Get Involved in Something that Moves You: Social Entrepreneurship SC

By on December 2, 2013


Get involved in something that moves you!

No matter what you do, it is important to follow through.  There may come a time when you will need to find motivation.  That is why it is better to pursue something that moves and inspires you.

My passion is fostering and supporting meaningful ventures, especially those that involve engaging education and purposeful entrepreneurship.

In a time where trust in government, business, and NGOs are at an all time low, it is refreshing to see a trend of entrepreneurs that are using their business acumen to create innovative enterprises that are both profitable and purposeful.  There are business models that are not exactly charities or traditional businesses, but more of a hybrid, sometimes referred to as B-corporations.  They are profitable ventures that address some of the social and environmental challenges that face the world today.

An entrepreneur can recognize the opportunity in a problem or challenge and find a solution that can be turned into a business venture.  A social entrepreneur does the same thing, but with a clear social or environmental focus in the mission.

This seems to be a growing trend here in South Carolina, and  just the type of thing I find worth supporting.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine invited me to attend a meeting for social entrepreneurs to network and share resources at the Coastal Community Foundation on the corner of Rutledge and Huger Street every 1st Thursday at 4pm.

The effort that helped bring this group together was started by a friendship between like-minded individuals on different continents: Zoe Schlag of UnLtd India, a launchpad for social entrepreneurs in India, and Derek Snook from IES Labor Services, a Charleston-based temp agency that offers new hope for general and skilled laborers by providing services to both employers and workers.  Zoe and Derek helped to organize a pilot event last September that was promoted through the help of Jamee Haley from Lowcountry Local First. The September event was one of a series of events that Zoe has scheduled across the US to prepare for the launch of UnLtd US, which will take place in Austin, Texas in early 2014.

The November meeting was attended by some impressive entrepreneurs such as Phil Noble from Envision South Carolina. Envision SC was created “to engage the people of South Carolina to dream, connect and learn together in order to help South Carolina to be more world class and globally connected.”  Phil has created a website and a newsletter, and has begun to assemble a team of world class leaders to begin to expand the discussions around the vision.  Envision SC was developed in association with the Palmetto Project, a South Carolina non-profit dedicated to finding entrepreneurial solutions to the states challenges.

Other notable entrepreneurs at the table were Brady Quirk-Garvin from Natural Investments, a leading investment firm that helps to fund solutions to social and environmental challenges; and  Jennifer Morrow from Rooted ID, a full service marketing agency that helps businesses develop strategies based on their company’s unique identity.

The first meetings were focused on sharing ideas, discussing strategies and expanding our network.  It is easy to get inspired about the possibilities of what may come as this fledgling group develops.

The Coastal Community Foundation has been very supportive and has helped to develop a Charleston chapter of Social Venture Partners, which helps “to cultivate effective philanthropists, strengthen nonprofits, and invest in collaborative solutions– building powerful relationships to tackle our community’s social challenges.”

There are so many people doing excellent work in South Carolina.  The idea is to build a support network in order to help make them successful.

There are several projects that I plan to share over the next several months.

If you are aware or involved in a project of this nature, please join the conversation.  Post your comments here or attend the next meeting of social entrepreneurs December 5, 2013 at the Coastal Community Foundation located at 635 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 201.




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