provides Compliance Services to Non-profit Organizations

In late 2015, when Teresa Trost, executive director of Community Shares of Mid Ohio, and her associate director at that time, Ryan Kovalaske, first considered social enterprise as a viable solution for generating earned revenue on behalf of Community Shares, they explored their strengths. With only one and a half full-time employees, human capital did […]

Oct 5, 2018
Q&A with Steve Votaw: Two Startups Help Mission Keep up With Growing Needs

Steve Votaw has used his two degrees in criminal justice to tackle its underlying causes. He spent the first 18 years of his professional life expanding Directions for Youth and Families to a $8 million nonprofit serving at-risk families. For the past three years, Steve has served as president of the Furniture Bank of Central […]

Sep 20, 2018
Bringing Convenience to Good Nutrition: Q&A with Anique Russell, Too Good Eats

Anique Russell left her job teaching special education in Columbus Schools to turn to social entrepreneurship dedicated to teaching parents about good nutrition through providing healthy snacks and nutrition education. With her husband she launched Too Good Eats in 2016. Targeted at families and moms in the 25 to 35 age group and operating out […]

Sep 14, 2018
Family Mentor Foundation Launches Social Enterprise Mee Box

Kari Vernon left the security of a steady income and her passion for her decade-long career as a middle school teacher to launch the Family Mentor Foundation in 2013. Over the years, she witnessed the countless struggles children faced in their daily lives that created seemingly insurmountable obstacles to learning and developing to their fullest […]

Aug 26, 2018
10 Social Enterprise Teams Win Prizes at SEA Change Pitch Event

Fit to Navigate wins crowd favorite at SEA Change Social Enterprise Accelerator Pitch Day – Columbus 2018. Photo courtesy of GIVEBACKHACK Columbus. On August 22, more than 200 individuals gathered to hear eight organizations pitch their social enterprise concepts at SEA Change Social Enterprise Accelerator Pitch Day – Columbus 2018. A total of 15 organizations […]

Jul 30, 2018
Q&A with Lily Vail: Kiva expanding access to funding for entrepreneurs

Lily Vail leads the Kiva lending program in Columbus. The online platform allows small-business owners to access zero interest, crowdfunded loans that range from a few hundred dollars up to $10,000. In 2005, Kiva started as a platform to connect borrowers and lenders abroad. In the United States, it operates as a direct lending platform […]

Jan 19, 2018
Generational Gap is Major Challenge Facing Social Entrepreneurs

Two recent studies highlight the generational gap which social entrepreneurs face. Demand for social enterprises’ goods and services is concentrated in the millennial generation while the capital to build their businesses is concentrated in the baby boom generation. 

Jan 12, 2018
Connecting People to Where the Jobs Are

Aslyne Rodriguez and Jerry Tsai recently launched EmpowerBus, a social enterprise that is addressing the income gap in Central Ohio by providing reliable, on-time transportation for unskilled workers in the Morse Road corridor to the employers outside the beltway who are having difficulty finding enough reliable employees. They call it “creating corridors to employment and […]

Dec 4, 2017
Aunt Flow Founder Challenges Taboos While Fostering Change

Claire Coder is a remarkable entrepreneur: She launched her second startup at age 19, has relied heavily on social media and reality TV to build awareness of her product, and is on the cutting edge of a movement shared with a national foundation founded by local entrepreneur Nancy Kramer. Aunt Flow, whose tagline is “Helping […]

Nov 24, 2017
Lessons Learned Prompt Re-Launch

Double Comfort Restaurant was a popular spot in the Short North for great southern comfort food and a great drink. Founded in 2014 as a social enterprise, its Buy a Meal, Give a Meal® concept provided over 95,000 meals through local food pantries before it closed in Spring 2017. Social entrepreneur and founder Mary Lyski […]