Social Enterprise & SVP Tampa Bay

With the world we are living in becoming more stressful, and issues we must overcome as a community more visible, more and more folks are reaching for ways to solve those issues. Tampa Bay is filled with nonprofits looking to fill the voids in our community in education, healthcare, human welfare, and so much more, and it’s amazing. So many well intentioned ideas, looking to solve very specific issues, but many of these organizations struggle with many of the same things.

Sustainable funding being at the top of that list. On a recent survey done by Foundation for a Healthy St.Petersburg, many organizations noted that should government, donor, or grant money be cut, they would resort to cutting valuable programs that were created to help those who really need it. On this same survey, it was noted that Social Enterprise had the lowest percentage of use by organizations.

Social Venture Partners Tampa Bay is a group of engaged philanthropists looking to fill the void by going beyond writing a check. Partners roll up their sleeves and get involved with each organization to engage and mentor them in running their non-profit more efficiently and more like a for-profit business for long term sustainability.

Social Enterprise should no longer be looked at as the last resort, it’s a growing necessity for those who are pushing for change and growth within our communities. The term is thrown around a lot lately, we have social enterprise, and social entrepreneurs, and socially conscious corporations.

Social enterprise is poised to be the solution many of the problems we face in our communities on a daily basis. Defined as "Businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.”  When executed correctly, the balance between business and mission remains equal.

The definition of social enterprise is often varied, the main goal remains the same. To become successful, the social enterprise must be run in a for profit manner in order to be sustainable for the long term, taking the best parts of nonprofit and for profit and merging them together makes for an innovative, and often times successful mission.

Most people want to believe what they are doing matters in this world. Social enterprise/entrepreneurship brings a sense of community back to a rapidly disconnected world. It can be done on many different levels, from simplistic to high tech, with the end purpose all being the same, develop a sustainable business model that also fills a need or solves a problem within our community.

Starting on August 29th, SVP Tampa Bay will begin their 2018 “Fast Pitch” program, with a 6 week business boot camp for 10 Tampa Bay area non-profits selected from an incredible pool of applicants. At the close of the 6 weeks, the 10 organizations will compete for cash prizes at our 2nd annual Fast Pitch on October 25th, at The Palladium, this event is open to the public as a celebration of all the good that happens right here in Tampa Bay.  

K. McGraw