The Next 25 Social Enterprise Stars: Forging New Relationships
July 28, 2015
This article was originally published in the Summer 2015 RSF Quarterly.
by Ted Levinson
There’s still time to refer potential borrowers to RSF through our Next 25 Social Enterprise Stars campaign (see excellent examples below), but we’re close enough to the end of this yearlong campaign to reflect on the results. Not surprisingly, it’s all about the relationships.
The community response has been fantastic. We’ve been able to connect with many inspiring social enterprises that we would not have known about without the campaign. Many of our partners and friends have been hustling on social media and in their networks to get the word out, and we’ve gotten numerous referrals from our Scouts group.
I want to give special thanks to the 20-plus organizations that have been regularly tweeting and posting about Social Enterprise Stars over the past months, as well as those who’ve made personal referrals. The campaign web page has received more than 3,000 views, and we have connected with many social enterprises that are a good fit with our loan program.
Please keep the referrals coming—we’re always on the lookout for social enterprises that are solving challenging problems. The following borrowers are great examples of ideal matches in each of our focus areas.
Food & Agriculture: DC Central Kitchen
DC Central Kitchen reduces hunger with recycled food, trains unemployed, at-risk adults for culinary careers, serves healthy school meals, and helps to rebuild the urban food system. Since its founding in 1989, DC Central Kitchen has prepared and delivered over 25 million meals to underserved populations.
Education & the Arts: Digital Divide Data
Digital Divide Data provides high-quality business process outsourcing services to a global client base using talented youth in developing countries, who gain access to professional opportunities and can earn a higher income.
Ecological Stewardship: Eureka Recycling
Eureka Recycling is one of the largest non-profit recyclers in the United States and the only organization in Minnesota that specializes in zero waste. Eureka Recycling provides curbside recycling services to Saint Paul residences and engages in waste reduction education, programs, and advocacy.
Know any enterprises that fit the star profile? Send them to Wanted: Social Enterprise Stars.
Ted is Senior Director, Lending at RSF.