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Is Social Enterprise a Solution to Nonprofit Sustainability?

Posted by olga

Almost every day we see something in the local, national, or world news about the intersection of business and social good.  Interest in social enterprise clearly has hit its prime. And, the same holds true for the particular idea of nonprofit social enterprise.

The quest for sustainability and new sources of revenue is leading many nonprofits to consider social enterprise, generally defined as mission-related businesses that have promise for producing income directly benefiting the nonprofits clients or enhancing its ability to fulfill its mission.  There are many successful examples right here in Boulder County. Ready to Work,Via Mobility Services, and Center for ReSource Conservation are but a few.

To get nonprofits started in thinking about social enterprise, the most critical factor is to get them thinking differently, to become more entrepreneurial and innovative–to consider their assets and to surround themselves with people who think differently, too.   The social enterprise business model challenges nonprofits to think in a more precise business frame of mind—but one that includes commitment to the nonprofit’s mission and purpose.

This is a challenging time for nonprofits in Boulder County.  Federal funding, for many, is decreasing and most local government funding has remained flat since the “great recession” hit.  Boulder County has one of the highest counts of nonprofits per capita, resulting in competition for charitable resources.  Social enterprise is not right for every nonprofit but it is the answer for many.

SVP Boulder County is committed to building the capability and capacity of nonprofits and to bringing the most current and effective business practices into how nonprofits think and manage their organizations.  We believe that social enterprise is a business model whose time has come in its ability to impact the nonprofit sector’s economic sustainability and mission advancement.

To stoke the conversation further, SVP is proud to be hosting Social Enterprise SPARK: A Conversation with Robert Egger on Nonprofit Social Enterprise on June 21, 2013. Join us!

Robert Egger, a pioneer in nonprofit social enterprise, will share his thoughts and inspiration followed by faciliated Q&A.  Robert’s talk and the follow-on conversation will take place from 5:30-6:30pm with social before and after. Good conversation, new ideas, refreshments and nibbles are included!

Learn more at 303.840.0165 or online www.svpbouldercounty.org.

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